2023: COVID is Still in the UK & People Are Being Continually Infected
2023: COVID is Still in the UK & People Are Being Continually Infected
Now that 2023 has arrived: “a search of Google Scholar produces around 5 million results containing the word COVID. However, the current complex interplay of COVID variants, vaccination & natural immunity, makes predicting how we will be affected this year, far more difficult & less predictable”
No Room For Complacency
“As governments loosen & at times re-tighten their responses to react to dynamic medical & social pressures, there's a risk that variants could emerge which evade some of the defences that populations have built up” 
The COVID pandemic's next stages across 2023, will also be strongly impacted by people's actions . These include:
- Wearing top quality, highly effective, National Health Service and MHRA-approved 5 layer filtration anti-COVID mask, such as the renowned Omnitex FFP2 NR or the Air Queen Nano Mask - These are very different to the extremely inferior masks that have been sold in thousands of UK and Southern Ireland shops and online stores. - And while some of these masks were (and are still) made using washable material in many different colours, with interesting designs, patterns, and images, they are not NHS or MHRA-approved; do not have the necessary high efficiency filtration levels; do not have a contoured shape; are not fluid repellent with high BFE, and do not normally offer an adjustable nose chip for comfortable breathing.
- Carrying out regular home or workplace self-testing with a NHS and MHRA-approved reliable testing kit, so that your can warn your family, friends and work colleagues, if you have contracted COVID-19. Such recommended high quality test kits include the simple to use FlowFlex Antigen Rapid Test; and the Healgen Rapid COVID 19 Antigen Self-Test
- Whether or not people reduce their social contact when they have COVID. Although the crucial point here, is that if they do not have regular COVID testing, and only have mild COVID symptoms, then when they do socialise, they may not even know that they are carrying the virus. - To that end, such people can act as a clear and present danger to those they come into contact with, potentially subjecting others to very serious illness and even death, as the chain of COVID destruction passes on from one person to the next
- Building ventilation such as open windows in the workplace, at home, and in public spaces (including on public transport)
- How much people work from home, for example, all their working week, or just one or two days per week
- The way people travel. This includes driving on their own; or taking public transport such as buses, trains, and the underground. And whether their mode of public transport poses vulnerability to contracting COVID due to it being jammed packed with people who are frequently squashed together like sardines, (the London underground is a perfect example, and indeed one which caused the spread of countless cases of COVID-19, and the resultant serious illness and deaths due to the unforgivable decision-making and dereliction of duty by the politicians in charge). - Which if anything, shows us that we all have to take personal responsibility, and that even though free anti-COVID masks and COVID tests have for the most part, been withdrawn by the government, we can still stock up on economy packs of NHS and MHRA-approved supplies PPF2 NR anti-COVID masks
A World of COVID Uncertainty & Hospitals That Cannot Cope
“There’s no certainty that new variants will emerge that have an effect in the order of delta or omicron, but it is possible. Should this occur, it’s important that plans are in place to respond in the context of waning interest in COVID & resurgent misinformation & disinformation”
The hospitals in the UK certainly aren't ready...
Across numerous countries, there are still huge differences in pharmaceutical and non pharmaceutical COVID interventions, just as there were right at the get-go, when COVID-19 irrevocably changed all our lives. The mandatory wearing of face masks is one of these, and regardless of the early and later scientific research which even showed graphic examples and indisputable proof of how anti-COVID masks can help curb the airborne transmission of viruses; squabbles between politicians ruled the day (think of the wrangling in the UK, and the violent protest scenes in the US), the latter of which resulted in countless COVID fatalities; this wrangling still continues. - And this should drive people to take personal responsibility for their own well-being, and that of their family, friends, work colleagues, and the general public at large.
