The Omicron Variant of Covid-19 in Cornwall

Hospital admissions due to Covid-19 here in Cornwall have been reducing, but it looks as though that is about to change. Compare admissions into Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust hospitals over the last 3 months:

with those across South West England as a whole:

Admissions across the West Country are now at their highest level for over 12 months, and the (delayed) numbers in Cornwall have now started to rise as well. As indeed have the nationwide figures:

[Edit – March 21st]

The comments below show the continuing increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations over the last couple of weeks. After a break over the weekend today’s data has just been released. Here are the nationwide numbers:

Here are the rolling weekly case numbers per 100,000 population across Cornwall as a whole:

As you can see, cases in Cornwall 5 days ago are currently running 50% higher than the current nationwide average. Zooming in further several MSOA’s have case rates over 1,600, and the rates in both Saltash and Par are over 2,000:

Further west the case rate in Helston is now over 1,800 :

Watch this space!

The Julie et Jim Power Cut Show

I discovered at around 9:55 this morning that Julie Skentelbery was going to be interviewing Scott Mann, our local Conservative MP here in North Cornwall, on her BBC Radio Cornwall programme a few minutes later.

More in hope than expectation I dialled the number that had just been announced and mentioned that I had already asked Scott some questions about the recent power cuts via email, but had yet to receive an answer.

Advance to around 19 minutes 45 seconds into the recording of Julie’s show on BBC Sounds to discover what happened thereafter:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0bl94m0

The recording is also available to download via the BBC Sounds mobile app.

Note that one of the points Scott made was that “storage is the problem”.

Hear, hear Scott!

Yours truly,

Jim in Davidstow

The Omicron Variant in Cornwall

Confirmed Covid-19 cases across Cornwall have been slowly decreasing recently, but that is about to change. Here is the current national case rate graph:

Here too is some recent news from London:

Of course we don’t have many towns here in North Cornwall, but a few miles up the A39 from Davidstow the (5 days delayed) rolling weekly case rate in the Bude MSOA has just crept above 800 again:

[Edit – December 29th]

After a break in reporting over the Christmas holiday the UK Government is issuing Covid-19 data again. There has been a big jump in UK wide cases today, no doubt partly due to some catching up after Xmas:

Continue reading “The Omicron Variant in Cornwall”

A Big Swell Hits North Cornwall

The Magic Seaweed surf forecast for today promised the arrival of a new long period swell:

https://twitter.com/jim_hunt/status/1459833492804620293

Plan A for today involved getting in the water and out back before said swell arrived.

When that failed to materialise plan B involved heading for spot M with video recorder and tripod in rucsack.

When that failed to materialise plan C involved heading for high tide Crackington Haven. When that did materialise here are the sights that met our sore eyes:

https://twitter.com/jim_hunt/status/1459989890049925132

We also recorded some moving pictures, including sound effects:

https://twitter.com/jim_hunt/status/1460182222351351811
https://twitter.com/jim_hunt/status/1460360741643599886

Finally, for the moment at least, the almost imperceptible damage to my left arm after the almost undetectable injection of what ultimately turned out to be a dose of the Moderna mRNA Covid-19 vaccine for my booster jab:



Autumn Coping With Covid-19 in Cornwall

For the previous episode in the ongoing saga of the Covid-19 pandemic here in Cornwall please see:

The Covid-19 Holiday Season in Cornwall

Schools have gone back and the clocks change in a couple of weeks, but Covid-19 is still with us. In actual fact it’s on the increase again. Both nationally:

and here in the Camelford MSOA, where we now find ourselves in the top DHSC category with a case rate of 889.8 per 100,000 people per week:

Just down the A39 “Atlantic Highway” in Wadebridge the rate is now over 1,000.

Further west the top spot goes to Camborne West, with a case rate of 946.4:

As you can see from the maps there are several other area across Cornwall in the 800+ category, whilst across Cornwall as a whole the average case rate is 539.5, an increase of 15.6% compared to a week ago:

[Edit – October 22nd]

Further to the BBC report in the comments below, the The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust is “tweeting” much the same story:

They are also providing their current Covid-19 statistics:

https://twitter.com/RCHTWeCare/status/1451572071834734595

The UK Government statistics show Covid-19 cases still rising quickly across the nation as a whole:

Across Cornwall as a whole the rolling weekly case rate is still almost unchanged at 546.8 per 100,000 population:

Here in the Camelford area the case rate has fallen to 528.3. However the rate in Bude has risen to 924.6, whilst Bodmin West has fallen slightly to 954.1:

Further south Par is now home to an outbreak with a case rate over 1,000:

The BBC reports today that:

MPs are asking for help from the government to deal with a “perfect storm” in the health system.

There have been more than 100 patients waiting to be seen in an emergency department designed for 40, and 25 ambulances waiting outside.

The hospital trust’s medical director said the situation was improving slowly.

Steve Double, MP for Newquay and St Austell, said: “It is regrettably a sort of perfect storm of a number of factors coming together that is creating this unprecedented level of demand on our system.”

Mr Double said he had spoken with health minister Ed Argar who was “asking for further details to see exactly what is going on and what further help could be made available”.

Cherilyn Mackrory, MP for Truro and Falmouth, said she was “acutely aware of the current situation”.

She added: “Whatever the hospital need to alleviate this pressure, I will do to try and help them.



