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I've just read Lockdown by Peter May which he wrote last year before anyone had heard of Covid 19. It is a good read but maybe best saved to snuggle down with once the madness is over. Although, by that time, there won't be any soft furnishing left to snuggle down on as it will all have been eaten by Omlet peeps!

Edited by soapdragon
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I'm sure we'll all be fine. We haven't reached the point where we'll all be hunting rabbits and milking pigeons for sustenance... yet. ;)

Actually, I quite lockdown. It's gotten rid of me having to come up with excuses to avoid¬†people.¬†ūü§£

Edited by AndyRoo
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Had an email a few days ago from a friend at our local club. Ne's just found out that four people in his village (an hour from us) have tested positive and there are only 170 people in the village. Remember way back when alarm bells sounded at an infection rate of 50 per 100,000? Well I did the maths and his village infection rate works out at 2353 !!!

I'm with Andy Roo in that I now don't need any other excuses to avoid people.

Whilst we are supposed to be in lockdown people aren't taking it seriously. Non-essential shops are shut but some large shops have stayed open on the basis that the do sell a few things on the essential list; while people are there they can buy non-essentials if they want, but in reality that's why they went and not for essentials. The Government has issued a strong warning that 'grand surfaces' as they call them here, will be shut down completely if they sell anything non-essential. So I went to the supermarket and found the non-essential shelves blocked off, but there are some anomalies. Whilst you can't buy plates, cutlery and CD's, you can buy cuddly toys?

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I‚Äôm not really passing judgement on whether this is a good thing or not, and maybe those living in cities would have a very different feeling about things than I do, but this time doesn‚Äôt really feel like a ‚Äėlockdown‚Äô like the last one did.¬†
Obviously it’s still a nightmare for business owners who can no longer trade, but unless you wanted to go clothes shopping, to the gym or to the pub, or have a family gathering I don’t really feel like anything has changed from last week. Driving to outdoor exercise or recreation is allowed this time, and for so many people here, that’s their life, so nothing has really changed. The roads are as busy as ever because more people than not are still going to work, kids are still going to work, we’re all still going to the beach to go surfing, or walking, or fishing.

As I said. Not a judgement (for once ūüėā) - just an observation from Cornwall.

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We've only been locked down a week and the Police have already issued 38,000 verbal warnings for breaches; rose 75% in the last 2 days! Now they are discussing an¬†increase in the fine, raising it from ‚ā¨135 to ‚ā¨10,000 if you are caught breaking the rules and subsequently test positive. Given that 80% of people don't realise they have it there are going to be a lot short of money over Christmas. Apparently the new cases in France, despite lockdown, rose to a record 58,000 positive tests yesterday and is the worst figure in Europe. They are now moving people across the Country to get them an intensive care bed, because some Cities have no space. Apparently the virus is spreading much faster than anticipated because it likes cold weather?

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I think there is going to be a lot more of this, populations are restive.  BJ & man in charge of NHS were at pains yesterday in their press conference to try to impress upon everyone the current pressures on beds/care and how we must stop it getting worse or the NHS won't be able to cope.  But I think, for a variety of reasons, people are more fed up than they were in the Spring, and it will be very hard to get everyone back to obedience.

Portugal strikes me as more 'obedient' but even so the numbers are beginning to get out of hand.  We now have a high rate of cases per 100,000 than the UK, although our testing system has always been better and I strongly suspect there are a lot more hidden cases in UK than here, so I am not sure its a true reflection,  We are about to go into a state of emergency, so there will be more restrictions very soon, at the moment we can eat/drink out for example, although cafes are closing through cases occuring, even around us in a very rural/sp*****ly populated area, but I guess cafes are hubs, and that's why.

 

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I'm sure I'm not the only person puzzled as to why, in the first lockdown, when we didn't even have masks and hand gel or testing, it worked and now, with all the aforementioned, it isn't? More worrying is this mink derived version (Covid-20?) that they are trying to contain in Denmark (I think), which was mentioned on the news this morning.

Sure cafes are hubs, as are bars. The figures quoted here was that you are 4X more likely to contract it in a bar and 2 1/2X more likely in a restaurant. Went to the local market a while back and it was as though the virus didn't exist; hugs and kisses all round. So perhaps that explains it?

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Think it has to do with lockdown fatigue too. People get fed up and aren’t as afraid anymore to get it. 
Loads or mink farms in the Netherlands have had covid outbreaks too. A truly ridiculous amount... beats all statistical probability. So they even think mink farmers have been infecting them on purpose, to get compensation from the government. Now they finally decided all mink farms need to shut down by March next year. Before it was end of 2024.

