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'Weird as hell’: the Covid-19 patients who have symptoms for months

1 año 5 meses ago

Researchers keen to work out why some people are suffering from ‘long tail’ form of the virus

In mid-March Paul Garner developed what he thought was a “bit of a cough”. A professor of infectious diseases, Garner was discussing the new coronavirus with David Nabarro, the UK’s special envoy on the pandemic. At the end of the Zoom call, Nabarro advised Garner to go home immediately and to self-isolate. Garner did. He felt no more than a “little bit off”.

Days later, he found himself fighting a raging infection. It’s one he likens to being “abused by somebody” or clubbed over the head with a cricket bat. “The symptoms were weird as hell,” he says. They included loss of smell, heaviness, malaise, tight chest and racing heart. At one point Garner thought he was about to die. He tried to Google “fulminating myocarditis” but was too unwell to navigate the screen.

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Luke Harding

TfL to raise congestion charge by 30% as part of £1.6bn bailout deal

1 año 5 meses ago

Deal to keep ‘tubes and buses running’ also affects free travel for children and the over-60s

Transport for London is to raise the congestion charge by 30%, temporarily stop free travel for children and charge over-60s to travel at peak times as part of a deal to secure a £1.6bn bailout from the government.

TfL was forced to turn to the government after reporting a 90% fall in income as journeys on public transport in London have dried up during the nationwide lockdown.

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Mark Sweney

It is not just loved ones I miss, but the joy of hanging out with casual friends | Zoe Williams

1 año 5 meses ago

What unites golf, fishing, tennis, shopping and going for coffee? The activities are pretty unimportant – but they are a perfect excuse to spend time with others

Mr Z and I spent the first couple of hours of a lockdown morning exactly as our enemies would imagine, with him making me guess George Orwell’s measure of a perfect pub.

“Fags. People smoking fags,” I responded immediately. “It should sell tobacco as well as cigarettes, and it also sells aspirin and stamps, and is obliging about letting you use the telephone,” he corrected. I started moaning, because that is four criteria, not one, and these are not terms on which any decent person would run a quiz. I had another go – “Does the woman behind the bar know your name?” – only to be shot down again. Yes, she knows your name, in Orwell pubtopia, but she also has her hair dyed in a surprising shade and calls you “dear”, not “duckie”. “This sucks,” I said. “You’re bad at quizzing.” “You just miss pubs.”

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Zoe Williams

Almost 2,000 tags bought for UK Covid-19 prisoner releases remain unused

1 año 5 meses ago

Justice ministry announced as many as 4,000 inmates would be freed but so far only 55 have been released

The Ministry of Justice bought 2,000 electronic monitoring tags for prisoners released early under emergency measures that have so far seen only 55 inmates freed.

Responding to a parliamentary question from the shadow justice secretary, David Lammy, the government said it had signed a deal with two private providers, Buddi and Attenti, on 7 April and 22 April respectively.

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Jamie Grierson Home affairs correspondent

What do I miss most in lockdown? The homely hum of the hairdresser's | Rhys Thomas

1 año 5 meses ago

Everyone will be missing their own rituals at the moment. I long for the comfort and reassurance I find at the salon

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  • The first bond I formed with a hairdresser was when I was 14. After a few weeks of selling sweets in school and peering through barber-shop windows, I found Neil. I liked his outfit and The Style Council was playing through the speakers. I almost fell asleep while he shampooed my hair. We chatted amiably. It all felt nice and calming, even empowering. Neil almost seemed like a mentor. He cut my hair once a month from then until I went to university, and the hairdresser’s became a place I would visit to guarantee a boost to my mood.

    Now in lockdown, I’ve embraced the shapeless mass of hair on my head. What I’ve realised is I don’t actually miss getting my hair cut – I just miss the experience of being at the hairdresser’s.

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    Rhys Thomas

    Firms given £1bn of state contracts without tender in Covid-19 crisis

    1 año 5 meses ago

    Ministers told not to use coronavirus as ‘blank cheque’ to evade accountability

    State contracts worth over £1bn have been awarded to private companies dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, without offering other firms the chance to bid for the work, the Guardian can reveal.

    In what amounts to a Covid-19 bonanza for some firms, ministers have suspended the standard rules to enable contracts to be issued “with extreme urgency”.

