Test and trace needs to be better

Aberdeen is going into its third week of lockdown now. Nicola Sturgeon announced today that although cases have fallen here there are still too many to lift the restrictions. According to local papers the city council does not support the continued lockdown. I feel some sympathy for the city council and my view is the… Continue reading Test and trace needs to be better

Aberdeen back in lockdown

Another lockdown has been imposed on Aberdeen today after a local outbreak starting at The Hawthorn Bar on Holburn Street. This is actually very close to us but none of us have been there or indeed gone to any pubs for quite some time. There's a rumour circulating, and I'm unsure of the veracity of… Continue reading Aberdeen back in lockdown

A bird feeder and 50% off eating out

The bird feeder in our backyard fell apart so we replaced it with one of those feeders that sticks to the outside of your window. They're made in the UK by Meripac. I stuck it on the window yesterday and within hours there were birds there. Here's a picture of it with three birds (the… Continue reading A bird feeder and 50% off eating out

Imperial College vaccine trial

The Imperial College vaccine trial begins this week and of all the vaccine candidates being researched at the moment this is the one I most hope will be successful because it will be easy and cheap to make it in large volumes. It's also a very new way to create a vaccine. Professor Robin Shattock… Continue reading Imperial College vaccine trial

Did the virus come from a lab?

There's a conspiracy theory that the new coronovirus which has brought the world to a halt was engineered by Chinese scientists in a lab in China. This has received heightened media attention in recent weeks after the former head of MI6 publicly supported the idea. While it seems unlikely someone deliberately created and unleashed the… Continue reading Did the virus come from a lab?

British test and trace and scientific experts

There are some letters to the editor in the Guardian about getting a test for Covid-19 in the UK and they sound more like episodes of Little Britain than a "world-beating" testing system. One person went to a drive-through testing facility and was given a testing kit and told to swab her tonsils herself. How… Continue reading British test and trace and scientific experts

Adventures of a virus in a hospital in South Africa

A hospital in South Africa recently published a remarkable account of how a single patient in the emergency department (ED) introduced Covid-19 to the hospital which then managed to spread to 119 confirmed cases by 30th April. The first patient, P1, appeared at the ED for a Covid-19 test on March 9 after recently returning… Continue reading Adventures of a virus in a hospital in South Africa

Union Street is closed to cars | Pics by the River Dee

The Aberdeen City Council was awarded a £1.76million grant to widen pavements, install temporary bike lanes, and build one-way walking systems - all to create space for social distancing during the pandemic. I cycled into the city centre this morning and they've already closed part of Union Street to cars and buses (the part between… Continue reading Union Street is closed to cars | Pics by the River Dee

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but in defence of Dominic Cummings …

It pains me to say this but I have some sympathy for Dominic Cummings right now. It has emerged today that he travelled from London to Durham sometime in March when his wife was showing symptoms of coronavirus so that his 4-year-old child could be near extended family for support. People are now calling for… Continue reading I can’t believe I’m saying this, but in defence of Dominic Cummings …

Who is responsible for the UK’s testing strategy?

The virologist and director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Peter Piot, gives a good interview in this podcast about his experience of catching COVID-19. He first began feeling unwell in mid-March but couldn't get a test. For reasons unknown to all of us the government was rationing testing at the early… Continue reading Who is responsible for the UK’s testing strategy?

A walk in the cemetery and frustration with the council

We're allowed to go out for exercise more than once per day now provided we maintain social distancing. We often don't go out at all because we do Joe Wicks' PE class daily and we also have the trampoline but it's nice to explore a bit on the weekend. The weather was very strange today.… Continue reading A walk in the cemetery and frustration with the council

The future of meat

Eating animals poses a major global health risk and the costs are enormous and they’re not borne only by the meat-eaters themselves nor by the animals but by everybody on the planet whether they eat meat or not. I say this because we’ve seen this over and over again that epidemics and pandemics have come… Continue reading The future of meat

Would you agree to quarantine in a “facility”?

There was a good article in The Times last weekend - Coronavirus: The new rhythms of life will jolt and jar as we try to live with this horrible teenager. In particular, I thought it would be good to get people's thoughts on this quote: “In Asia we are doing mandatory quarantining,” says Ben Cowling,… Continue reading Would you agree to quarantine in a “facility”?

City mobility index and the adaptability of kids

Citymapper has a mobility index which gives a graphical illustration of how locked down cities are over time. The data comes from public transport trips planned in the Citymapper app. According to this index, the two cities moving more than any other are Seoul and Hong Kong but both are still way down than is… Continue reading City mobility index and the adaptability of kids

Testing capacity in the UK and cruciferous vegetables

The UK seems to be finally catching up to Germany in terms of testing capacity, albeit a couple of months late. I'm not 100% sure why it has taken so long but the government here says it's because we don't or didn't have much of a diagnostics industry in the UK. I think there's some… Continue reading Testing capacity in the UK and cruciferous vegetables

Contact tracing apps, escape room games, and two interviews

Ben uses a very old smartphone of mine, an iPhone 4S. He's never been able to download any apps to it or to his Mac due to a problem with his Apple ID. It's not something that has particularly bothered him because he's a bit of a Luddite and only uses the phone as a… Continue reading Contact tracing apps, escape room games, and two interviews

Daffodils, jumping shot, and a roundup of the news

I ventured out for some exercise today. Mostly I stay in and just do The Body Coach live streaming in the morning followed by a trampoline bounce in the afternoon. It's a lovely spring day today and the daffodils are in full bloom so it must be time for a jumping shot. Here's a round-up… Continue reading Daffodils, jumping shot, and a roundup of the news

What happens next?

I'm sorry if everyone is getting sick of reading about the pandemic but a paper was published in Science yesterday which is worth sharing. It's called Projecting the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 through the postpandemic period. This is important because there's been a lot of short-term thinking with sudden closures of schools and businesses but… Continue reading What happens next?