It might seem like we’ve been in lockdown forever, but in reality it’s only been two weeks since Boris Johnson addressed the nation and told us to stay inside.
Now the big questions on everyone’s lips are when will the restrictions start to end, and when will things go back to normal?
According to Sky News, there are four factors that will decide when coronavirus lockdown might be relaxed, and these are new deaths, confirmed cases, infection rate and hospital admissions.
The number of new daily reported deaths
While the number that dominates the media is how many deaths there are each day, this will most likely be the last of the four factors to show the impact of lockdown as the figures lag behind.
This is because death figures take longer to surface, as from infection to either recovery or death can sometimes take up to three or four weeks – the daily death figures we’re seeing now are people who are likely to have contracted Covid-19 before lockdown.
On top of that, it takes time to process a death and inform relatives before it’s officially recorded, meaning even when the death rate decreases it might be a few days before this is reflected in the government’s figures.
The number of confirmed cases
While the rate of growth in confirmed cases each day has been slowing since last weekend, it’s widely accepted that the actual number of Covid-19 cases is likely to be much higher in the UK.
The government has been rolling out more testing, but this has mostly been for NHS workers, and as more tests of health workers are conducted the number of confirmed cases will rise – as frontline workers are more likely to catch it.
The rate of infection
There’s evidence to suggest social distancing is slowing down the rate or coronavirus infection, with scientists at the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine finding that on average people are now meeting just one person per day, while before lockdown that number was four.
This modelling has been quoted in the government’s daily coronavirus briefings, and suggests that the infection rate could reduce by 75% as a result of lockdown.
The number of hospital admissions
While the rate of people admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in England has been slowing for the last few days, these rates have highlighted how each part of the country is at a different stage of the outbreak.
London has been ahead of everywhere else in the UK for weeks, and is now seeing fewer hospital admissions. However, in the Midlands the admission rate has been up 47% in recent days, and up by 35% in Yorkshire and the North East, while we’ve seen a 25% increase here in the North West.
The death numbers from these regions are also seeing an increase, and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust is now recording more deaths than anywhere else in England – including London.
When it comes to hospital admissions, this will provide the most consistent trend in the four factors.
When will we know lockdown is working and we might be able to start lifting it?
Well, we can’t predict an exact date for when this might be, but by monitoring these four factors we’ll get an idea of how the measures are working – hospital admissions will be the best guide for how successful the restrictions are.
Over in Italy – which went into lockdown two weeks before the UK – admissions fell first, and this past weekend the Italians recorded their lowest daily death increase for a fortnight.
This is an example of how lockdown can be effective in slowing down the spread of coronavirus, and if the UK follows Italy’s example we’ll eventually see our way out of this situation.
But we all need to play our part, by following social distancing and isolation guidelines and staying indoors unless absolutely necessary – we can beat this together, by staying apart.
Artist creates haunting post-apocalyptic images of Manchester
This is so spooky…
We’ve probably never been as close to an actual ‘apocalypse’ than this shoddy year…
James Chadderton is a British mixed-media artist who works consistently on creating apocalyptic landscapes.
They often show nightmare-inducing scenes of cityscapes that blend the line between reality and fiction.
James takes inspiration from dystopian films and video games, drawing the viewer into a crazy alternative reality.
Using famous Manchester landmark he turns the urban landscapes into haunting post-apocalyptic scenes.
Not only does it give us an insight into what the world might look like after an apocalypse, it gives you the chance to let your imagination run wild and wonder how and why.
James’ portfolio includes work for Manchester legend Peter Hook, who he designed the cover of his EP 1101/2011 for. He’s also even worked with EA on the Battlefield franchise.
His work has been displayed up and down the country but now you can have it in your very own home.
He’s also done images of London, Liverpool and even the iconic Blackpool tower.
You can see more images here and even buy one for your house!
What the stars of legendary ’90s show Gladiators are up to these days
Including prison, drugs and religion.
It’s been 20 years since the hit ’90s show Gladiators graced our screens for the last time, but where are all the muscly stars now?
The fun-filled show was packed with dramatic battles, HUUUUGE muscles and too-tight lycra.
Let’s begin with Michael Ahearne, aka Warrior, who started life as a junior England rugby player before joining the hit show and earning up to £100,000 a year.
In 1998 Ahearne was sent to prison for perverting the course of justice in a famous firearms case involved Phillip Glennon Jnr, an associate of former international cocaine baron Curtis ‘Cocky’ Warren. He was found guilty, and Ahearne served six months of his 15-month sentence.
