December 24 2021

First, I want to wish everyone the happiest possible Christmas the Covid pandemic can allow.

Many of you reading this work for the NHS or the other Emergency Services so it may be business as usual. For some of us this Christmas may be easier than the last. Sadly, for many that is not true. So many loved ones have been lost in this last year. For many of us Covid has come very close. I currently have a cousin very ill with it and a niece with long Covid who still struggles six months on.

Secondly, I want to assure you that we are going to defeat this pandemic in the coming years. No disease or for that matter vaccine has ever been the subject of such intensive research and investigations. Umpteen reports are published every day. I can no longer keep up with them. We now know more about this virus than any other. The vaccines available and approved by the Regulatory Authorities are both very effective and very safe. Work is well under way and we have the ability now to modify the vaccine very quickly with the utmost safety if it becomes necessary.

Today’s data shows the enormous effort people are making to test and booster people. The vaccination centres are manned and open tomorrow by people working to make you safe. If you need a vaccination or a booster tomorrow might be a good time to show you care for your neighbour and go and get it done. It could well save a life, yours, a loved one or a stranger.

Over 1.58 million tests were done yesterday, with almost 10.5 million done in the last week. This has been increased by 25% in the last week.

Sadly, the number positive continues to climb and has reached a new record , 122,187 were positive. It is indeed fortunate that the majority of these cases are in younger healthy people and so the hospital impact has not been great. However, experts believe that once it has attacked the younger members of the community it will turn back to the elderly. The positive case rate is now 934.2 per 100,000 of the population. The elderly are more vulnerable and have other coexisting health issues which may take them into hospital. The hospitals remain at risk after Christmas. Please do all you can not to be a hospital statistic.

The death figures continue to be a significant number but are not rising very much. There were 137 deaths reported today compared with 147 yesterday. Only a 2% rise in the last week.

The number of people admitted on the one day on 20th December did jump up to 1,171. The reason for this is not clear because the total number in hospital on 22 December was 8,240 , only very slightly up from 8,216 the day before. Exactly the same number, 842, were being treated on a ventilator each day. The vaccine data still has not quite hit 90% for the first jab. It is nearly there at 89.8%. The boosters continue to rise with over 56% now given to 32.29 million individuals. There are still plenty more to give over the holiday.

You can hopefully relax just a little at home over the holiday. Many of you richly deserve a few days rest. Remember keep Christmas Small and you can keep it safe. Look out for those you know near you home alone. Can you help in any way ? Remember Christmas is about love. We sing in the carols about “ love comes down at Christmas.” It can also be a time of stress and anxiety, trying to get the decorations perfect and the meal on time. Little things that can easily become big stresses. Look at the bigger picture and these stresses become insignificant. We are safe have shelter and food. So many in our world lack these basic commodities.

Please ensure you are fully immunised and then your job is to stay safe.

I will try to report on Monday but I understand no official statistics will be released over the holiday, so I may not have many details. So please feedback any comments or ideas . Local experiences very welcome.

I still remember Hospital Consultants coming in on Christmas day to carve the ward turkey. Anyone expecting that tomorrow?

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