The Covid-19 Holiday Season in Cornwall

The school summer holiday season is drawing to a close, and August Bank Holiday is almost upon us. Matt Hancock was one of many hundreds of thousands to travel down here from up country earlier this month:

The effect on Covid-19 cases here in North Cornwall is all too evident. The Camelford and Davidstow area is now in the top category for cases:

However we are still a long way behind Newquay East, which today broke the 2,000 cases per 100,000 people per week barrier:

Here once again is the “heat map” showing the age distribution of cases across Cornwall as a whole for the current wave of Covid-19:

The upper limit on the 7 day “rolling rate” legend really requires updating. In the 15-19 age group the rate has now reached 5,080.6. For 20-24 year olds it is 2,419.4.

The Post G7 Covid-19 Outbreak in Cornwall

We commented yesterday on the current outbreak of Covid-19 cases further west in Cornwall than Davidstow, and suggested that the cause may be the recent G7 Summit in St. Ives, which finished on Sunday.

Here is yesterday’s map:

Together with a “heatmap” showing the age distribution of cases across Cornwall as a whole:

The far right of the image suggests that during this so called “third wave” of Covid-19 cases, the 15 to 24 age range has been the hardest hit. Possibly that’s because this section of the population has yet to be vaccinated?

The official data for June 10th have also just been released, and this is how the latest map looks:

Truro, Redruth and Mevagissey are no longer pure white, as they were on June 9th. A total of 27 cases in St. Ives doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s an enormous percentage increase on the previous 7 days.

Watch this space!

Cornwall Council 2021 Elections

All the current Davidstow parish councillors have been re-elected without opposition, so we have had to look further afield for some election day excitement. On Thursday instead of our usual gentle stroll to the other side of Tremail we had to take a drive in Lisa, our trusty Nissan LEAF electric vehicle:


We spent yesterday “live Tweeting” the election results from across Cornwall as they arrived, including this “shock news” from our recently boundary changed local district:

As you may be able to surmise from the above, we weren’t too impressed with the ultimate conclusion across Cornwall as a whole:

With a 37% share of the “popular vote” the Conservative Party now has a 7 seat majority on the “redistricted” Cornwall Council. With a 9% share of the vote the Green Party has but a single seat. Personally I cannot comprehend what the farmers and fisherfolk of Kernow were thinking when they voted for someone sporting a true blue rosette.

Perhaps somebody can enlighten me?

Davidstow.info on BBC Radio Cornwall

I saw this “Tweet” from BBC Radio Cornwall’s Laurence Reed yesterday:

Since I’d already been writing to my MP about the probable problems of policing the new Covid-19 lockdown exercise guidance revealed by Boris Johnson over the weekend, the thought of asking Shaun Sawyer a question or two was irresistible! I duly dialled the listed number and was told to expect a call back once Shaun Sawyer was on air later in the afternoon.

Sure enough a couple of hours later I was listening to what Shaun had to say when my mobile phone rang. Now listening via my phone I heard Laurence frighten Shaun off by asking him about his worst ever date! Not long after that Laurence said my name. You can hear what happened after that by fast forwarding the following recording on BBC Sounds to 1:53:45

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08brmvq

The recording will be available for another 29 days, and during that time I’ll endeavour to post a more complete transcript below. For the moment here’s an extract to give you a flavour:

Jim – I was hoping to speak to our Chief Constable, but he’s gone… Can I make my point?

Laurence – Please do.

Jim – Lots of other people have made all sorts of other points that I was endeavouring to get across to our Chief Constable, but I’ll just quote one from Twitter, not written by me. He was “tweeting” to Shaun, saying “What do you make of the ill thought out, poor legislation made in haste by our Government?”. So my question would have been “Has the Government consulted either the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall or indeed the Chief Constable’s organisation before implementing these hasty, ill thought out measures that all of us in Devon and Cornwall are having to put up with?”

He’s gone, so I can’t ask him!

Here is the output of James Annan’s Covid-19 epidemic model, comparing what actually happened with what would have happened if the UK lockdown had been imposed one week earlier:

To summarise, that’s 11,000 simulated deaths if lockdown had taken place on March 16th, instead of around 43,000 actual deaths following lockdown on March 23rd.

Watch this space!

Covid-19 Lockdown “Lifted” in Cornwall

As the editor of Davidstow.info on Monday May 11th I wrote to Scott Mann, the Member of Parliament for North Cornwall, to express this view:

How on Earth does HM Government expect Devon and Cornwall Police to enforce the rules that from Wednesday “Driving from London to surf” in North Cornwall is OK but then “staying in a tent, B&B, hotel or second home” is punishable by an increased fine?

What if somebody drives down from up country in a traditional VW “surf bus” for example, and kips in the back for a few nights?

Scott Mann’s Parliamentary Assistant replied on his behalf as follows:

It would not be permissible for someone to travel down in a camper and stay the night.

In any case, the Government is largely relying on the public’s common sense – the regulations are there to provide some clarity. It is not, to my mind or yours I imagine, a good idea for people to travel across the UK and risk spreading this disease! Hopefully the public can deploy sufficient common sense for it not to be too great an issue.

The police are doing a brilliant job of enforcing these restrictions, and from following their social media I can see they have taken numerous actions to prevent people from breaking the regulations. Whilst they cannot stop everybody, they can certainly act as a disincentive.

I hope this helps.

Subsequently the Davidstow.info Twitter feed expressed this sentiment yesterday morning:

Yesterday we also reported the following:

Q.E.D. Scott and Selaine?