Covid-19 in South West England

Easter is almost here, and COVID-19 is already here:

Traditionally at this time of year the highways and byways of Devon and Cornwall fill up with pristine white caravans and camper vans. What will happen this year? According to Cornwall Live:

One of the leading officers at Devon and Cornwall Police has issued a strong message to people not to consider travelling to the region over the Easter weekend.

Chief Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith, the police commander for Cornwall, said people found holidaying in the county face being fined and that officers will be out on two of the main routes into the region to prevent tourists arriving.

It comes after a caravan crashed on the M5 on Wednesday afternoon (April 8) near the Somerset-Devon border which led to criticism to the driver for flouting coronavirus lockdown travel advice from the Government, which says should be for “essential” trips only. Three people were arrested at the scene.

Mr Drummond-Smith said: “Our officers will be patrolling this weekend, firstly on the M5 and A30 in an attempt to prevent visitors from entering the force area, and then locally to enforce the restrictions.

According to Mr Drummond-Smith’s Twitter feed:

This extract from the Kings College COVID Symptom Tracker map provides some baseline data on the presence of cases of the novel coronavirus in this part of the world on April 1st:

This is no joke! Anecdotal evidence from the North Coast suggests that the percentage of people self identifying with coronavirus symptoms in the area is likely to increase over the next few weeks:

Here is an explanatory music video:

Watch this space!

10 replies on “Covid-19 in South West England”

The latest update from the Kings College COVID Symptom Tracker project looks rather different to the April 1st edition:

This one is dated April 5th, and according to the accompanying article:

The latest analysis of data from the COVID Symptom Tracker app, used by over 2 million people, shows the rate of new symptoms being reported nationally has slowed down significantly in the past few days. The latest figures estimate that 1.4 million people in the UK aged 20-69 have symptomatic COVID, a fall from 1.9 million on the 1st April.

These figures suggest that the nation staying home is having a big impact on the spread of the virus in the UK. The drop in new symptoms indicates that although the number of hospital admissions and deaths from COVID are currently rising, they should start to fall in about two weeks provided social distancing continues. This two week lag is caused by the delay between symptoms starting and becoming very severe.

Meanwhile, for some strange reason, the UK government seems to have decided to do something remarkably similar to Kings College:

As a “silver surfer” myself I cannot help but wonder if all these surfers at Fistral Beach earlier today are:

a) Resident in Cornwall, and
b) If so only getting wet once per day, and
c) Always over 2 meters apart

Stunned onlookers said the scene in the sea at the beach in Newquay, today (Thursday, April 9) and around the town was no different to what they would normally expect to see on a sunny day outside of the lockdown to prevent the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

Browsing the Cornwall Live web site I have finally come across an answer to the question that was bothering me all yesterday:

According to “Cornwall’s top cop”:

Police BCU Commander for Cornwall, Temporary Chief Superintendant Ian Drummond-Smith said the recent guidance from the London-based National Police Chiefs Council was consistent with what his officers were doing on the ground but he reiterated that the public should not try and take advantage of the guidance.

He said: “Surfing has not been banned. It’s exercise and in Cornwall we know it’s a popular exercise. People can still surf. The question of driving a reasonable distance as per the NPCC guidelines, is ‘how far is reasonable’.

“The NPCC guidelines does not say whether you can or cannot drive to do your exercise. I am telling my officers people can surf and some may well drive to surf.”

It’s such a shame that I didn’t spot Ian’s message yesterday morning!

Let’s hope that whilst the wind remains offshore any surfers at my local long beach break aren’t behaving like those idiots at Fistral. Lisa intends to keep at least two cars length, and preferably more, between herself and any adjacent surf wagons!

Yesterday the novel coronavirus pandemic claimed 917 “hospitalised” lives across the United Kingdom.

Street art for the Covid-19 era?

“Stay Home Save Lives”, assuming that you have a home to stay in.

If not, then….?

According to Cornwall Live:

There have been three more coronavirus deaths confirmed in Cornwall’s hospitals over the last 24 hours.

It brings the total to 66 following the latest figures released by NHS England this afternoon.

In neighbouring Devon, five more deaths were confirmed – all at Derriford Hospital.

Of the three new deaths in Cornwall, two were at the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust while the other was at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, based at Treliske.

Here’s the April 23rd edition of the Kings College COVID Symptom Tracker map:

Torridge is once again the local hotspot, with an estimated 1.1% of the population currently symptomatic.

Lockdown has been “eased”, and British citizens are now free to drive as far as they like in order to exercise as much as they like, as long as they maintain the recommended 2 metres “social distance”.

The response at Summerleaze beach in Bude?

And a bit further north at Woolacombe?

I wonder how long the Kings College Covid-19 tracker map will continue to look like this?

According to Cornwall LiveCornwall Live this afternoon:

The first death of a COVID-19 patient at Torbay Hospital in more than a week has brought the total fatalities across Devon and Cornwall’s hospitals to 265.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began there have been 179 deaths in Devon’s hospitals and 86 in Cornwall’s.

In Devon, the death toll is 42 at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, 37 at Torbay Hospital, 79 at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, 20 at North Devon District Hospital and one at Mount Gould, also in Plymouth.

Before today, the last COVID-19 death to be confirmed at Torbay Hospital was on Friday, May 15.

While in Cornwall, there have been 60 deaths at the Royal Cornwall Hospital and 26 at the Cornwall Partnership Trust.

A worrying message from Weston-super-Mare General Hospital:

Weston General Hospital will temporarily stop accepting new patients, including into its A&E department, as of 8am today (Monday 25 May 2020).

This is a precautionary measure in order to maintain the safety of staff and patients in response to the high number of patients with Coronavirus in the hospital.

The decision to take this step has been clinically-led, and is supported by partners across the wider Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) health and care system.

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