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Looks like France locked down a few weeks too late. They tried regional schemes but they didn't work and attempting to keep bars open was a mistake. New cases (positive tests) have risen in the first week from 40,000 to 86,000 with a corresponding increase in hospitalisations and intensive care beds occupied. Hospitals¬†are overloaded, so some people are being transported to Germany. Perhaps another week until we see a reversal? In the meantime we're not leaving the house, so the ‚ā¨10 off supermarket voucher can be used to light the fire.

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Same thing here.  There was another high level Govt meeting yesterday and the outcomes include an 11pm curfew!  Although as of next weekend there is going to be a 1pm curfew, in certain areas (not ours).  The numbers are creeping up, and our 'county' has very high numbers now, from a very low base, although our district (council) is still relatively low, but increasing every day.  I go to language lessons once a week and the teacher is a teacher with 4 school age daughters.  She has all the local news, which is handy to know.  Portugal has the lowest number of intensive care beds in Europe, so I read, and we are not full yet, but it is clear we need to be doing more.  We let things get out of control over the summer, particularly in Lisbon/Porto.  We have one more trip planned for tomorrow to the big city, for inner tubes would you believe, for OH (to be fair, he loves cycling and is out several times a week) and some more clothes for me (I have discovered the merits of a dress over leggings to keep warm, its not for fashion reasons!) plus a large casserole pot as I managed to ruin ours (now we have a freezer I am into batch cooking), plus a mouse (no legs) as I have 2 and neither work properly which isn't ideal for work purposes.

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Two weeks into the 'second wave' lockdown in France and the numbers in hospital are the same as the peak of the first wave, but they say there are signs of improvement and the 'R' number has at last fallen to just below 1. Intensive care beds occupied is lower though, but still 4900 of the 7700 available in the Country. No surprise that nothing is going to be eased until at least 1st December and then it isn't going to be much; perhaps shops for Christmas presents? No surprise that recovery is slow either, with 60% of people interviewed 'off the record' admitting to having broken the rules at least once and no surprise that the organiser of the illegal 300 person party last night has been arrested. Another 12,000 people caught for breaking the rules in just 24 hours: the police carry bank card readers to take the fines!

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Things are improving slowly now and intensive care bed occupation has just dipped below 4000, so that's a 900 drop in two weeks and still terrible. New infections detected is well down though from 86,000 a day to 12,000. Apparently (and I don't know how they worked this out) 97% of infections come from being inside. Strange thing was they interviewed someone who was therefore planning to have an English style family Christmas meal- OUTSIDE. Where did they get that from? They have built a pergola to which they will fit a solid roof and have electric heaters around it. They are unlocking here very slowly, because the heath service is at breaking point with staff fatigue. Restaurants might open on 15th January and no mention about bars. Even the ski resorts stay shut.

In the meantime the talk is about vaccinations and a very complicated 5 stage system is being worked on. They are not compulsory and we are well down the list anyway. The big problem appears to be the storage temperature of one manufacturer's vaccine, which is -70C. They are building special freezers for the cargo planes which will distribute them around the country, but now the problem is the storage at point of use. No doctor (normally the chemists do flu jabs) has the facilities yet and they don't know when they will have, so saying the vaccination programme starts at the end of the month is nonsense. They are only 95% effective (so 5% of people won't get immunity) and they only last 6 months. Can't see our surgery coping with the workload.

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As of today face protection is FINALLY obligatory in all public venues. Us Dutch catch on rather slowly...ūüėí

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With the vaccine now  approved, let’s hope the logistics of getting it out to us, works as well as did the development and progression through the regulatory process.   Fingers crossed! 

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So the ski resorts remain closed despite the protests; the current weather has brought a lot of snow. The reason is not because the raised possibility of transmission but because of the number of accidents burdening the over-stretched local health services. For every 1000 people there are 3 accidents requiring treatment every DAY!

