February 2021 Editor’s Letter

by Marianne Long
Published: Last Updated on

Welcome to our February Edition.

Statistics have never been so widespread. This is not surprising, given that they have never been as authoritative or as pertinent. In March 2020 the vast majority of us began to keep track of the daily COVID figures; we also began to take note of how alterations in this data translate into changes in our day-to-day lives. “COVID has made statisticians of us all,” said Stian Westlake, Chief Executive of the Royal Statistical Society.

But not all statistics are grave and solemn. Last year alone, approximately 5.5 million years (or over three trillion minutes) were spent on Zoom. (If you were to travel this far back in time, you would find that we had just started walking on two legs!) From March to July, 858,000 people downloaded Public Health England’s running app, Couch to 5k. And remarkably, it took just 332 days from when the genetic sequence of COVID-19 was first published for the first effective vaccine to be administered here in the UK.

At the time of writing (6 January 2021), around one in 50 people in England are estimated to have COVID-19. We urge you to continue to follow the national restrictions.

This edition of the Handy Mag is filled with as much useful information that we could find for coping during the winter lockdown and with COVID restrictions. You can find the details for a number of support services and helplines throughout the magazine. On page 26 [Ryedale], we offer some light-hearted advice for looking after your wellbeing.

I have no doubt that circumstances are going to change over the coming weeks. Therefore, to stay up-to-date with the various cancellations, re-openings, and whatnots, make sure to keep an eye on our website and social media, where we will be relaying major news and updates.

Please be kind to yourselves and to one another.

Marianne Long
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