Leeds City Council urging caution as case of new Covid variant are on the rise

Leeds City Council issued a statement as more cases of the new Covid variant have been found in the city.

Residents are urged to stay home as much as possible and  take extra care to keep themselves safe and to help stop the spread.

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From Leeds City Council website:

The new UK COVID-19 variant is now believed to be responsible for around one in every five cases of the virus detected in Leeds, new figures have revealed.

Residents and communities across the city are being urged to stay home whenever possible and keep contact with others to an absolute minimum as instances of the highly contagious B117 variant increase.

The latest testing information also shows 344.2 cases per 100,000 people tested, with cases thought to be spreading at the fastest rate in the 20-35 age group.

Case numbers in Leeds have shown some slight fluctuations in the past few days, with more cases of the UK variant, thought to spread much more easily, being picked up during testing. Before Christmas, the variant was believed to be responsible for around just one in 20 local cases.

In light of this, the council is once again reminding everyone across the city to take every possible precaution to prevent the spread of the virus and keep the city safe.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We have reached a critical stage in our long fight against this dreadful virus, which we know has already taken such a devastating toll on our city and its communities.

“As the rollout of vaccines accelerates, there is at last a real, tangible hope that finally, we are nearing the end of the worst stages of this terrible pandemic and may be able to start thinking towards the future sooner rather than later.

“However, the appearance of this highly contagious new variant means that until that time comes, it is absolutely imperative that we do not become complacent and do all that we can to prevent the virus spreading and cases increasing to the point where our local NHS services become overwhelmed.

“Leeds has shown remarkable grit and resolve throughout the pandemic and as we enter the final stretch, we need to call on those reserves once more to keep our families, loved ones, friends and neighbours safe.”

The council is continuing to work closely with health partners on a major rollout of vaccinations, with vaccination sites being set up at venues across the city and tens of thousands of vulnerable residents and key workers in high priority groups already receiving their first jabs.

Local GPs are working to provide vaccinations to as many care home residents and patients aged 80 as possible. In the coming weeks, the first community pharmacies will be starting to offer vaccinations and four large vaccination centres are being set up in West Yorkshire, including Elland Road.

Across the city’s care home network, efforts to protect some of the city’s most vulnerable have also seen vaccines given to 889 residents and 1,626 staff.

Victoria Eaton, Leeds City Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Working alongside our partners in the NHS, we are making good progress in ensuring Leeds has a comprehensive and robust network of vaccine sites, equipped to cope with what will be one of the single greatest collective efforts the city and the country has ever seen.

“While it’s hugely encouraging to see vaccinations taking place, this new variant carries with it a real danger that cases could grow exponentially and our efforts to control the spread of the virus and protect local health services may consequently be placed in serious jeopardy.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel, but staying home, minimising contact with others and following the latest guidance around hygiene and social distancing must remain at the forefront of our minds over the coming months.”

Everyone in Leeds can do their bit to help fight the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Staying home as much as you can and minimising contact with others when you do need to go out. Acting as though you have the virus is the best way to stay safe.
  • Regularly washing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wearing a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • Staying two metres apart from people you do not live with where possible.
  • Ensuring work venues are as COVID secure as possible.
  • Remembering that if you’ve had your vaccination or previously tested positive for COVID-19, it’s important that everyone still follows the rules to keep us all safe.

More information and support for residents can be found here: www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus.

 

 

It’s Friday, it’s your tune!

Dear all,

Dedication Friday is an invitation for you to send in your music dedications. The song you love and wish to share with others, a time to reminisce, to dedicate in memory of those we have lost, and a dedication to family and friends maybe. A wedding or divorce tune… Or just a little something for you!

