By Bom

A Welcome Sight

So nice to see these flowers appear (aster?) given that part of the garden is pretty empty at the moment. And yes, we did have heavy rain again for an hour or so this morning. Then the sun came out, which was sooooo nice to see, and I did some tidying up in the garden on a reasonably mild day. 

Day 221 / Day 9 of The 3 Tiers (for my record only)
UK deaths up 189 to 44,347 (revised basis), with a 21,242 rise in new daily cases, 7,433 patients in hospital and 711 in ventilator beds. New hospital admissions today was 1,058, last at this level the first week of May but still a third of admissions at the peak in early April. There are very early indications that the tougher restrictions might be having an effect in reducing rates. The Maldives, Mykonos, Canary Islands and Denmark have been removed from the UK's quarantine list. Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Slough will go into Tier 2 on Saturday as all have infections over 100 per 100k. 75 workers at a Bernard Matthews factory in Norfolk test positive. A medical director says hospitals in Liverpool are treating more Covid patients than at the peak in Apr. T&T continues to get worse with only 15.1% now getting their result within 24 hrs and only 59.6% of close contacts reached. Interestingly the CSA said that T&T has a greater impact where rates of the virus are lower. More evidence today that the Oxford vaccine 'behaves as desired' and produces a strong immune response (the person who died in the trial in Brazil is reported as having been given a placebo). 

The Chancellor has made 3 key changes to the financial support available. For the Job Support Scheme coming in on 1st Nov, employees will now only have to work 20% of their normal hours, employers will only contribute 5% for the hours not worked (originally was a third) and the Govt paying 62% of hours not worked up to £1,541.75 a mth. Self employed support grants are being doubled from 20-40% of average profits. Cash grants of up to £2,100 a mth will now be given to firms in Tier 2 areas (hospitality & leisure) and can be backdated to August where applicable. To me this reflects how much worse things are than when the JSS was announced on 9th Oct given daily deaths and patients in hospital have over doubled in less than a fortnight and tighter restrictions are obviously needed for more areas and for a longer period, plus the business feedback received. (Not sure why this is a surprise as we caught the tail end of this new seasonal virus in the Spring, so I assumed we'll get the full force this autumn/winter, albeit with better treatment and knowledge). 

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