Day 31 – Time For The UK To Be United

I fully acknowledge yesterday’s post was rather thought-provoking, intentionally, and may have touched a raw nerve or two for some. Thank you to those who’ve commented already – and to those who’ve contacted me by other means than a direct blog comment to say how much the message resonated with you. One person said “I also haven’t been clapping. I wasn’t really sure why but your explanation and reference to blogs, etc, has given me the words to explain that uneasy feeling I had about the whole thing so thank you.” Another, who’s email subject line was ‘Well Said” stated, “Your posting yesterday re “clapping the NHS” is one of the most concise and best I have seen to date. Like you, I too have felt the whole deal was and is a complete con.  I also have the same feelings about the way in which politicians have blatantly treated every one connected to the NHS and the public in general in such a disgusting manner and we are all now paying the price.

I can totally relate to the reluctance to ‘come out’ in public. Straying from the fold can be scary. It’s so much easier to just ‘follow the crowd’. But please, know you are not alone. However, there IS one thing at the moment that I want to share where everyone really, really, needs to join in. This is an intelligent and informed ‘crowd-follower’ Because this ‘new normal’ is here for a long time yet, and I’m seriously not alone in knowing it’s vital we all look to science, including the government, and not rely on Faceache or Twisterland, for the answers.

Let’s Stop Re-inventing the Wheel England & NI!

Just about every day for the last 31 days, I’ve urged you to sign up to the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker. I also alluded to the ridiculousness of others ‘re-inventing the wheel’. Those ‘others’ are seriously not helping. NHS Wales and NHS Scotland it seems, are working alongside Professor Tim Spector and his team at Kings College. It’s benefiting the people living in Wales and Scotland. Not so it seems in England. They’re taking some ‘persuading’. Tim was extremely cautious about revealing what the problems are on the latest webinar, but reading between the lines you could tell he’s quite rightly frustrated as hell at the moment.

They’re gathering extremely crucial data and will continue for days, weeks, months, most likely years. They know how to collate and analyse the data. True some of it’s a teeny bit ‘gobbledegooky’ (yep, another made-up word – is there a name for making-up words does anyone know? I seem to recall there is …). But move past that I’d suggest, and see the graphs and the figures as people, friends, family, your neighbours.

As of yesterday, I believe you can now report for others. So if you have an elderly relative who isn’t able to use social media, but you’re seeing/contacting them daily, you can report for them. Or children. You can report for your kids.

Check out their website –

Latest data –

Their second webinar from 15th April 2020:

Some Salient Points To Note

The points I heard listening to the second webinar last night were:

  • NHS Wales and Scotland are working closely with the team. Not so much England or Northern Ireland sadly, but they remain hopeful as England have recently called. NHS Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford states: “Having a range of evidence and data is crucial in helping us build a clear picture of how the virus is behaving and affecting everyone’s lives. Crucially this app can help us anticipate potential COVID hot spots and get our NHS services ready. I’m asking everyone in Wales to download the new COVID Symptom Tracker app, so you can help protect our workers and save lives. Together we can build the best scientific picture so we are better armed to fight this terrible disease.”
  • A loss of smell increases by six-fold the risk that you’re infected with COVID-19. Yet this is NOT yet on the list of symptoms to get a test for, so lots of health professionals won’t be tested until it’s too late unless they add this to the list asap
  • Using this App will be the fastest way to detect a second wave of the virus – don’t be fooled that when this lockdown is relaxed that it won’t be necessary again!
  • Wearing a mask is GOOD. If only to stop you spreading the virus unknowingly. Homemade is fine. There are absolutely no risks to wearing a mask (though I’d add there are if you don’t remove it properly but not touching the front where the virus could be sitting, and you need to wash your hands and wash the mask after wearing). This is altruistic. There ARE, however, risks to taking vitamin supplements. Or other unnecessary medications.
  • Once you’ve had the virus and recovered, you’ll produce antibodies. But they don’t know how long they will last.
  • If you have a test that’s negative, it doesn’t mean you don’t have it. If you have one that’s positive, you DO have it. The test has a ‘low sensitivity rate’.
  • This project is the biggest citizen-size one in the world.
  • The incubation period for the virus is around 2-5 days. They noticed a ‘peak’ in early April, and due to social distancing, the numbers have dropped considerably.
  • There was a strange ‘peak’ in Skegness – after a mass of people congregated there over a weekend. Seriously, who are these idiots? Hundreds of thousands apparently – causing this area of Lincolnshire to have one of the highest numbers of cases.
  • They were able to contact NHS Wales about the large numbers in South Wales and Anglesey – once again, foolish folks visiting their holiday caravans and mindlessly spreading their germs. Now all caravan parks in Wales are closed. If England did the same …
  • The numbers from the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker vs the Government data are very diverse. Hence the need for the NHS across the UK to be using THIS data.

