This past week has been quite hectic here in England.
On April 6, Queen Elizabeth II made a speech, giving support to the entire population, thanking the frontline workers for fighting the coronavirus and passing on a message of hope to everyone in this difficult time.
The Queen cannot give political opinions, let alone parties. As Head of State, it means that she needs to follow what is happening in Parliament and the governments of Commonwealth countries, in addition to maintaining global relations to assist in diplomacy and trade.
Commonwealth countries are the countries that were once English colonies, but today continue to have the Queen as a constitutional monarch and acting head of state.
She acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a feeling of stability and continuity; officially recognises the success and excellence of individuals and institutions, and supports the volunteer services.
And that was precisely what her speech expressed!
If you want to see the speech, click here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52183327
Soon after the speech, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalised, as it had been ten days since he was infected with COVID-19 and the fever did not go down.
On Monday night, the situation worsened, and he was transferred to the ICU, but on April 9, he left the Intensive Care and just left the hospital on April 12.
The fact that the PM is in hospital has caused uncertainties about how the authorities would continue the plan of action for the coronavirus fight would be affected.
However, Boris had left a plan outlined, and Foreign Minister Dominic Raab is in charge until he recovers and can return to lead the country.
Tree weeks ago, the Prime Minister had announced that after Easter, they would review the social distancing strategy.
So, a good part of the population is anxious and hopeful, believing that this week, the Government will start to loosen the social isolation.
I honestly find it very difficult for the isolation to be lessened since we have not yet reached the peak of contamination and the best way to control is for people to stay at home.
At the moment, on the April 12, there are more than 78.000 cases of people tested positive with COVID-19 and 9.875 unfortunately died, the vast majority here in London.
This number is an estimate, and in reality, it is a little higher, as it takes a few days before the cases are registered and updated.
What frightens us is that on April 10, the deaths here in the UK exceeded the worst daily figures seen in Italy and Spain, with 980 deaths in 24 hours.
To recap, we can leave the house just for one of these four reasons:
– purchases of essentials, such as food and medicines;
– one form of exercise a day – alone or with someone of the same household and always keeping a distance of 2 meters to other people;
– any medical need or to assist a vulnerable person;
– get to and from work, but only if it is absolutely necessary.
This week I was on my balcony, and the police stopped on my street, with a loudspeaker, asking people to go home.
It is so strange that you are forbidden to leave your own house, isn’t it?
Also, measures were made in supermarkets such as lines outside and inside so that people keep a distance of 2 meters between them; a person limiting the number of people within the market, and some have placed glass screens so that the cashier and the customer are protected.
Here in the UK, in case you have the symptoms of the virus, you must NOT leave the house, nor go to the hospital or doctor, to prevent spreading to someone else on the way.
Thus you should be in total isolation (including from the people of the same household) for seven days, and if you live with someone, everyone should be in complete isolation for 14 days.
If the symptoms worsen, we should call 111, and they will decide what to do next. If necessary, an ambulance and nurses will come, all well protected, and they will take you to the hospital ward for coronavirus patient.
Studies are being made because, in the vast majority of countries, the mortality rate among men is higher than amid women. However, it is not clear why, and despite some indications, I prefer not to speculate.
The controversy regarding Premier League players and football clubs continues, as several clubs want to continue paying players in full, but want to use the government scheme to pay other employees.
I had previously mentioned this scheme: the Government will pay up to 80% of employees’ salaries maintained by their employer, covering wages of up to £2.500 per month, for the next three months or until the situation is somewhat normalised.
The fact that these clubs wanted to use this scheme and paid the millionaire players in full caused contradiction and several clubs apologised and gave up the idea of using this scheme.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has publicly asked for the players’ wages to be reduced by 30% to help with the crisis and there is still no information as to whether this will happen or not.
After that, some players joined forces to create a fund that will raise money for the NHS. The #PlayersTogether initiative aims to provide financial support where “it is most required” during the outbreak.
The University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industries AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, is installing a new laboratory on the Cambridge biomedical campus.
The new facility would begin with 1.000 to 2.000 tests daily by mid-April and aims to increase to 30.000 tests in the first week of May.
It will be a great help for the Government to reach the goal of 100.000 tests per day. Something that should already be occurring and that the population has criticised the authorities a lot.
The most significant criticism is related to the lack of tests in people who are on the front line, such as doctors, nurses and other health workers. And also because the personal protective equipment is reaching short supply.
The new NHS Nightingale Hospital, installed in Birmingham is opened, in addition to the ones built in London, Harrogate and Bristol.
Two more hospitals are also being planned, one in Sunderland and the other in Exeter.
To honour the NHS professionals who are putting their own lives at risk, every Thursday at 8 pm, the communities go out the windows to applaud them. #clapforcarers
On April 8, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced a £ 750m support package for Charities across the UK to ensure they can continue their vital work during the pandemic.
Sunak also said the Government would match all donations that the BBC’s “Big Night In” fundraising event receives, committing a minimum of £20 million.
The Minister mentioned that the priority at the moment is to take care of the health system, so the smallest number of people will die.
Although they are very concerned about the economy, they are doing a feasible effort to ensure that the vast majority are in a favourable condition in the coming recession period and try to recover economically as quickly as possible.
Although he is aware of the significant impact that this crisis will generate and unfortunately they won’t be able to save all jobs, companies or charities, they are trying to give the best support possible with the financial packages (which I mentioned in previous posts).
Happy Easter for everyone! #stayhome
This post is also available in: Português