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Covid and Work, Covid Advice and General Chat

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Max68, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. StamfordMan

    StamfordMan Don't have diabetes · Member

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    The raw numbers are available from the Office of National Statistics for all to see. The epidemic peaked in mid-April 2020. For the 11 weeks up to the 3rd of July 2020 (the last date for which numbers are available), the number of deaths per week was falling week-on-week. For weeks 25, 26 and 27 the number of deaths (from all causes) in England and Wales was slightly below the 5-year average.

    While it's not an all-clear for people who have one or more of the co-morbidity factors, for the vast majority of healthy people, it's time to chuck the lockdown and get back to work, school and Uni. If you're over 65, obese, and have type-2 diabetes, by all means, stay at home and do your shopping online. Likewise, if you're immunocompromised or have severe lung complications, you should be isolating yourself.

    The purpose of the lockdown was "to flatten the curve so that the NHS was not overwhelmed" and that goal was achieved. Now what we are seeing is that the continuation of lockdowns everywhere is causing more harm than it is preventing. We're beyond the stage that there is anything to be gained by keeping people in a state resembling house arrest, and every day that businesses are shut and people are not at work, at school or at Uni is compounding the harm to all of us.

    Worldwide, lockdowns are now causing more deaths than they are preventing. For the UK, and other rich countries, the long-term cost of shuttering everything will soon be seen. The number of people who are unemployed will dramatically increase. People will be unable to pay their rent and will need substantial support to not end up homeless and due to the lingering effects of years of austerity, inevitably, many will be made homeless. The number of people using food banks will rise substantially. And then there's the long-term psychological damage that isolation has caused. The mental health and social care capability in the UK has been severely eroded by years of austerity. You have to wait many weeks just to get a call back from a mental health person, let alone substantial help. Anyone in the midst of an actual crisis has virtually no hope of getting help. A large number of new cases of PTSD and depression will only compound the problem.

    For poor countries, forcing people who live hand-to-mouth to stay at home is a death sentence. Denied the right to earn money, they are unable to buy food. Oxfam has stated that the number of people facing starvation is set to rise sharply. Across Africa, the effects of global lockdown are already noticable. People are now dying as a consequence of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, but not because they were infected by the virus. The consequential effects of the whole world following the recommendations of the WHO and shutting businesses, schools and transport logistics will most certainly kill millions of people. Unless, of course, there's a huge effort to distribute food to those in need, and seriously, don't hold your breath on that. The rich countries that normally would be able to chip in and help will be overwhelmed by the needs of their own citizens.

    So, why has this pandemic been treated differently from every other pandemic this century and in the last century? Never before have all the healthy people been quarantined like they have in 2020.

    We may have collectively "saved" the lives of 250 000 people in the UK. That means that, by employing the most costly and extreme measures possible, perhaps that number of people will live for up to another 6 years before they die. Of course, that assumes the most extreme end of the estimates from the Imperial College pandemic expert who has over-estimated every pandemic this century by orders of magnitude, Neil Ferguson, are accurate. None of his forecasts has been even close, and it's quite unlikely that this one is any different. People forget that there have been pandemics before. The "Hong Kong" flu of 1968 to 1971 killed an estimated 80 000 people in the UK. Was that considered a reason to destroy the livelihood of millions of people and potentially doom over a billion people to death by starvation? No it was not. Is SARS-CoV-2 the "Doomsday Virus" that virologists fear? The one that will have the transmissability of the common cold and the case-fatality rate of Ebola? No, it's not. It is not even as bad as the Hong Kong flu, and it's certainly not as bad as the 1918 H1N1 flu that killed somewhere between 10 million and 20 million people. It's a real virus and must be taken seriously, but not at the cost of killing millions, or even over a billion people who have not even been infected with this novel virus because we've all been stupid enough to believe that the end of the world was nigh.
     
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  2. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    I'm not surprised with all the anxiety floating around.
    I understand why it's very overwhelming at times.
    Take measures to protect yourself whilst at work and keep yourself as health as you can. Even for other illness/conditions not diabetic related. Of course diabetes in por control comprises your immune system so you can catch more than this virus so your lifelong aim is to keep yourself health the best way you can. As us all.
    You can do this. Don't doubt yourself. This is doable. :) :) :)
     
  3. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    No running water? Forget covid what about bacteria? I don't blame you.
     
  4. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm so sorry that you are in this position. I have read through the guidelines for education and childcare settings. The fact that it can recommend wearing masks in shops and on public transport (both now mandated) then almost glibly say that you don't need to in an education or childcare setting is nothing short of a scandal.
     
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  5. Max68

    Max68 · Well-Known Member

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    Your post includes some fair points but I'm not going to argue or discuss the rights/wrongs of if this virus is any worse than any other virus in history etc etc etc. There are plenty of threads on the internet to discuss that. I've created this thread for those with diabetes to discuss their concerns about a potential return to work and to support and advise each other if we can without derailing other threads. What we ideally don't want are other discussions unrelated to diabetes and work derailing this one! :)
     
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  6. Tannith

    Tannith · Well-Known Member

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    "I am currently at loggerheads with my head teacher due to him refusing to give me (and all staff) the choice to wear a face shield/mask. " So does he tell you all whether or not you are permitted to wear a hat? Or indeed a scarf and where you can wear a scarf eg round your neck or round your mouth and nose?I believe there are rules that prevent employers dictating a dress code. They come up sometimes when employers require women to wear high heels. Maybe you could investigate these. It is possible the head is worried that he will have to provide everyone with ppe.
     
