Some personal thoughts:

Husband and I have just recovered (mostly) from Covid... no idea how we got it since we've been super careful and not done much. Shopping or swimming we think.

I am left grateful for masks & vaccines - here's why: 1/8
Firstly vaccines: having Covid sucked but I am sure it would have sucked much worse without being vaccinated. I am grateful that I had the chance to get that protection first.

I'm annoyed that I got sick a few weeks before my booster was due, but that's life. 2/8
Secondly masks: the first symptoms were so innocuous it was only obvious later what they were. I was 100% convinced we didn't have Covid cos we'd been so careful.

The weekend before symptoms and 1st day of, we were in *a lot* of shops.
We wore masks the whole time - v few others were. Mainly tbh, to protect ourselves (obv too late by then), but also cos we thought it's right to do even tho we thought we were fine.

I am so so glad we did - I hope it means that we didn't give Covid to anyone that weekend. 4/8
It really brought home the "wear a mask to protect others" thing to me.

You never know if it's you. It was me and I had no idea.

I might have given it to a friend tho who came to our house for a chat 2 days before my symptoms. We sat about 1m apart & chatted for an hour.

You are more likely to transmit with people you know, cos less likely to be masked and interact longer. 6/8
As for me - I had cough, fever, muscle aches, runny nose, loss of taste/smell (about 5 days in). Over 2 weeks later, only cough remains.

I feel lucky to have got off relatively lightly, but it's not fun. I hope we both avoid long covid.

So my takeaways are:

- get vaccinated.
- get boosted
- wear a mask indoors in public spaces
- open windows when people in your home
- and do these things to protect others as much or more than yourself

and I wish Covid wasn't so prevalent that it was so easy to catch! 8/8
PS for those interested, we did 2 LFDs "just in case". My husband was strong positive, I was negative. Since we had same symptoms I assumed I was +ve too. We did PCR same day & both tests came back positive.
We isolated for full time. Test & trace were good at checking we were.
What were these first symptoms? I felt cold (which I put down to it being cold) and felt bit breathless walking uphill (which I put down to my asthma after being in a room with smoky woodburning stove). That's it.

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More from @chrischirp

15 Nov
🧵The line from Boris Johnson that Europe's Covid wave might come here is *arrant nonsense* - just convenient cover if cases climb this winter.

We've been having this wave ever since end of June.

It's driven here - as elsewhere in Europe - by local context not importation 1/5
National Covid trajectory is determined by combo of:
1. public health measures (masks, ventilation, which venues are open, vax passports, testing, isolation etc) & behaviours,
2. vax rates (inc boosters)
3. levels of prev immunity

If it's spreading, combo not enough. 2/5
England relied basically on 2 since June and it's not been enough. We've now got 2 and (sadly!) 3 & it's still not bring cases down.

E Europe has nowhere near enough 2 (hence high deaths too).

Germany & Austria are lower on 2 and 3. NL, Belgium stopped 1 (esp in schools). 3/5
Read 5 tweets
15 Nov
Quick THREAD on cases & admissions in England & schools...

Cases fell in England for about 2 weeks but started going up again last week.

Some of this increase will reflect more testing again since half term (and positivity rates have fallen a little). 1/9
Reductions were driven by steep drops in school age kids (esp 10-14 yrs), which started week before half term.

Apart from less testing, chains of transmission were broken with continued fall week after half term.

Recent uptick tho, esp 5-9 unvaxxed.

60+ fall, boosters? 2/9
Plausible that 10 days is approx the time it takes for new chains of transmission in school to take hold & drive cases up again. Despite high prev infections.

Leicestershire schools had term & half term week earlier & they are seeing sustained increases in school kids again 3/9
Read 11 tweets
14 Nov
THREAD on child deaths from Covid:

Last week a paper came out reporting 25 deaths in 0-17 yr olds in England from Mar 2020 - Feb 2021.…

19 had an underlying health condition prompting headlines like these...

This is my view on child deaths & covid 1/10
Firstly I don't doubt the numbers.

We can compare them directly to ONS weekly death registrations with Covid on death certificate, which come in 5 yr age increments.

Drs doing death certs consider v carefully what are the contributing factors. 2/10…
The directly comparable age ranges we have are 0-14 years from ONS and from the paper.

The authors found 16 deaths in 0-14 yr olds from 1 March 2020 - 28 Feb 2021.

For same period, ONS reported 12 deaths. Note that all ONS child deaths in that year were in England. 3/10
Read 12 tweets
8 Nov
THREAD on school learning lost during the pandemic in England:

Summarising this govt report from October - very depressing...… 1/11
The report looked at learning loss in Primary (yrs 4-6) and Secondary (yrs 7-9) school students during pandemic in Reading and Maths (Primary only) using the standardised Star Assessment method which accounts for age.

What did it find? 2/11
Firstly, they assessed loss in Oct 2020 after initial long lockdown & again in July 2021. There was a lot of lost learning initially - and some catch up since so things are better by summer 2021 than they were, but kids have *not* caught up (which would be zero lost months). 3/11
Read 12 tweets
5 Nov
LONG THREAD on UK Covid situation...

cases, hospitals, deaths, long covid, variants, global - all dealing with consistent themes.

TLDR: "living with" with high cases is bad idea. Especially while boosters and teen vax is slow and new viral treatments are on the horizon! 1/25
There was a reduction in both LFD and PCR tests over half term, so take drop in reported cases with a grain of salt over half term.

Cases were flat or dropping in each nation, but apart from NI, PCR positivity was flat or increasing. 2/25
Two weeks ago I said we should see rates in kids fall over half term & that teen vax might put a brake on it too.

So cases started dropping the week *before* half term and accelerated over half term. 3/25
Read 27 tweets
2 Nov
In the JCVI minutes from 29 June, the committe had modelling evidence from TWO groups showing significant benefit in vaccinating teens - including preventing deaths.

They dismissed it.
Two models from Warwick and PHE showed "substantial reduction in hospitalisations of 12-17 year olds". Both models estimated vax would prevent 3 deaths per million kids vaxxed. (2/million in prev healthy children).

Warwick also showed LARGE REDUCTION in INFECTIONS.
The JCVI remained unmoved. They thought opportunity costs (affecting school vax progs) & potential harms from vax (although they earlier acknowledged vax myocarditis was q mild) outweighed benefit (but no numbers to support).

They also touted natural infection as better *again*
Read 9 tweets

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