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Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End

yonza bam

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About yonza bam

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    Visiting for tea often

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    I'm no' falling for that one. Do you think I came up the Clyde on a banana boat?
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    palaeodendrochronology

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  1. Running totals of confirmed cases and deaths for some countries, comparing the stats on the 25th of March with today's, 5 days later. It's important to bear in mind that actual cases in any country are far higher than those which have been confirmed. Estimates start at 10 times higher. Same applies to deaths, but to a lesser degree. People in the community who die from pneumonia are not swabbed to test for COVID-19. Researchers studying Italian deaths estimate that COVID-19 hospital deaths, are just a quarter of total COVID-19 deaths. UK 25 March Cases 8,077 Deaths 422 30 March Cases 22,141 Deaths 1,408 USA 25 March Cases 54,941 Deaths 784 30 March Cases 152,719 Deaths 2,817 Italy 25 March Cases 69,176 Deaths 6,820 30 March Cases 101,739 Deaths 11,591 Spain 25 March Cases 42,058 Deaths 2,991 30 March Cases 85,195 Deaths 7,340 France 25 March Cases 22,304 Deaths 1,100 30 March cases 44,550 Deaths 3,024 Germany 25 March Cases 33,952 Deaths 171 30 March 63,929 Deaths 560 Australia 25 March Cases 2,423 Deaths 8 30 March Cases 4,245 Deaths 18 Totals 25 March Cases 232,931 30 March Cases 474,518 That's a weekly increase of 185% Totals 25 March Deaths 12,296 30 March Deaths 26,758 That's a weekly increase of 205%
  2. Concerns are growing in China that people who have tested positive for the coronavirus but show no symptoms may be spreading the disease in the country. Health authorities in Henan Province said on Saturday that a local woman is likely to have contracted the virus from a symptom-free patient. She is one of the 45 new cases in China. The Chinese government excludes "silent virus carriers" from official statistics, saying they are quarantined and monitored for two weeks but have a lower risk of infecting others. A Hong Kong newspaper reported last week that classified government data show there were more than 43,000 such people in China at the end of February. Premier Li Keqiang suggested on Thursday that the government will disclose more information and step up measures to contain the outbreak.
  3. Tocilizumab is an antiinflammatory drug normally used for rheumatoid arthritis. I've read reports that it's better for treating COVID-19 than the more heralded hydroxychloroquine. The word 'receptor' has been omitted after the 2nd IL-6 in this cut & paste. Background Pneumonia is the most frequent and serious complication of coronavirus infection. IL-6 is one of the mediators of inflammation that follows the immune response against the virus in the lung alveolus. The «cytokine storm» produces significant damage to the lung parenchyma with interstitial disease that significantly reduces respiratory function. Tocilizumab, a humanized recombinant monoclonal antibody directed against the IL-6 provided clinical benefits and changes in biomarkers in a case study on 21 Chinese patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia (Xiaoling X. et al). The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) announced on March 19 the launch of TOCIVID-19, an independent phase 2 study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of tocilizumab in the treatment of pneumonia during COVID-19. The trial has two main goals: to produce good quality data from a methodological point of view and to track all the off-label treatments with tocilizumab already going on, to evaluate systematically their impact on mortality.
  4. UK daily reported deaths from COVID-19. These are hospital deaths of confirmed patients. In Italy, hospital deaths are believed to be only a quarter of the total COVID-19 deaths, deduced by comparing total death statistics from previous years.
