Paul, a short blond man from a suburb of London, had studied Chinese with me before we became friends and stayed in touch.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, we met many times to go for walks in parks and countryside, talking while walking.
It was a relief that the loneliness of prolonged isolation haunted us from time to time, and of course we walked together wearing masks and keeping a certain distance.
Shortly after London’s lockdown went up to level four, I called Paul to check on him. He seemed to be in a bad mood.
“What’s the matter?” I asked him.
He said, “My parents are infected with novel Coronavirus.”
My heart sank and I asked, “Are they in hospital?”
“No,” he said.
All quarantined at home.
Probably infected with the newly discovered variant.
Mum is doing well but Dad is in serious condition with a hacking cough and a fever.”
I hung up. I was worried about Paul.
He didn’t say if he had been tested, and I didn’t ask. It’s hard to ask.
Paul is under 30 years old. He is studying for a PhD in a prestigious British university and doing part-time data analysis in a financial company. He has been in poor health since childhood and had a lung transplant.
Paul’s parents had inherited their heritage – they were running a private elementary school, interacting daily with students and teachers, possibly from a school infected with a new variant of the novel Coronavirus.
The new strain recently identified in The UK is also said to be “no education, no class” — disrupting schools regardless of age, sex, class or race. That is why the government is now calling for schools to close and students to go home, instead of insisting that primary and secondary schools continue to open face-to-face.
A few days later, Paul called me. “My sister tested positive, too,” he said.
I thought of him at once, but still did not ask him about himself.
He continued: “My sister comes home a lot and probably got it from my parents.
I don’t go home very often, but I got tested.”
“What are the results?”
I couldn’t resist this time.
He replied, “I have done two tests: novel Coronavirus test negative and antibody test positive.”
I couldn’t think straight.
When it comes to words like masculine and feminine, I get dizzy.
He seemed to anticipate my confusion and elaborated, “This means that I do not have a novel Coronavirus in my body now, but I have antibodies from avirus that I had infected with a novel Coronavirus before.
Strangely, I never had any symptoms.”
Ah, Paul used to be asymptomatic!
I didn’t use the exclamation mark out of fear that I might catch it while walking.
On the contrary, I am not worried at all, both because we wear masks when we walk and because since the outbreak arrived in the UK in early 2020, we have never met indoors and have always walked in the open air at a distance.
I wish to make two points. First, novel Coronavirus and its variants are ubiquitous in The UK.
Anyone can catch a virus without knowing it or showing no symptoms, and you can still be infected.
Novel Coronavirus and its variants are not so frightening as one might imagine.
Despite his poor health and the fact that he had had a lung transplant, Paul probably survived as a young man with no symptoms and managed to develop antibodies in his body, barely surviving.
The new strain does not necessarily originate in Britain
In the case of Paul and his family, the British scientists judged that the new strain spread much faster than the others, but was not necessarily more deadly.
Over time, scientists have learned more about the new strain.
First, just because the new strain was first discovered in Britain does not necessarily mean it originated there.
Second, it was first discovered in the UK because the UK has the best gene sequencing capability in the world.
The sequencing of the novel Coronavirus gene in the UK is said to account for 45 per cent of the global total.
Third, the new strain may already appear in other countries, now some countries ban on Britain, opening, sealing measures, not only to punish the world’s first suspected of early warning and gene sequencing the world’s leading countries, and probably cannot have the effect of blocking infection, that is to say, the ban to the virus, break off infection, seal sea is difficult to seal the outbreak.
Hailed as “The best genome sequencing project in The world”, The COVID-19 Genomics Consortium (coCOG UK) has been tracking The genetic history of more than 150,000 novel Coronavirus samples. This is about half The global sequencing of The Novel Coronavirus genome.
Professor Sharon Peacock, director of the institute, said the high level of genome sequencing in the UK meant that “if you are going to find something anywhere in the world, you are more likely to find it in the UK first”.
It was this advanced genetic sequencing capability in the UK that enabled British scientists to conclude from the novel Coronavirus variant that was spreading in the UK in the spring of 2020 that the novel Coronavirus that was then raging in the UK came mainly from Europe rather than China.
Professor Pickcock said it was not clear whether the new variant originated in Kent or had been imported from other countries, nor whether it had already spread from Britain to other countries.
Jeremy Luban, a virologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the US, told the Washington Post that it was also possible that the new variant originated in the US, where gene sequencing was sporadic and too unsystematic.
Professor Tom Connor, who was involved in the introduction of the Novel Coronavirus gene sequencing in Wales, England, agreed that similar variants were likely to appear in many parts of the world but had not been detected.
Professor Ravi Gupta, University of Cambridge, notes that it is no coincidence that any country that has discovered the novel Coronavirus new variant has a relatively good sequencing capability.
