School has just emailed all parents. They have been instructed to make some changes to its COVID school rules. As of next week the wearing of masks will not be enforced in classrooms even though many of them classrooms are small and have poor ventilation. The wearing of masks in other communal areas such as corridors and toilets will remain compulsory for staff but not for students. At present the school understands that all other COVID rules will be reviewed nationally and potentially removed in June.
In other news the Government’s own scientific advisory panel has said and I quote
Lateral flow test positivity increased in schools……this highlights the importance of maintaining current mitigation measures in schools, such as testing and mask wearing, in the current months….
Bad weather on the way. Around here it’s called moky yukken it dooon. I probably could explain to you how that is pronounced but that would give away the Yorkshire Entry Test we have at our borders 😂😂😂😂 Helps keep out the numpties…..
A quick scan at todays news headlines tells me everything I need to know about the country I live in these days. Just why Yorkshire really needs these anti numpty controls. In a nutshell the following news words sum up modern Britain.
Boris sends Gunboats to Jersey to protect our fish from the French….. (that’s an unaltered headline, I kid you not)
Boris Johnson helps billionaire Friend James Dyson to pay millions less in tax….. in an unrelated story Boris Johnson’s brother has been made a Director of James Dyson’s company.
Governmentannounce that Covid strategy is on track and the threat from mutations has been overstated, testing data confirm that that ….In unrelated news the Government confirmed that they have not yet started surge testing for the really worrying Indian mutation as it is not seen as a current threat. Even without this enhanced testing, over 800 cases have been confirmed over the last couple of weeks.
Traditionally Labour voting Hartlepool is likely to vote for Boris in today’s By-election. Apparently the town sees itself aligned with Boris Johnson’s vision for Britain – in unrelated news, after Brexit and 10 years of Conservative governing Hartlepool has the highest unemployment rate in the country. It’s fishing industry has collapsed since Brexit. It needs 9 food banks (it needed zero 10 years ago) and just under 30% of children in the town are officially listed as living in poverty.
A recent poll finds that the majority of voters are blaming immigration for the countries woes – there are no words…..
The Government has confirmed a new royal yacht will be built at a cost of £200M. The Government has also confirmed that it is looking to spend £35 Billion on new missiles for its nuclear submarine fleet. – in unrelated news the Government has been unable to find resources to fund a proper pay increase for its NHS heroes or increase child poverty payments to families most in need.
The Government has confirmed that the budget for overseas clean water and sanitation projects will be slashed by 80% as part of non-essential service cutbacks – there are no words…….
On our trip out the other day it was interesting to see the change in the pace of life. Suddenly shop car parks are full again. All the outside tables are taken at pubs and cafes. The public buses are busy again. People are gathering in groups again. Masks being worn outside are much more of a rarity. Social distancing…. what social distancing.
Don’t get me wrong I’m as eager as anyone to see things open up again. I won’t say return to normal as that thought annoys me – was the old normal that good and why didn’t we seize the opportunity to build a better normal. Yes our vaccination programme being delivered by the brilliant NHS is going really well. But I’m anxious. Hearing the Government announce that the battle is almost won, just beggars belief. It’s not won until all countries get on top of this dreadful virus. It’s not won when we are still getting deaths each day. Still at 2000 new cases a day. In younger age groups the infections rates are rising. Even after a period of lockdown rates are still stubbornly high. Outbreaks of mutations including the really worrying Indian variant are rising. The vaccines are not 100 effective, we are not sure just how long they will stay effective across the population and the younger groups have not been vaccinated at all. The Young can get severe Covid – I was reading that as many as 12% of children catching thevirus are needing to be hospitalised or are suffering from Long Covid. That doesn’t sound like a war won.
But we start the process of relaxing the rules. Foreign holidays allowed soon. Large Crowds returning to sporting and cultural events without social distancing. The requirement to wear masks in schools in communal areas such as corridors is to be removed. Rules surrounding isolation after contact with a positive case to be dropped in favour of fairly regular resting. The message is clear from the top hence I’m not surprised that the majority of people are ditching the masks.
