A working and growing economy.
It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin.
Although there is not universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide during 1918-1919.
Just as WW1 was around and finishing.
Not only were they busy killing each other on various battlefields, they also had to contend with the most horrendous living conditions in the trenches and the accompanying diseases they also had to contend with this new unknown disease as well.
Plus, all the surviving men who were in many cases mostly in one piece (and women who were out there nursing said soldiers) went back to their home countries and families.
In the United States, it was first identified in military personnel in spring 1918.
It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus.
Also things weren't as good back then as they are now, poverty, slums, interesting diseases, pollution,
With no vaccine to protect against influenza infection and no antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections that can be associated with influenza infections, control efforts worldwide were limited to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as isolation, quarantine, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, and limitations of public gatherings, which were applied unevenly.
Today we have better sanitation, we aren't in the middle of a long drawn out trench warfare, we have amazing antibiotics, first class hospitals and medical staff, we have ICU's with machines that back then, heck even 20 or even 10 years ago were thought almost impossible and futuristic.
We live longer than we did back then which is a big bonus but also leads to problems that were never encountered back then.
With people living well into their eighties, nineties and even centenarians, along with a longer life span there came a whole slew of new health issues the most well known sadly being Alzheimer's and other types of Dementia.
Then we have Cancers in interesting places although we do have a much better chance of survival with ground breaking treatments.
Atherosclerosis, Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, Stroke, Cataracts, Kidney Disease alone or in various combinations AKA Multiple Chronic Conditions.
Although we may live longer, we may not live well and in good health although there are exceptions such as The Queen who is 94 and still carrying out her public duties and looks pretty darn good for her age, not even using a walking stick and her husband Prince Phillip who will be 100 in June 2021 and who has retired from public life and who can blame him.
Almost 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and approximately 77% have at least two.
Four chronic diseases—heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes—cause almost two-thirds of all deaths each year and these people are the ones most at risk and needed to be protected.
Those in their teens and up to say those in their 30's and 40's are likely to be the healthiest especially those in their teens and twenties and if infected and with no known health issues will probably only suffer mild flu like symptoms, feeling rough for a couple of days.
There will be exceptions, there always is but you can't shut the world down to prevent just one person risking getting infected.
This isn't a zombie movie where you tend to know pretty damn quick when someone has been infected, usually just as they start eating your face off.
I wonder, yes, I do wonder.
How will they work out the seasonal flu statistics such as infections and deaths?
In England, data from Public Health England (PHE) shows. 17,000 people die of the flu every year
Seasonal flu (influenza) is a major killer globally and contributes to a rise in mortality rates in the colder, winter months.
Sin the wheel, round and round.
Where it will stop?
We have already seen reports of people being listed as dying from Covid-19 (The posh name) when they have other life ending diseases such as Cancer, Kidney Disease, Stroke, Heart Disease and even simply old age and their families being rightly not happy.
Officials tell us they calculate the number of deaths by those of people who had had a positive test result for COVID-19 and died within 28 days of the first positive test.
The problem is there will be false positives, false negatives and people who recover from that but die of something else they had or didn't have but was unexpected and fatal such as stroke or heart attack or just old age.
So, even though we need to take the figures they are throwing about with abandon and used to bring about another bloody lock down with a large pinch of salt (although even that is bad for us so perhaps some lo-salt or a healthy seasoning of your choice for those with kidney failure) we need to be sensible.
People are dirty, yes, even you dear reader!
Not washing our hands after using the loo being one prime example.
No towels to dry our hands, no hand dryer, in a rush, whatever.
Coughing or sneezing without using a tissue or sleeve.
Nose picking, yes we have all seen you take a sneaky poke around or, in the case of children openly rooting around.
Touching things, touching faces, kissing etc all spread germs.
This is why we do need to be sensible, the same as we are with the annual Flu jab.
It is now the accepted norm with those at risk and those front line staff and carers to get their jab and no one apart from a few deranged souls who complain about anything and everything complains.
They bite the bullet so to speak to protect the vulnerable, the ones most at risk of dying from the flu.
We don't shut down the economy every winter, we use common sense, this should be no different.
There are vaccines out there and now being administered.
Yes, I know they came out fast, much faster than any previous vaccinations which can take years and even decades of testing before released to the general public.
They however will have been thoroughly tested.
As with any vaccine, a few may get an unexpected reaction. this is the same for any vaccine.
Those with certain health conditions such as allergies should and would, be advised not to have it just in case they have an adverse reaction.
This is just common sense.
