New resources(under Self Care updated 4.4.20) and helpful information about the VIRUS see below
What the government statistics (stats for short) tell us about the VIRUS.
(updated 3.4.20) A personal view of whats happening to us all. Follow this short story.(Peter Robinson). The statistics are as of 9.00 am yesterday. You can download the story if you prefer here .Stats story 2 Apr20
Use this this link to skip to the Answer to this question but if you want to understand what its like in your area or your relatives area, hang on in here because what follows is about finding these elusive stats as they apply to you, if you are not familiar with internet stats.
Every day we get a BBC government update on TV (bring back Boris) in which various medical and public health experts give us statistics and explain what they plan to do about the VIRUS. They are questioned and give vague answers to questions about the death rate and levels of cases and testing for the VIRUS. I find this very frustrating and you may do as well. I shout at the TV but they dont listen to me.
The COVID-19 Dashboard
Someone once said ‘there are lies, damned lies then statistics’. I have been following statistics for over 50 years and following the Govt stats about the VIRUS published each day since 1st March, on the Government web site at COVID-19 Dashboard. because I want to get a sense of whether things are improving or not but statistics don’t always give you the answers. The Dashboard can be daunting until you know what you see (a bit like when you take your first ride in a car as a learner). Here are the basics.
When you go to the Dashboard (just click on the COVID link above) you see 3 sets of information on one page. On the left are the numbers so far, across the UK of cases confirmed (there are a lot we dont know about), and deaths, and an alarming map showing the rise in cases and rise in deaths since the 1st March. In the middle you see a map of England (the stats behind the map are only for England) with Green dots on it for the 4 UK regions. England is the biggest dot with 24,638 cases. I will come back to the dots shortly.
On the right hand side of the page you can see the actual numbers of cases for all the NHS England regions and the local authority areas and cities within them, listed in order of cases. London is not shown (8,341 cases so far) because it is split into its local authorities districts in this list. If you click on any of the blue numbers in this list the map explodes into a mass of Blue dots. You can use your mouse wheel to gradually reduce or enlarge the size of the map and the Left click on your mouse moves the map around. So much for the basics.
Go back to the map now and reduce it until you see the Green dots again then increase by one step. You will now see 7 Blue dots which are the 7 NHS regions. The second largest is the Midlands (London region has the biggest dot) and if you click on the dot you will see the numbers of cases (4139 in a box) and a bright blue line surrounding the region. You will also see Nottingham and Leicester in the region. If you increase the size one more step you will see Nottingham surrounded by lots of other Blue spots. If you click on Nottingham it will become surrounded by the blue ring and the numbers for Nottingham city area (120 confirmed cases). If you click on the bigger dot to the NW of Nottingham you get the bigger ring of Nottinghamshire county area ( 275 cases). If you go down the list of places on the right you will find Nottingham near the bottom. So to look for areas you are interested in scroll down the list on the right of the Dashboard page or find it on the map, if the data has been collected.
Now you have got the hang of things you can look at any blue dot in the country.
What does this all mean ?
I have collected data for every day, compared changes across the country and the Midlands in particular, day by day, and looked at data trends over 10 day periods, to arrive at my conclusions.
The Graph – Look at the graph on the Dashboard page which covers the whole of March. Its very steep as it rises showing changes in numbers of cases day by day. If you were on Everest this would look this steep, more than 45 deg in angle ( a ‘1 in 1’ slope a ). Is it as bad as that you might say, impossible to climb or get down from.? Put it into perspective. If you were driving along a country lane in Wales or the Lake District and you saw a steep hill approaching you would see a sign at the bottom saying how steep the hill was. If it said ‘1 in 10’ it would be rising (or falling) 1 metres for every 10 metres you drove, an angle of about 6 deg in slope which would not bother you much. If it said ‘1 in 5’, that’s over 11 deg of slope which might worry you if you had to stop. A ‘1’in 2′ hill is over 26 deg in slope. The steepest street in England is in Bristol with a 22 deg slope which is walkable if you are fit with frequent stops. So this curve looks bad but that’s because the bottom scale of the graph covers the whole month of March and not much was happening until 10th March when the first deaths were recorded. You can actually change the bottom scale of the graph if you look at the top of it. Starting the graph at 22nd March where daily cases were just under 1000 and total deaths were just above 300, across the whole of the UK, the slope is a lot flatter but it began to rise slightly faster then. So always check the scales of graphs to get a more accurate view of problems.
Daily changes in cases – For the 10 days from 13th March to 22nd March the average rise in daily cases for the UK and England was about 26% so the VIRUS was doubling itself in daily cases every 4 days. In London it was about 35% (cases doubling every 2.5 days). In Nottinghamshire the average rise was 33% (doubling in 3 days). See below for other close counties and the effect of the crackdown after 10 days from 23rd March (a very strong response from London).
|Avg 10 day Daily % rise||
Even if there were no new cases a trend would not be established for a further 2 weeks and this is what the government is expecting to see as a flattening of the slope of the graph. If there are no more new cases for 10 days the figures above go to ZERO (not all at once!).
