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3 hours ago, soapdragon said:

know several people who genuinely think that its them and 3 other households - not 3 in total;

I have to be honest, that I first that‚Äôs what I thought - don‚Äôt know if I was hearing what I wanted to hear or what, but I did realise fairly quickly that it was 3 in total. We will be sticking to that. Two of us are households in Cornwall where we‚Äôre currently under the ‚Äėrule of 6‚Äô but with no limits on number of households, but the third¬†is my sister in Wargrave, Berkshire. They are practically self isolating now in preparation for coming down.¬†

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48 minutes ago, mullethunter said:

We will be sticking to that. 

At my school, one of the children said they had sent a parcel to relatives in Liverpool because he wouldn't be able to see them.

Another one added that they couldn't see their grandparents because they live nearby and there were too many family members for them all to meet up.

The first child then pointed out that the rules could be bent.

I really told him off and told him the rules are there for a reason. I pointed out that the kind of people that bend the rules are the sort of people that went to the beaches over Easter when the rest of us stayed at home.

It makes me so cross.

Not only that, it probably wasn't his idea to bend the rules, but suggested by a parent instead.

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What a mess! Too late now to post anything (and some presents can't be posted anyway) as the Royal Mail is snowed under. Apparently the new restrictions are to be reviewed on 30th December but can't see them changing then........I do wonder if the current vaccine will still be effective for the new variant. We  had the 'nearly old people's' flu jabs last week (for ages 50 - 64) and the nurse explained about it being effective for only four strains! 

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2 hours ago, soapdragon said:

What a mess! Too late now to post anything (and some presents can't be posted anyway) as the Royal Mail is snowed under. Apparently the new restrictions are to be reviewed on 30th December but can't see them changing then........I do wonder if the current vaccine will still be effective for the new variant. We  had the 'nearly old people's' flu jabs last week (for ages 50 - 64) and the nurse explained about it being effective for only four strains! 

Here post is a mess too. We don’t have proper post offices anymore but solely post agencies in other shops. And now most shops are closed, they are closed too. So very little options to post stuff, but also to collect any missed packages.

‚ÄĚNormal‚ÄĚ influenza A has many many variants. The virus has 2 outer proteins, H and N. The H protein has 18 different types and the N protein 11. So you can make many many combinations. H1N1 was the famous Spanish flu (and the mexican flu of 10 years ago). Not all combinations can infect humans. The annual flu is now a combination of H3N2, H1N1 and influenza B types. (There is even an influenza C) But as these subtypes can have variations too per year, you can never vaccinate for all, as it changes every year. Although I saw a documentary on Netflix (Pandemic, shot BEFORE Covid was thing), that showed a research group trying to make a flu shot that vaccinates for ever instead of only a yearly coverage.

So far their have been roughly 6 subtypes of Covid-19, with the UK mutation probably being a 7th.

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Tier 4 here in London. My best friend in Leicestershire has covid. Heart breaking to hear her crying earlier in the week with fear. She sounded dreadful. Lives alone has a b/f but they dont live together.  She looks after elderly mum in her 90s. Track and trace have been wonderful, ring her daily and gave her emergency number if really anxious. Shes asthmatic and works in hospital canteen. If people could here the cough and the fear they wouldn't be so blooming complacent. I'm a trained nurse but felt helpless and tearful after talking to her. Shes a bit better today. Managed to wash her hair but that exhausted her. They expect her back on Thurs, told her no way. Shes never going to be fit enough. Stay safe all. 

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9 hours ago, Blackrocksrock said:

Ali's girls that sounds terrible for your friend.   In Scotland we all go into Tier 4 Boxing Day for 3 weeks.  Fed up now!   Also what an exodus from London yesterday.

 

Yes, pictures of crowded stations etc....great! Just what we need to spread it even further! OH was talking to a colleague in a Kent hospital on Friday and she said they are nursing more cases now than they did at the peak of the first lockdown. In the beginning it seemed to be the much older generation that was hit (along with those with underlying health conditions) but now there is much talk in the media about the 50+ being badly affected too, especially with long covid. Far too 'close to home'.

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I had my 2nd face to face physio appointment booked for tomorrow afternoon following my hip replacement on 11th February. They called this afternoon to let me know that all physio at The Nuffield Orthopeadic (major specialist ortho centre in central Oxford) have been suspended for A YEAR! OH took the message......apparently the physio will call me at the appointment time tomorrow so I will find out more but I am guessing it's because of the mutated covid as The NOC is a covid free hospital (ie; they are not nursing covid cases there). I can probably have skype appointments so not a disaster but this is very scary for those with really serious medical problems, cancers, strokes etc. 

