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jimmy m
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20 Sep 2020, 4:06 pm

Britain's government said Sunday it is introducing fines up to 10,000 U.K. pounds, or $13,000, for people who refuse an order to self-isolate, which will go into effect on Sept. 28. If everybody follows the rules then we can avoid further national lockdown," Hancock said Sunday.

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Source: Self-isolation violators in UK will face fines up to $13,000 as coronavirus cases surge


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21 Sep 2020, 9:37 am

Is the UK going into a second lockdown?

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The UK could face new lockdown measures as experts warn of 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October, leading to 200 daily deaths if action is not taken to halt the current rate of infection.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, told a televised Downing Street briefing the epidemic was “doubling roughly every seven days” and that there was "no doubt" numbers were increasing among all age groups.

Appearing alongside England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, Sir Patrick warned of a “very serious” threat from Covid-19 over the next six months.

And Prof Whitty said there was a need to "break unnecessary links" between households and to "change course".

The experts were not joined by prime minister Boris Johnson, who is going to address the Commons on Tuesday after spending the weekend with senior ministers and advisers discussing the next steps in tackling the pandemic.

It is thought the prime minister could be considering a “circuit-breaker” lockdown which would see shorter periods of tighter rules and restrictions sporadically and nationwide over the next six months to allow “breathing space”

It comes as the government’s new “rule of six”, which bans more than six people from gathering indoors or outdoors in England, has had limited impact on rising cases.

Mr Johnson on Friday said he did not want to implement a second national lockdown but that “you've got to wonder whether we need to go further than the ‘rule of six’”.

The prime minister said ministers would be considering “intensifying” local lockdowns already in place in areas from Greater Manchester to Birmingham, Leicester and the North East, but also “looking at other measures as well”.

London mayor Sadiq Khan was expected to meet with council leaders on Monday before deciding whether new coronavirus restrictions are needed in the capital, such as curbs on movement and asking people to work from home again.

What restrictions could we see?
Prof Whitty hinted at curbs to social lives being needed, saying there was a need to "break unnecessary links" between households and a need to "change course".

He said there were four things to do – washing hands and using masks, quarantine measures, and investing in vaccines and drugs.

"The third one, and in many ways the most difficult, is that we have to break unnecessary links between households because that is the way in which this virus is transmitted," he said.

"And this means reducing social contacts whether they are at work … and also in social environments.”

Matt Hancock also suggested new restrictions would focus on social settings rather than schools or the workplace.

The health secretary was unable to say whether England’s pubs would be allowed to open this weekend, telling ITV his answer was "not a no, and it's not a yes".

He said final decisions were still being made, but added: "I think the main thing in terms of what we learnt is that where people catch the disease tends to be in social settings, people coming around to your house, or you going out and socialising essentially.

"We've seen relatively few cases caught through schools and relatively few through people at work."

Transport secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC the country was at a "tipping point" in the pandemic and further coronavirus measures might be needed.

He denied there had been a row in the cabinet over what restrictions should be imposed and said the government was trying to protect both lives and livelihoods.

What has the opposition said?
Labour has urged the government to avoid imposing a second national lockdown.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth blamed the rapid spike in infections on “the government's incompetence and failure to put in place an adequate testing system”.

He said: “Labour's priority is that there must be a national effort to prevent another national lockdown. "The government must do what it takes to prevent another lockdown, which would cause unimaginable damage to our economy and people's wellbeing.


More than 30 arrested during coronavirus protests in London
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Police have made 32 arrests during a demonstration in central London against coronavirus restrictions and mass vaccinations.

More than a thousand people are estimated to have joined the rally in Trafalgar Square, among them 5G conspiracy theorists, coronavirus sceptics and “anti-vaxxers”.

Sections got into scuffles with police – some officers, with their batons drawn, were pushed back by crowds on the margins of the demo.

At least one protester was seen with a bloodied head while another was seen receiving medical attention on the ground, and London ambulance service said three patients were assessed with one taken to hospital.

By early evening on Saturday, the Metropolitan police said the area had been cleared.

The force said it attended the the Resist and Act for Freedom rally, which began at about midday, and attempted to encourage protesters to leave throughout the day.

“Despite this, protesters remained, putting themselves and others at risk,” it said. “It is important to remember that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic, and the changes have been introduced to help control the spread of the virus, keep everybody safe and save lives.”

