26 May 2022

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Now that the covid restrictions have been lifted, is it safe to go and mix with people again? What about meetings?
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Now that the covid restrictions have been lifted, is it safe to go and mix with people again? What about meetings?

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Personal responsibility – that’s what we have been given to keep ourselves safe. Use it wisely!

When the government lifted the covid restrictions, it seems that the majority of people thought that this meant that it was safe to go out and resume normal life.

Whatever the government may have intended, what is certain is that normal life is not going to be a runner because covid-19 is more rife now than it was before the first lockdown. Taking into account today’s reporting, the seven day figure for new cases now stands at 219350. This is a staggering number and means that so many people are getting covid that it is going to be increasingly more difficult to avoid coming into contact with a carrier.

Like everything, though, it is a matter of degree and where you like to go. After so many months of being given constant advice by the government and its experts we do have some pretty good pointers as to what we should and should not do if we want to remain safe.

The virus we know is transmitted in aerosol form by the exhalation of our breath. It can be picked up manually from solid surfaces but this is not the predominant area of risk and in any case pretty good sanitary regimes have been brought into use so surfaces are frequently cleaned.

It is the transmission by breath which is the one to watch. What we have also been told is that good ventilation helps to dissipate breath which is good and poor ventilation tends to increase risk because the aerosol hovers around you. Moreover, the length of time to which you are exposed to the aerosol has also been cited as relevant – a short exposure carries far less risk than one which goes on longer than fifteen minutes. Self-distancing and masks are also helpful in bringing about a reduction in transmission but of course these do impact generally on the way you conduct your life.

All of this information is fairly clear and unambiguous and indeed non-controversial. What is controversial is the manner in which the information is handled because if it is ignored then the chances are that transmission of covid will increase and probably by a lot.

So what are the do’s and dont’s in this situation? The worst possible places to be are where you are in close proximity with other people for any length of time beyond about fifteen minutes and particularly indoors. So groups meeting together, dining and other types of clubs, going to the pub or a restaurant, or any activity where you are close to other people is going to be high risk. It doesn’t matter too much how many people are together because just one carrier could give the disease to everyone but of course the more people together the more risk of multiple transmissions. Social distancing and masks are a good assistance in reducing transmission but they are not infallible and the trouble is that they prevent people from enjoying their activities in the way they are used to doing so.

All of this is subject to the overall advice that you should be vaccinated because if not you are very vulnerable and ideally you should not go to groups of people unless you are sure that everyone has had their jabs. Even vaccinated people can catch covid-19 but the incidence is greatly reduced if all parties are jabbed.

Everyone has got to make his or her own assessment of what is going to be safe, not only for themselves but also their friends with whom they are mixing. After all, you could be the one who is the asymptomatic carrier and you may infect everyone around you!

At the moment new cases are on the increase as are deaths. It is interesting to see that the graphs of new cases, deaths and patients admitted are following a remarkably similar pattern, albeit the number of deaths is relatively small now. But what the graphs are not telling you is the numbers of sufferers of long covid, that is those who have had covid, ostensibly recovered and then find they have symptoms which last for many weeks or even months afterwards and can in some cases prove fatal.

The safest course of action is to stay at home but this could become tedious like it did during the last lockdown but the important issue is to assess your risk and try and reduce as far as possible situations where that risk becomes unacceptably high.

A table with seating like our photo today may just be too high a risk!

Adrian Leopard 20-08-21

Photo Paul Griffin

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Adrian Leopard & Company is the trading name of Alderney Offshore Ltd, a company registered in Alderney, Channel Islands number 1220.

Address P O Box 1027, Alderney GY9 3AS

Registered Office Seldomin, Longis Road, Alderney GY9 3YB.

Adrian Leopard & Co is represented in the UK by 3CL (UK) Ltd trading as Adrian Leopard Associates.

Telephone enquiries may be made on 08449-4-08449 or 01684-230360.

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