The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the day “February 2, 2016”

Zika Virus Update. Can be spread by Sexual Transmission

The essence of Zika was covered in an earlier blog.

Tonight health officials in Dallas have reported that the first case of Zika being spread by sexual transmission has been reported. Earlier today there was widespread newspaper coverage that travel companies are having to allow cancellations of holidays when pregnant females are travelling. Virgin and Thompson had originally resisted allowing this under the guise it seems of ” we have no policy in place”.

The WHO yesterday at last declared that Zika was a global health emergency, and at last people are starting to understand the real current and future severity of this virus.

The Brazilian politicians are trying to protect the Olympics to be held there later this year, by telling folks that it will not be an issue, Zika , because it is their winter. Countries with negative stances on abortion such as El salvador may also have to take alternate views.

Importantly also two days ago a German company, Genekam, has developed a diagnostic test that can accurately detect the virus in humans. By revealing the virus in the blood but also it is claimed give some indication as to quantity. The importance of this is that as only 20% of those infected actually develops an illness, the test can separate illness from virus carriers. Surprisingly the cost seems as low as 5 euros. The kits have been sent to Brazil where the authorities have significantly reduced the time for the authorisation and approval. countries-reporting-autochthonous-zika-virus-cases


The Merton Novel Recycling Project for Xmas Trees

Merton is genuinely an excellent council at recycling in my personal experience, however since xmas many Xmas trees remain waiting for collection , as asked being placed in the front of the property. Despite emails, and multiple twitter messages, many remain uncollected. I personally counted 8 in the roads around me during a 15 minute walk to the station.

IMG_1500 So why do I think this has happened? My personal theory is that the idea is to recycle these xmas trees for next xmas. A great idea. More seriously, please come and collect them. I know you invite folks to email you etc, but really all the roads here around KT3 contain xmas trees, so just get the lorry/van whatever out and come and collect please.

Seems the same thing is happening in other parts of the council territory. So maybe come and collect and then work out what went wrong this year. Or shall we just use the same trees next year?

On lastly a serious point,  you adopt a zero tolerance littering policy at Wimbledon Station and other environs regarding cigarette ends being thrown on the floor, with immediate punitive fines. I recently wrote a few thoughts on this. Are you not actually creating your own littering crime? Why should the council not be fined £75 for each xmas tree that they should have collected by maybe a week ago or longer? Thoughts.


Environmental Enforcement in Wimbledon. What is happening to my world?

Firstly please share this post with friends and colleagues. What I am about to describe is a worrying trend and one that I would not like to see expanding. A kind of “legal ” vigilante going under the euphemism of ” Environmental Enforcement”. OK. Picture the scenario. A short one hour visit to Wimbledon and returning to the train station and about to enter.  What did I visualise?


I am appalled. There are three I will call them officers with the gentle demeanour of harsh traffic wardens crossed with prison wardens who are ticketing folks under the name of environmental enforcement. Their crimes? Seems throwing cigarette ends anywhere than some specific receptacle. Fixed penalty fines of 75£ or 80£. Those being questioned had a poor grasp of the English language. Apparently this is a criminal offence to throw cigarette ends away like this as one officer explained.
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