Dozens of officers, including some mounted on horseback, tried to break up ranks of protesters who had formed human blockades to prevent them making arrests, with loud cheering and chanting as they pushed back the police, according to the PA news agency.

Meanwhile, others attempted to calm the situation down. One man, speaking through a megaphone, said: “Remember this is about peace. We don’t want no hooligans … I’m one of the ones who started this thing … So don’t come now and mess it up. Don’t come now and fight with the police.”

Elsewhere a group of young people performed a song in front of a line of police officers to de-escalate the situation. “Coronavirus, unruly like Miley Cyrus,” they chanted.

Among the crowds were people selling T-shirts bearing 5G conspiracy theories and advocating the legalisation of cannabis, with banners calling for government scientific advisers to be sacked and declaring Covid-19 a “hoax”.

Addressing the crowd to huge cheers, organiser and so-called “natural nurse” Kate Shemirani said: “We are the resistance.”

The protest was advertised with an image showing a vaccine bottle and urging people to “Come together, resist and act”.

The confrontation came several hours into the rally when Shemirani called for men to head to the north-west corner of the square, where police were beginning to gather.

Aside from the flare-up, the gathering was largely peaceful, with protesters airing grievances ranging from opposition to coronavirus lockdown measures and masks, to child trafficking and the QAnon conspiracy theory gaining ground in the UK.

According to the NHS, vaccination is the “most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill-health” – preventing up to three million deaths worldwide each year.

It warned that it is possible for infectious diseases to quickly spread if people stop using them – pointing to a spike in measles and mumps cases in 2016 and 2018.

There is no evidence that vaccines cause autism, allergies or other conditions, weaken the immune system in any way or contain harmful ingredients, the NHS added.

Since Monday, the number of people from multiple households who can attend social gatherings in England, whether indoors or outdoors, has been cut to six under new “rule of six” Covid-19 restrictions.

However, there are a number of exemptions, including for protests. In order to be exempted, protest organisers must take steps including demonstrating that they are a “political body” and complete a thorough risk assessment focusing on coronavirus.


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jimmy m
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21 Sep 2020, 10:06 am

But Indonesia notched it up to the next level

Eight people who allegedly were caught not wearing masks in Indonesia must dig graves meant for people who died from novel coronavirus as punishment, a local official reportedly ruled.

The offenders were caught without masks in a village in the Cerme District in the East Java province of Indonesia and were ordered by a local leader named Suyono, whom the outlet identifies as the “Cerme sub-district head,” to dig the graves for COVID-19 victims at the Ngabetan Village Public Cemetery, according to a translation of Tribunnews.com.

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“There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them,” Suyono told Tribun News, according to a translation by USA Today. “Hopefully, this can create a deterrent effect against violations.”

Source: Indonesian official orders coronavirus victims' graves be dug by people busted without masks

It goes along with the saying, "the punishment fits the crime".

I remember a half century ago, I thought about moving to New Zealand. So doing research, I ordered a subscription to one of their local newspapers for a year. I came across an article where some hooligans were calling the police "pigs". They were brought before a judge. As punishment, the judge ordered them to clean the pigpens for a week so that they would understand the difference between pigs and policeman.


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21 Sep 2020, 10:07 am

jimmy m wrote:
Britain's government said Sunday it is introducing fines up to 10,000 U.K. pounds, or $13,000, for people who refuse an order to self-isolate, which will go into effect on Sept. 28. If everybody follows the rules then we can avoid further national lockdown," Hancock said Sunday...
That should get their minds off the Brexit debacle.


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envirozentinel
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21 Sep 2020, 10:32 am

This whole business is so crazy and overdone; they never did it for other viruses etc and the only comparable one, which was far worse in terms of the fatality rate was the 1918 Flu.

I wear my mask in the stores and other public places as per the law, but not outdoors or among family as it's no good breathing in your own CO2 all the time. Besides, exposure to small doses of the virus ought to build up one's immunity - which is what the body's designed to do. I don't buy into any of the silly and childish conspiracy theories: extra precautions should be taken in enclosed spaces, but enforced lockdowns and the isolation of people who are healthy, are intrusive and unnecessary.

They need to speed up the production of a vaccine that works, as well as doing further research into existing drugs that might be proven efficacious.


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Lunella
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21 Sep 2020, 12:43 pm

I'm so sick of this bloody virus stuff now. I'm gonna stock up on supplies because this country is so unpredictable. They can't keep a straight story and everything is massively unorganised.