  5. Sounds horrific, Pat. I remember you mentioning it years ago, and saying that some of your friends had the same. Both bacteria and viruses can hide away in cells after the initial infection, and it's the chronically activated NF-kB driven immune response against these hidden pathogens that causes all the symptoms, so it can happen after infection with any one of a legion of pathogens. Chronic fatigue syndrome is perhaps the most common result, followed by neurological symptoms and joint and muscle pain. I think this element of COVID-19 infection could turn out to be important if it infects as many people as the experts are predicting, but it's probably a relatively small percentage of the population who are infected that are at risk, probably the less than 20% in whom the disease is not mild. They're the ones who have an inappropriately strong NF-kB driven immune response, which can cause problems. Here's an extract from another paper: "Results: Of 369 SARS survivors, 233 (63.1%) participated in the study (mean period of time after SARS, 41.3 months). Over 40% of the respondents had active psychiatric illnesses, 40.3% reported a chronic fatigue problem, and 27.1% met the modified 1994 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome." And this: Among SARS survivors, high rates of distress (well above norms) were consistently reported across all timeframes in Asia Pacific regions, where the majority of studies were conducted (Chiu, 2004; Kwek et al., 2006). For example, Cheng and colleagues (2004) found that 65% of SARS patients, at 1-month recovery, scored in the “mild, moderate, or severe” range of depression and anxiety on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI; Beck & Steer, 1987) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI; Beck, Epstein, Brown, & Steer, 1988; Cheng, Wong, Tsang, & Wong, 2004). Longer-term studies continued to show considerably elevated rates of psychological morbidity among SARS survivors. In a 1-year follow-up study, Lee and colleagues (2007) found elevated levels of distress on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) (Lee et al., 2007; Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995). The authors concluded that 64% of the survivors in their study were “potential psychiatric cases” (p. 237). In another study, based on structured diagnostic interviews, and two self-report questionnaires, a cumulative incidence (total number of diagnostic categories) of 58.9% for psychiatric disorders was found at 30 months post-SARS (Mak, Chu, Pan, Yiu, & Chan, 2009). Lam and colleagues (2009), using a thorough methodology, also reported a high rate (42.5%) of psychiatric morbidity in their large sample up to 4 years postinfection (Lam et al., 2009).
  6. I've just been reading a paper that said COVID-19 infects the brain. That rang an alarm bell. A lot of these emerging infections can have what are known as 'sequelae'. That's a higher incidence of various diseases in those who have been infected years later. Zika, chikungunya, and particularly Lyme disease spring to mind. Post infectious Lyme can have many neurological symptoms. SARS happened in 2003, so I decided to see if I could find any info on SARS sequelae. Found this. Only a tiny number of people were infected with SARS. Some are predicting as high as 80% infected with COVID-19. In this issue, Mak et al. [1] report that among 90 residents of Hong Kong who were infected with SARS and survived, 23 (25.6%) had posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 14 (15.6%) had depressive disorders 30 months after their infection (a total of 27 people, 30%, had at least one of these diagnoses). The authors refer to this as a “mental health catastrophe.” What are we to make of this report? The first thing to note is that these results are consistent with previous studies that have reported persistent psychological symptoms in 41–65% of SARS survivors [2], [3], [4], although the previous studies were not designed to diagnose psychiatric illness. The finding that SARS patients who were healthcare workers are at increased risk of PTSD (40.7%) is also consistent with one previous report [2] and with the finding that healthcare workers who cared for SARS patients but were not infected continued to experience substantial psychological distress [5], if not mental illness [6], 1–2 years after the outbreak.
  7. Really good site with lots of stats and graphs. https://www.covidgraph.com/p/coronavirus.html#causes
  8. Believing that cow urine can ward off coronavirus, a Hindu group in India reportedly hosted a cow urine drinking party Saturday to test their belief. The cow is sacred to many Hindus and some drink cow urine believing it has medicinal purposes. But experts have repeatedly asserted that cow urine does not cure illnesses like cancer and there is no evidence that it can prevent coronavirus, according to Reuters. The party hosted by Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (All India Hindu Union) drew a crowd of 200 people in New Delhi, according to Reuters. “We have been drinking cow urine for 21 years, we also take bath in cow dung. We have never felt the need to consume English medicine,” Om Prakash, an attendee told Reuters.
  9. Went to the East Kilbride shopping centre yesterday. Sundays at 12 noon are never very busy, but this was as dead as I've seen it. McDonald's was still open, as was KFC, and the coffee shops, but only for takeaways. I hear that Mcdonald's is closing down all their outlets after 7 pm this evening. The restaurants, 3 pubs and 3 bookmakers shops were closed, and some shops that could have stayed open had opted to close. The barber's shops were still doing business, which surprised me a bit. I'd have thought they'd be closed like the pubs and restaurants. Some shops had signs urging card payment, but not actually saying that they would refuse cash. Only saw one person wearing a face mask, an assistant in the Holland & Barrett health food shop. Got a year's supply of vitamin D and C, but not from H&B. They're too expensive. And I got £10 worth of frozen basa. That's not me hoarding. I always buy 3 bags of basa from Iceland when I'm in. My local Sainsbury's hasn't stocked it for a while, so I've been making do with pollack for my stir fries. Pollack's okay, but not as firm and tasty as basa. I almost live on brown rice, fish and vegetable stir fries.
  10. Italy COVID-19 deaths 1 March 34 7 March 233 UK COVID-19 deaths 14 days later 15 March 35 21 March 233 As of today, Italy has had 4,825 COVID-19 deaths.