Pregnant women would also be advised not to have it since they would not have tested it on pregnant women in the first place for obvious reasons.
It is these people as well as those with underlying health issues that we need to protect.
Get the vaccination if offered.
Wash your hands regularly.
Make use of hand sanitizers in stores and your own personal bottle when out and about such as public transport.
Wear a mask, after all East Asians have been doing that for years not just to protect against germs.
Be sensible regarding social distancing IE don't all squeeze into one tiny space at the same time.
If you start showing symptoms, even if you think it may just be a cold or the flu, self isolate and get a test, better safe than sorry.
The rates will rise again once this bloody lock down is over depending on where you live tier wise and even frikken country.
I do wish all the various Parliaments and Assemblies in the UK would get on the same line on the same verse in the same song in the same song book.
We do share the same bloody economy, yes, even you Scotland despite Sturgeon's best efforts and wishes.
The government is so intent on keeping the R rate (reproduction number) below at all costs they are ignoring the destruction of businesses and the economy.
When this is all over what then?
Will there be any businesses left open on the high street or even online?
How will the economy recover if there is no one selling anything for anyone to buy and how will anyone be able to afford anything if they don't have a job?
How will the government be able to afford the huge benefits bill if no one is paying any taxes?
Borrowing won't work as we won't be able to afford the repayments for the previous reasons.
Everyone is blaming the Conservatives and Boris and think this is all his fault.
It is in part and isn't in others.
Labour would have done much worse especially if Corbyn had remained at the helm, a man who refused to say where he stood publicly on Brexit (personally I think he was pro leave but because Labour as a party was pro remain he couldn't come out and say he was a leaver and so said nothing which was worse) and Keir Starmer is sort of treading water and would be unlikely to have done any better since the Labour Party is pretty much controlled by the unions whose donations are used to bankroll the party especially at elections.
The Liberal democrats would be running around in circles had they even stood even a remote chance of government having only won 11 seats managing to lose one they previously owned.
The Conservatives won a thumping majority of 80 seats their biggest since Maggie Thatcher back in 1987 and Labour facing its biggest defeat since 1935.
These are interesting times.
Three worldwide (pandemic) outbreaks of influenza occurred in the 20th century: in 1918, 1957, and 1968.
The latter 2 were in the era of modern virology and most thoroughly characterized.
All 3 have been informally identified by their presumed sites of origin as Spanish, Asian, and Hong Kong influenza, respectively.
This is just another one in a line of many, not the first nor the last as viruses change, mutate, evolve so we will always be playing catch up.
We need to be responsible for our own actions and mindful as diseases love unsanitary conditions and will thrive given the right conditions.
None of (well most of) us don't like wearing masks however, it is a minor nuisance given what could happen to us.
No the mask doesn't protect against the virus, not the ones we the public usually wear.
It is not meant to.
It is meant to stop the droplets of moisture that can carry the virus getting into our nose and mouth and to stop ours from getting to others.
The easiest way I have found to describe it this:
If a naked man pees on you, you get covered in his urine = virus carrying droplets
Now, If that man is wearing trousers and pees on you, he gets soaked and you don't = no or at least minimal virus carrying droplets.
That is how a mask works.
There will be people who cant or won't wear a mask, that is their choice or medical necessity such as those with asthma or other breathing related issues and the other ones who refuse until they or a vulnerable loved one get infected.
It is not worth getting into a pissing match as you will lose.
Be sensible, keep your distance, wash your hands/use sanitizer for your sake and theirs as well as families.
Hopefully world governments will get their acts together and decide what works best for everyone.
They must also remember that as well as vaccinating their own populations they need to be working on populations in 3rd world countries where sanitation can be hit and miss even in up and coming countries such as India and China where once you get out of the cities and into the slums and then into the rural areas where crapping in fields is the norm.
Impoverished nations are a hotbed of diseases which could pretty much be fixed with good sanitation and vaccinations.
This pandemic also means first world nations will start looking real close at immigration legal or otherwise especially from areas known to carry high risks of disease and may well decide that quarantining before travel with swabs, temperature checks at the airport/quayside and the same at the other end for long haul flights or those with stopovers and regular testing onboard cruise ships especially given we know how fast Norovirus can spread onboard.
"It won't happen to me" I hear some cry until it does, or to a loved one or friend.
Then the conspiraloons decide to jump on this shiny new bandwagon.
"It's all Bill Gates"
No it isn't.
Would Gates try and kill off the very people who want to buy his products?
Only dumb businesses try and kill off the very people they want to sell their product to.
