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Joy for reopening of UK pubs and hugs tempered by rise in virus variant

19 Comments
By DANICA KIRKA and JILL LAWLESS

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19 Comments
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What's so hype about British loving the beers? They aren't in Top 10 most beer drinkers, and on some British article years ago, South Korean woman can drink more than the chubby British.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Looks like they jumped the gun again. And summer is coming up too.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Are they all vaccinated already?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Vaccinations are effective. If you don’t get the vaccine you will end up in ICU like those people in Bolton. My local hospital, a large teaching hospital, currently has no Covid patients.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Are they all vaccinated already?

All the people that want to be in at-risk groups have been. Younger people have not, but are unlikely to suffer serious harm.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

no hugs or beers for 128,000 dead in the UK.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

EisenachToday  09:06 am JST

no hugs or beers for 128,000 dead in the UK.

Or the half million US dead, thanks to an irresponsible and grossly immature excuse of a POTUS last year. Now it's up to us as individuals.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Although the Indian strain may take over from the Kent strain as dominant in the UK (and possibly globally), reports suggest that the vaccines are effective against it, and any increase in transmissiveness doesn't seem to be game changing. Surge vaccinations may help, but it is really just about getting as many jabs in as many arms as soon as possible, starting with all the vulnerable. Most of those hospitalised in the UK are unvaccinated.

Although supply issues have slowed the UK roll-out of vaccines, take-up is high, averaging 90%. Anti-vax content on the net doesn't appear to influence take-up. Some can't have the vaccine for medical reasons and some would have refused any vaccine, but the overwhelming response in the UK is to get vaccinated asap. Peer-pressure and a desire to return to normal activity have pushed anti-vax sentiment to the fringe.

It's not pandemic era, online anti-vax content that makes the difference to take-up, but long-standing opinions upon vaccination, typically along national, political or ethnic lines. The impact of lockdowns has also boosted the desire to get vaccinated in the UK, and eroded most residual anti-vax sentiment. Offering prizes and freebies will do more good than censoring internet content, which just makes suspicious people more suspicious.

The same may have been true of any Russian online 'interference' in US elections, incidentally. The prejudice was already there. Peoples' minds may not be changed by online content - it just reinforces already firmly established views. In general, perhaps we should all worry less about what is on the internet - concerns about it have become a rather toxic form of group panic.

Ending lockdown without masks will push cases up in the UK, but with widespread and increasing vaccinations, and the vast majority of vulnerable people having had both jabs, the deaths should not rise and may be at sub-flu level. The UK metric for Covid deaths (those who die having had a recent positive test) will have overestimated the figure a little throughout the pandemic.

The worrying news from India does not make the Indian strain a new ebola. Only 10% of the population of India have had one jab, 3% have had two. That (combined with increased poor health issues) is more likely to be the main reason it is so bad there - not the new strain. Until the vaccine level increases, only lockdowns will cap case rises, and until the vulnerable have been vaccinated, people will die. Lockdowns are particularly difficult in countries with large populations of folk living close together on subsistence levels of income, many being reliant on day labour - hence India is really suffering. The consequences of India's situation is damage to the Covax scheme, which is over-reliant on Indian vaccine production.

The solution to all this is simple - roll out the vaccine as fast as you can, to as many people as possible, starting with the vulnerable. The vaccines are working. They prevent serious infections and reduce transmission.

So please, keep wearing your masks and get a jab as soon as you can.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Well, I truly hope the cheers won't become tears.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

zichiToday  09:53 am JST

Well, I truly hope the cheers won't become tears.

If they use their noodles it won't be.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

eisenach:

no hugs or beers for 128,000 dead in the UK.

Oh, so now you care?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The ladies in that bottom pic are more at risk from their +30 BMI than Covid.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@BackpackingNepal: You've clearly never been to the UK - it's not about the Beer - It's about 'going down the Pub'

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Finally there is a very positive mood in the UK.

Between rain and sun yesterday I was sightseeing in the Southwest of the UK-marvelous!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As soon as things get better still the press focus on "variants" and threats......

Never ends.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Backpacking... If you take the total alcohol consumption, then the UK isn't that special.

But if you compare binge drinking.... No one can touch us!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What's so hype about British loving the beers? They aren't in Top 10 most beer drinkers,

The article doesn't mention beer.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The ladies in that bottom pic are more at risk from their +30 BMI than Covid.

Perhaps both being nurses they've had other things to worry about over the past year than going down the gym to satisfy your judgement.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But if you compare binge drinking.... No one can touch us!

Or the medicinal cocaine, even on weeknights...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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