  11. This is an abstract from a British Medical Journal paper which did a meta analysis on the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation for bronchial infections. Much of it is incomprehensible to the layman, but you can understand the conclusion. Abstract Objectives To assess the overall effect of vitamin D supplementation on risk of acute respiratory tract infection, and to identify factors modifying this effect. Design Systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data (IPD) from randomised controlled trials. Data sources Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Web of Science, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials Number registry from inception to December 2015. Eligibility criteria for study selection Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trials of supplementation with vitamin D3 or vitamin D2 of any duration were eligible for inclusion if they had been approved by a research ethics committee and if data on incidence of acute respiratory tract infection were collected prospectively and prespecified as an efficacy outcome. Results 25 eligible randomised controlled trials (total 11 321 participants, aged 0 to 95 years) were identified. IPD were obtained for 10 933 (96.6%) participants. Vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infection among all participants (adjusted odds ratio 0.88, 95% confidence interval 0.81 to 0.96; P for heterogeneity <0.001). In subgroup analysis, protective effects were seen in those receiving daily or weekly vitamin D without additional bolus doses (adjusted odds ratio 0.81, 0.72 to 0.91) but not in those receiving one or more bolus doses (adjusted odds ratio 0.97, 0.86 to 1.10; P for interaction=0.05). Among those receiving daily or weekly vitamin D, protective effects were stronger in those with baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <25 nmol/L (adjusted odds ratio 0.30, 0.17 to 0.53) than in those with baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels ≥25 nmol/L (adjusted odds ratio 0.75, 0.60 to 0.95; P for interaction=0.006). Vitamin D did not influence the proportion of participants experiencing at least one serious adverse event (adjusted odds ratio 0.98, 0.80 to 1.20, P=0.83). The body of evidence contributing to these analyses was assessed as being of high quality. Conclusions Vitamin D supplementation was safe and it protected against acute respiratory tract infection overall. Patients who were very vitamin D deficient and those not receiving bolus doses experienced the most benefit.
  12. Well, it looks like I'm scuppered for excursions this summer. The clocks go forward on Sat 28 March, and that's when bus and ferry services change to their summer timetables. I was looking forward to getting out and about, but the government's advice not to travel unless necessary, plus the travel firms cutting their services due to decreased demand means that I'm reluctantly going to be staying put. Also, tourist attractions, such as museums, have closed their doors until further notice, so it's a no brainer. I've spent some time during the winter, working out what trips I'd like to go on, so I'll post the gist of them here. Three of the trips involved travel to Inverness. One then went to Ullapool, and returned the same route back to Inverness, before getting the bus back to Glasgow. Another went from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, then another bus down the coast to Fort William, then either a bus to Glasgow via Glencoe, or a train through Rannoch moor. The last was a trip from Inverness to Aberdeen going through several towns, including Elgin, Keith, Huntly and Inverurie, before getting a bus from Aberdeen to Glasgow. I'd have stopped off at Elgin for a couple of hours. Several trips took in the Mull of Kintyre. One involved getting a ferry from Gourock to Dunoon, then a trip across the Cowal peninsula and Kyle of Bute along Argyllshire's 'secret coast', through Tighnabruaich to Portavadie, on Loch Fyne. I'd get another ferry from Portavadie across the loch to Tarbert, at the northern end of the Mull of Kintyre, before returning the same way. Another involved a ferry to Brodick, on Arran, bus from Brodick to Lochranza, then ferry to Claonaig, on the Mull of Kintyre. After disembarking at Claonaig, I'd walk half way across the Mull (3 miles), before a bus arrived which I'd take to Ardrishaig, at the start of the Crinan canal. Then, I'd walk for two miles along the canal towpath to Lochgilphead, before getting the Campbeltown bus back to Glasgow. There's three ferries a week from Ardrossan to Campbeltown. They're intended for locals, rather than day trippers, but there's one on a Sunday that gets into Campbeltown half an hour before the last bus (1700) to Glasgow. I know it sounds a bit mental to get a 2.5 hour ferry just to spend half an hour in town, but I've become a ferry bagger, and it's on my bucket list. I'd have enough time to check out the Linda McCartney memorial garden, take a few pics, and get a hot pie before boarding the bus back. Another trip would have been to the small ferry terminal of Tayinloan, half way down the Mull of Kintyre, to get a 20 minute ferry to the island of Gigha. Gigha is a small island, just 3 miles from the coast, and it's just 6 miles long, with a road the same length. It's quite fertile, and its name derives from the Viking for 'good' island. Despite being so small, there are two bike hire businesses, a general store, a kayak and rowing boat hire, and two restaurants that get