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Coronavirus in the UK

*Definitions for the words in purple can be found at the bottom of this page*

It’s not very often that you get the chance to write about life under lockdown, so this week I’ve decided to use my blog to tell you a little bit about how people are going about this in the UK. Look out for a second blog later this week all about my daily life in quarantine

The UK has followed a very similar pattern to other countries across the world.

31st January

It all started in January with the repatriation of British citizens in Wuhan. On 31st January, the first cases in the public were openly declared in the North East of England.

2nd February

February was the month where the seriousness of the disease started to be acknowledged by the general public. Mass advertising was sent out by the government to remind people to wash their hands and public announcements of investment in a vaccine were published. 

Woman washing her hands

10th February

By 10th February, eight people in the UK had already tested positive and the government had declared the virus as a serious threat to public health. 

2nd March

By the beginning of March numerous cases had been confirmed in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

5th March

The first British citizen died on UK soil on March 5th and since then the numbers increased exponentially on a daily basis.

15th March

By 15th March, the government started a daily press conference, which is still happening to this day. Daily figures of the infection rate and the death toll were released. Each day a secretary of state representing different departments of the government announces plans, investments and changes around the country. 

17th March

On 17th March, churches were closed and schools, nurseries and colleges were told they must close by 20th March.

20th March

The Queen moved to Windsor Castle to live in isolation with Prince Phillip and by the end of the week all pubs and restaurants were to be closed.

Windsor Castle

23rd March

LOCKDOWN BEGINS

The official date of lockdown was 23rd March. Schools were now closed, all public exams were cancelled and all businesses were recommended to close up until further notice.

Lockdown in the UK hasn’t been as strict as some other countries.  You can still leave your house for essential work, to go to the supermarket or health shops (such as pharmacies) and you can also leave the house once a day for exercise. Other than that, we’re advised to stay in the house at all times. Laws were passed in parliament to enforce these measures legally and give police officers the authority to fine or even arrest people who don’t follow the rules.

24th March

A new scheme to recruit volunteers to help ease the pressure on the NHS was launched on 24th March and by the end of the day had received around 250,000 applications. These volunteers would drop off food and medication to the vulnerable, call up isolated and vulnerable people to give them somebody to talk to and help shuttle people around for medical appointments. New field hospitals with a capacity of up to 4,000 patients were announced in cities all over the country.

Doctors in Masks

27th March

On March 27th, it was announced that our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had contracted the coronavirus. Only a few days later he was rushed into hospital and shortly after to the ICU. Plans were being made in case he didn’t pull through and Secretary of State, Dominic Raab, took over as temporary leader of the country. 

5th April

On 5th April, a rare speech was made by Queen Elizabeth II, thanking all those key workers who are keeping the country going and filling us with confidence that we will get through this. You can listen to this speech on YouTube. 

23rd April

The numbers skyrocketed throughout April reaching a peak in mid-April and when writing this article, the numbers stand at just over 31,500 deaths and 215,000 confirmed cases across all countries in the UK.

Some good news is that vaccine trials started testing on patients of the coronavirus on 23rd April, although there is not expected to be a vaccine available to the public until 2021.

A month and a half after lockdown was announced, people seem to be abiding by the rules and everything is still closed and very quiet around town. In the coming days, more announcements are expected to be made regarding the slow process of coming out of lockdown, so keep an eye out on British news sites to read all about this. 

Key Vocabulary

Below are key words taken from this post with definitions. Please be aware that there are sometimes many definitions for one word, it will depend on context. 

Definition: The number of people who have died as a result of one cause 

In our blog: Daily figures of the infection rate and the death toll were released.

Definition: A condition that causes harm.

In our blog: February was the month where the seriousness of the disease started to be acknowledged by the general public.

Definition: To make something less difficult/ to facilitate

In our blog: A new scheme to recruit volunteers to help ease the pressure on the NHS was launched on 24th March.

Definition: A temporary medical facility to help people get better. This is normally built when there are too many people for the normal hospitals.

In our blog: New field hospitals with a capacity of up to 4,000 patients were announced in cities all over the country.

Definition: To survive

In our blog: and filling us with confidence that we will get through this.

Definition: An acronym for intensive-care unit. This is an area in a hospital that has more intensive medical care. People go here if they are seriously ill. 

In our blog: Only a few days later he was rushed into hospital and shortly after to the ICU.

Definition: The number of people contaminated by bacteria or viruses

In our blog: Daily figures about the infection rate and the death toll were released.

Definition: A person whose job is essential to keep the country working. For example, anybody in the food industry, health and social care workers, utilities workers. 

In our blog: On 5th April, a rare speech was made by Queen Elizabeth II, thanking all those key workers who are keeping the country going.

Definition: To be restricted in the places you can go, normally because of an emergency

In our blog: It’s not very often that you get the chance to write about life under lockdown.

Definition: An acronym for National Health Service. This is the public health service in England. 

In our blog: A new scheme to recruit volunteers to help ease the pressure on the NHS was launched on 24th March.

Definition: The point with the highest number. In this case, the highest number of deaths. 

In our blog: The numbers skyrocketed throughout April reaching a peak in mid-April.

Definition: To survive and recover

In our blog: Plans were being made in case he didn’t pull through.

Definition: To isolate a person in one location to prevent them from spreading a disease to other people.

In our blog: I’ve decided to use my blog to tell you a little bit about my daily life in quarantine and how people are going about this in the UK.

Definition: To give somebody a job

In our blog: A new scheme to recruit volunteers to help ease the pressure on the NHS was launched on 24th March.

Definition: To move somebody using transport

In our blog: … and help shuttle people around for medical appointments.

Definition: To have a test for a disease and the results show that you have this disease. 

In our blog: By 10th February, 8 people in the UK had already tested positive.

Definition: Danger/hazard 

In our blog: The government had declared the virus as a serious threat to health.

Definition: Experiment/test

In our blog: Some good news is that vaccine trials started testing on patients of the coronavirus on 23rd April.

Definition: Abbreviation for vaccination. A substance that is injected into the body and provides immunity against a disease/virus.

In our blog: Public announcements of investment in a vaccine were published.

Definition: A person who does a job with no payment, they work for free

In our blog: A new scheme to recruit volunteers to help ease the pressure on the NHS was launched on 24th March.

Definition: To be alone and separated from other people

In our blog: The Queen moved to Windsor Castle to live in isolation with Prince Phillip.

Definition: To go to hospital very quickly because of a serious injury or illness, normally in an ambulance

In our blog: Only a few days later he was rushed into hospital and shortly after to the ICU.

Definition: To get the coronavirus 

In our blog: On March 27th, it was announced that our Prime Minister, Boris Johson, had contracted the coronavirus.

Is this similar to your country? Let us know in the comments below.

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