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21 Sep 2020, 12:45 pm

Only buy 36 rolls of toilet paper :)



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21 Sep 2020, 12:58 pm

^ Good point.

You end up saving money buying in bulk anyway haha


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21 Sep 2020, 1:21 pm

We are getting an update from the Govt tomorrow with new restrictions likely to come in.

All that is said so far is that pubs will need to close at 10pm.

We had a press conference from the top scientific advisors to the Govt today who have given the country some alarming statistics and warnings to soften us up for the restrictions tomorrow



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21 Sep 2020, 1:27 pm

We won’t have indoor dining in NYC until September 30th.



alex
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21 Sep 2020, 2:18 pm

Quote:
This whole business is so crazy and overdone; they never did it for other viruses etc and the only comparable one, which was far worse in terms of the fatality rate was the 1918 Flu.

I don't think it's overblown. Almost every country has implemented pretty strong measures and we still have almost a million dead. Can you imagine what it would have been like if the world had been even 3/4th as careful? Many more would be dead.

If people had worn masks from the beginning in the US we'd be in much better shape.

envirozentinel wrote:
I wear my mask in the stores and other public places as per the law, but not outdoors or among family as it's no good breathing in your own CO2 all the time. Besides, exposure to small doses of the virus ought to build up one's immunity - which is what the body's designed to do


I don't think any scientists believe there's much risk outdoors as long as you're not close to people outside of your household.

A standard mask definitely won't trap gasses like CO2 and even an n95 won't. If it feels like you're breathing in your own C02 you're probably just mistaking that feeling for the fact that your lungs have to work a little harder to move air through.

A respirator like this one has a valve that allows air to escape directly when you breath out instead of going through the filters. It closes when you breath in so that air is filtered. very comfortable for long term wearing. While the air you breathe out isn't filtered, the valve redirects the air downwards so it's still better for other people than you not wearing a mask at all and you're very protected since all your air is filtered and these seal better than the disposable ones. Image


And if you're sensitive to smells, they make filters that completely filter all odors in the air!
A skunk could spray you while you're wearing the mask with these filters and you wouldn't know until you got home and took the mask off. Image


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envirozentinel
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21 Sep 2020, 2:37 pm

Wow that is a fancy one! (mask).

I naturally don't buy into the weird conspiracy theories that people with very little to do dream up in their idle hours, but have found some elements of the lockdowns a little harsh and extreme; at the time we in SA had the heavy level 4-5 lockdown from end of March until July, I felt trapped and at times I'd just burst out crying for no particular reason.

We are now in Level 1 so mostly business and leisure as usual, but masks mandatory for public places, sanitizing and distancing encouraged. There are still restrictions on how many can gather - up to 250 indoors in a large venue or 500 outdoors, and only 50% of regular capacity.

We had a total of about 650 000 tested positive altogether with around 16 000 deaths and almost 500 000 recoveries thus far. SO it looks like the heavy lockdown, though painful, did pay off but many businesses, especially small ones, unable to reopen. Most of them did, but a lot of economic damage was done.


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envirozentinel
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21 Sep 2020, 2:40 pm

People doing strenuous outdoor exercise (running, cycling etc) are exempted from masks, precisely because you have to work so much harder to breathe.


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Mr Reynholm
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21 Sep 2020, 2:49 pm

envirozentinel wrote:
This whole business is so crazy and overdone; they never did it for other viruses etc and the only comparable one, which was far worse in terms of the fatality rate was the 1918 Flu.

I wear my mask in the stores and other public places as per the law, but not outdoors or among family as it's no good breathing in your own CO2 all the time. Besides, exposure to small doses of the virus ought to build up one's immunity - which is what the body's designed to do. I don't buy into any of the silly and childish conspiracy theories: extra precautions should be taken in enclosed spaces, but enforced lockdowns and the isolation of people who are healthy, are intrusive and unnecessary.

They need to speed up the production of a vaccine that works, as well as doing further research into existing drugs that might be proven efficacious.

I agree 100%



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21 Sep 2020, 10:44 pm

Does brisk walking count in the mask exemption?



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21 Sep 2020, 10:55 pm

Does this law apply to people who are affected by the corona, how are they going to know who is positive? Or does this law apply to every UK resident? Will people need to carry a piece of paper with them when they go to work? How will officers know why someone isn't in isolation? They could just be going to the supermarket or maybe they need to get a cleaning solution for their home.


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