Putting a Spotlight on the Facts About COVID Mask Protection
As Christopher Labos MD, MSc, at McGill university states:
“Even prior to the pandemic, lab studies showed masks prevent the spread of infection, even though the studies were in the context of influenza. During the pandemic, it became clear that masks were effective. Data from Massachusetts found that COVID rates rose sharply in March 2020, but stabilized when universal masking was implemented for health-care workers at the end of March, & started decreasing when implemented for patients at the beginning of April. In fact, many other reviews of the published data have found that wearing masks reduced the risk of being infected” 
Dr Labos also notes that at the start of the pandemic: “universal mask use for the general public was unheard of. That, and the fact that we collectively under-appreciated how important airborne spread was in viral transmission, essentially wrong-footed the conversation around masks from the get go” . Clearly, the fall-out from this scenario affected millions of people, including those in the UK and Southern Ireland, regions where CovidTestsUK is now supplying households, workplaces, medical facilities, and countless industries with NHS and MHRA-approved rapid flow antigen self-testing kits, and the 5 layer filtration FFP2 anti-COVID masks.
Of note: FFP2 & N95 masks are very similar in regard to filtration effectiveness. The main difference is that FFP2 follows the European EN 149 standard, while N95 follows the American NIOSH standard
“Another recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows the impact of mask-wearing in Boston-area schools. Using a difference-in-difference statistical design, that is, comparing the difference before with the difference after changes in mask policy, researchers were able to look at how different schools fared when they lifted mask mandates at different times. The researchers found that lifting mask mandates resulted in an extra 45 cases per 1,000 students & staff, or an extra 12,000 cases, which translated into just under 30 per cent of all infections in that time period” 
At the beginning of the pandemic when many governments around the world did not take heed of the emerging research, and thereby take appropriate action by simply making anti-COVID masks mandatory in public, they committed a grave error of judgement. And even worse, as time went on, in many cases, the latter continued, as more substantial research supporting the mandatory use of masks came to the fore. Indeed, Dr Labos of McGill University, sums this situation up very well:
“When deciding if masks work, we have to look at the pre-pandemic data, simulations with aerosols in labs, data from inside hospitals, & the research from the community at large. Look at it all, & one can see that clearly, masks help reduce the spread of viruses. They aren’t perfect, but they help. And in a pandemic where hospitals are overwhelmed [& in 2023, in the UK, when hospitals are falling apart under the strain of severe underfunding, strikes, and lack of qualified medics], every little bit helps a lot 
The Need to Take Proactive Action
Statistics from the UK Office of National Statistics show that in January 2023:
- “In England, the estimated number of people testing positive for COVID-19 was 2,189,300, equating to 4.02% of the population, or around 1 in 25 people
- In Wales the estimated number of people testing positive for COVID-19 was 157,000, equating to 5.16% of the population, or around 1 in 19 people
- In Northern Ireland, the estimated number of people testing positive for COVID-19 was 129,100, equating to 7.04% of the population, or around 1 in 14 people
- In Scotland, the estimated number of people testing positive for COVID-19 was 219,600, equating to 4.17% of the population, or around 1 in 25 people” 
These statistics, coupled with the prediction that the Kraken (XBB.1.5) coronavirus sub-variant that is roaring through the US, and keeping epidemiologists up at night, is coming to the UK:
"There is a possibility that this variant could have an increasing effect on the number of COVID-19 cases in the EU/EEA, but not within the coming month as the variant is currently only present in the EU/EEA at very low levels," writes the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in its recent assessment of XBB.1.5.” 
Means that being prepared with economy packs of National Health Service and MHRA-approved FlowFlex Antigen Rapid Tests or Healgen Rapid COVID 19 Antigen Self-Tests; and National Health Service and MHRA-approved 5 layer filtration anti-COVID masks, such as the renowned Omnitex FFP2 NR or the Air Queen Nano Mask is the name of the game for keeping ourselves, our families and loved ones, fellow employees, and the public at large, safe from the clear and present danger of the unrelenting drive of COVID.
. Robertson, D. (2023). “COVID in 2023 and beyond – why virus trends are more difficult to predict three years on.” Loughborough University
. Labos, C. (2022). “The Evidence Shows Masks Work.” McGill University.
. Office For National Statistics (2023). “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: 13 January 2023.”