This week we have a lot of news regarding the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic here in England.
In March, private hospitals agreed with the government, where they made their resources (hospitals, beds and staff) available to the NHS, thus assisting patients with COVID-19 and from the vulnerable group.
Because of the crisis, many diagnostic services and non-urgent surgeries were unavailable for several weeks.
Now, as the emergency subsides, private hospitals have been endorsed by the NHS to resume some surgeries.
This means that some private health facilities are again accepting private or insurance patients, although there are differences between regions.
Government data shows that there have been more than 305,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK to date and more than 42,600 people have died, but more than 50,000 death certificates mention CODID-19.
The United Kingdom has the highest official death toll in Europe and the third highest in the world, after the United States with more than 122,000 and Brazil with more than 51,000 dead.
As I mentioned in this post here, there are two groups of risky groups: the vulnerable and the extremely vulnerable. These groups, in theory, should isolate themselves since March (especially those at extreme risk), not leave the house and not keep in touch with anyone.
Now, from July 1, these people (more than 2 million) can:
– get together in a group of up to 6 people as long as it is outdoors and maintaining a social distance of 2 meters;
– they no longer need to observe social distance with members of the same household;
– single adults (an adult living alone or with children under 18) may also form a ‘bubble of support’ with another family. Therefore, they can spend time together inside each other’s houses, without having to social distance.
From August 1, the government is advising vulnerable groups to adopt strict social distance, rather than comprehensive protection measures.
Strict social distance means that they can go to more places, but they must be especially careful to minimize contact with other people outside their home.
However, I will explain it better when we are closer to August, in case anything changes in the meantime.
On June 23, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement in which he explained that hotels, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen from July 4 in England.
Under pressure from these companies, who say it is impossible to maintain social distance in these places, the government has reduced from 2 meters to 1 meter.
But, they are urging that whenever possible, try to keep the 2 meters distance between people.
For the time being, in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the 2m spacing rule remains in effect.
After all, the current evidence suggests that the distance of 1 meter causes the risk to be between 2 to 10 times higher than if the distance is 2 meters and the scientists who advise the government are very concerned with these changes, perhaps a little too soon.
Restaurants and pubs that reopen must follow safety guidelines, such as a limited number of people within the venue, contact between employees and customers will be limited, and the use of masks should be done.
Also, customers will have to provide their contact details to do the tracking in case someone is infected.
From 4th, two families, regardless of the number of people, will be able to meet indoors as long as the distance is imposed.
Unlike the bubble system, people will have to keep a distance of 1 meter, and members of these families who live separately cannot hug or touch each other.
However, the government does not recommend meeting several families indoors because of the risk of infection.
But outdoors, people from several different households can meet as long as it is in groups of up to six people – but if it is only two separate houses, they can meet regardless of the number of people.
Weddings can have up to 30 people, and churches can hold services.
Cinemas, museums, galleries, libraries, community centres, bingo, theme parks, amusement parks, arcades, skating rinks may also reopen.
Theatres and concert halls may return, but they will not be allowed to perform live.
In the meantime, some bands are planning to do concerts where people go by car, and each vehicle will be in a specific slot, where people can enjoy the show, without getting close to each other.
Despite, the following locations will remain closed: gyms, swimming pools, indoor leisure areas, nightclubs, casinos, bowling, indoor skating rinks, spas, massage parlours, tattoo and piercing, water parks and exhibition and conference centres.
As I have already mentioned several times, the coronavirus is, unfortunately, dangerous and not just “flu”, as many like to spread.
In addition to the many deaths it brought, another concern is the lung problems for those who caught the virus and recovered.
The problem is so critical that the NHS is opening specialized rehabilitation centres and intend to summon hundreds of people after they have had a severe Covid-19 infection to see if they have been left with scars on their lungs, known as pulmonary fibrosis.
The condition is irreversible, and symptoms can include severe shortness of breath, coughing and fatigue.
Of course, that research on the prevalence of lung damage caused by Covid-19 is still at a very early stage.
And to finish, I would like to leave a tip: the National Trust (more information here), is reopening several gardens and parks where people can go hiking or enjoy and have a picnic.
They are pre-booking the entrance slot and thus manage to control the number of people, making them maintain the necessary distance.
I wrote several posts about these places I visited (before COVID), and you can check them out here.
I believe it is a much better option, as the city parks are quite crowded on these sunny days here in England.
Have a great day!