Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: news

COVID-19 where will it end?

Today’s deaths are reported as 778 in the last 24 hours bringing the total deaths recorded in hospitals in the UK from 6th March to 12,107.

ONS – More than one in five deaths in England and Wales is linked to coronavirus, figures show. The Office for National Statistics data showed the virus was mentioned on 3,475 death certificates in the week ending 3 April. It helped to push the total number of deaths in that week to more than 16,000 – a record high.

So many families of victims are grieving as a result of the virus. We were repeatedly told way back in February that younger, fitter people would only get a mild illness as the virus affected mainly the elderly and vulnerable. We know now, in April, that this vicious virus is relentless. It attacks and kills people from any age group. From neonates to a hundred and four years old. Sick and well. weak and strong. It is heartbreaking to read the news every day. The whole world is grieving.

Many more NHS and Health Care Workers are also losing their lives to COVID-19. Every day brings news of another family coping with the loss of another dedicated nurse, doctor, surgeon, health care worker.

They have had to go out there and do their job. Add to these an army of postmen and women, bus drivers, shop workers, farmers and many other key workers who have no choice but to go into work and risk theirs or their family’s lives.

Just at the moment, I can see no end to this crisis.

Easter Bank Holiday Monday – Sowing Seeds of Courgette and Squash

COVID-19 News Update

Deaths in UK hospitals rose to 11,329 – up by 717in 24 hours

Our Prime Minister has been thanking the NHS for saving lives for weeks. Today he has thanked them for saving his life as he has left the hospital following his own personal fight against COVID-19

Courgette Zephyr F1 Hybrid

As promised yesterday I have made a start on sowing the squash this morning .I have sown the last three seeds of the Courgette Zephyr, an F1 Hybrid variety purchased from thompson-morgan.com. I have grown these successfully before. I have placed three seeds in a 7″ pot of moist general purpose compost. These seeds are best sown vertically I have found. I have enclosed the pot in a polythene bag and put it on the window sill. They should germinate in about 7 days and hopefully be flowering in June for an Autumn harvest.

This distinctive variety produces attractive, creamy-yellow cylindrical fruits with an unusual pale green tip. The strong, bushy plants of Courgette Zephyr produce fruits with a firm texture and a delicious nutty flavour if harvested regularly when no more than 6″ long.

Butternut Squash Hunter F1

Next seeds to be sown are six Butternut Squash Hunter, an F1 hybrid bought from Premier Seeds Direct. These fruits are a family favourite and I have treated them the same way as the courgette seeds.

Bred specifically for the UK and Northern European climate this variety delivers outstanding crops over a variety of UK summer conditions. Ready for harvesting up to four weeks earlier than other hybrids with fruits averaging 1kg with very high yields per plant.

Saturday 16th May 2020 – Update on the Courgettes and Squash – Laura bravely went and begged an old tyre from next doors skip and we have made a little garden for the squash and courgettes. There is a group of seven plants and I have high hopes for them. The seeds grew into very healthy plants and they lived on the window ledge until today.

Fingers crossed that we have seen the last of the frost but I have built up a protective surround of plastic covered netting with polythene bubble wrap. My only worry is overcrowding. I am hoping that the plants head for the skies and cling onto the netting.

Too Many Sad Stories

Children are losing parents
This is a global tragedy

“All the deaths are tragic, absolutely heartbreaking… but either protect bus drivers, posties, cabbies, shop workers, refuse collectors, etc or don’t send them out at all. ” Eamonn Holmes.

This quote caught my eye because my partner Rob is a postman. Eamonn Holmes was complaining about the lack of protective equipment provided to these workers who, although they are classed as key workers, are expected to go to work and risk their lives with little or no protection. I am in an older age group and advised to ‘Sheild’. I worry every time he goes out to work that he will contract the virus and I worry when he comes home that he will carry the virus to me.

We, as a country, were given a warning way back in January about the coming of this virus. As individuals, we were informed and could see for ourselves from news reports that action was required on a massive scale. Had the correct measures been taken at the end of January, many lives could have been saved.

Our health workers should have been provided with top of the range protective equipment. This country wasn’t prepared for a medical emergency on this scale. The emergency services had been cut to the bone in recent years both in numbers of health care personnel and the amount and quality of essential equipment provided. Everyone should have been told that they had to stay at home. Not told that they could pop out for a stroll or to walk their dog.

History will look back and say we failed. There are so many past examples of Pandemics killing millions of people. So many clever people saying “It’s not so much if it will happen as when” Why then weren’t we prepared?

Every day the number of deaths rises. Every day a family member is lost. The news is full of heartbreaking stories. Our doctors and nurses are dying. I am sorry that this post is so sad but it’s just the way I feel today.

Deaths are still rising. 7,978 people with COVID-19 have died in UK hospitals since the 6th of March.

Spring – Looking Forward

Hope springs eternal

“It’s barely two months since the first COVID-19 patients were diagnosed in the UK. And yet the number of cases has now exceeded 30,000. In the 16th Century, measles and smallpox were spread by Spanish Conquistadors to entire communities who had no prior immunity. Those viruses took 100 years to conquer the Americas. COVID-19 has taken 100 days to conquer the world.” Senior Sister Emma Barnes, Bradford Royal.

Its Friday 3rd April 2020. It is very difficult to think of anything positive to write about these days. My mind is still overwhelmed following the loss of Adam in February 2016. It is still the first thing I think about on waking and it will probably always be that way. However, in these scary days, I am also frightened for the safety of the rest of my family. Before, I thought I was one of many suffering from grief following a bereavement. Friends and family had been telling me to get out and about and start to enjoy life again. I believe that now the whole of humanity is feeling the same fear and sadness. Certainly, the vast majority are isolating as I was.

