Subject Access: Pandemic

Covid-19 Update:

16 June 2020
UK cases: 298,000 – UK deaths: 41,969
US cases: 2,179,000 – US deaths: 118, 710

19 June 2020:
UK cases: 301,000 – UK deaths: 42,461
US cases: 2,297,000 – US deaths: 121,400
These figures don’t reflect all the people who may have died from the disease; and they may also include some individuals who were ill, and who would have died a few months later anyway.

From the i newspaper, 20 June 2020: “An ‘R’ value higher than 1 would mean that the spread of the coronavirus is starting to increase, as each infected person would be infecting more than one other person, forcing the government to take further measures  to limit the spread.” (Jane Merrick)

From the i newspaper, 01 Feb 2020: “Two members of the same family have tested positive for the coronavirus in England, it was confirmed yesterday (…) Ian Jones, a professor of virology at the University of Reading, said that the possibility of transmission in the UK was ‘minimal’ because the cases had been caught early.” (Paul Gallagher)

So, the lockdown is being lifted: in England, groups of six or more can meet out-of-doors provided they come from no more than two households, while in Scotland, groups of eight adults can meet out-of-doors from any number of households. British travellers can now fly to Spain for a holiday, but will be required to self-isolate for two weeks on their return; however, Spanish tourists arriving in Britain will be allowed to go anywhere and do anything during their stay. And in Wales, groups of twelve adults from three households can meet out-of-doors.

In England, children from years one, three and six will be able to return to school but will be required to maintain 2-metre social distancing; in Wales, children from years two and five will be able to return to school but will only have to observe 1-metre distancing. And in Scotland, children from years two and six will be able to return to school but will have to observe a social distancing (2n-3m) plus 3p squared minus (k/2 + f), where n is the number of children in the class, m (inches) is the average height of the children, p is the floor area (square yards) of the classroom, k is the number of children living in the same household and f is the average distance (miles) from home to school.

In Oklahoma, US President Donald Trump (!) has held a campaign rally to speak to his supporters ahead of the forthcoming election. He boasted that there would be at least a million devoted fans clamouring to see him, and huge barriers and a temporary stage were erected outside the arena to keep everybody safe. In the end, the arena was only partly full, and only a handful of people wanted to see the outdoor meeting. It appears that large numbers of people applied for multiple tickets which they had no intention of using, but it may also be that several of his supporters were still anxious about the prospect of being exposed to Covid-19 and decided to stay home.

An intriguing observation; I submitted a ‘subject access request’ to a credit check agency and after two weeks received a reply saying that “As the reference was conducted in 2015 we no longer hold the records in line with our obligations under GDPR 2018”

Strange; I was puzzled by the evasive tone of this answer, and sent another message, asking for confirmation that the records had been deleted. They offered to look into this for me, and I waited a further four weeks before sending a reminder. The message came back saying that their system automatically deleted records after 8 months and so no copies of my enquiry were available.

So why didn’t the original reply mention this? And why choose 8 months, rather than 6 or 12? And why did the agency in question believe that I was going to be employed sixty miles away from the property for which I had arrange to take up a rental agreement?

In the news: three men have been murdered by a knife attacker at a public park in Reading. Joe Ritchie-Bennett, David Wails, and James Furlong were killed when Khairi Saadallah launched a random assault as they sat drinking in Forbury Gardens on Saturday. Saadallah is described as a Libyan asylum-seeker who was undergoing treatment for mental health disorders.

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