A theme discussed frequently by speakers was that the pandemic is amplifying previously existing inequalities.
Author: Carol Westall
Matt Hancock is under pressure to apologise to long Covid patients, after an investigation by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus revealed that some are waiting over 100 days for treatment. Hancock must apologise.
”Yesterday Archbishop Tutu got his jab months after young and healthy people in the UK. Why, ask yourself why we have limited supplies. Why the UK’s stance on IP hoarding and overbuying meant that someone over 80 got his vaccine on the 18 May 2021. Also we took part in the AstraZeneca trial, the Johnson and Johnson trial and Pfizer trials and others, yet we were not guaranteed access. So much for the Commonwealth.”
“There are hundreds of millions of unused doses, get them into arms now, to reduce mortality.”
“The government must rethink its flawed approach to international travel and focus on preventing the importation of variants, which scientists agree pose the biggest risk to our hard-won progress against Covid-19.”
“Incredibly short-sighted” to open up international travel given airport queues and Indian variant concerns
“The government must rethink its flawed approach and discourage overseas holidays while providing proper financial support to the travel industry. This will give time to introduce the measures needed for airports to cope with additional demand and reduce the health risks posed to passengers and staff.”
Covid passports, sporting events and international travel: more from the All Party Parliamentary Group on coronavirus
“The other dimension .., is what these passports will be used for. Will they be used for international travel, will there be a matter of restricting … activities like going to a football game, will they be used to restrict everyday activities like going to a bar, going to a restaurant, will they be used to restrict essential activities like going to a supermarket or to a job. These have very different implications.
In this article I limit my discussion to the effect of the bill in public health and medicine. Dr Hilary Aked focussed on serious violence partnerships, about the health context and what the bill means for health workers.
“If I was in a lift with Boris Johnson I would say if he had responded to Covid-19 with the speed that he responded to the Europe Super League proposals then we would be in a much better place.”
Professor Deenan Pillay said that the five weeks between major steps was a sensible move. However, the PM said that the decision of the easing of when the steps would occur is irreversible, then this is not sensible. Pillay said flexibility should be maintained; if there is any increase in the number of infections then a slowdown in easing restrictions is required.
An estimated 56,000 people in the North East were living with Long Covid in the four-week period ending 6 March 2021, according to new ONS figures published this week. There are a total of 1.1 million people living with the condition across the UK.
Jim Beirne, MBE marks a 21 year career milestone as he steps down as Chief Executive of Live Theatre. The composer and musician, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from Northumbria University in 2011 and an MBE in 2012.
Tony Bird has been a firefighter for most of his life. He started work, aged 16, as a miner and soon after he followed in the footsteps of his own Grandad Joe, who was a Retained Firefighter at Chopwell Fire Station back in the 1950s and 60s. Chopwell is now the only retained fire station in Tyne and Wear.
Inspired by Hexham’s heritage and funded by Historic England, Animating Hexham aims to discover stories and evoke memories of the town’s high streets and buildings, using these to inspire animations and conversations about Hexham’s heritage.
An inspiring woman, young mum and student from the North East who has experienced the trauma of abuse, addiction, and the death of a loved one will be motivating young women as she recounts her journey to success as part of International Women’s Day (IWD). With the theme ‘Choose To Challenge’ Monique Wild is a fitting speaker. Monique Wild, […]
The UK has recorded over 3.9 million positive cases of Covid-19; of which more than 15,449 live in Northumberland. This means that, at least 390,000 people in the UK and 1,545 in Northumberland will continue to live with debilitating effects of Long Covid for many months, if not years, to come. Long Covid is the hidden health crisis of the pandemic.
The session ended in some optimism in response to the final question from the Chair of the APPG coronovirus “What is your greatest worry for the shorter and medium term”.
“Trust would be improved with local discussions within communities. One example was Bristol and a suggestion of mobile vaccination centres with the involvement of religious leaders and local organisations in discussions. Money could be ring fenced to organisations so that they can create some trust within their care organisations to answer questions directly. She thought that hearing the same message from someone in your community could change someone’s mind.”
The issue of children being a vector for the virus is important, with a huge impact on education and schools re-opening. “Don’t forget the bubbles”, produced by a team globally recognized Paediatric Clinicians, suggests that transmission dynamics in children appear very different for Covid-19 to flu
People with Long Covid will be taught the breathing techniques of top tenors to help them overcome symptoms in a new NHS England therapy. Imperial College and English National Opera (ENO) teamed together for this programme in partnership with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The programme uses the techniques used for singers to improve quality of breath and help manage the anxiety that breathlessness often produces. Singing is shown to help retrain breathing, so ENO Breathe is using lullabies and singing exercises to help improve those with shortness of breath.
The evidence given was compelling and heart wrenching. It showed a lack of belief from some people, sadly including teachers and health care professionals. Schools ask for proof of the illness but of course, there isn’t any. What do parents do with a new illness?
“As a 17-year-old Black Scottish working class girl, I decided I wanted to be an artistic director because I longed to work in community – with a team, with artists, with a place and with audiences. Northern Stage is exemplary at this with its commitment to its local and regional community…”
Without patients the new Nightingale hospitals might just win the mythical Florence Nightingale award from ‘Yes Minister’.
Will todays parliamentary debate be the first step in preventing people with Long Covid believing they are forgotten and left behind?
“There is nothing mild about Long Covid. Take Jane. She emailed me to say she’s 32, and was previously healthy and fit. Not your stereotypical person ‘at risk’ from coronavirus. Long Covid has affected her since April. She now has neurocognitive and mobility problems, and has crushing fatigue. Her partner, she told me, “has essentially become a full-time carer”. She’s not unique, she’s not an outlier – lots of people like Jane have emailed me.”
Long Covid can destroy the quality of life, the ability to walk, work or eat without difficulty. It presents as a range of different symptoms suffered by people weeks or months after being infected, some of whom weren’t particularly ill with the virus in the first place. Fatigue is the most common problem, but breathlessness, a cough that won’t go away, hearing and eyesight problems, headaches and loss of smell and taste have all been reported.
“Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every time you ache
Every sound you make
We watch over you….
Oh don’t you fear, ICU is here
When your poor heart aches
And your life’s at stake…. “
The situation may not have been so dire if the PM had taken note of Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, chair of the All-Party Group on Coronavirus who submitted an interim report on the coronavirus pandemic on December 3, 2020.
With cases once again rising across the country combined with the relaxation of restrictions over Christmas, we can already expect another deadly surge in cases early in the new year. The NAO’s worrying findings, however, raise the prospect of further spikes throughout 2021 and contradict the government’s claim that we will be ‘back to normal after Easter”.
We have seen images and videos of trucks at a standstill, unable to cross the border. BBC News 21/12/2020 reported: ‘The government and trade groups have warned of “serious disruption” after France blocked arrivals of UK passengers for 48 hours over concerns about the new coronavirus variant. Freight lorries cannot cross by sea or through […]
Henry Dancer Days is a charity supporting children with cancer and helping their families with life changing essentials. This includes providing support with physiotherapy equipment to help with winter heating bills, and even buying tablets and mobile phones enabling the young people to have a crucial connection with loved ones during their long spells in hospital getting treatment.