December 20 2020

There generally has been a calm acceptance of the new arrangements announced last night. There have of course, as always, been the few trying to make political capital of the situation. Many families have spent today trying to salvage what is possible from their Christmas arrangements. I am told the 4th tier will be known as the “stay at home Tier.” Most of the criticisms that are about are suggesting the government should have moved quicker and earlier.

Many other countries are struggling, Thailand has reported 548 new cases yesterday and Italy had 16,308 new cases with 533 deaths.Air travel between England and other countries in Europe is likely to be stopped or severely curtailed. Flights have stopped between Italy, Belgium ,Holland and England . Germany and Ireland are set to put similar bans in place. Eurostar trains to and from Brussels and Amsterdam are cancelled from tomorrow morning. Scotland has banned all travel south of the border into England.

The new mutation has been given a name VU 1 2020/12/01. Scientists up and down the land and across the world are working to check it makes the same antibodies and responds to the same vaccines. The real problem is the speed of transmission. The R number will rise and we will see many more cases. This can be seen in the number of positive tests reported today at 35,928. Considering it’s a Sunday this is a very high figure. A total of 375,185 tests were done yesterday.

Deaths reported in the last 24 hours were 326, again high for a Sunday. There has been a 9.9% 7 day rise in deaths in the last week. The rate is about 4.2 still per 100k of the population.Almost 250,000 patients have been admitted with Covid now since the pandemic began. The last daily admission figure is still for the 16th December and stands at 2,034. This amounts to an 18% rise in the last 7 days . You can all clearly see how worrying these figures are. You can see why action had to be taken. It may well have to be much tougher after Christmas.

Media pictures of the scramble to leave London last night were disappointing, but perhaps just understandable for some who are not coping. Much more disappointing were the pictures of mask-less demonstrators flouting the law and provoking the police to arrest them. Our police officers have better things to do.

The London and British Transport Police say they will have a higher presence in the London Transport hubs to try and persuade people to go home and not to travel. The Scottish police say they will not be setting up road blocks on the roads to England, but will have a higher presence in the Border Counties.There is a new word to add to our English dictionary; COVIDIOT, Piers Morgan coined the word to describe himself for not wearing a mask when he first got into a taxi and got caught on camera. He had taken his mask off to talk to a reporter and then failed to replace it quickly as he got into the taxi. I am sure most of us have got caught out at some point and been glad we do not have trial by media to cope with.Just to remind you in Tier 4 stay at home, in Tier 3 and below stay local, do not travel to tier 4. Your social Christmas bubble is for one day only now and you should not stay overnight. No bubbles in Tier 4, just a household group. There are no plans to celebrate the New Year. So there is no point making plans.

As the staff shirts in Tescos say, “we are all in this together”, we can stay safe together by staying at home, listen to carols, make the most of phone calls or zoom meetings. My family have a zoom meeting booked for Sunday in a week’s time when we can all see one another and talk. Keep safe. Remember to join in the discussions and share your thoughts and ideas.

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