I have observed some spectacular sunrises this month during my morning walks with the dog. The reducing daylight hours remind me that winter closing in, the northern hemisphere is getting colder and darker. The most pressing thing on the minds of many this autumn is the massive acceleration in the transmission rate of COVID-19 and its trail of death, economic hardship and financial ruin across the world. It feels like the disease is getting very close now, and only a matter of time before it invades our house-hold. Imperial College published a major study earlier this week suggesting that the numbers of daily infections are doubling every 9 days and nearly 100,000 people are catching the disease every day in the UK, with more than 40% being asymptomatic (carriers with no symptoms). We now have friends locally who have tested positive with the disease, resulting in other friends having to self isolate (as per quarantine rules for those who have been in close proximity to an infected person). Immy’s student flat went into isolation for 2 weeks following a positive test on two of her flat-mates.
Northern Ireland and Scotland are now operating under localised 5 tier lock down system, England has implemented a 3 tier lockdown system (again at a local level) and Wales is now one week into a national lockdown. Most countries across Europe are facing the same problems. France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland are all under various stages of national and local lockdown. Spain has issued a new state of emergency, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Greece are implementing sweeping new measures including curfews and restrictions on movement and business operations. There has big public demonstrations in Italy in response to the new COVID restrictions.
It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged about climate change, but this month I have noticed a resurgence in extreme rainfall and high winds. I’m specifically noting, for the blog, that the 3rd October was the wettest day ever recorded in the UK with an average of 31.7mm of rain across the entire country.