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Charles and Camilla join racing fans in the stands as Royal Ascot gets underway
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Even with the delay in England’s lockdown lifting, Covid cases and deaths will still rise | Charlotte Summers
Boris Johnson announced a pause in England, but restrictions that have been eased have already created a surge in infectionsThe prime minister has announced that England is not yet able to remove the final public health measures that are in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that these measures are likely to remain until 19 July. So why is this step needed, and what are the potential benefits of an additional four weeks of restrictions? Will this be enough to prevent a further wave?The Delta variant of Sars-CoV-2 (first identified in India) has become the most common strain in the UK over the past few weeks and is spreading rapidly as a result of its being more transmissible than the Alpha (Kent) variant responsible for the January 2021 wave – the number of infections is doubling every seven to 10 days at present. Continue reading...
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June 21 Is Delayed And If You're Gutted, That's Understandable
So it’s been confirmed. The final part of the roadmap out of England’s lockdown has been delayed by another month due to rising Covid cases. And while some won’t be that put out by the news, for others it’s been a huge kick in the teeth.Festival organisers and those who work in the events industry, as well as nightclub owners whose establishments have been shut for well over a year, have been struck the hardest blow. And those with weddings booked aren’t too happy either – while celebrations for over 30 are now allowed, social distancing measures mean someone’s big day might not run quite as they planned.As well as extending the delay, the news has widened the Covid divide. With life returning to normal for many people, it can feel even harder for those having to wait a little longer. “The reported changes may negatively affect some people, while the majority of others may not be affected at all,” says Professor Ivo Vlaev, an expert in behavioural science at the University of Warwick.“Those who will lose something – those with businesses and livelihoods in areas who hadn’t yet been allowed to open, or maybe because they booked wedding or other celebration – will feel disappointed.”That feeling also comes from the way things have been communicated, he adds. “Do not promise someone something, unless you can deliver it, because people will feel a sense of ownership and sense of loss when you take it away.”Box of wedding confetti arrived today. Completely deflated. Most ppl will want to either have the wedding they paid for, or not have it — pretty sure no one wants a half-arsed wedding with awkwardly spaced tables, no dancing & avoiding their loved ones. Awfully managed & cruel— Emma Gannon (@emmagannon) June 14, 2021The earlier easing steps have already returned many people’s work and lives to relative normality. Then there are those, whisper it, who are actually happy about the further delay – it’s normal to want more and less lockdown at the same time – and who will feel safer as a result of not yet having to head to busy events and social gatherings. But the sense of loss is very real for some people right now, made harder by the fact others don’t seem to be impacted by the news at all. As well as the financial and practical implications for people’s jobs and plans, the reason why the news hits hard emotionally is because of what is described in psychology as ‘loss aversion’, says Prof Vlaev – where we dislike losses far more than we like gains of an equivalent amount.“The opportunity to gain something is highly pleasurable, but the fear of losing something is emotionally intense and provokes strong negative feelings,” he explains. “Our aversion to losses leads to what is known as the endowment effect or mere ownership effect, which is the observation that people who own something tend to evaluate it more positively than people who do not. “So, the mentality of some people may be: ‘You [the government] promised me my freedoms and associated pleasures after 21st June, now you are taking it away’.”Maybe it's just because I don't go to nightclubs or get invited to big parties but I'm struggling to see the torment. I can go to the shops; meet friends for dinner; go round to see family. It's hardly nightmarish. pic.twitter.com/IOmyVApQ3D— Sam Freedman (@Samfr) June 14, 2021Humans are creatures who like to rationalise and have an explanation for why something happens, says Prof Vlaev, so if you are struggling, understanding the government’s reasons for the change in plan is key.Monday’s announcement from Boris Johnson confirmed that the June 21 unlockdown had been delayed by four weeks to avoid a third wave of Covid that would cost “thousands” of deaths. The aim is to get more people vaccinated with first and second doses during this window of time and also to track the impact of the Delta variant on hospitalisations and deaths.If people are given a credible reason for why something unpleasant is happening then they experience less distress and their wellbeing takes less of a hit. Prof Vlaev suggests. “The worst thing is unexplained and random pain.”The government needs to communicate “clear and robust reasons for the policy”, he adds and while the disappointment some people are feeling will erode trust going forward, for many others, attitudes towards social contact will remain unchanged. “For them, this will be life-as-usual a bit longer.”Covid-19 is more than a news story – it has changed every aspect of life in the UK. We are following how Britain is experiencing this crisis, the different stages of collective emotion, reaction and resilience. You can tell us how you are feeling and find further advice and resources here.Related...What The Lockdown Extension Means For YouThis Is The New Roadmap For Lifting Covid Restrictions In EnglandThe Wedding Rules You Need To Know From June 21Will Lockdown Be Extended Again?
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A record rise in US wholesale prices over the past year
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China set to deliver 1bn Covid vaccine doses by end of this week
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