Tuesday, September 8th, Month 7 of our Covid-19 Experience.

Another month has passed and it appears that the second wave has begun.

The Numbers

There were just 3 deaths yesterday, and over the past month the number of daily new infections has remained relatively stable at between 500 and 1000. It never really fell below the magic number of 500. However, the last couple of days has seen an alarming increase with 2,948 yesterday, and 2,988 the day before.

Globally, there have been over 27 million cases and almost 900,000 deaths.

India is now top of the leader board with over 75,000 new cases and 1,129 deaths in the last 24 hours. The USA had over 25,000 new cases and 286 deaths. Numbers are high in South America and Mexico. Russia had 5,185 news cases and 51 deaths. In Europe, death rates remain under 50 per day but are rising. Spain, Italy and Germany all had over 1000 new cases and France had over 4000.

Globally, Peru now has the highest death rate per million at 907. Following them we have Spain at 631, UK at 612, Chile at 609, Bolivia ta 599, Ecuador at 598, Brazil at 597, Italy at 588, USA at 584 and Mexico at 523. Belgium is still an outlier at 854. All the usual caveats apply relating to differences in testing, case definitions and accuracy of data.

The News

Over the past month, people have been gradually getting on with their lives, creeping back to work, venturing out to bars and restaurants, and meeting up with friends and family. The schools went back this week and universities go back in October.

But, the weather is getting cooler and more and more of these activities are taking place indoors.

The depth of the recession in beginning to reveal itself too. More and more businesses closing and laying staff off. Some estimates say it could be the worst for 300 years!

The summer has been one of cancelled overseas travel plans, an ever-changing pattern of post-holiday quarantines and “staycations”.

Infections have risen in isolated areas from time to time prompting local lock-downs or increased restrictions from Aberdeen to Manchester. So far, Birmingham and London have avoided this.

The recent surge appears to be more generally distributed and, as such, far more worrying. It remains to be seen what the government response will be. I think they are terrified by the prospect of another lock-down and the potential impact on the economy.

The New Way of Life

We have been doing a bit more too, seeing friends and family at both our home and their’s (sometimes inside the house). I’ve been shopping in town and visited the supermarket when I could get an online delivery slot. I’ve been out to a local Farm Park with little A and my daughter and sat inside for a bit while she played in the soft-play area. M even went to the pub last week. He met a friend outside in the afternoon but they ended up indoors when it got too cold.

I’ve finished the first draft of the biography I was writing and it is now with the beta readers. Hopefully, it should just need one more big edit before we think about getting it published. My goal for the next 6 months is to finish and publish Wait for Me.

The big thing on the horizon now is our trip to Barbados. As the numbers rise I’m watching nervously to see if we are going to make it there safely or not. When we first decided to go, I wanted to go in early September (now!), as I predicted a second wave at the start of the month, but M wanted to wait until later, as he didn’t want to have to come home in the middle of the second wave.

As I expected, the second wave seems to be here already, and it all depends how quickly it builds. The main things that could go wrong are:

The UK is deemed “high risk” by Barbados and we have to stay at the airport until we test negative, or go into the quarantine facility when we arrive.

We catch the virus before we leave and are not able/allowed to travel at all.

We catch the virus en route and are quarantined on arrival.

Birmingham goes into lock-down and we can’t hire a car to get us to the airport.

We just have to hope that things remain stable enough for us to travel and arrive safely. We are self-isolating again, as much as possible, and I don’t really see what else we can do at this stage except watch, wait and hope.

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