For example, Novel Coronavirus was discovered as an “interesting variant” in South Africa after much work on gene sequencing, while new variants were soon discovered in Denmark and the Netherlands with strong monitoring systems.
Christmas Eve is not safe, gift box day no gift box
The past week has been a momentous one for Britain, which has been “locked out” of many countries
December 24, Christmas Eve.
The number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths in the UK remained high on Christmas Day, despite a trade deal with the EU.
December 25th, Christmas Day.
The day was supposed to be a day for family reunions, but because of the embargo, the number of days and the number of people allowed to reunite has been severely restricted.
December 26, gift Box Day.
This day used to be a day of sales and shoppers’ carnival, but this year the high Street in my community, This year London, this year Britain, is like a ghost street, ghost town, ghost country on this day.
London’s Orpington Shopping centre, normally packed with shoppers on a box day morning, was empty
Box Day is a carnival for British consumers in London
From box Day on, more parts of the UK have gone into phase FOUR, meaning all shops and public places must close, except those selling basic goods to keep people alive.
But this time, whether it is The British blockade of London or the world blockade of Britain, it may not be able to “flatten” the contagious curve of novel Coronavirus new strain as much as the first closure.
UK for London and the south-east level 4 block has so far has been a week, during this period, the number of new infections, be in hospital every day, and no significant decline in the death toll, because about new crown death toll released on March 16, prediction model and famous professor “seal city”, niall Ferguson, of imperial college (Neil Ferguson) recently said in an interview with The Times, also, according to his prediction model of the new strain, even if the national a level 4 blockade, cannot like blockade for the first time to the R value is 0.6, is likely to be R value has been up and down in 1.
(The R value is the indicator used to determine the viral speed of novel Coronavirus and represents the average number of novel coronavirus infected persons who continue to infect others)
Leaving aside the possibility that the new strain did not originate in the UK, it would not be possible to “lock” the new strain entirely in the British Isles, even assuming that it did and that all the countries of the world banded together to block the UK.
As of December 28, the same strains as the new British strain were found in at least the following countries: Canada, Japan, Australia, Lebanon, Singapore, France, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.
Canadian government health officials said a couple in Ontario, Canada, had contracted the new strain but had no known travel history or contact with anyone infected with the strain.
In addition, two African countries, South Africa and Nigeria, have found two different new strains of the disease.
Since London was declared a level IV COVID-19 containment zone, I wrote the London Diary every day on social media. Some friends told me that I was too pessimistic. I replied: “Being pessimistic does not mean I am pessimistic.
The purpose of writing pessimistic articles is to remind people to be on their guard, like high-fiving and Shouting.
In Britain, and in the West as a whole, the epidemic has persisted because people have been too light on the enemy, too optimistic, so you need to write in a pessimistic way, you need to constantly remind people to think about the Spanish flu which probably killed 100 million people over 100 years ago.”
In fact, looking back at history, I am not pessimistic, but cautiously optimistic.
Europe has the black death, the Spanish flu and other deadly is far higher than will be great plague of coronavirus, parts of China’s Ming dynasty happened also lead to population decline of 20% to 40%, the capital’s population fell by almost 60%, indirect result in the Ming dynasty the great plague of destruction, then there is no vaccine, seal, seal city are not even in the modern sense of the hospital, human can only helplessly, freeing the virus to penetrate through death and infection, cruel nature to realize “herd immunity”…
Today we are will be coronavirus in the present, perhaps feel this year long time, but future historians, in one thousand, even ten thousand people to fight disease in the perspective of the history of 2020 years, may think that this year is in the process of human and virus fighting watershed average a year, because humans only took less than a year’s time, is developed in the past it needs many years to develop a vaccine.
But we still need the necessary pessimism and caution, the need for what seems like an unnecessary amount of caution, caution and warning, and the need to avoid premature optimism and underestimation that the surge in infections in the UK, and the new strain of disease of unknown origin, is occurring at a time when the UK is already massively vaccinating its population against the COVID-19.
Not long before I wrote this article, I called Paul.
Paul told me that his father had been taken to the hospital.
“He was treated at the hospital.
Ah, now he’s texting me!
That’s a good sign!”
I said, “Take care of yourself, too.
Even though you have antibodies, don’t be careless.”
He said, “Thanks for asking.
A friend of mine did get infected twice.”
Before hanging up, he reassured me, “My mother and sister are both recovering well.”
I pray for their family and for the world that has been ravaged by novel Coronavirus for more than a year. I pray that humanity will finally overcome the novel Coronavirus and that the speed of vaccination will outpace the speed of reproduction, mutation and transmission of new strains of diseases. I pray that the coming year of 2021 will have an auspicious beginning.