By Bom


G and I walked on Kelling Heath this morning. It was cool to start with, but a glorious morning, warm with a clear blue sky by the end of the walk. We looked for adders the other day as it's the time of year they come out of hibernation, but I think it was too cold. Some photographers told us last week where they'd seen one, so we tried again and G spotted one exactly where we'd been told it might be. They are difficult to spot (outside an edited and cropped photo) and I didn't see it initially as they are well camouflaged with lovely marking. This is the first I'd seen, a real treat. Obviously we kept our distance as they are our only venomous snake, and we took care as we walked (you wouldn't want to step on one). 

Day 729 / Day 20 of no Legal Covid Requirements in England (for my record only)
Scotland is delaying plans to remove the requirement to wear masks on public transport and in most indoor settings until at least early April, due to the spike in cases. Prof Tim Spector of the Zoe symptom study has accused ministers of 'wanting to get rid of the data and moving on'.  He said 'other surveillance tools have been given the axe, which means we will have less eyes on the ground and radar on the next variant.' He also said 'we're seeing a real increase in the elderly getting Covid, and I think that will start putting pressure on hospitals.' Last night it was announced that the Govt will remove all remaining international travel restrictions for all passengers from 4am on Fri. In Hong Kong at the beginning of March, c1 in 20 recorded as having Covid were dying two weeks later, a substantially higher rate than in the UK. Various factors are thought to be at play: fewer people have had a booster; far fewer older people have been vaccinated (2nd dose 36% of over 80s vs 95% in UK); 3 in 5 second doses given to over 60's are of Sinovac which may not be as effective against Omicron; plus HK tried to keep Covid out completely and we didn't, so they don't have the benefit of prior infection. 

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