As the days go by, I changed my attitudes and thoughts concerning this new reality in which we are living in.
Lately, I haven’t watched as much news as I was last week and I don’t read every link that people sends me, because I have to confess that it wasn’t helping me and it was causing me anxiety.
But anyway, here in England the most recent controversy is about the number of tests to identify who has the COVID-19.
For several reasons, the government has not done enough tests and mostly only on those who are already hospitalised.
The problem is that few staffs who are on the front lines in fighting coronavirus, such as doctors, nurses and such, are being tested.
But why is the government only managing to test just over 10.000 people a day? Why don’t they have more tests available?
According to the NHS, they can only perform a limited number of tests due to the shortage of test kits and chemicals needed for it.
There is currently a high global demand for these chemicals, which is why they are hard to obtain.
Another discussion was that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Secretary of Health Matt Hancock were tested when they started to have the symptoms of COVID-19.The opinion of some is that NHS staff should take priority on being tested.
I have to partly disagree!
These government officials are in direct contact with several people from various essential areas (health, economics, etc.), and they do need to be tested.
If they get infected, it is possible to notify others who have had contact with them, they can be in quarantine and thereby reduce the risk of more people becoming infected.
These people are indispensable in decision-making for the entire population and who are doing everything possible to manage this crisis in the best possible way, and we need them healthy.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that by the end of April, the government wants to run 100.000 tests every day across the UK.
However, there are no details on how this can be achieved or what type of testing will be done.
The goal is to conduct these tests for the entire health system, including patients, medical staff and their families, frontline employees and those who believe they have the virus.
Currently, Hancock said that over 35.000 NHS employees are in quarantine because they have the symptoms or because they live with someone who has the symptom or is infected with the virus.
Unfortunately, in the last week, a number of doctors and nurses died due to contagion with this deadly virus.
The government is also amortising £ 13.4 billion in NHS debt, so hospital funds are in a “stronger position” to deal with the outbreak.
Another controversy was that some Premier League football clubs were using the government scheme to reduce the salaries of employees who do not play while paying players in full.
The Mayor of London has criticised them, and now, Premier League footballers should have a pay cut to help the UK respond to the crisis.
Let’s face it. It is nothing compared to what they earn every year.
A new hospital, called The Nightingale, was built in London by the army and the NHS in just 9 days and opened today, April 3rd. This hospital is located at East London’s ExCeL Exhibition Center, where concerts, exhibitions and conferences are usually held.
At the moment there are 500 beds fully equipped, with oxygen and ventilators, and there is room for another 3.500.
It will not be a conventional hospital – only patients who already require ventilators will be admitted to, or transferred from other intensive care units in London.
The NHS said two more Nightingale hospitals will open, one in Bristol and one in Harrogate. Thus, more than 1.500 beds will be available to help deal with the growing number of coronavirus cases.
Similar hospitals are also expected to open at Birmingham National Exhibition Center and Manchester Central Complex.
The chief executive of the NHS in England, Simon Stevens, said: “We are giving the endorsement for these additional sites, hoping that they will not be needed, but preparing them if they are.”
Works have also begun to transform part of Birmingham airport into a morgue, capable of storing at least 1.500 bodies, should the death toll increase significantly.
The number of people confirmed to have the coronavirus and who unfortunately died increased to 3.605 in the UK. The vast majority in England, with more than 2.700 deaths and London the most affected city.
Unfortunately, in the UK, the death toll is still doubling every two to three days.
Dozens of landlords who own empty properties are offering homes to NHS workers free of charge, especially after reports that some are facing evictions because the owners consider them a risk of infection.
A large number of hospital workers were forced to rent properties to relocate or isolate their families and in need of a house.
But last week, websites emerged to manage the number of homeowners who now offer free accommodation.
Just as there are bad people, there are good people in this world!
Another good news is that a breathing device that can help keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care was created in less than a week.
University College London engineers worked with doctors at UCLH and Mercedes Formula One team to build the device, which delivers oxygen to the lungs without the need for a ventilator.
Forty of the new devices were delivered to ULCH and three other London hospitals. If the tests go well, up to 1.000 of the CPAP machines can be produced by Mercedes a day, starting next week.
Production of ventilators has also been increased, with several F1 teams involved in a joint effort with British companies in industry, technology and engineering in the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors.
Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens have joined forces with Haas F1, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Racing Point, Renault Sport Racing and Williams to produce the ventilators, which is lacking in the UK.
Remember that I mentioned in my previous post that the government asked for 250.000 volunteers, and in less than 24 hours, there were more than 500.000?
Well, the number has increased and now more than 750.000 volunteers are helping older people and those at risk, whether by calling to see how they are doing, shopping and delivering purchases, driving them to hospitals and various other activities. Cool huh?
Also, the community has risen to the occasion and are helping each other, their neighbours, their friends, etc.
The Prime Minister is still in isolation, as he was infected and after seven days, he continues to have a fever. Prince Charles, on the other hand, recovered quickly and, via video, inaugurated the new hospital.
At the moment, we will continue in isolation, and after Easter, the authorities will review the strategy. But it seems that we still be in social isolation for the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, life goes on at a different pace…
While for the last couple of years, I’ve paid a monthly fee for the supermarket, they are giving priority to these customers and people in the risk group.
Therefore, I have guaranteed that once a week, I will have my slot for food delivery.
It was a big relief as I’m on the risk group (my immunity is weak due to the loss of my spleen and part of my pancreas) and I don’t want my husband or I going to the supermarket.
Of course that several products are still out of stock, such as hand sanitizer, hand wash, flour, paracetamol and some non-perishable products. However, nothing we can’t manage and I’m grateful for that.
But little by little, the shops are putting their stocks back, people are more conscious and stopping stock pilling.
Speaking to friends, it seems that some supermarkets are not following the 2-meter distancing rules between employees and customers. Actually, many of them were infected after going to the supermarket. This is a bit worrying!
Every time my delivery arrives, they leave the shopping at my door, and I only open it after they leave. Then I sterilise everything with bleach or wash with plenty of detergents, and I disinfect the floor where the bags were.
My husband goes out for a run, every other day on the streets where no one passes by and when he arrives, we immediately wash his clothes and disinfect everything he touched.
It is unusual and strange to live like this, with fear, but this is our new reality, and we hope that soon it will end.
Now, I will explain my personal opinion and how I see the situation.
I have seen several people talking and posting graphics showing that many more people die of malaria, AIDS, cancer and various other diseases and that COVID-19 is less lethal.
Well, because it is highly contagious and lethal mainly for the elderly, coronavirus takes hundreds of people to the hospital all at once.
Consequently, these people with diverse health conditions will not be adequately cared for and will be exposed to the virus in the hospital, and may die, due to lack of beds and equipment.
Not to mention that doctors and nurses end up infected, and this creates even more pressure on health organisations.
Therefore, the crisis is indeed severe and must be analysed and managed in the most humane way possible and not comparing what people die the most of.