Number of deaths – There is a time delay between the rise in cases and the effect on deaths. The incubation period of the VIRUS is around 1-2 weeks, mostly 5 days, before symptoms appear so at that point an individual will be isolating from others and if they get worse and enter hospital it may take time before death occurs. So while cases may decline, deaths will rise. As of yesterday the death rate is 8.8% of cases in England with 2166 deaths recorded.
One impact on me, apart from daily isolation, is that we have postponed our holiday in Shropshire. For the first 10 days I recorded, there were 2 cases at the start with no new cases then in the second 10 day period the numbers rose quickly. It has actually saved me some money as I was able to carry forward the money I had paid.
I hope you found this story useful. Let me know how it is with you. You can get me on email@example.com
Helpful information about the VIRUS
The Coronavirus/COVID-19 has changed our lives for the forseeable future so we provide information and advice which we hope will be helpful to you. There are many kinds of virus such as Flu but in this information we are talking about the 2019 virus which we shall call it ‘VIRUS’ for short. There is a leaflet CORONAVIRUS advice 5.3.20 Carers Council prepared by us which you can download which says more about the WHY of taking precautions listed below. The information here is as up to date as we can since we follow the daily government announcements. Use the links below to choose your topic and move down the page.
|Symptoms of Coronavirus||Basics of Protection||Social Isolation|
|Social Distancing||Permitted Reasons||Carer Experiences|
|Self Care & Resources||Mental Health Specific advice|
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THE CORONAVIRUS
The following symptoms may develop in the 1 -2 weeks after exposure to someone who has the VIRUS infection:
- A persistent cough
- A high temperature. Among adults, the average body temperature ranges from 97°F (36.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C). Adults typically have a fever if their body temperature increases to 100.4°F (38°C). This is called a low grade fever. A high grade fever happens when your body temperature is 103°F (39.4°C) or above.
- Shortness of breath
If you think you have these symptoms DO NOT GO TO YOUR GP or A&E or other health centre. Ring 111 for advice and keep isolated at home (See below for Isolation advice).
The latest advice and developments on the Covid-19 situation can be found on the Government web site at www.gov.uk/
- Washing hands should already be part of your hygiene routines, BUT YOU NEED TO DO MORE NOW
- Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser, more often – do this for at least 20 seconds (As long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday!!). Sanitisers tend to dry out the hands so make sure you have good hand cream available (works for men and women) .
- Wash your hands before you go out and before you eat
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work or after shopping or after using public transport
- When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands which will then be contaminated)
- Put used tissues in a covered bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
AVOID touching eyes, nose and mouth if your hands are not clean (washed as above) because hands touch many surfaces, particularly when you are out and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the VIRUS to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the VIRUS can enter your body and can make you sick.
GOING OUT AND SOCIAL ISOLATION
The Government has asked us all to stay at home as far as we can.We are allowed out for certain reasons (see below).
Those who are vulnerable because they have long term conditions such as Diabetes, Heart problems, Respiratory illness, and Cancer as examples, have lowered immune systems making them prone to being infected by viruses so they should isolate themselves at home or where they are being treated outside the NHS (such as the various kinds of care homes). The Government As far as they can they should arrange support for themselves. Organisations are being set up in Local Hubs to provide support to those who are finding it difficult to get support and those who are lonely (and in more danger than most of us, of getting depressed.) We are trying to get further details of these hubs and will provide those as they develop (see below).
Those who suspect they or family members have been infected by the Virus, or its worsening should seek prompt medical attention. If it’s not an emergency, contact NHS 111 online.
ADVICE IF YOU ARE NOT USED TO USING A PROBLEM SOLVING ‘TICK BOX’ SYSTEM.
Using the NHS 111 online service takes the strain off the direct ‘NHS 111’ telephone line. If you use the NHS 111 online service you will find you are being asked a number of questions which the services need to know the answers to in order to help you get the service you need in your area. There is a link at the top of the first page in the YELLOW Coronavirus bar which says’ Find out what you have to do if you have the symptoms‘. When you click this it takes you to a page where you are asked to ‘Check if you have Coronavirus symptoms’. After that you will be asked further questions about where you live and whether you are Male or Female and your age. If by then you are confused or frustrated, stop and use the direct ‘111’ telephone service where you can speak to someone about your worries.
If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. If it is an emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999 and inform the call handler or operator that you or your relative have Coronavirus symptoms.
All routine medical and dental appointments will have been cancelled by now but if not consider doing so whilst this pandemic lasts. If you are concerned or have been asked to attend in person within the period you are home isolating, discuss this with your medical contact first (for example, your GP, local hospital or outpatient service), using the number they have provided. If your concerns are related to your coronavirus symptoms contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.
