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We are learning about your delightful homeland, SFA! Do you know if the Great Orme Railway is still running? (7:05) 

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Oh, I just saw -- you are going into deep 2-week lockdown on Friday...then after re-opening, concerns about a porous border with England and their large number of infections...wishing Wales well, SFA.

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Yeah ..i know about the Great Orme.Must find more...


Don’t get me started on lockdown.I had a rant on my other forums yesterday.Our infection rate is the lowest in the UK..I fear we are the victims of a tussle between our Labour First Minister and the Tory Prime Minister.We have been treated much more harshly than the rest of the UK and have already been told there will be new rules to follow on November ninth.

Everything I enjoy remains cancelled and I see little hope of them returning for at least another year.Concerts that had been rearranged for early next year are now being pushed back to the Summer or next Autumn.I miss my rugby and concerts.I just hope I am  allowed to go the cricket in April.But I am not confident.

Merely existing is not for me.I am envious of another online friend who was able to go to a Vivaldi recital in Manchester.That friend is well into her seventies and has decided she is not going to let the virus rule her.

Here in Wales I have no choice but to let it do that.

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I am still amazed at the politicization -- in an ideal world we could listen to trustworthy sources, do what is needed to be done, and then get on with life.

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Exactly...and have I maintained all along that we need to find a way to protect the Vulnerable so the rest of us can live normally.You can’t stop people travelling between Wales and England,nor Scotland and England.You have a situation in border areas where people living a couple of miles apart are under completely different rules.Dozens of trains and buses cross the Welsh border every day.But we are not supposed to be on them when they reach England!

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Yes -- the news interview I watched mentioned that especially, using the example of people living on opposite sides of a river under different COVID rules. My own county in Washington State (pop. 285,000) was doing quite well, even with re-opening, and then a couple of days ago there were 47 new cases, by far the highest ever for one day.

I think this clip mentioned Wales population at 3.1 million? Anyway much less than neighboring England.

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Yeah -we have times as many sheep as people.

Anyway the Great Orme Railway is running,or would have been if not for Covid.

http://www.greatormetramway.co.uk



And next time I'm in Gog country I must go there.Hopefully next Summer!

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Wow! Fancy new painted tram since 1956...also, I did watch much of your history video -- fascinating, I might go back and finish it today!

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From 1961


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Snowdon Mountain Railway


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Oh I could not resist but watch -- less than 5 minutes, and now the Great Orme almost feels locally to me!!! And that King's Head, is it a tavern or cafe? ...anyway it's in another of the tram videos!

SFA, I also learned a bit more about the Wales lockdown: First of all, UK is getting very divided and things not going well and does seem to be political motivations. However, apparently their concern is that Welsh hospital facilities, esp. urgent care, could become overwhelmed if they don't take action?

So Welsh gov is planning to use this 'short-sharp-schock' to add more staff to catch up with test, track, trace, with the idea of getting on top of the situation, give everybody the best possible care with least possible disruption...idk, USA is doing awful also and hard to see a good way forward just flailing about.

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Snowdon Mountain -- I skimmed through it, beautiful and stark! 

From your other video, I was surprised to learn that Wales is so hilly and mountainous. Elevations up to 1000' above sea level! I remember when I lived in the foothills of Mt. Baker, the little town was only 800' elevation (although Mt. Baker itself something like 10,000 feet)...anyway, I thought 800' was rather high up, so high I could not grow my summer flowers petunias etc. very well.

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The Kings Head is the oldest pub in Llandudno

image

As for the NHS no one believes the NHS has been overwhelmed by this and this week just 0.03 %of the Welsh population have Covid so apparently the other 99.7% have to suffer for this.

The Welsh First Minister was claiming this week-to justify lockdown- that beds reserved for Covid patients were operating at 100% capacity.That is a lie Trump would be proud of.

What no one tells you is that last winter the NHS was overwhelmed by flu ,norovirus and other ailments that are prevalent every Winter.As they are most Winters.And no one thought lockdown was necessary because of that.

Or that since March the percentage of people who have died at home has gone up by nearly 48%.Much of this is because people  are afraid to go hospital/their GP due to being scared by the Government rhetoric or because their treatment was halted because of Covid.People suspected of having Cancer are being denied early access to a diagnosis.Suicide rates are also up as people are denied psychiatric help-the needfor  which has increased greatly too.

And you would think no one had ever died before Covid.If the government were honest about the death rates

more people would be asking questions.I want to know the daily rates from other ailments compared to Covid.Or how many people who have died with Covid didn’t actually die from that or were expected to die soon because of existing conditions they had.

And even SAGE ,the body advising the governments about the approach to Covid, say firebreak lockdowns will not work unless repeated every 28 days and if ours is so vital why is it only being imposed five days after being announced?

One of our Labour MPs-a Westminster one-has said this week the Assembly are imposing a social experiment on us.Given how differently we are being treated I can’t disagree.Even tier three lockdowns in parts of England are not as severe as ours is going to be!

And the Tory opposition in the Assembly are apparently against more lockdowns.But the Assembly are being denied a vote on them.Me being cynical,I expect things to suddenly start opening up as the May Assembly elections approach....

