Friday, May 1, 2020, Day 47, Week 7, Month 2 of Self Isolation.

The Numbers

Now that deaths in the community and care homes are being included the death rate seems higher again, but the government has confirmed that we are past the peak.

There were 739 new deaths yesterday, bringing the total to 27,510. We have the second highest new deaths in 24 hours after the USA and the third highest total deaths after only Italy and the USA. Our rate per million is 405, after Italy at 467 and Spain at 531. Belgium actually has the highest deaths per million over all at 665. The USA rate per million is 199, but New York has been more badly hit than other states and is more comparable to Europe. With a population of around 20 million and a total death number of around 17,000 their death rate per million is around 850!

Brazil is creeping up to the top of the table with 509 in 24 hours, however they are a very big country!

We are told that the virus is starting to hit Sub-Saharan Africa now, I don’t suppose we’ll ever get a clear picture of the numbers of people affected in this part of the world.

The News

All the talk is about ending lockdown now. When will it start? How will it happen.

It sounds as though it’s going to be in small staged steps. Opening up a sector at a time, and then watching the impact on R using testing and contact tracing, always ready to pull back if necessary. Facemasks and temperature checks are all being cited as possible features of the new world outside lockdown, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

No-one has said anything about what this will look like for the 1.5 million extremely vulnerable who are currently “shielding” for 12 weeks, including M. It’s all gone very quiet around that group. When anyone is asked they fudge the question and talk vaguely about vaccines.

The government have stated that five tests are going to be the key to unlocking lockdown. These are:

1. Making sure the NHS can cope
“We must protect the NHS’ ability to cope. We must be confident we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK.”

2. A ‘sustained and consistent’ fall in daily death rate
“We need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate from coronavirus so we can be confident we have moved beyond the peak.”

3. The rate of infection is decreasing
“We need to have reliable data from SAGE showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board.”

4. We have enough tests and protective equipment
“We need to be confident that the range of operational challenges including testing capacity and PPE are in hand with supply able to meet future demand.”

5. Making sure we don’t have a second peak                                                                             “We need to be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelm the NHS.”

The government say they hit their target of delivering 100,000 tests a day. It appears to have involved a bit of jiggery pokery like including tests that have been posted out to people, whether or not they have been used and returned.

Oh, and Trump is saying the he has seen evidence that the Chinese created the virus as a bio-weapon. Funnily enough, the Chinese are saying it was created in an American laboratory. Ho hum.

The New Way of Life

Yesterday was the first day I haven’t written this blog. I’m actually writing Friday’s post on Saturday morning!

I can’t remember what we did Thursday evening. I suspect we ate dinner and watched TV, as that’s what we do every night in the Time of Covid. We did have “the clap” and there were loads more people out again. I wonder if its something to with the fact that the weather has changed? Maybe people were enjoying the sunshine so much last week that they just forgot.

Yesterday was a really busy day! I don’t think I actually stopped all day. I got up early (well 9am – early for me in the Time of Covid) and headed down to the butchers to pick up M’s humongous meat order. I was half-way through sanitising that and bagging it up for the freezer when my equally humungous Ocado delivery arrived an hour early.

It took me the rest of the morning to clean it all and pack it all away! I then decided to have a cleaning blitz in the kitchen area.

I then started cooking for our Friday night curry. This week it was Saag Paneer, Dal (the last portion of the Cauliflower Dal from the freezer), Goan Crab Curry and rice. I also made a Coriander Chutney by blitzing lots of fresh conrinader with chilli, garlic, ginger and lemon juice.

Had a sad moment when our daughter popped round to drop of some ingredients. It’s her partners birthday on Sunday. She wants me to make a sauce for his birthday meal. She brought our little granddaughter with her. She was so excited to see me again, but this time she tried to run straight into the house. When her mother stopped her she was heartbroken. It was awful. I wonder when she’ll ever be able to come into our house again. I wonder when I’ll be able to give her a kiss and a cuddle again. I suspect its going to be a long time.

It’s different for us. Even when social distancing is relaxed for others, I don’t think we’ll be able to have physical contact except possibly with people who we know have been isolating as strictly as us. Several of our children are still working and therefore mixing directly, and indirectly, with lots of other people who we don’t know. We just can’t take the risk. It would just make all the sacrifices we are making now, completely pointless.

I only just finished cooking around 6pm and after we’d eaten it was time for the quiz. Another boozy night on House Party and we won again!

The weather seems a bit better again today. We should be able to get out on our bike ride.





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