Then in 2018, he was subject to a police raid of his home in the Wirral where officers uncovered a stash of anabolic steroids. He was arrested on suspicion of possessing Class C drugs with intent to supply but wasn’t charged in the end – however, Ahearne was charged for possessing CS spray and received a six month sentence suspended for 12 months.
Sharron Davies, otherwise known as Amazon, was a successful swimmer before the show, even winning a silver medal at the Moscow Olympics in 1980. She’s now a TV presenter.
Mike Van Wijk, aka Wolf, was one of the most popular Gladiators, starring on the show for seven years in which time he became the main villain.
He’s now 67 and in the ‘best shape of his life’ with arms bigger than my head – he lives in New Zealand and owns his own business called Wolf’s Gym. This year, he announced on Lorraine that he’s begging producers to bring the show back.
Diane Youdale, or Jet on the show, bowed out of the programme after four seasons due to a neck injury. She’s now a psychotherapist and pilates instructor.
James ‘Hunter’ Crossley started on the show when he was just 19, and ended up secretly dating the show’s presenter Ulrika Jonsson between 1996 and 1997. Since Gladiators ended he spent years pursuing an acting career, but has consistently kept up with fitness. He’s now a personal trainer.
Kim Betts, aka Lightning, was one of the toughest Gladiators. After bowing out of the Gladiator ring she took to property development and also has her own beauty parlour. She has maintained her physique and regularly posts gym photos on social media.
Michael Wilson, known as Cobra, struggled with drink while on the show and by his own admission was sometimes ‘bleeding drunk’ while on the show. He admitted last year to press that he ‘didn’t take it too seriously’, adding: “There were end of show parties, when we had international Gladiators come over, we would be up all night boozing.”
Now, he is a motivational speaker attending schools and clubs up and down the country. He suffered with pneumonia last year and became seriously ill, blaming the tough workouts on the show for it.
Jefferson ‘Shadow’ Kin found himself at the centre of a drug scandal in 1995. At the time he said: “There is no excuse for cheating. I was mixing with drugs before Gladiators and when I was tested during the show there were no traces of cocaine but they found steroids.”
He spent the best part of 20 years battling with drug addiction. He got clean and now works in a rehabilitation centre helping others with drug issues.
Mark Smith, aka Rhino’, has made multiple TV appearances including a stint on EastEnders and in shows such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and NCIS: Los Angeles.
Warren Furman, known as Ace, became most well-known for his two-year engagement to Katie Price – who was then known as Jordan – before they broke up in 1999. However, he turned his back on show business, found god and now lives in York with his wife and two kids.
Inside the Wigan home ‘frozen in the 1970s’ that’s on the market for the first time ever
This is ICONIC!
If you love the ’70s you’ll love this house that is going on the market for the first time, which will transport you to the decade of platforms, flares and shag pile carpet.
The family home in Wigan is thought to be going on the market for the first time ever, but inside is a ’70s lover’s dream.
Throughout the entire house is décor from the decade, including a retro orange sofa, plenty of frosted glass and shag carpets of course.
It’s three bedroom and is tucked away in Parbold on Croasdale Drive.
Estate Agent Regan and Hallworth say that ‘despite requiring extensive modernisation’ the house ‘has an undeniably timeless appeal’.
You’ll also find teak wood storage units in just about every room, and plenty of earth-toned accessories throughout.
There’s a huge copper fire place in the living room complimented by dark brown walls and a patterned ceiling.
The kitchen is covered with white cabinets with a wood trim, an unusual corner sink situation, plus a fitted microwave on the lower half of the cabinets.
The bathroom is covered in dark marble tiles and a frosted window above the bath, complimented by gold furnishing and trims on both the toilet and sink – plus a gold shower!
For all the quirky features the house is actually surprisingly minimalist, it’s bright and has a big open plan living room.
It’s also been designed with an upside-down layout meaning the bedrooms are on the ground floor while the living room is on the second floor, taking advantage of the views over the trees.
The house is located on a leafy lane and features a glass-front, extensive driveway space with a double garage and plenty of greenery to enjoy from your orange sofa.
Regan and Hallworth add: “We don’t believe that ‘Beech Hill’ has ever been on the open market before and offers an incredibly rare opportunity for a wide range of buyers to purchase a home of true distinction with tons of potential without having to pay the huge premium you normally expect to pay to live in one of West Lancashire’s most sought after locations.
“Available with the added benefit of no upward chain, early viewing is highly recommended.”
Offers are in excess of £400,000. Find out more info here.