Yes I’m anxious. At the very least masks and social distancing should stay while the reopening goes ahead, until mutations and case numbers fall to really low levels. Until vaccination is a world wide reality. This all feels like a bit of a punt to me. I just hope luck is with us this time.
Some words you won’t here the UK’s dodgy Prime Minister say.
I did lie,
Yes I have had multiple affairs in office,
I did give a former lover thousands in public funds,
Yes I did publicly say that Brexit would be a massive mistake,
I did say that I would never ever agree to the Brexit Irish Sea border just a few months before I agreed to it,
My middle names do include de Pfeffel
I did say that…..
Unfortunately he has said some words. Some bad words. Some very bad words. When resisting calls for another lockdown our loveable caring leader said “well let the bodies pile high”. Arguably the worst words ever said by a serving Prime Minister. Any of one of our previous leaders would have resigned in disgrace. Not Boris Johnson. Another disaster he believes he can bluster out of. First deny he said that. Well that failed, multiple witnesses confirm that he was lying again. So let’s get my friends to help.
But just one word makes such a difference.
As multiple news agencies confirmed the wording the BBC decides to change one word. That’s the once independent BBC News Service whose two bosses are now friends of Boris Johnson. Even they had to confirm the story eventually but suddenly the Johnson quote was changed. Just one word but it made the needed difference. It became ‘the bodies COULD pile up’.
Just one word changes everything. Just like Johnson changing ‘I won’t resign’ to ‘I will resign’ – just one word makes all the difference.
So there are growing concerns over the use of the lateral flow rapid Covid tests. The Government has been pushing them in schools, forcing children to take them several times a week. The results available within minutes deemed perfectly robust as a basis of reopening schools. They worked so well that they were made available for free to everyone. I was sent 7 tests this week.
Then we here the the Governments own experts are questioning the accuracy of these quick results. They are potentially too unreliable to use on there own. Should be only used as a guide, a gateway to the more robust tests.
Then on Friday the Government talked about the frustration with testing. It’s keeping too many children and more importantly workers at home. To many false positives. Far too unreliable.
And today the Government announced that it will sanction a large scale indoor test event. A music concert with no social distancing and no masks. That’s 5000 people being used as guinea pigs. Anyone going would have to have a rapid Covid test the same day as the concert. Then the will have to be tested a few days afterwards…..
Can we make our mind up…..
Are we really happy to allow 5000 people to crowd together indoors as a number of troubling mutations are starting to take hold….
Are we happy that the only check is the unreliable test….
Are we happy that potentially clinically vulnerable and unvaccinated people and children are being used as test subjects…..
I remember the Government saying opening up for Christmas was perfectly safe. Just go and look at the death spike that caused. Do we remember just days before the first lockdown and the Government saying that it was safe to hold the countries largest horse racing festival. Studies have shown the large number of unnecessary deaths that lead to…..
Taking just a few moments to breathe. To enjoy what is close by. The beauty in life. The simple things.
A report on the news was talking about the UK Covid vaccine strategy. Currently no plans to extend shots to the under 18s. A child vaccine might be licensed after Autumn in some other countries. Again there are no plans to roll that out in the UK.
Ok so unless there is a real shift in the trajectory of the virus then we are on effective lockdown for the rest of the year.
That makes seeking out those moments to breathe even more important. If that means getting on my hands and knees, then so be it. Needs must.
So two days after my first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and alright. Didn’t feel much on Friday apart from a little prick but hey what’s new… Yesterday I felt a bit achy. Had a two hour spell where I felt really hot (that’s so not me….). As if I was going down with something but that ebbed away. So currently it’s been ok.
What’s not ok is the mixed messages. The medics are telling me that until I get the second vaccine then any protection may be limited. Even after the second shot I will still pose a risk to others. I can still carry and spread Covid. The vaccines may only provide up to 50% protection against spreading it to others. So it’s vital I stick to social distancing and wear masks for the foreseeable future. YET this morning I heard a government minister say that when you get the shot you are covered. As soon as lockdown eases get out to pubs, to the cinema, to the stadiums and most importantly to the office. By June the minister said we would be back to normal.
