Pandemic diary 88: UK alert level lowered

Home gym shot: have even used it occasionally. You only gym twice…

Lowering the alert level from 4 to 3 means the virus is in the general population and that restrictions can therefore ease further, though it's not a given.

Here is a variety of opinions nicked from BBC comments:

This is Outrageous! Relaxing the lockdown like this is Totally Irresponsible!

Good news, but the damage has already been done.

Free the under 45s. Get rid of social distancing. Support and protect the over 45s, at home. Why penalise those not at significant risk?

Maybe now all the germphobes and hypochondriacs might want to reduce their hysteria level accordingly. It's a glorified cold virus and is likely here to stay. Time to get a grip and get on with things again. 

Very handy that the announcement confirming the reduction in the alert level came out just after the announcement that the world beating and very expensive track and trace app is not fit for purpose.

The government are in a great hurry to ease the lockdown for political rather than medical reasons.

Completely forgot about these alert levels 

Everyone's opinion on this is going to be different according to their own perceptions and attitude to risk. Personally, I'd be more confident with this lowering of the threat level if I trusted that the decision was made first and foremost on the basis of risk to health rather than political/economic drivers. And if 'stay alert' worked as a message – it plainly doesn't. And if contact tracing was, well, better. Yesterday the government's contact tracing app was jettisoned in favour of one based on Apple and Google technology. Not that the apps seem to work that well anyway due to the wonky nature of Bluetooth and not every individual having a smartphone. I'm sure contact tracing will improve in time. But that takes… time. Local hotspots need to be spotted and shut down quickly. I'm not sure we're there yet. And until we are, I remain mostly risk-averse.

Jenny , who wrote a guest diary this week, tested positive for the Covid-19 antibodies. So she is now on the other side of the virus, thankfully. But she was very ill at the start of lockdown. This is a nasty virus and not to be under-estimated because we want to go to the shops, cafés and pubs again.

I haven't focused on the numbers too much in this diary but I think it's about time for a numbers check again.

  • 42k UK deaths directly from Covid-19, up 135 from the previous day
  • 52k deaths, ie, where Covid is mentioned on death cert (includes undiagnosed or related deaths)
  • 65k deaths over and above the usual at this time of year
  • 300.5k confirmed cases, up 1,218 from previous day
  • Birmingham : 1,131 coronavirus-related deaths to 5 June; 3,327 confirmed cases out of a local population of 1,141,816
  • Birmingham had the sixth highest mortality rate outside London at 139.9 coronavirus-related deaths per 100,000 people (March-May) according to the ONS
  • New stats for local areas: in my area of Kings Heath Park & Stirchley East there have been 7 deaths
  • The UK currently has the highest official death toll in Europe and the third highest in the world, after the US and Brazil
  • Daily deaths are on a downward trend but new cases seem to levelling off in the 1000-1500 range
  • The UK 'R' number (the average number of people an infected person will pass the disease on to and a key measure for easing restrictions) is 0.7-0.9. If R is below one, then the number of people contracting the disease will fall; if it is above one, the number will grow.


Today I am thankful for a lovely distance walk with my great nephew around the block and to the park. He seems to be over his running off randomly phase.

We walked in all sort of ways (sideways, backwards, forwards, fast, slow) and said hello to everything as we went:

Hello lavender! Hello sunflower! Hello gate! Hello number 23, 25, 27… Hello great big bush! Hello bins! Hello birds! Hello everyone! Hello whole world!

Actually that's quite a nice message as we come further out of lockdown.

Commission/hire me: fiona [at]

2 thoughts on “Pandemic diary 88: UK alert level lowered”

  1. I agree with everything you say. We're actually locking down further, having been able to get a Sainsbos delivery slot (there were loads, I just took one, we're going to have like one a month) and adding an alternate week salad box to our bi-weekly fruit and veg box from a local company. But Matthew is going to see his parents at the weekend, outdoors, distanced, ferried by his bro.

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