almost 5 stars each on Tripadvisor. The island was bought from the owner by the inhabitants, and the main attraction (for some) is Achamore gardens, which were created by a previous owner. Achamore house is now a B&B establishment. However, the most ambitious trip that I had planned was to Islay. It involved getting an early morning taxi from Strathaven to Buchanan Street bus station, in order to get the first bus from Glasgow to Campbeltown at 0615. This would have got me into Kennacraig ferry terminal on the Mull of Kintyre in time to get the 10.00 am ferry to Port Ellen, taking 2 hours 20 minutes to get there. I'd spend 55 minutes in Port Ellen, before getting a bus to the island's administrative capital, Bowmore. I'd have 1 hour and 6 minutes in Bowmore, before getting the bus to Port Askaig. Then, I'd have just 20 minutes in Port Askaig, before getting the 1 hour 55 minutes ferry back to Kennacraig. Within half an hour, the last bus from Campbeltown to Glasgow would show up. I was really looking forward to that one. Other trips involved Oban. I fancied travelling north up the west coast from Oban to Fort William, connecting with the Glasgow to Fort William route at Ballachulish. It was only a 30 mile trip that I hadn't been on, but seemed well worth doing. Another was a trip from Tarbert up the west coast through a few hamlets, arriving at Oban. I was surprised that there was actually a bus service for that area. Again, not very long, but worth the effort. One more trip I had planned was from Edinburgh, getting off at Peebles, then continuing through Galashiels to Melrose, taking in the abbey, then returning to Edinburgh on the recently revived Borders rail line.
  13. America's health care shortcomings are being exposed. They have been testing much less than other countries, initially because their test kits didn't work, but also because the system is mostly driven by the profit motive, and political intervention is perceived as 'socialism'. The Republicans who are in charge resist anything that resembles a national health service paid for by taxpayers. Stories abound of people with symptoms unable to get tested. That seems to be about to change, as testing is about to ramp up considerably. I think they're in for a shock. The US Surgeon General today said that the US is currently where Italy was just 2 weeks ago. https://globalnews.ca/news/6683488/us-coronavirus-cases-italy/ In other news - Lombardy - 13 doctors have died of COVID-19. Ireland - the government has said that 400,000 out of a workforce of 2.3 million could lose their jobs. Italy - has now overtaken China as the country with the most confirmed deaths, 3,405, a rise of 427 on the day before. A health care worker said they had stopped counting bodies, and a convoy of army trucks was filmed taking away the bodies that the crematoria couldn't cope with. A director of a funeral business in the worst hit region said they are carrying out 600 funerals a month, compared with the normal 120.
  14. Cut & paste American adults of all ages — not just those in their 70s, 80s and 90s — are being seriously sickened by the coronavirus, according to a report on nearly 2,500 of the first recorded cases in the United States. The Report issued Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that — as in other countries — the oldest patients had the greatest likelihood of dying and of being hospitalized. But of the 508 patients known to have been hospitalized, 38 percent were notably younger — between 20 and 54. And nearly half of the 121 patients who were admitted to intensive care units were adults under 65, the C.D.C. reported. “I think everyone should be paying attention to this,” said Stephen S. Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “It’s not just going to be the elderly. There will be people age 20 and up. They do have to be careful, even if they think that they’re young and healthy.”
  15. NHS advice is to take an antiinflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen, if infected. This advice has been criticised, as there appears to be evidence that taking ibuprofen for human coronavirus infections can actually prolong the illness. However, this is a novel zoonotic coronavirus, and may not act the same as human ones. Sometimes, it's the immune system that causes the problem, rather than the virus (or bacterium) itself. It is now recognised that most non-communicable diseases, like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's etc, are associated with (and very probably being caused by) a chronic inflammatory response driven by the transcription factor, NF-kB. These diseases exacerbate the effect of COVID-19 infection, probably because the systemic NF-kB driven response is chronically activated in them, and becomes even more strongly activated by infection, causing cellular destruction. Chronic NF-kB activation is strongly associated with ageing, which may help to explain why children are much less affected by COVID-19. The NF-kB response is primarily against pathogens that establish long term intracellular latency, such as the herpes family. Human coronaviruses are not known to do this, but this isn't a human one, and research indicates that it establishes latency in bats. NSAIDs inhibit NF-kB, and if it's the case that the damage caused by COVID-19 is actually being caused by the NF-kB driven immune response (as happens in TB and many other infections), then ibuprofen might be helpful. I'll be taking it when I get infected.
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