A weekly blog which we hope might include some useful information

Everyone has heating turned off to try to save money during the Covid-19 lock down . Guess what, we get freezing cold winds blowing for days on end. We filmed this through windowsNo way we are risking infection and spreading to others by going outside. At least the crows are loving it. Bags of food and flying fun, for them at least.

Covid-19 Lock down – week one

It goes against human nature to avoid people, meet their pets and perhaps feed the birds. Maybe go for walks and enjoy the great outdoors. As a result, this first week has gone down very hard for all of us. We try to imagine the Covid-19 emergency lock down as something like a nuclear holocaust film and behave accordingly, for everybody’s safety.

  1. Every second spent outside is a risk
  2. Any thing you touch might be contaminated
  3. Wild creatures you approach might be contaminated
  4. You must wash down and wipe everything that comes into your house, including your hands!
We hope Covid-19 is over by Christmas
We hope Covid-19 is over by Christmas
Something more hopeful to look forward to

Shopping and social distancing

Thanks to having some really lovely neighbours, we have been able to minimise shopping trips during the Covid-19 lock down. Clubbing together for MINIMUM shopping orders helps, delivered by SAFE delivery options. There has been some unfamiliar stuff, as well as stock meant for guests, to avoid wasting it if it goes out of date. (eg. milk, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereals, cheese etc). People on diets may find they have to compromise in these circumstances. Not everything is available and collective group shopping means you may have to sacrifice some items so others can have a turn, especially vulnerable groups.

UK Government advice warning everybody to stay indoors as much as possible to protect NHS and save lives
Taken from NHS website today, 29th March 2020

Useful Links and References

  1. https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/novel-coronavirus/facts
  2. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
  3. https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-health-alert-brings-covid-19-facts-to-billions-via-whatsapp
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
  5. https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/coronavirus.htm
  6. https://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=covid-19+epidemiology&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart
  7. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus
  9. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bird-flu/ (yes, I know it’s bird flu not Covid-19 – it’s just for comparison)
  10. https://www.bbc.co.uk/safety/resources/safetynews/whatsnew/Coronavirus (useful, clear posters for your premises available free from BBC)

(Many sources of information out there – we shall try to look out for them. We shall also try to correct anything in these blogs that turns out to be wrong)

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Some science stuff – please bear in mind some of this may be disproved as studies proceed –

Spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus

The SARS-Cov-2 virus has been identified as causing the Covid-19 disease in humans. It is unknown but unlikely to cause the same disease in other species. Nevertheless, little is known about the virus, origin, spread, epidemiology, etc, although work is proceeding frantically Worldwide, including testing kits (antigen and antibody), potential vaccines etc. Since writing this, a zoo tiger has died from Covid-19.

Possible source reservoir of the Virus

This particular coronavirus may have a reservoir in horseshoe bats in China. It is possible it transferred to humans via masked civets, pangolins or other animal vectors. The point of irign seems to have been a “wet market” in Huahan. In wet markets, conditions involve humans and a wide variety of possible vectors crowded together in unhygienic conditions.

The virus may be able to survive on hard surfaces up to 3 days. It may last only about 4 hours on copper. It may survive short periods on animal fur and feathers, food and other “soft” surfaces. Scientific evidence is growing all the time and we cannot speculate here.

Transmissable diseases – animals to humans

History abounds with disease outbreaks originating in animals and birds either with viruses and bacteria mutating or crossing species boundaries – for example

  1. Black Death,
  2. malaria,
  3. sleeping sickness,
  4. elephantiasis,
  5. psittacosis,
  6. brucellosis,
  7. green monkey disease,
  8. ebola,
  9. Chaga’s syndrome,
  10. ‘Mad cow disease’ (Kreutzfeld Jacob Disease, associated with Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis),
  11. Spanish flu,
  12. swine flu,
  13. bird flu,
  14. SARS,
  15. MERS and now,
  16. Covid-2 (effectively ‘SARS2’). Maybe not a great idea to be encouraging close approach to wild creatures by e.g. feeding birds at this time, especially not making special trips to do so?.

Infection timeline

Allegedly, patients may carry the virus for some time before initial symptoms. Consequently, the full-blown disease may not appear for about 7 to 10 days. The disease lasts for perhaps 10 more days. Longer may mean a very serious, even fatal case. The virus has been said to survive up to 37 days after an infection – hence the 12-week self-isolation Government Guidelines

UPDATE: At least one report from China indicates long durations after the illness itself. Even after all traces of the virus have disappeared from a patient’s breath, lungs and mucous membranes, it was still detectable in stool samples for another 45 days (leading to worries in Ghana and India (etc) about potential for insect carriers of the diseaseNot yet validated data so not attributed here)

– But, nobody knows for certain about all of this and advice may change. It is not certain how long an infected person may shed virus. (Along with skin flakes and moisture droplets, etc, either before, during or after the disease. Nobody knows if there is any risk at all from virus on particles of dust or sand. Allegedly, mosquitoes CANNOT carry this virus. Stay apart. Stay safe.

(Sorry about the science-y stuff – we are NOT experts, just relaying expert advice as far as we think we understand it – corrections welcome!)