Covid Watch 157: Twin peaks in third wave as cases continue to rise in Shropshire – testing is vital to bring infections down

Covid Watch 157: Twin peaks in third wave as cases continue to rise in Shropshire – testing is vital to bring infections down

We saw twin peaks of during the second wave of Covid-19 infection. The first came in November after perhaps too much socialising and eating out over the summer. The second in December as infection rates soared to the highest level reported, helped by the Christmas relaxations. The vaccination drive, which went better than many could have hoped, soon brought infection rates tumbling down. But as lockdown restrictions were eased, rates shot up and the third wave was upon us.

The first peak was over by the end of July but if we thought that was the end of the third wave it was an illusion. We are now in the second peak of the third wave in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. The picture across England is different with a recent levelling out of cases.

Meanwhile, I urge people to recognise that we can still catch and transmit the virus even if we have been double vaccinated like me. My PCR result was through yesterday. Positive. I’m fine. Just isolated.

The pandemic has been a yo-yo experience. In and out of lockdown. Restrictions tightened. Restrictions relaxed, not always at the best time. Pleasures such as Eat Out to Help Out and Christmas social mixing boosted infection rates. The very successful vaccination rollout in the early months of this year reduced infection rates quickly. Restrictions were relaxed. The Delta variant which is more transmissible began to race ahead. Fortunately, the vaccines remain effective against Delta. They also reduce the severity of disease and the chances of hospitalisation and admission to ICU.

I don’t know why we have two peaks locally and that is not the cases nationally. Is it just a fluke or do to specific factors of population and social mixing in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin?

The second wave in January saw a rise in infections among teenagers and younger adults. The current rise is much larger.

Although infection rates among those 65 and over are low, there were still 54 cases in Shropshire in the seven days to 16 August. That is half the level in the seven days to 16 January (151 cases) but remains of concern.

Young people are less likely to die from Covid-19 but there are risks of suffering long Covid. NHS England has today published a video in which young people warn of the dangers.

I would urge everyone going to any sort of event or having a gathering at home to take a lateral flow test. You can order free 7-day test kits online and they come the next day. They are a bit irritating to use. Some people don’t like wiggling the wand down their throat. I hate sticking it up my nostril which has proved to be very ticklish! But in the scheme of things, a moment’s irritation is worth it for the confidence of not having Covid-19 or the realisation that we need to take precautions because we have Covid-19.

Lateral flow results

If you have a positive result, symptoms that might be Covid-19 or have other reasons for concern, you can book for a more accurate PCR test at Ludlow Eco Park, other Shropshire testing centres, or though the post.

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