Even the cigarette companies have finally got the message in the West along with sensible folk quitting smoking and have now gone into vaping products as well which again causes health issues such as Popcorn Lung and no matter how much they deny it, they are targeting children by selling all those 'Fun Fruity Flavors'.
Hopefully they will ban vaping as well.
Lungs are designed to inhale only clean air not smoke and particulates no matter how 'tasty'.
They don't gain anything and lose a heck of a lot
"It's all to do with them microchipping us/our children"
OMG "Won't somebody please think of the children?"
Thanks Mrs Helen Lovejoy of Springfield.
Have you seen the size of a microchip?
It's the size of a grain of rice and if you have had a pet you will have seen one if you get it microchipped.
Have you seen the size of a vaccination needle?
It is small usually about 16mm long as it has to go into the muscle and a gauge of either 23g or 25g.
Example: 23G needle = 0.02525" or 0.6414 mm (inner diameter) - 0.01325" or 0.337 mm (outer diameter).
After all it is just injecting a liquid not taking blood.
The needle used to insert a chip into a pet cat or dog is a lot larger than any vaccination needle.
Standard pet microchips are typically 11–13 mm long (approximately 1⁄2 inch) and 2 mm in diameter.
Microchips are inserted through the skin with a thick, 12-gauge needle.
Example 12G needle = 0.085" 2.159mm (inner diameter) - 0.109" or 2.769mm (outer diameter)
You get the idea regarding size difference.
You would notice them waving a rather large needle at you and/or your child and the liquid in the transparent ampoule they get the transparent liquid from containing a solid the size of a grain of rice unless you were blind.
They would then have to scan the chip using a rather large and very visible wand to get the information on it and to then enter your details on the computer and link it to said chip.
You would notice them waving said obvious wand or, in fact any wand over the injection site, unless you were blind.
If they are concerned it would monitor their locations, health etc who needs microchipping when you look at todays technology which we freely use 24/7 what with cell phones,fitbits, social media where we post so much of our personal information.
All this detailed info which we freely offer up to the tech gods.
"It's big pharma"
Why would they kill off the people when it is in their best interests to have as many people alive as possible to who they and with their subsidiaries can sell their huge range of products directly to prevent illness, to cure illness, vaccinations and then all the other products owned by the big pharmaceutical companies and their various subsidiaries, curing aches and pains, skin care, teething, toothache, hair care, oral care, smoking cessation products, health and wellness supplements, nutritional supplements, wound care, vision care, baby products, OTC (Over The Counter) medicines, medical devices, animal medications, fertilizers and importantly hand sanitizers, disinfectants and so on.
All things we take for granted and often don't even notice.
They are just there where we expect them to be when we need them to be.
If they kill off much of the population then they will have no one to sell to and game over.
Hey Ho bankruptcy here we come.
They need a population that isn't 100% healthy, ends up in hospitals for accidents and other reasons, births, deaths.
An ever growing population that eats food which will require healthy animals and fertilizers for crops.
They need us for them to stay in business and profitable and we need them for us to stay healthy both inside and out and for those oopsie moments.
They make money either way a healthy or sick population.
In America though I personally think their healthcare system sucks when hospitals charge obscene amounts of money for treatment such as $30 for a single Aspirin or the world renowned story of Malcolm Bird and his 1-year-old daughter Colette.
Colette got a small cut on her finger and out of an abundance of caution Malcom and his
wife brought Colette to the ER.
The ER doctor washed off her finger, placed a Band-Aid on it and sent the family on their happy way.
The hospital then billed Malcolm $629.
Now, to be fair, the Band-Aid did not cost $629, that sticky strip of sterile gauze only accounted for a whole $7.
A large majority of that bill, which Malcolm's insurance company managed to knock down to $440.30, is from the Hospital's "service fee."
In the UK we have it better as we have the National Health Service (NHS) which is free from the cradle to the grave all paid for by our taxes and covers everything medical, GPs, ER, Maternity, Geriatric, everything.
We also have a private sector for those who want to jump the waiting list or whatever other reason.
Those who use the private sector either though their own or their company's insurance, have the money or want it for something such as a birth etc.
They can still at any point go to the NHS.
The UK spent £197 billion on healthcare in 2017, equating to £2,989 per person.
For that sum each person is covered for everything medical that happened to them including vaccinations, opticians and dentists although these days prescriptions cost £9.15 for each medicine or appliance dispensed.
You do qualify for free prescriptions if:
- are 60 or over
- are under 16
- are 16 to 18 and in full-time education
- are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)
- have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
- have a continuing physical disability that prevents you going out without help from another person and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
- hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
- are an NHS inpatient.