Rant over.


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We are a bit hilly....unless you are on the coast you can’t go too far without going up or down.!

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I actually did know some of that, SFA -- the source I rely on most is a Ph.D. nurse educator, and he is in Carlisle, the NW of England as you probably know. He tries to stay away from political comments, but on this situation in Wales it's difficult to avoid the observations.

He also compares the deaths last year vs. this year same time frame...and in the USA, the overage is much more than accounted for by COVID-19. Has got to be at least partly the factors you mention. Wales so many fewer people than the US, seems like Wales should be easier for officials to just be clear and honest, enlist people's cooperation and get on with the most reasonable way forward.

I personally am guessing that in the USA, COVID deaths are under-reported, statistics spun in an effort to camouflage our inept response to the pandemic. But that is just a guess. 

I am still surprised that UK seems to be struggling/bungling as much as we are.

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We just got it all wrong at the start...Boris was indecisive and often irresponsible and it took me about a month to realise everything he said did not apply to me.New Zealand,Much of Australia and Taiwan got it right.

We should not have repatriated our citizens stuck in Covid hotspots,insisisted on quarantine for those we did let in and those returning.Basically we should have shut our borders.Even to our own.We never did.People have been encouraged to go on foreign holidays and I was looking to book a hotel on the south coast for a break.Most are fully booked.People are taking breaks.Desperate for some normality.

We could have been where New Zealand are...but we aren’t because we didn’t and don’t have a UK wide approach.

And although it was December when we first heard about this in China,I reckon it might have been in Britain by then.But  people with it were just thought to have the flu.Some claim they had this last November.

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Yes I did follow NZ for a while -- remarkable story, Ardern actually listening to the scientists and rallying everyone to put their best conclusions into effect. Then when there was another outbreak, they could jump on it quick and work on figuring how it happened.

Maybe I will go check now, and see where they are in NZ!

And from the same source in Carlisle, I learned that much of Australia is just finishing its mildest flu season ever as they go into spring down under, which they attribute to COVID precautions! Anyway yes lots of unnecessary suffering, confusion because (apparently) of the politicization, de-emphasizing the science.

I am wishing you and all of Wales well-as-possible under all these handicaps, along with us here in USA and the whole world too.

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New Zealand is completely normal apart from being very careful about who they let in.Anyone arriving has to quarantine.They have capacity crowds at their sporting events.No masks required.

They did have a very brief repeat lockdown but that is now over,.

The New Zealand rugby team is off to a tournament in Australia.When they return they will all have to quarantine.

It’s the place to be.

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Received SFA, good for NZ -- next I will look up their population...I saw on YouTube part of the Q/A Jacinda Ardern did to explain the plan. First she went through the philosophy, lock down quick and hard and short, get the infections isolated and recovered, then go back to normal life with care. 

Then she took questions, people asking the particulars on what was needed for this plan -- basically everybody got on board, people were clear what was needed to make it work...and it worked! I loved that.

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SirFurry, I just spent a delightful time learning more about NZ COVID...for example, as of October 7 they still do not know the source of that August outbreak, but continuing with the genomic studies, feel confident they can get it figured out!

NZ has about 5 million population, so they are definitely in the same order of size as Wales -- seems clear Wales could be doing better than they are.

One very interesting (to me) article talked about the physicians leaving the USA for New Zealand, just tired of putting their health and safety at risk, then go home to families and put them at risk.

NZ health has a good website, tells where all the cases are now. The new cases largely come with incoming essential workers, as from Russia...and they have been catching those by quarantine procedures, hoorah for NZ: https://www.health.govt.nz/news-media/media-releases/25-new-cases-covid-19

And yes, NZ is having concerts, schools opening businesses too...life proceeding with caution. They still say wear mask on the crowded public transportation, etc. NZ is however in a recession, I suppose that is because so much of their economy is based on tourism.

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Yeah...the only place that has probably done better is Taiwan.

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I remember reading about Taiwan also -- they got caught in another pandemic, unprepared, was it SARS-1 in 2003? So this time they were ready: all the medical gear and PPE stockpiled, a protocol in place and ready for activation. I just looked up their population, and it is quite large -- 24 million! Good for Taiwan.

Well it is 2:30 AM, going to bed, talk to you soon. :)

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it’s nearly lunchtime here.

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Yes, I keep a clock of Edinburgh time on my computer desktop! It's a magical era, in that way...the virtual conversations with people across the globe...oh, and the UK being all in the same time zone, too...

Anyway, here I am now 10 AM, with you at 6 PM...

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The Pacific Time Zone....

I also have online friends in Canada on Eastern time,someone in Ukraine who is two hours ahead,.Dubai three hours ahead ,New Zealand 12 hours ahead and South Australia which is about 9 hours ahead approx.

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That is delightful, SFA...in 2010 when I first discovered the Q/A sites, I had great hopes the Internet could be a vehicle for world peace. People just making the heart connection...finally gave up on that, the trolls, the difficulties of moderation too hard to overcome, moderators have to be almost saints...not to mention the compromises demanded by the profit motive...

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