Accurate real-time data is essential if we are to beat this disease. Without accurate and wide spread testing it’s essential that we have much data as possible to help us predict where we are going to see the next spikes in demand so that resources can be effectively deployed ahead of time to meet the needs of the patients. The support of the Welsh Government and NHS Wales is an incredibly positive step in the right direction and we hope to see other NHS groups coming on board in the coming days.

Professor Tim Spector Lead Researcher Kings College London

Basically, downloading the App, reporting daily, getting NHS England and NHS Northern Ireland to sign up enthusiastically, will make FAR MORE DIFFERENCE than clapping and cheering and banging drums to the key workers, and everyone living in Great Britain.

A Quiet Saturday Avoiding The Rain

The sun has temporarily got his hat and coat on, making way for cloud cover and rain. We’ve even lit the fire again today! It’s been a week or more since we’ve done that.

Barry has had a walk to take the rubbish to the top of Hurleston Locks and is continuing to tart-up his new fold-up bike. He realised when we got back to our mooring on Thursday that said bike was chain-less! No matter. He’ll order one and get it delivered somehow. The rest of it is in mostly tip-top form. And it gives him another lockdown project …

Carry on clapping on Thursdays at 8 pm if it helps you, and encourages key workers. Just maybe not congregated on Westminter Bridge, or outside a hospital, in crowds without social distancing as seen in dozens of Social Media images. Seriously, how could that possibly be helpful?

But please do something really useful that will help our key workers and the population positively too? Sign up for the App and report daily – we logged in symptom-less once again this morning …

6 thoughts on “Day 31 – Time For The UK To Be United

  1. I believe one who makes new words would be called a Neoligist, since neoligism is the creation and science of new word production.
    The clapping each week is something I also see as pointless in many aspects, as I have referred to within one of my own recent blogs. Though I do also see the sense in the shared comradeship it is instilling across the nation. Likewise I relate to the sense of acknowledgment it must bring to the front-line health workers, who right now must be feeling utterly, exhaustingly, and no doubt desperately, wiped out and alone. (Though by no means an adeqaute comparison, after four hours of running the Brighton marathon, had it not been for the clapping and cheers of those around me, I would have thrown in the towel, such was the pain coursing through my knee at the time). For all of the NHS staff, being unable to return home and greet their families in the usual fashion must be intolerable. Yet there they are, returning day in and day out, because it is their job. Though not exactly what they signed up for….
    Meanwhile, I fully support your argument that a weekly clap does nothing at all to resolve the issue at large. And your call for people to act more directly on this huge sense of appreciation to our NHS workers, and the demise of despicable political protocols that have been at large for so long. Perhaps you could guide us all into ways that we can do so?
    Thank you for writing over these days, keeping the daily dedication regardless of whether you feel upbeat, melancholy or somewhere in between.

    • Thank you Dhanya. I’ll remember that word for the future!
      For now, I suggest people watch and listen to the latest webinar, link in the post, sign up to their COVID-19 Symptom Tracker is they haven’t already, and report daily. Over and over and over again. The more people that do this, the more valid the research, and the more likely NHS England and NHS NI are to finally jump on board! 😉

    • 😂 yes I realised after posting about uniting the UK the only images I’d included have a NZ flag. Ironic aye? But rather telling too about where it’s going well due to great leadership and courage 😉

      • The world seems to focus on how effective South Korea’s been at curtailing the spread but NZ gets very little of the love … but perhaps it’s good to be a small nation (with a great big heart 🙂 ) in the scheme of things at the moment. 🙂

        • I haven’t noticed that tbh. But then my radar is switched on to notice NZ I guess. Especially surrounded by the flags in UK 😂

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