Or you are in receipt of certain benefits
If you have regular prescriptions or multiple items then you can buy a prepayment certificate:
- The 3-month PPC costs £29.65 and will save you money if you need more than 3 prescribed items in 3 months
- The 12-month PPC costs £105.90 and will save you money if you need more than 11 prescribed items in a year
There is no excuse not to have the vaccine if you can.
The government have no excuse not to make a decision, a sensible and logical decision not this Hokey Cokey shake it all about at a drunken party which seems to be the current norm.
Get the vaccine out, educate the public on basic hygiene such as masks,sensible social distancing and hand washing and even after this pandemic is over hopefully people will continue the latter and concentrate on getting our economy growing by supporting our smaller businesses such as those in hospitality who open and close more often than the doors in a saloon bar, independent shops who have had to furlough staff or have simply given up and closed for good and the same for the bigger businesses on the high street who have struggled not only with online shopping but now the decreased footfall of instore shoppers especially at this time of year when the shops should be bustling.
Get people travelling again and, if you insist on playing the Hokey Cokey with foreign countries and those damned 'Travel Corridors' which can open and close on an almost daily basis, if you decide that people traveling from that country back to the UK because of an increase in infection rates and that people will have to quarantine for up to 14 days on their return, DON'T give them a couple of days grace before the rules kick in which results in a mad rush to get back sometimes, as they proudly declare, with mere seconds to spare before the stroke of Midnight.
Institute it immediately at the stroke of midnight no ifs no buts.
People will complain but they took the risk to travel abroad knowing that rates could rise there and the Travel Corridor could be shut and quarantine on return for however long.
I know the government trusts we would all do the right thing but sadly people can and do lie and if they start getting mild symptoms such as a rise in temperature they will take OTC medicines to try and counter it and you can't test for a loss taste or smell.
They come home possibly symptomatic even and we end up with another localized spike or dear old granny in a box.
The sensible thing, and what I would have done, is immediately closed all borders when reports of a new highly contagious infection starting showing up and yes that even means sending all those illegal immigrants trying to cross the channel and being rescued by British ships straight back to France.
Rescued by a British ship?
Land them back in France, their point of departure.
Should they manage to land here then rounded up by men in full protective gear and returned straight to France and then have our Navy patrolling the channel and turning everyone back.
Infections are rampant in their camps and many have come from countries with high infection rates.
There is also a new variant of Covid-19 emerging in the South East area of the UK which contains, and no surprises here, the port of Dover
There is no clear-cut evidence the new variant of coronavirus - which has been detected in south-east England - is able to transmit more easily, cause more serious symptoms or render the vaccine useless.
New Covid strain: How worried should we be?
As expected (sigh) announced today Dec 20th 2020, Our Prime Minister has announced new tiers of lockdown in London and large parts of the east and south-east of England after a new coronavirus variant led cases to soar - and all of Wales has also gone into lockdown. In south-east England, the stringent lockdown measures mean people will not be able to mix with other households over Christmas. In the rest of England, Scotland and Wales, relaxed indoor mixing rules have been cut from five days to Christmas Day only.
The government does not want to cancel Christmas but it is "our duty" to take action when the evidence is clear, says Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Millions of people in the UK have seen their festive plans severely restricted or scrapped after a new coronavirus variant caused cases to soar.
A stringent new lockdown has come into force in London, parts of east and south-east England and Wales.
Mr Hancock warned the new tier four rules in England could last for months.
Some 21 million people in England and Wales who entered new restrictions at midnight are being told to stay at home, while non-essential shops and businesses have to close.
The planned relaxation of rules for Christmas has been scrapped for those under England's new toughest measures - tier four, while in the rest of England, Scotland and Wales, relaxed indoor mixing rules are cut from five days to Christmas Day only.
Mr Hancock told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme that it was "important for everybody to act like they might have the virus".
Asked whether the virus was under control, Hancock said: "No it's not, the new variant is out of control and we need to bring it under control."
He added: "Of course we don't want to cancel Christmas... we don't want to take any of these measures, but it's our duty to take them when the evidence is clear."
health secretary said he did not know how long the tier four measures
would be in place but "it may be for some time, until we can get the
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it was very important that people followed the new travel guidance in England and "do not attempt to travel", saying extra British Transport Police officers were being deployed.
Residents in tier four are being asked to stay at home unless for essential journeys, while people in other tiers are advised not to travel into the new tier four areas.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan told BBC Breakfast the "11th-hour announcement is a bitter blow" for families and businesses, saying it's the "chop-change, stop-start, that's led to so much anguish, despair, sadness and disappointment".