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    Rob Evans, Juliette Garside, Joseph Smith and Pamela Duncan

    Locked down pubs forced to pour 70m pints of beer down the drain

    1 año 5 meses ago

    ‘Heartbroken’ landlords say even more beer will be destroyed if coronavirus opening restrictions continue through summer

    Simon Vanderbelt, a publican, had never tipped a full barrel of perfectly drinkable beer down the drain before Covid-19 struck.

    His micropub and distillery, the Little Taproom on Aigburth Road in south Liverpool, had only been open a week when pubs were ordered to close, forcing him to shut up shop with hundreds of pints still untouched.

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    Rob Davies

    Large areas of London to be made car-free as lockdown eased

    1 año 5 meses ago

    Mayor Sadiq Khan says city needs to be repurposed for people as it emerges from coronavirus restrictions

    Large areas of London are to be closed to cars and vans to allow people to walk and cycle safely as the coronavirus lockdown is eased, Sadiq Khan has announced.

    In one of the biggest car-free initiatives of any city in the world, the capital’s mayor announced on Friday that main streets between between London Bridge and Shoreditch, Euston and Waterloo, and Old Street and Holborn, will be limited to buses, pedestrians and cyclists.

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    Matthew Taylor

    Hockney invites budding artists to find joys of spring in lockdown

    1 año 5 meses ago

    Artist provides inspiration for competition to lift spirits during the coronavirus crisis

    Locked down in France, the British artist David Hockney has been sitting in the garden of his Normandy home drawing the blossoming of spring. The cherry and other fruit trees, the hawthorns and blackthorns, all feature in his works, famously created on his iPad.

    Now Hockney, 82, is the inspiration for a competition to encourage young and old to create an image that captures the season and to lift coronavirus lockdown spirits.

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    Kim Willsher in Paris

    Mexico: adulterated alcohol deaths rise to over 100 amid ban on official sales

    1 año 5 meses ago
    • Methanol believed to involved in incidents across country
    • Sale of liquor banned during Covid-19 pandemic

    More than 100 Mexicans have died from drinking adulterated alcohol over the past month in a string of mass poisonings which followed a ban on the sale of liquor during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Deaths from unsafe alcohol have been reported in at least four states. On Thursday, health officials in the central state of Puebla said the death toll there had reached 51 after a batch of moonshine was tainted with methanol – a wood alcohol which can cause blindness and kidney damage.

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    David Agren in Mexico City

    As an epidemiologist, I know how well contact tracing could work for coronavirus | Keith Neal

    1 año 5 meses ago

    If used with adequate testing, isolation and social distancing, tracing could be key to reducing the spread of Covid-19

    As quarantine measures are slowly lifted in the UK, the virus will continue to spread unless the government puts in place a strategy to curb the rate of infection. Contact tracing, a practice long used in public health to control infectious diseases, will be crucial to driving down the rate of infection, or R, and minimising further cases of coronavirus.

    Epidemiologists have been using traditional contact tracing for years to control sexually transmitted infections, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and meningitis. The basic principle of how an infectious disease spreads is that one individual, person A, will pass on the disease to person B, who then passes it on to C, continuing in a chain to D, E, F and onwards. Epidemiologists interrupt these chains of transmission by identifying people through contact tracing before they spread the infection to others.

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    Keith Neal

    US coronavirus hotspots linked to meat processing plants

    1 año 5 meses ago
    • Analysis shows factories a source of virus transmission
    • Workers and unions urge health and safety overhaul

    Almost half the current Covid-19 hotspots in the US are linked to meat processing plants where poultry, pigs and cattle are slaughtered and packaged, which has led to the virus spiking in many small towns and prompted calls for urgent reforms to an industry beset by health and safety problems.

    Related: 'Chaotic and crazy': meat plants around the world struggle to contain Covid-19 outbreaks

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    Nina Lakhani

    Ghosts replace crowds as Covid-19 rattles Jordan's ancient city of Petra

    1 año 5 meses ago

    Empty streets, hotel rooms and restaurants shine harsh light on crisis facing tourism industry

    Camels laze in the shade of 2,300-year old columns. Centre stage at the amphitheatre is temporarily reserved for goats. The noise of crowds in front of the treasury – the most recognisable and best preserved feature of the ancient city of Petra – has evaporated, and only birdsong intrudes on the silence.

    This is peak season of what was supposed to be a record year for tourism in Jordan’s crown jewel, the Nabataean metropolis carved into kaleidoscopic rock. But the last tourists left the Middle Eastern kingdom on 17 March, just before it shut its borders because of coronavirus, and since then Petra and the surrounding towns have been deserted.

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    Michael Safi and Jassar Al-Tahat in Petra