I realise most of it isn’t rocket
science, but as a neurosurgeon, I’m used to looking at figures of outcomes and
mortality. I’m puzzled.
In January last year the winter
mortality in the UK was just about 1500 deaths per day. The daily death rate
fell to around 1200 by 31 March 2019. The cause of the excess
deaths (1500 – 1200 = 300) was due to an increase in respiratory infections,
mainly in the elderly.
I have not seen the current daily
death rates for this year, but it remains unclear to me whether the figures
given out for Covid-19 are to be included in the normal daily death rate or
whether they are on top of the known seasonal excess winter death rates.
So, we’ve hit the 1K mark for
deaths. The PM says it’s going to get worse. We know this already. If we all
behave and don’t touch anyone else, we may keep the deaths to a minimum but not
before the death rate peaks.
Seems to me there is some pretty
flawed thinking about who is at risk. Front-line NHS workers I suspect are among
those who are most exposed to the Covid-19 virus. The Government is wanting to
test them because… because what?
The average doctor in ITU whether
he has PPE or not, may or may not have the virus at any one point in time.
It has come to my attention…
That’s the way all unpleasant missives begin, after all, isn’t
Look people, there seem to be a lot of you who still don’t
understand what we are facing here. If the epidemic peaks badly like in Italy,
the mortality will quadruple. All the intensive care facilities will be taken
up (average stay is about 8 days in ITU). Infected people will not get
treatment and more and more will die.
We bandy figures around like 1% mortality but in Italy, the
mortality over all is over 8% because as facilities get used up there are more
people dying at home without ventilatory support.
A nineteenth century traveler called Charles Kinglake published his travelogue of a journey across the Mediterranean
and Middle east (Eothen). I had to study it for ‘O’ levels. At the time I
couldn’t understand why there were frequent references to plague and weird superstitions
about things like: if you have a cold you can’t catch plague. He thought he was
lucky to get a bad head-cold on his journey. Maybe I understand him a little
It seems to me that even when
confronted by facts and scientific truths we still cling to foolish
superstitions in the hope that hope will save us.
I watched GOT from Season 1 to
the very end. I loved it. The acting was mostly brilliant, the storyline even better
than the books and the characters were fleshed-out, realistic and engaging.
Many fans seem to be displeased
with the ending and for my part there were elements of the ending I didn’t
like. I felt Jon Snow became a whimp towards the end. The great swordsman, the
driving force behind so much in the story just fizzled out as if no one in the
7 Kingdoms felt he deserved better than banishment to the far north.
have a view of Donald Trump. I know I have mine. Meghan Markle has expressed
her views during Trump’s presidential campaign. Can’t say I can identify any
difference of opinion between mine and hers.
This is the
first US president that I can recall who is blustering, tactless, full of
himself and well, downright a president of whom the USA should be ashamed. His
failure to act on climate change, his views on women and equality and human
rights have all come under scrutiny in the press and it all fosters a view of a
man who should never had got to power, but money speaks, I guess.
This girl has been castigated and disenfranchised because
she left the UK to go to the IS. At the time she was 15 years of age. When she
entered the refugee camp in Syria, she was heavily pregnant, and she now has a
Much controversy surrounds the mother and child. Many seem
to think that she is a Muslim Jihadist and allowing her to return to the UK
poses a threat to our security.
My initial reaction was that it serves her right because the
faction she left the UK to join is without doubt, by western standards, evil.
When I lived in Glasgow, many years ago, my two elder sons
aged 5 and 7 learned a song at school:
Jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light,
Like a little candle burning in the night,
In this world of darkness, Jesus bids us shine,
You in your small corner and me in mine.
Maybe you’ll think I’m stupid, but it always moved me. Why? Because
it’s about the purity of a child, about kindness and above all the right of a
child to believe.
Believe in what? I hear you say.
It doesn’t matter whether you substitute Mohammed, Buddha or
Jupiter Optimus Maximus for Jesus, it’s what we should bring our children up to
believe in – about a culture of kindness.
There is much talk on MSN about
stress interviews in industry. Young people with appropriate skills and CV’s
are bullied and demeaned to see how resilient they are under stressful
conditions. Personal remarks about their appearance, posture, tastes and
previous performance are made to make the candidate as uncomfortable as
possible, hoping to elicit a reaction. The ‘successful’ candidate would be
As a Royal College representative
on interview committees for about 20 years and having a lot of practical experience
as an examiner, I think I may be allowed a comment.
Deeply saddened by the death of a young man in Yarm on
Sunday early morning. My sincere sympathies go out to his grieving family and
friends. Attacked and chased by a gang of 6 or more louts, his body was found
in the river 2 days later. Despicable.
I live in an area where Cleveland Police have zero
tolerance for exceeding the speed limit (you can get 3 points on your license
for doing 33 mph), but they seem to have enormous tolerance for violence and
drugs. About time they cleaned up Yarm which used to be a lovely, North
Yorkshire town where one could go out in the evening without a likelihood of
assault, or seeing druggies and fights on the High Street.