"I'm afraid it makes it really difficult for people like me to ask people to listen to us when we keep on changing our minds," he said.
he urged Londoners to follow the rules which he said had been brought
in "for a very good reason", adding that the NHS had told him that
hospitals in London had as many Covid patients this weekend as they did
at the peak of the virus in April.
Tier four restrictions:
The tier four restrictions - similar to England's second national lockdown - applies to all areas in the South East which were in tier three, covering Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey (excluding Waverley), Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings.
It also applies in London (all 32 boroughs and the City of London) and the East of England (Bedford, Central Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire and Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring).
- Residents told to stay at home, with exemptions for those who have to travel for work or education
- Household mixing indoors is not allowed
- All non-essential retail to close, including hairdressers, nail bars, indoor gyms and leisure facilities
- Social mixing cut to meeting one person in an open public space
- Communal religious worship is still allowed
The changes for England, announced at a Downing Street briefing on Saturday, will last for two weeks with the first review due on 30 December.
In Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford brought forward a lockdown, saying hundreds of people had already contracted the new, "more aggressive" strain of the virus there.
In Scotland, Covid restrictions will only be relaxed on Christmas Day, with mainland Scotland being placed under the tightest restrictions from Boxing Day.
A ban on travel to the rest of the UK will also apply over the festive period.
In Northern Ireland, no changes have been made to Christmas restrictions, with three households allowed to meet from 23 to 27 December. The country is set to enter a six-week lockdown from 26 December.
Scientists have warned that a new variant of the coronavirus variant is more infectious and spreading more rapidly leading Mr Johnson to say the government had to "change our method of defence".
Susan Hopkins, from Public Health England, said they alerted the government on Friday that the new variant - first identified in the middle of October - was spreading faster than other viruses circulating.
Dr Hopkins told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme that there was also evidence that people with the new strain had "higher viral loads" - which meant they were more infectious.
The prime minister said analysis suggested the new variant could increase the R number - which indicates if an epidemic is growing or shrinking - by 0.4 or more.
The World Health Organization has said it is in "close contact" with UK officials over the emergence of the new variant of coronavirus.
Dutch government announced it was banning passenger flights between the
Netherlands and the UK from 05:00 GMT Sunday, until 1 January at the
latest, because of the new variant.
The PM's announcement of new restrictions came just days after he defended plans to relax restrictions for five days during the festive period - despite calls by some in the medical profession to scrap the change.
Boris Johnson told the Downing Street briefing on Saturday that he knew how "disappointing" the news would be, but said he believed there was no alternative.
And so it continues, the economy goes down the toilet, small businesses go bust and do not recover, poverty levels rise and the benefits bill sky rockets. How will the government pay for all this?
Borrowing which means huge repayments and probably astronomical interest rates and clauses.
It won't just be us, many other countries will be struggling with their own problems.
What is noticeable is that most Western countries make infection and death rates public, weekly or even daily.
I have not heard anything regarding the Chinese and their rates, instead, if you will pardon the pun, deathly silence apart from the usual hacking stories.
I wonder why?
It was reported when when the story broke about a new and highly contagious disease doing the rounds that huge numbers were dying, hospitals were being inundated and struggling to cope whilst huge areas where there that were fires were detected by satellites and funeral directors were rather busy with huge numbers of cremains urns being ordered.
China with its notorious wet markets and dubious hygiene practices in said markets were alleged to be the origin after the virus spread from animal to human.
Just what is going on in there?
I do wonder how all this will affect the voting in our next general election?
Under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, the next general election can be expected to take place on Thursday 2 May 2024.
- A motion of no confidence is passed in Her Majesty's Government by a simple majority and 14 days elapses without the House passing a confidence motion in any new Government formed
- A motion for a general election is agreed by two thirds of the total number of seats in the Commons including vacant seats (currently 434 out of 650)
It is entirely possible that all this palaver could trigger a general election.
However, would the opposition (Labour party currently) really want to take on the pandemic and an imploding economy?
I don't personally think so.
I think they would wait until everything is under control and what passes for normal before calling an election before the 5 years are up.
They could well win after blaming the Tories and everyone else for the fiasco that was 2020.
If everyone is in the same economic situation as in down the pan, why not simply forget 2020 happened financially and everyone start over from the last good day financially in 2019?
Just a thought.
Time will tell.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Readers (apart from kate and gerry mccann, their conniving chums, clarrie and this blasted virus)
Keep smiling and don't let the bastards get you down.