My tune for today is below. It is sung by Yazz (originally sung by Otis Clay). This song is dedicated to my friend who celebrated her birthday alone yesterday due to the heavy snow and having to isolate. She looked like Yazz and even dyed her hair the same when younger. It definitely brings back some memories for me, we used to dance to this when out in the clubs. A distant memory now when going out was all the rage 🙂 And hopefully we will again soon, well maybe not to the clubs but a cafe or two will do. The lyrics are hopeful too…….. things maybe a little hard now but we’ll find a brighter day….hold on, the only way is up :).
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Is there a tune you wish to share with others?
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If yes, email me: lisa@caringtogether.org.uk or call me: 07436 530073  
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Click on the highlighted link below to listen:
ps. If it asks you to sign into Youtube, just click on ‘no thanks’ and then click on ‘I agree’, you may also have to watch the start of an advert first, you can skip ad once it shows bottom right – enjoy!
What happened to 'The Only Way is Up' singer Yazz? - Smooth
image sourced: smooth radio

Bingo anyone? Wednesday 20th January 2021@3pm

Is anyone up for some online bingo Wednesday 20th January @3pm? If yes please get in touch before 1pm Tuesday 19th January and I will get some cards out to you on Wednesday morning. We can have a few games and there will be prizes – nothing too lavish of course but they will still be lovely and hopefully it will be a bit of fun too.
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Email me back or just call me on the details below if yes. If you or your family don’t have the internet or are not too good with zoom then this is ok you can use your phone to listen and hear the numbers being called if you wish. It just means you won’t be able to see anyone, which if you are ok with then let me know. I can go through all this with you.
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Lisa: Caring Together Mobile: 07436 530073
email: lisa@caringtogether.org.uk

Snowy scene in Leeds this morning…….but where?

Dear all, I have been sent someone’s view from their window this morning. Slightly obscured by the dense snow filled air with just the building in the forefront visible. Can anyone guess where this might be? And I am sure the snow is thicker on the ground by now.

Keep safe everyone.

Shared Moments: ‘Communication now’ by Oliver Cross

I wish I wasn’t frightened of my own voice because then I could spend all day on social media talking to people I don’t know.

Which, at a time when old-fashioned personal contact is mostly outlawed, would mean I could make a contribution to combating the loneliness and anxiety which is supposed to be the main curse of the lock-down age, even more so than thousands of people dying prematurely, which we don’t like to think about.

My problem is that I don’t distinguish, in terms of difficulty, between talking, texting or ‘proper’ writing; any use of words is a serious business to me, so that I can take 20 minutes to fill in a birthday card. An internet conversation involving me would be made up mainly of long pauses and the only message people could take from it would be that my broadband needs fixing,

I’ve not been able to join in the great socially-distanced virtual hug we’re all supposed to be giving ourselves because, as well as my own voice, I’m frightened of strangers (plus, although it’s not immediately relevant, coat hangers, ironing boards and brassicas).

This is why I find it difficult to get involved in conversation with parcel deliveries, bus drivers, barbers, general practitioners or lost people desperately seeking directions. I know this is wrong but shyness is a terrible thing, not because it makes you unhappy, but because it makes you, in many situations, near-useless.

But although shyness is generally a bad thing, unrestrained self-confidence, as demonstrated all over the net and on radio phone-ins, can be equally problematic, by which I mean absolutely dreadful and isn’t it a pity that all the recent huge advances in popular communication have cumulated in Donald Trump?

This shouldn’t have happened because most of us have access to countless sources of information and opinion and, to quote Areopagitica,  John Milton’s great tract on freedom of speech, ‘Let Truth and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worst in a free and open encounter?’

Which might have been true when it was written in 1644 and when I studied it at A-level a few years later, but now Truth looks tattered and vulnerable; after taking a beating from 20th century totalitarians it’s had to deal with 21st century PR companies, sneaky politicians, conspiracy theorists and the incessant shouting of people who want to drown out every version of truth but their own.

Milton, thinking truth had a pure and unassailable quality, would have been quite floored by the discovery of Trump’s advisor, Kellyanne Conway, that there are such things as ‘alternative facts’, which mean the result of the US presidential election can be whatever you want it to be.