Then our really hard working PM. A fine man, who is honest, much admired, never corrupt, never racist, never sexist and most certainly never a self absorbed git…. Most definitely never a someone who has an affair with someone and then gives his lover £126000 of public money. Anyway that pillock was unbelievably working at the weekend and talking. Apparently now was the time to stop home working and get back into the office. Office’s and public transport are completely safe. “Time to stop the DAYS OFF…….” I heard someone in the Government use the term HOLIDAYS….
Do they know 126,000 people have died so far from this pandemic. Days Off and Holidays are the most distasteful terminology to use but it just sums them up. Staggeringly people are still prepared to back them. So what do I know….
Anyway again it’s mixed messages. The Government are telling people offices and schools are perfectly safe. We are soon going to be back to normal. No need to change anything. YET their very own scientific advisers are warning that we are in this for the long run. The vaccine programme is only a part of what is needed. They are warning of the need for long term social distancing. They are calling for places like schools, offices and trains to be fundamentally improved. To make them safer and better placed to work safely during a pandemic (and after). Better ventilation and more space have to be built into them urgently.
The last day of term was marked with another school letter. Another positive pupil case with 45 other pupils in isolation for 10 days. Across the country infection rates amongst the 5 to 14 age group are rising since schools returned. On Monday some of the country’s lockdown rules are eased.
Well at least everyone is still wearing masks…..
On the way back from the vaccination centre yesterday I stopped off for petrol. Straw pole. Me and the person behind the till had masks fully on. One lady appeared to have a mask but she was carrying it in her hand. Another guy had a mask hanging loosely around his neck. Everyone else, no mask.
Lockdowns Out, Lockdowns Out for Easter
So the two week break has started. Started with sitting out in the baking sun. Talking with Hawklad on what he would like to do over the next few days. First ice creams of the break. Sat outside in the freezing wind.
Today I received my first dose of Covid Vaccine. The AstraZenenca version. The process was managed brilliantly by our wonderful NHS. Very thankful. It’s a start. But it’s not the complete solution.Will definitely continue to isolate. To social distance and be masked up. To try protect others and the NHS.
We have such a long way to go before can say this fight is over. We can just hope that something can begin to open up the world again for Hawklad.
I’m taking Boris Johnson so I guess I might be getting some of those delightful fan mail messages again.
Watching the news and again shaking my head. Just maybe the UK could vote for a leader next time who could be bothered to comb his hair or dress in front of a mirror. So our esteemed PM has been talking again. Amazing considering he has just got others to pay for a £200000 makeover on his flat.
Apparently 120000 deaths is in fact a sign of a job well done. Something to be proud of. It’s silly to compare us with other countries with much lower death levels as comparisons are meaningless. Soon things will be apparently back to normal with most of the restrictions lifted. Crowds will be back. Football grounds, restaurants and pubs will be full again. Life will be good within months. Which is bizarre as he then mentioned that (entirely down to Europe and absolutely nothing to do with lifting restrictions) a third wave will likely hit the UK real soon.
Ok….. Didn’t we already go through our really bad third wave after Christmas when the PM lifted restrictions against the advice of his medical experts. If a FOURTH wave hits then it’s not down to Europe. The threats sources are clear. From vaccine resistant mutations spreading far more rapidly due to premature restriction easing. The threat comes from still not having any meaningful Covid screening checks at many airports and ports. It comes from a bizarre refusal to address overcrowding, design failings and poor ventilation in our schools, offices and public places. It comes from using schools as a way of promoting a discredited ‘herd’ strategy. It comes from pinning all our hopes on a ‘vaccinate out of this mess strategy’ and close our eyes to other long overdue changes. It comes from still not having an effective track and trace system. It comes from a wonderful health service which has been cut back over far too many years and is now utterly exhausted. It comes from mixed messages from the top which is resulting in some people following social distancing and others thinking the pandemic is over.