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  7. Max68

    Max68 · Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Personally I would request a risk assessment in this situation and if he refuses then turn up wearing your own mask/visor. He can't then do anything further without making himself look very silly if it were to go further.

    I've just received our Timetable for September along with Inset Days upon return. Loads of staff in one room for training I suspect unless they move to the sports hall, Team Teach training (not much social distancing going on there!), bacon rolls on arrival, made by whom?! Why practice social distancing etc with the school day but not training days?!?! I'm pretty sure I will probably call it a day over the summer.
     
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    #27 Max68, Jul 14, 2020 at 4:18 PM
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  8. StamfordMan

    StamfordMan Don't have diabetes · Member

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    [QUOTE="What we ideally don't want are other discussions unrelated to diabetes and work derailing this one! :)[/QUOTE]

    If we keep on going on the current track, we might very well not have work to go to making the entire discussion moot.
     
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  9. Lowcarb 2

    Lowcarb 2 Type 1.5 · Well-Known Member

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    work for local council am working from home for foreseeable future not likely to go back to office until xmas , they hope to implement new way of working where at least 75% of staff work from home permanently and only go in office once a week if that, maybe just catch up and meetings enjoying freedom to do so as fear of going back to work is because of using the toilets, having to inject at work as this will be new to me as I only been on fast release insulin since lockdown and having to wipe my desk area down every time before I can even think about starting work, let alone the amount of wipes, disinfecting and hand sanitizer i feel I will need to use all the time and all this after having used public transport to get to work
     
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  10. Daphne917

    Daphne917 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    I’m a civil servant and have been working from home since 16 March and will be for the foreseeable future. At the moment they are talking about 20% occupancy in my building by September and even then most people will be in only one day a week. I enjoy working from home so am not affected too much but some colleagues are suffering anxiety etc and would probably be better off at work so these are the ones that they are aiming to get back into the building first.
     
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  11. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    One problem with working from home is that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a space to do so. Since I now have to study solely from home, with no access to a library, I end up working sat on my bed. And that’s not good physically, mentally or for family life.
     
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  12. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    Does your surgery not think you might have White Coat Syndrome?

    As I understand it, the shielding HbA1c threshold is just under 80, so it could be that your risk may be a bit lower than initially thought. Many GP practises are steadily reintroducing "routine" clinics and reviews, although not all are likely to have started their routine diabetes reviews yet. Maybe your GP could arrange a A1c test for you, bearing in mind it could allow you back to work?

    Sounds like a good idea to have a chat with your GP.
     
  13. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    I’ve been working from home in a very small space with no proper desk/chair and no space to install them. With a busy job and long hours, I also miss (yes, miss) the commute as it’s all too easy to remain rooted to a chair and become sedentary. I’ll be the first one back in the office for sure!
     
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  14. MrsA2

    MrsA2 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My friend, her husband, their son and his girlfriend are all working from the same home! Very tight fit and 2 of them are on the phone a lot. 3 have a bedroom each, 4th is in the lounge . It has been very difficult.
     
  15. Picci

    Picci Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Ohhh I know, we as a staff and union members are all fighting for it to be made a personal choice to wear PPE or not.
    A mountain has been made out of a mole hill. I will not be giving up and will fight for this basic human right.
     
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  16. UK T1

    UK T1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, that might be the case for Type 2s, but I know many Type 1s who have had shielding letters with lower HbA1c values and no other conditions. It seems to have been a GP lottery, which doesn't make it easier to decide if you're being over cautious! My consultant said they were advising type 1s shield from June, dependent on their situation. He advised me to shield because I work in a school. I'm under 40, no other conditions and HbA1c between 47-53 over the years so by all other metrics I'm low risk. Due to the difficulty of remaining physically distant from others at work he advised I shield.

    I still don't understand how an employer can ban you from wearing a mask or visor though? It is clear that gloves are unnecessary and regular and thorough hand washing is sufficient. However a mask or visor isn't a political symbol etc, what grounds does an employer have for forbidding you from wearing it? Our school has said anyone who is likely to be within 2m of others for more than 15 mins should wear a mask, suggesting this would be TAs and first aid staff for example, but is allowing others who wish to wear one to do so. Sorry it won't let me tag the comment which said they were being forbidden from wearing a mask, maybe as it is on a different page.
     
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  17. UK T1

    UK T1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like a great plan to me! I've seen many on here say they'd prefer to be at work. I know many have preferred working from home. It makes sense to include staff in consultation where possible and if it is something which can be done from a distance allow those who prefer that way of working to say so. I appreciate the benefits of seeing others and miss the daily interactions, however many don't want to return to how things were before (commuting for example)! It makes sense that staff who might be happy working from home and can do so effectively (I know this probably is largely office staff?) can have their voices heard in consultation and offer to work from home even just a few days a week. Seems a reasonable adjustment for all, including vulnerable staff. Of course employers won't want to pay for equipment etc but I've read many on here saying they have an office space set up anyway. As said, seems a reasonable adjustment which would greatly benefit many staff, including vulnerable staff.
     