This makes things difficult because when Twitter bans Donald Trump from spreading lies and inciting violence, and  Donald Trump Jnr responds by tweeting that ‘free speech no longer exists in America’ I’m not sure where the very small Ariopagitica Support Group should stand.

But I’ve decided that Junior’s statement, published in every corner of America, should probably be dismissed as self-contradictory.

Thank you Oliver, until next time….

Support your NHS – A Guide to Better Care

Help your NHS help you this winter by reading ‘Support your NHS’ a guide to better care.

This booklet, which has been sent out to households in Leeds, includes information on how you can support your NHS this winter by choosing the right service, when to access accident and emergency department, accessing your local pharmacy, COVID-19 symptoms and testing, and mental wellbeing.

Visit supportnhsleeds.co.uk for more information  and to view this booklet online or you can email leedsccg.comms@nhs.net or call 0113 843 5740 if you’d like a copy

Poetry Corner: ‘The Communal Defrost’ by Gary Smith

Jack frost had paid a call,
The morn was all a-glitter.
Icicles dangled from frozen gutters,
The day was cold and bitter.

Greetings of "good morning "
Came from here and there
As the hardy left their houses,
To face the freezing air.

I heard familiar sounds
Echoing around our street,
Neighbours scraping windscreens
And stamping frozen feet.

Clouds of exhaled breath
Rose up to the sky,
As if ghostly, silent steam trains
Were slowly drifting by.

The sound of engines running,
As people warmed their cars.
It was the communal defrost,
Beneath early morning stars.

sourced http:/ www funnypoemsforlife com

‘Monday Mind Workout’ answers for Monday 11th January 2021

Dear all, below are the answers for yesterday’s Monday Mind Workout that was themed around the New Year.

1.The first ball to be dropped in New York’s Times Square happened in what year?
a. 1908

2.The first time that January 1st was celebrated as the beginning of a new year was in 153 B.C. when the Romans moved the first month of their calendar back to January. For what reason did the Romans do this?
a. To coincide with elections of the two highest ranking Republic positions.

3.In 567 A.D., the Council of Tours prohibited the recognition of an official New Year. Why did they do this?
b. They disliked that the date was originated with pagans.

4.What famous Frank was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, on January 1, 1938?
b. Actor Frank Langella

5.In 1583, what event returned January 1st as the observation of the New Year in Europe?
c. The institution of the Gregorian Calendar.

6.The lyrics of the now-traditional New Years song “Auld Lang Syne” began as a poem set to the tune of a much older Scot folk ballad. Who wrote the poem?
b. Robert Burns

7. On January 1, 1877, what happened to Queen Victoria of Britain?
c. She got stuck in her throne, requiring three hours of manpower and twenty pounds of butter to get her out.

8.On January 1, 1906, the government of the Netherlands
made what law?
a. Mandatory licenses required for driving engine-powered vehicles.

9.On January 1, 1962, who failed to pass an audition for Decca Records?
b. The Beatles
10.What name was given to the predicted computer meltdown at the beginning of the year 2000?
a.Millennium Bug

‘Monday Mind Workout’ – Monday 11th January 2021

Dear all, Today’s Monday Mind Workout is themed around the New Year. Best of luck.
 
1.The first ball to be dropped in New York’s Times Square happened in what year?
a. 1908 b. 1925 c. 1938 d. 1962
 
2.The first time that January 1st was celebrated as the beginning of a new year was in 153 B.C. when the Romans moved the first month of their calendar back to January. For what reason did the Romans do this?
a. To coincide with elections of the two highest ranking Republic positions.
b. To honor the god, Janus, god of beginnings and transitions.
c. More sacred sheep were born in January than in February.
d. To honor Tobasco, god of hangover relief.
 
3.In 567 A.D., the Council of Tours prohibited the recognition of an official New Year. Why did they do this?
a. They believed the end of the world would happen soon.
b. They disliked that the date was originated with pagans.
c. To move the date to August 9 in order to replace the Frankish holiday of Stickball Day with a less athletic-themed celebration.
d. Because they were just a bunch of grumpy geezers who hated celebrating anything.
 