We're going for the same American/ German developed innovative vaccine, made in Belgium, as the UK. The storage at point-of -use remains a problem as yet not resolved. We are now on a three stage system and will be in the final stage. Emphasis here is on the fact that this programme will not immediately affect the rate of infections, so important to continue with the protection protocols. The vaccine is administered twice, 3 weeks apart, so the concern is that people don't bother with the second dose and so don't have the required level of immunity. Whether the vaccination will be renewed every 6 months, as originally suggested, hasn't been mentioned to my knowledge. People are concerned about the long term safety of this particular vaccine because the way it works is new, to the extent that at the moment only 53% are willing to have it, so they are trying to reassure everyone and it remains to be seen how successful they are. The vaccine won't be made compulsory and at the moment I'm in the 47%, but I may change if some places we want to go to make it a requirement of entry.

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Well.... it only took us 9 months but we finally are going to get a proper lockdown!

Non-essential shops will be closed, school too till the 19th of January. But who knew liquor stores are essential! ūüėā So are drugstores. Not sure about pet feed stores yet... so did go and hoard some chickenfeed... the cat feed, I normally order online.

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I’ve actually met someone who has had the vaccine!  An elderly neighbour.  Makes it seem more real somehow.  

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Not sure what's happening with the vaccine here? The French made one has been delayed by a year because trials said it was ineffective on the older people. The one being used in¬†the UK and USA¬†has had too many side-effects with it so now 59% of French won't take it. The testing data for that was hacked from the European Health agency last week; who¬†and why we don't know? What has been said is the one in use now is the cheaper of the two available by a long way; ‚ā¨20 against Monsanto ‚ā¨70 per person. People have been asking if they can get the Monsanto vaccine privately, but I don't think it's licensed here yet?

In the meantime we're now on 8.00pm curfew, except for December 24th to allow people to get to relatives for Christmas. Despite the lockdown hospital numbers are now going back up? Obviously there won't be any New Year parties because bars/ clubs/ restaurants remain closed until at least 20th January. So it's a bit gloomy and Brexit isn't helping.

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This thread made me go and check up on the status of vaccine in the UK and lo and behold my Mother's surgery has some of the vaccine and is contacting priority patients!  Although she is 86 I don't know if she will be in the first wave as I don't know how many jabs worth they have.  She is going to call them to try to get some idea.  Portugal hasn't said much, other than it hopes to do 50,000 people a day/week (?not sure which) from sometime in January, but they reckon we won't have enough people done to be confident until the early summer.  Its not clear at all what variety of vaccine will be on offer, or what volumes the country has bought, although it will be offered via health centres/pharmacies, not private.

Our local numbers of cases has gone right down and we are no longer in a high risk area, so we can travel about, the shops/cafes/restaurants are open and there is no curfew.  However, the rest of the country is still mostly high risk, and under restrictions, and the numbers of deaths are rising.  To me, common sense dictates we continue in our own small safe ways of not doing much.  It sounds as though our Xmas/NY rules are more lax than those in France, although I can say celebrations are much lower key here, its still about family and local community rather than big parties and lots of travelling.  Nevertheless it seems clear numbers will rise post-Xmas, its asking a lot for families not to gather in some way.

It has been noticeable that more police are patrolling to keep you in, or in your local district area if you are under curfew.

 

 

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Personally I feel that the English 'Christmas rules' are a big mistake; I know several people who genuinely think that its them and 3 other households - not 3 in total; recipe for disaster. I fear that things will get worse and we'll all be locked down again in January. If only people could be trusted to be sensible. We have turned down FIL's offer of  meeting up on the day and staying over as we know he and step MIL (having already had Covid back in the summer) are consequently acting as though it doesn't matter. The hope of the vaccine seems to make folk think that it's all going to be absolutley fine but some estimates have said that the whole round of jabs won't be completed until the beginning of the summer so potentially another 6 months plus of having to be careful and obey the rules - for some of us! Am feeling 'Bah Humbug' - sorry!

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38 minutes ago, soapdragon said:

Personally I feel that the English 'Christmas rules' are a big mistake; I know several people who genuinely think that its them and 3 other households - not 3 in total; recipe for disaster. I fear that things will get worse and we'll all be locked down again in January. If only people could be trusted to be sensible. We have turned down FIL's offer of  meeting up on the day and staying over as we know he and step MIL (having already had Covid back in the summer) are consequently acting as though it doesn't matter. The hope of the vaccine seems to make folk think that it's all going to be absolutley fine but some estimates have said that the whole round of jabs won't be completed until the beginning of the summer so potentially another 6 months plus of having to be careful and obey the rules - for some of us! Am feeling 'Bah Humbug' - sorry!

I think this is exactly why we have a lockdown of two weeks in Jan as well. People are daft and think Christmas and New Year are truly sacred... No fireworks this year though!

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