Day: 26 September 2021

Covid Watch 160: Highest ever infection rates in Ludlow

Infection rates reached the highest recorded level in Ludlow last weekend at 520 cases per 100,000 people. That means 57 people living in the town tested positive in the seven days to 19 September. That is 63% higher than the previous high rate in July. And it is 44% higher than the rate across Shropshire at the same date. There were higher infection rates in Cleobury Mortimer (1,076 on 19 September); Harlescott Grange (923); and Ellesmere (801). In Shropshire, rates are now climbing with a current infection rate of around 430, up from around 310 at the beginning of the month. The growth in infection is largely among school age children. In Shropshire, 62% of the 1,303 cases in the week to 19 September were among people under 20 years of age. Vaccination is now being offered to children aged 12 to 15 and that should reduce rates. Is the Ludlow Food Festival a factor in the increase in Ludlow? There is no data on that but Ludlow is unlikely to be different from elsewhere in the county with infection mainly spreading through children.

Shropshire Council deputy leader resigned after online abuse

Social media is the expression of all of us. Collectively and individually. Even if people don’t participate its impacts cannot be ignored.   Social media is all of us on the internet, on phones, laptops, smart speakers and an ever growing number of devices. It is almost as everyday as conversation. Except social media is not like conversation. Any abuse in conversation is usually sporadic. On social media it can be relentless. This commentary comes from someone who has engaged with online communication since the late 1980s. I get abuse as a councillor but not as much as some others. Steve Charmley, the deputy leader of Shropshire Council has just resigned citing online abuse. The question for those in public life is how we cope with the flack and the abuse. And can we limit it?

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