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Oh Soapdragon thats not good but hope you can get skype appointments and get to where you need to be with your hip.   Its really bad here to get a doctor to be seen - not happening or a phone call - they never phone back!   My husband has COPD and had a really really bad couple weeks about 3 weeks ago and we phoned twice one day wanting to speak to the doctor for different medication - he could not get his breathing under control at all and it was very scary = after a day of no response I phoned for ambulance and they were really really good - sorted him out and then spoke to the doctors who eventually phoned him back 2 hours later to see how he was and give new prescriptions.  Have had to follow up phone calls ourselves and basically demand medications.  Its dire.  He had a CT scan this morning and has to wait 10 days before phoning for results.   I hope all keep safe over the christmas period and that 2021 is a better year for all of us.

 

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2 minutes ago, Blackrocksrock said:

Oh Soapdragon thats not good but hope you can get skype appointments and get to where you need to be with your hip.   Its really bad here to get a doctor to be seen - not happening or a phone call - they never phone back!   My husband has COPD and had a really really bad couple weeks about 3 weeks ago and we phoned twice one day wanting to speak to the doctor for different medication - he could not get his breathing under control at all and it was very scary = after a day of no response I phoned for ambulance and they were really really good - sorted him out and then spoke to the doctors who eventually phoned him back 2 hours later to see how he was and give new prescriptions.  Have had to follow up phone calls ourselves and basically demand medications.  Its dire.  He had a CT scan this morning and has to wait 10 days before phoning for results.   I hope all keep safe over the christmas period and that 2021 is a better year for all of us.

 

Oh goodness...how frustrating! Certainly the ambulance service should not be substituting for the GP who, presumably, knows your hubs¬†and his history far better¬†ūüė°. Do hope ¬†that the CT scan results are¬†helpful and enable your hubs¬†to move forward. Wishing you both well.

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I have to confess to being totally confused by the system in England at the moment, to the extent that I haven't the patience to delve any further. It's fairly straightforward here with a strict evening curfew at 8.00pm, bars, cinemas (still popular here) etc shut and wearing a mask obligatory inside and out. They've just extended the curfew to 6.00 pm in many areas, but ours isn't one of them and we don't go out unless vital anyway. Of course, despite the 100,000 police out to stop them, there were still illegal New Year parties discovered and they are still processing the people caught at them.

Seems France has failed miserably with the vaccination systems; things are not in place and only 332 people have had one! Whist they have the refrigerated central storage areas holding over a million doses that's as far as they have got. On the news today was that the UK leads Europe by a long way having given 1 million vaccinations already. This is partially due to the early UK approval of Pfizer and partially due to better organisation. What is puzzling though is the statement that France intends to give two doses to all and yet the UK is planning on just one? It has been reported previously that the first Pfizer dose only gives 60% immunity and the second is necessary 3 weeks later to take the immunity level up to 95%. I know that they are worried here that people won't turn up for the second dose because that's when the worst side-effects are experienced. So I don't know what's going on?

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There has just been a rather heated debate on TV about the vaccine situation in France. I didn't understand any of it but have two thoughts:-

Has the government abandoned this Pfizer vaccine because only 40% of French will take it (and not told anyone yet)?

The single dose approach in the UK makes good numerical sense. From a million doses given as singles you would get 600,000 people immune, but from a million given as two doses you would only get 475,000 immune. So to get the maximum number of people immune in the shortest time, single doses seems to me the way to go?

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You aren't the only one confused - they change things and move goalposts every five minutes.  I expect a tier 101 which consists of padded cells and we all have to be in solitary confinement.  You can see I'm a little bit fed up now.

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At least you lot started vaccinating! We won’t start before next Friday and the government is still haggling over who will get the first ones...

They thought we could vaccinate the same way we do the flu jabs here. So loads of small locations. But they also thought the big boxes could be repacked into smaller quantities. Surprise! They can’t! They discovered this way too late. So we are also using big locations, but haven’t prepared in any way for those yet... :wall:

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AG - I sincerely hope your friend is OK?  I know many of us are getting fed up for a variety of reasons, but I do try to stop myself moaning as, so far, nobody close to me has been ill, and obviously covid can be terrible and fatal.  A very good friend of mine is an experienced theatre nurse, she has had counselling already and has said she may have to leave depending on what happens in the next few months, so I hope you are bearing up.  Watching the news (or some news at any rate) is so sobering, I can't understand the behaviour of some people, both in the general public and in the public eye.

CT - although I shouldn't be glad, somehow it is reassuring to hear that other Govt's haven't got it right either, we have so many stop/start/change announcements from the UK that sometimes you feel like....fill in your own choice of words!  Portugal doesn't keep changing its mind, but it is quite slow to do things.

Beantree - as far as I understand it, the Govt have been advised by Public Health England and endorsed by all 4 Chief Medical Officers, that it is acceptable to give just one dose to as many people as possible, as long as the second is given within 12 weeks, rather than the original gap of 3 or 4 weeks, which is what the pharmaceutical companies recommended.  It is so, as you rightly suspect, more people are given some protection rather than fewer people being given maximum protection, to try to counteract this super-vigilant new strain of covid, but you should still get 2 jabs.  There seems to be a division in opinions as to how efficacious this will be, with the drug companies saying we haven't tested it at 12 week intervals, and Dr Fauci in the US saying he disagrees with the UK approach.  However, as the 4 CMOs have approved it, I guess it will happen.  Personally, I am not totally convinced, but if offered anything I will very gladly take it!  I know the Pfizer vaccine is expensive and hard to store at -70, so I guess the Oxford/AZ vaccine is greatly preferred, although the efficacy seems to be more questionable.