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  18. Max68

    Max68 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks DCUKMod - Managed to get a telephone appointment with my GP in two weeks as she is off on holiday!! o_O In the meantime the receptionist said that those who they were "concerned" about would have received letters/phone calls re blood tests etc over the last few months, but she will ask the GP if she can book me an HBA1c test whilst she is away and then discuss results when she comes back.

    I'd quite happily keep working from home as I live alone anyway so that's not been a problem but the problem is Boris is expecting ALL kids back in school so if that's the case with ours then the work from home option disappears.

    The problem with the mask situation is that from what I can gather they don't necessarily stop you contracting the virus but it makes it harder for you to spread the virus. So if you wear one as a Covid negative person but spend all day in a room with a Covid positive person who doesn't wear a mask it's not going to help much, but it will if you "both" wear one. IMO everyone in school, offices, public/working indoor spaces should be mandated to wear one and a lot of these places are going on Government guidance alone so come September I could for instance be the only one wearing a mask!
     
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    #38 Max68, Jul 15, 2020 at 9:52 AM
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  19. JRT

    JRT · Well-Known Member

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    There are some interesting articles in Guardian about working from home including how for some it is definitely not advantageous. I know when my daughters were young the hour it took me to get home was excellent preparation and down time!
    Even though the phrase is over used this is an unprecedented situation, a lot of the "old " rules no longer are useful. So many people are affected in so many ways. Some relish working from home, some are struggling, some dont even get the opportunity. Things will have to change as long as the virus is around. I suppose the key question is how long will that be,which of course no one knows. I have no faith in the government regarding my own situation but even if they were on the ball it must be challenging to say the least.
    During lockdown I had hope that the very least to come out of this would be changes to social care. After working for the council and Citizens Advice in Research and Campaigns and caring for my dad full time who had dementia I needed a job that would pay the bills. I didnt want to manage people or organise rotas I wanted to work with people. A 12 hr shift doing hands on care didnt appeal,not that I mind being a care giver but when you are in your late 50s you dont have quite the same physical stamina for non stop hoisting,rolling,etc. I found a job as a support worker,quite a rare role in that no care but spend time talking to residents, 1.1s etc. Bliss. I must stress that my employer is one of the better ones but boy can you see the gap between public and private sector! The residents in the main well cared for and needs met,but it was areas like OT where you had a ridiculous struggle to get a chair raised when a resident was increasingly struggling. Staff rights are non existent. SSP only.Unions not encouraged. A deputy manager who genuinely cant see the problem with pushing a 20 stone resident up a hill in a large difficult to control wheelchair without a lap belt in a heatwave! I had past experience and knowledge to keep myself and residents safe and shared that knowledge with team. Still the system was struggling before the pandemic. My employers ideally would have permenant staff,and have improved the situation but few people are tempted into care when you can earn more just about anywhere else. I havent been at work since mid March because my gut instinct told me that even though they would do their best to follow government guidelines it just wouldnt be safe for me. My gut instinct was right and I shudder to think what would have happened if I had been there. After losing nearly a third of their residents things seemed to be in control. Now the virus is back in the building,staff I leaving who have been there for several years.
    We can only act on our own situation. Those of you that are in education they may be planning training days and refusing PPE but it doesn't mean that will be the case when the day arrives,advice changes daily. Financial situations vary greatly. If you dont have to be in that situation dont be. If you do try and buy yourself time. I know I'm incredibly lucky as I can keep the wolf from the door until next Spring. My union recommended I apply for Universal Credit,which I have done. Not sure quite how that is going to work but I've nothing to lose! I'm in No Mans land I am employed but without pay. Currently my GP has signed me off with stress. My employers through incompetence or in the hope of starving me back to work are refusing to pay SSP so I view the certificate as justification as to why I'm not there. GPs vary mine is moderately sympathetic and is calling this Friday and I will find out if she will renew it. One thing is for certain is the stress and anxiety are real,and I'm better placed than most.
    Sorry for the long post but I can hear the pain and uncertainty in some posters and feel the need to acknowledge they are not alone. The risk is real but the means of dealing with it havent caught up. I suppose my time at CAB was valuable as well. I remember one caller who was an accountant and in a very well paid job until she became ill. She was on the road to recovery but had been told she was not entitled to benefits(she was) and it had got to the stage she was foraging for firewood and berries. Having no prior knowledge of the system she was stunned that the safety net she was assuming was there had to be fought for. She thought if DWP said no it was final. In reality decisions overturned on appeal.
    I think we are at the beginning of this. I've stepped away from the news apart from short bursts but the virus seems to be spiking and economic recovery grim. Changes may be made but they may take a very long time. Meanwhile all you can do is your best not to be collateral damage.
     
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  20. Fairygodmother

    Fairygodmother Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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