4.What famous Frank was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, on January 1, 1938?
a. Entertainer Frank Sinatra, Jr.
b. Actor Frank Langella
c. Football player and coach, Frank Beamerd. Head of the barley cereal syndicate crime family, Frankenberry
 
5.In 1583, what event returned January 1st as the observation of the New Year in Europe?
a. A severe earthquake in Portugal on that date that miraculously took no human victims.
b. Papal fear surrounding a dire prediction by seer John Dee.
c. The institution of the Gregorian Calendar.
d. The 67-year-old Queen of Spain took her first bath.
 
6.The lyrics of the now-traditional New Years song “Auld Lang Syne” began as a poem set to the tune of a much older Scot folk ballad. Who wrote the poem?
a. John Keats
b. Robert Burns
c. Lord Byrond. Dr. Seuss8.
 
7. On January 1, 1877, what happened to Queen Victoria of Britain?
a. She got married.
b. She celebrated her 50th birthday.
c. She got stuck in her throne, requiring three hours of manpower and twenty pounds of butter to get her out.
 
8.On January 1, 1906, the government of the Netherlands
made what law?
a. Mandatory licenses required for driving engine-powered vehicles.
b. A national census.
c. Recognition of Dutch as the national language.
d. Prohibition on the wearing of lampshades as hats.
 
9.On January 1, 1962, who failed to pass an audition for Decca Records?
a. Liberace
b. The Beatles
c. Comedian George Carlin
d. The Jackson Two
 
10.What name was given to the predicted computer meltdown at the beginning of the year 2000?
a.Millennium Bug
b.Millennium Ants
c.Millennium Cat

Update on the Covid Vaccine progamme in Leeds from local NHS

As I started this post the news came through that a third Covid 19 vaccine (Moderna) has been approved for use in the UK so it seems a good time to share with you this update from the NHS in Leeds about plans to get more people vaccinated including through GPs, pharmacies and a large vaccination centre at Elland Road.

The following is from https://www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/news:

More care home residents and vulnerable people in Leeds will be offered protection against COVID-19, as the new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine starts to be rolled out to GP-centres.

Local GPs are working together to provide vaccinations to as many care home residents and patients aged 80 as possible. In Leeds, 17 of 19 primary care networks are now providing vaccinations from centres with the final two expected to start next week.

The Oxford vaccine does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures and is much easier to move so is easier to use in care homes and will mean GPs can now start vaccinating housebound patients.

The local NHS is working to expand the rollout as quickly as supplies become available. In the coming weeks, the first community pharmacies will be starting to offer vaccinations and four large vaccination centres are being set up across West Yorkshire, including Elland Road (home of Leeds United Football Club) in Leeds.

All services will continue to be appointment only and people will be invited for vaccinations through a national booking system, which will allow them to choose the most convenient location for them.

Vaccinations are being offered to those at greatest risk from Covid-19 first, in line with the recommendations from the Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations (JCVI).

At the moment, GPs are offering vaccinations to people aged 80 and over and care home residents and will then move to other age groups in descending order.

Practices are busy contacting eligible patients to make appointments for their first vaccination as supplies are made available to them but it is likely take several weeks to cover everyone in these first groups.

Dr Jason Broch, local GP and Clinical Chair for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group said: “It is great news that we will be able to protect more vulnerable people. We are working with partners in Leeds to make sure people can get their first vaccination as quickly and easily as possible and are ready to expand the rollout as fast as supplies become available.

“GPs, nurses, pharmacists and countless other staff, partners and volunteers are working around the clock to provide vaccinations. We know people are eager get protected and may be concerned if they are in one of the priority cohorts and have not been contacted yet. However, we would like to reassure them that they will be contacted over the next few weeks.

“Services are extremely busy at the moment and we would ask people to help the NHS at this very difficult time by not contacting their local GP or other NHS services about getting a vaccination. People will not be able to book an appointment until they have been invited to do so, so please be patient and we will contact you as soon as it is your turn.”