Its interesting what you say about resistance in France, it must be very strong, I wonder why?  My MIL (in a care home in Normandy) is scheduled to have her jab in the middle of Jan (dates are fixed) and all residents have to have it.

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I think there will be other pressures to have the vaccine.  Look at the Spanish Government keeping s register of those refusing it, and sharing with other governments.   I can see people being refused entry to some countries for holidays unless they have it.  

They seem to be revising the views of the efficacy of one shot.  Some newsreader today was quoting 80% effective from one dose of the Pfizer.  The second allegedly simply provides for a longer immunity time.  

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26 minutes ago, Patricia W said:

I think there will be other pressures to have the vaccine.  Look at the Spanish Government keeping s register of those refusing it, and sharing with other governments.   I can see people being refused entry to some countries for holidays unless they have it.  

They seem to be revising the views of the efficacy of one shot.  Some newsreader today was quoting 80% effective from one dose of the Pfizer.  The second allegedly simply provides for a longer immunity time.  

They tried to make people get a covid test when re-entering the country. But a judge put a stop to that. So I don’t see how the Netherlands can refuse people who aren’t vaccinated if we can’t even make people get tested...

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They have already stated that there will be no register in France, as that effectively makes it compulsory, but I can see some places making a recent test or proof of vaccination a requirement.

I think the resistance to this Pfizer vaccine in France, Daphne, is due to the detailed reporting of the side effects. Everyone knows what they are, how likely they are and that they are worse on the second jab. But the reports of partial facial paralysis last week probably contributed significantly to the further drop in people willing to have it.

The debating on the delays here is gaining intensity, with even our President Macron getting involved. Someone posted the results of the 'Eurovision vaccination competition', the UK winning with over a million votes, Germany 126,000, Poland 40,000 and France 336!

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33 minutes ago, mullethunter said:

That‚Äôs interesting Beantree - I thought I‚Äôd been fairly well on top of the news but haven‚Äôt heard about that at all - I don‚Äôt know whether I‚Äôve missed it or it hasn‚Äôt been reported here ūüßź

Haven’t heard anything about that here either.

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I'm actually feeling a bit apprehensive about the boys returning to school; I was happy for them to go back in September but this new variant has changed my mind. As things stand ES should go back on 11th and YS on 18th. Because I'm STILL looking for a pt job I've volunteered to go in and help with the testing but I'd feel happier if it was all delayed for another few weeks until the vaccine was in more widespread use and the Christmas cases (yet to come) had settled. ES is getting very stressed about GCSE exams and, having just gone through mocks before Christmas, I can see why; so much pressure. Wish they'd cancel, like Wales and Scotland.

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Soapy,  one of the primary schools in the market town near you that my daughter lives in, is closed because of Covid. Zoe is not happy about sending her three back as their primary is only a mile away.  Plus one of the supermarkets has a cluster.  So I think either closing the schools or a national lockdown looms.  

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So, as expected, we are to be further locked down. What I can't understand is why - as they fail to police the restrictions that we have - the Government thinks that additional ones will make any difference. In my street, there are 2 neighbours who still have visiting OHs paying regular visits from other parts of the country. This, whilst the rest of us are sitting tight and not even seeing our family members.

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I think the elderly have split into two groups - those that fear death and those that think they will make the most of whatever time they have left.  It certainly isn't living at the moment.  Personally I feel it is now trying to shut the stable door et ceteraaa et ceteraaaaa et ceteraaaaaa (as in the way Yul Brynner said it) and the tiers are a joke.  Just prolonging the agony as we go up and up and when we get to tier 6 or eleventy twelve (which is quite a possible figure considering all the numbers that they have plucked out of the air and found to be wrong), then I'm giving up too.  I have serious distrust issues at the moment, but I still go along with their unenforceable rules.

Edited to add that uniformity across the globe would have helped initially but each ruling body decides that they want to try something different and each have found to be doing not that well either.

Edited by Valkyrie
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The Pfizer facial paralysis news came with some rather alarming photographs similar to the 'stroke' advert, but they neglected to say how long the paralysis lasted. They did add that only 4 people of the 44,000 trialed experienced it. I doubt the UK press were allowed to publicise this; it's only from moving here that I realised how much censorship takes place. As an example, we knew that Boris Johnson had won the leadership race at 6.00am your time, but you had to wait until 11.00am. We get regular updates on the Covid situation in the UK and the front page news this morning was all about the new strain affecting youngsters. That strain came back with the Bayonne Rugby Club after they played Leicester on the 19th December and I hope they have contained it. Do people realise that the UK is the worst affected country in Europe (momentarily overtaken by Italy I think)?

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