HOLIDAYS – If you have booked a holiday and have already paid a deposit or even paid in full, but you cant go now because of the VIRUS, then try this – it worked for me. I rang the holiday company to ask if they would move my holiday date to later in the year, which they did and it saved me money because the new date was out of season.!!
When you are out, maintain at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and anyone around you. Get used to doing this. The reason for this is that if you are close to a person who is infected and they are coughing or sneezing, they release fluid droplets into the air around them which you may inhale into your system and you will be infected. Even people who do not show the symptoms because the VIRUS may be incubating in their system may still pass across the infection to you .
If members of the same family live together , and one member of the family is infected by the VIRUS, that person should as isolated as possible in a different room, and family members should follow the Social Distancing advice at home as well as outside. More detailed advice on families dealing with infections at home and lots more, is available on the GOV web site
PERMITTED REASONS FOR GOING OUT
You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
- any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
Resources – In this section you will find resources we find or get sent which may help you cope with whats going on right now. Mental health specific advice is below this section.
- Some useful and friendly advice about the VIRUS aimed at those with Eating Disorders or caring for those with the condition, BUT is also useful for anybody else. I tried it (Peter). See the ‘First Steps for Coping’ here and Save it you want. Its FREE.
- Useful advice on Coronavirus is here with 10 tips. It’s not repeated elsewhere on our site so have a look – its worth it – it was to me.(Peter)
- A simplified guide to the Coronavirus with images to help understand Coronavirus explained 29Mar20
- A Mind guide for those with mental health conditions and helping someone else with a mental health problem, plus many other topics. NEW 3.4.20
- A Gov.UK guide to Mental Health and Wellbeing for someone with a condition and anybody supporting them which is very practical and down-to-earth. NEW 3.4.20
- Action for Happiness. A happy calendar for April with lots of inspiration and activity to help you cope. Also previous month’s calendars. NEW 4.4.20
- Mental Health Foundation. Help and advice on looking after your mental health and well being when staying at home. NEW 4.4.20
MENTAL HEALTH SPECIFIC ADVICE Peter, the WebMaster has looked at the NHS site mentioned below. He gives some comments. Get in touch if you want)
Hospital and Service User Services Advice
SITUATION – Your relative is in a Notts Healthcare Trust hospital – the Notts healthcare Trust phone lines are open Monday to Friday. The best place to get advice about contacting or visiting your loved one is to ring the Ward they are on or their Care Co-ordinator. The VIRUS is going to be around for a long time so if you dont have that information, get it at the first opportunity. Confidentiality rules should not get in the way of getting that information. If you are having trouble with that get in touch with us. See our Contacts page.
SITUATION – Your relative is being supported in the community by Trust staff – if you are worried about how your loved one is coping in this situation you should be able to discuss it with your loved one’s Care Co-ordinator. If you don’t have contact with that person or team then you need your loved one’s permission (particularly if they are on a Mental Health Section) to establish a link. To get that you will need to have a conversation with your loved one about how you can help them by having that team relationship and deal with any concerns they have about things like confidentiality. Once established (and you have contact details) you should be able to talk openly with the team, in confidence (they will not divulge the content of the conversation. Neither will they give you information about your loved one’s treatment without your loved one’s permission).See our Contacts page if you want help with that.
Mental Health & well-being Advice
There is a really good source of information on the NHS conditions web site. This is a big site covering every health condition but there is a specific section on Mental Health & Wellbeing. Here is a bit about what it contains so you can aim for something specific to you or your loved one. Here are some of the main parts of the site. On the right of each part is a list of all the other parts you can click on.:
- mental wellbeing audio guides
- low mood & depression
- anxiety control training
- overcoming sleep problems
- low confidence & assertiveness
- unhelpful thinking
- mood assessment – this is an 18 point questionnaire which is worth doing because you get a review at the end with pointers to advice on where you can get further help. I tried it.(Peter)
CARER EXPERIENCES updated 3.4.20
WORK – Peter’s son runs his own Dry Stone and Mortar Walling business, often in the countryside. This is his livelihood which helps farmers do their jobs – he cannot work from home and socially distances himself from his customers. Now some new customers are saying ‘we want you to do the work but not at the moment but get in touch when things ease up’. At least it’s work in the future.
- Sandra talks about her shopping experience “I managed to get another Tesco slot last night by logging in at 12 midnight exactly – had to queue, but got through eventually and got a slot. I tried the other day at 12.15 a.m. and I couldn’t get through.”
- Peter says that Sainsburys, Morrisons and Aldi all have systems of restricting shopper numbers through queues, and till control creating social distancing.
- Colin says “‘Morrisons have screens at the checkouts to protect staff.”
QUESTIONS If you have any questions about what’s here so far or you want to give us a carer experience of coping with the VIRUS, contact Peter our WebMaster at firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE COVER ABOUT THE VIRUS Any ideas to Peter on the email link above.