By Bom


An admin day today and no suitable photo from that, so I nipped out to the greenhouse and took a photo of a pulmonaria  (lungwort) that's ready to plant out. I hate admin, so tend to put it off, which obviously makes it worse as it builds up! A cool day, but nice sunshine at times. My weather station only recorded 44mm of rain for March (1.73in), so a dry month after wetter than normal Feb. 

Day 746 / Day 37 of no Legal Covid Requirements in England (for my record only)
No free lateral flow tests in England from today, but in reality it's been near impossible to get them in pharmacies or online for at least 2 weeks. This is ironically when a record 4.9m in the UK had Covid in w/e 26th Mar per the ONS, Covid rates in England and Wales are the highest they've been during the pandemic and when hospital admissions for over 65's are the highest since early 2021. The ONS weekly infection survey in private households to w/e 26/3 shows 1 in 13 with the virus in Eng (up and a new record); 1 in 12 in Scotland (down); 1 in 14 in Wales (up and a new record); and 1 in 15 in NI (down). 1 in 11 people in the SW of England had the virus - the highest in England. NHS England says the number of people in Covid beds has returned to levels seen in Jan 2022 and that admissions are increasing in those aged 45 and over. England's R rate fell to 1.1-1.2. Those criticising the removal of free LFTs in England includes Carers UK, the Alzheimer Society, and Prof Tim Spector of the Zoe Symptom study - some people are reporting being unable to even buy them in chemists. The Govt is removing a scheme to support the funding of full pay for care workers off for a Covid related absence. Against what might be expected, a 'human challenge' trial has found that symptoms had no effect on how likely an infected person is to pass on the virus as it didn't affect the viral load they had in their airways. Interestingly a school in Australia avoided Covid outbreaks during the Omicron wave using simple changes to air ventilation and air disinfection. The first 'partygate' fines have now been issued. The jobs most likely to have the highest rates of non-vaccination have been found to be scaffolders, bricklayers and beauticians (the last really surprises me, at least the others work outdoors). 

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