Along with the rest of mankind, I am living in hope of better things to come.

“How could we tire of hope

so much is in bud”

Denise Leverton

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-52144390

WHO – should wear a mask

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, US, used high-speed cameras and other sensors to assess precisely what happens after a cough or sneeze. They found that an exhalation generates a small fast-moving cloud of gas that can contain droplets of liquid of varying sizes – and that the smallest of these can be carried in the cloud over long distances. The study found that coughs can project liquid up to 6m away and that sneezes, which involve much higher speeds, can reach up to 8m away. The scientist who led the study, Prof Lydia Bourouiba of MIT, told me that she is concerned about the current concept of “safe distances”.

“What we exhale, cough or sneeze is a gas cloud that has high momentum that can go far, traps the drops of all sizes in it and carries them through the room,” she said. “So having this false idea of safety at one to two metres, that somehow drops will just fall to the ground at that distance is not based on what we have quantified, measured and visualised directly.” By David Shukman Science editor BBC

The above article was published today on BBC News online. This is frightening. We have been told since the start of this Pandemic that we don’t need to wear a surgical mask unless we are infected or caring for an infected person. Now, a month on, the WHO may be telling us that they have changed their minds and that may be wearing a mask may be as effective as distancing.

“it might be that wearing a mask is equally as effective or more effective than distancing.”

The World Health Health Organisation will let us know their decision tonight.

Should be very interesting

1,789 One Months Dead!!!

The War Against Covid-19

NHS Frontline Workers

The first death reported in the UK was 6th March 2020. It is now the 31st of March and BBC news reported today that 1,789 have died as a result of this pandemic. The deaths, 393 in the last 24hours, include people in the age range 18 – 104. It is less than a month since our shores were invaded by the Coronavirus that causes the disease scientists have named COVID-19. So named because it was first isolated in China at the end of December 2019. China, Italy and now Spain are the worst-hit countries but it seems no-one is safe from this virus.

We are living through history in the making. Future generations will read about this episode in our history like we read about the 1918 Spanish Flu that wiped out millions during the period following the first World War.

Hopefully, just like then, we can rebuild society. Lessons have to be learned about preparedness. I am hoping that all governments worldwide will think anew and consider seriously what is important about how we live our lives and how we treat our planet. The main lesson, as I see it, is to learn just how quickly we can respond to a crisis when we have to but also to accept what a massive mistake it is to cut back on services crucial to the survival of mankind. If we can respond this quickly to this pandemic why not in peacetime. This war should be a game-changer.

Fear and sadness are the prevailing feelings all over the world.

Saturday 28th March 2020 Three Months AC

My plan today was not to mention the terrible situation that is life on Earth today but to add a few plants that I have got ready to plant out in the garden when the weather warms up a little more.

This morning I read an article that says it all. I am leaving the link here. https://www.bbc.co.uk/stories-52

Potentilla Atrosanguinea – I bought this healthy little plant online from https://www.secretgardeningclub.co.uk along with a few others. It’s a shrubby plant that bears red flowers during June and July. I look forward to seeing it thrive in my garden. I received the plant a couple of weeks ago and potted it on to grow a little before it goes outside. The foliage is very attractive and the plant looks sturdy and well worth the couple of pounds I paid for it.

Potentilla is a genus containing over 300 species of annual, biennial and perennial herbaceous flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae. They are usually called cinquefoils in English. Potentilla are generally only found throughout the northern continents of the world, though some may even be found in montane biomes of the New Guinea Highlands. wiki

Erysimum Red Jep and Yellow Bird – Today I have planted the two hardy perennial Wallflowers from secret. I already have a Bowles Mauve and an un-named yellow variety, both from cuttings gifted to me by my sister. I love them both and so when I saw these available for £1.99 each I jumped at the chance to add them to my collection. I already have a few roots of Wallflowers grown either from seed or bare roots and I am very fond of the genus.

Wallflower Persian Carpet
Wallflowers

covid-19 The Pandemic

I have been told by my children not to dwell on yet another traumatic event that is happening in my life. However, as this is my diary, and that this ongoing event has significantly affected my life since February this year (2020), I feel it only right that I should include it in my diary.

I am seventy-five years old this year having been born in January 1945 and being fortunate in having been brought up in the post-war years. Although parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents were probably at the end of a terrible six years, as I child, I can remember no tales of wartime hardships and only have good memories of care and comfort. It is evident to me now that I and my peers were being protected from the horror that was World War II.

This Pandemic is my War. I have been using every method available to me to search and follow the global news as this pandemic evolves. This is one war I intend to know all about.

Today 24th March 2020 I have a new desktop computer as my old one has been out of action for some time. Writing my blog on my iPad hasn’t been so convenient so this is the first time I have been able to record the way I feel about the current tragedy. Me being me the best way to relieve stress is to write.

The whole scenario is playing out like the worst horror film ever. All over the world people are sick and dying. Yesterday, in my country, the UK, we have all been ordered to “Stay at home”. The Corona Virus, which causes COVID-19, a deadly disease that is new to the human race, is rampaging across the globe killing thousands. Modern medicine is useless against it and our health services are becoming overwhelmed by it.

If I believed in any God I could think of it as a cull. Clearing away the old and sick. Maybe its Mother Nature herself tidying up to clear the land of the weeds and to let the Earth breathe again eliminating the pollution caused by the human race. However, my rational self can see that it is what it is. A virus that has jumped from animals to humans and is causing havoc as it spreads. It is another in a long list of diseases that we have had to find a vaccine for. At present we have no medicine and no vaccine so our only defense is isolation.

Outside, Spring is filling the air with the scent of blossom, flowers are blooming, birds are singing and nest building. Nature is carrying on regardless and that is what the whole human race is trying to do. For those of us who survive the world is waiting.