The Anonymous Widower

Will A Double Track Fit Through Kirkby Station?

These pictures show Kirkby station.

It would be a very tight fit, without rebuilding the bridge.

January 17, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 8 Comments

Covid Leaves Wave Of Wearied Souls In Pandemic’s Wake

The title of this post, is the same as that as this article on The Times.

It is the usual excellent article by Tom Whipple and it discusses long covid.

I haven’t knowingly had long covid or even common-or-garden short covid for that matter.

The Asian Flu of 1957-1958

But go back to 1957-1958 and the outbreak of Asian Flu.

This was another present from China to the world. Wikipedia says this about its severity.

The number of excess deaths caused by the pandemic is estimated to be 1-4 million around the world (1957–1958 and probably beyond), making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history.

According, to this page on Wikipedia, deaths from Covid-19, were approaching 5,500,000 at the first of January 2022.

But then the world population is now 7.9 billion as opposed to 2.8 billion in 1957. This is 2.8 times bigger.

If the Asian Flu of 1957-1958 had had a Covid-19 death rate around two billion would have died.

Was There A Long Form Of The Asian Flu?

In Long Covid And Coeliac Disease, I started the post like this.

I recently heard an interview with Adrian Chiles on Radio 5 about the so-called long covid

I am 73 and the more I read about Long Covid, the more I think I had something similar around 1958, when I had just started Minchenden Grammar School, where I missed most of the Spring Term. This was at the time of the 1957-8 flu pandemic., which killed between one and four million people worldwide.

This article on New Decoder is a personal memory of that pandemic, from an experienced journalist called Harvey Morris.

Last night, I was listening to another program about kids with long covid and they seemed to be describing how I felt all those years ago.

One of those two programs, also said that one doctor tested patients for coeliac disease.

So did I have a long form of Asian Flu which kept me off school for a long time?

I can remember a conversation between my late wife and my mother that took place before we got married in 1968.

My mother described how I was badly ill at around ten and how our GP, the excellent Dr. Egerton White kept coming to see me, whilst I was recovering at home, as he couldn’t fathom out what was wrong with me.

But he did seem to take particular care of me, even coming to visit me in hospital, when I had my tonsils out at around five. Could it be, that as he had brought me into this world, that he felt differently about me? It should be noted that he was probably from the Caribbean and either black or mixed-race.

Is Long Covid Linked To Undiagnosed Coeliac Disease?

As I said earlier that one doctor tested long covid patients for undiagnosed coeliac disease, at least one doctor must believe so.

Looking at the statistics in The Times article, I can make the following deductions.

  • 42 % of sufferers from long covid are over fifty?
  • 58 % of sufferers from long covid are female?
  • It is not stated how many sufferers had been diagnosed as coeliac and were on a long-term gluten-free diet.

These statistics would fit roughly with the statistics for coeliac disease.

  • According to the NHS, there are three times as many female coeliacs as male.
  • There was no test for coeliac disease in children until 1960, so it is likely, that many undiagnosed coeliacs are over 60.
  • Since around 2000, coeliac disease is tested for by means of a simple blood test.
  • Doctors understand coeliac disease better now, so I suspect more coeliacs under about thirty have been diagnosed.

I am certainly led to the conclusion, that undiagnosed coeliac disease could be a factor in long covid.

Treating Long Covid

The article on The Times has a section which is entitled How Do We Deal With It (1)?, where this is said.

One of the great challenges of pathology is that you have to know what you are looking for before you can find it.

“People with long Covid go to the clinician, give blood, and none of the results that come back show that these individuals are sick,” says Resia Pretorius, from Stellenbosch University. The doctors look through the metabolites in their blood, seeking something unusual, and find nothing. “The end result is their clinician tells them it’s psychology — go for a run or whatever. Some of these patients can’t even walk up a set of stairs. They think: are we mad?”

She had an idea. What if it was about the blood structure, as much as its composition? Her laboratory has looked at the blood of both acute Covid patients and long Covid sufferers. They have found tiny clots.

Something in the disease seems to cause malformation, and they can’t be removed.

They have also found preliminary evidence that treating patients with antiplatelet and anticoagulants leads to significant improvement. Although, she stresses, it’s a risky procedure that requires careful monitoring, in case people bleed dangerously.

When I read the bit about anticoagulants, the bells in my head started ringing.

I am a coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet, who suffered a serious stroke in 2011, from which I made a remarkable recovery. I am now on Warfarin, which is the old-fashioned anti-coagulant and test myself regularly with a meter, so I don’t bleed dangerously.

Note remarkable is not a word of my choosing, but one that has been used several times by doctors referring to the recovery in my stroke. But then there are masses of Jewish, Huguenot and Devonian survival genes in my cells.

At the time of the panic about blood clots and the AstraZeneca vaccine I wrote A Danish Study On Links Between Coeliac Disease And Blood Clots, of which this is an extract.

This morning I found on the Internet, a peer-reviewed Danish study which was entitled

Coeliac Disease And Risk Of Venous Thromboembolism: A Nationwide Population-Based Case-Control Study

The nation in the study was Denmark.

This was the introductory paragraph.

Patients with coeliac disease (CD) may be at increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), i.e. deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and its complication pulmonary embolism (PE), because they are reported to have hyperhomocysteinaemia, low levels of K-vitamin-dependent anticoagulant proteins, and increased levels of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor.

One thing in this summary screams at me. The mention of vitamin-K!

Ten years ago, I had a serious stroke, that because of modern clot-busting drugs failed to kill me.

I am now on long-term Warfarin and know I have to eat a diet without Vitamin-K.

There are too many coincidences in all this for me not to shout, “Do More Research!”

 

 

January 17, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 4 Comments

East Midlands Commuter Programme

The East Midlands Commuter Programme has been launched.

It has its own web site, with this mission statement.

Working Towards A Srosperous East Midlands By Investing In Rail

And this more expansive statement.

East Midlands Commuter Programme is a scheme to introduce a high-frequency and high-quality rail service across the East Midlands with as little new infrastructure as possible, as well as lobbying for the extension of NET trams into Derby, East Midlands Airport and more.

So what is the flesh on the bones?

Four Stages

These are.

It looks to me, that there is the start of good things there, but full information is not on the web site yet.

Every plan put forward must be capable of being built.

I shall not comment further until the plan has been completed, published and handed to the Government.

Liverpool’s Vision For Rail was published by the region in July 2021 and it is a complete and well-thought out plan.

In October 2021, I was able to write Chancellor To Fund £710m Merseyrail Expansion.

Work has already started on the first extension to Headbolt Lane station.

At a very much smaller level, look what happened in Devon with the Dartmoor Line, where a small scheme was delivered quickly.

We now also have two further smaller well-planned schemes underway; the Northumberland Line and the Levenmouth Rail Link in Scotland.

Conclusion

I would suspect, that if the East Midlands can write a plan that is complete, fully-costed and deliverable, then they will get the same result as the Liverpool City Region.

January 17, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

BHP Joins The Party On Electric Rail

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Australian Mining.

This is the introductory paragraph.

BHP will add four battery-electric locomotives to its Western Australian rail network, becoming the fourth major miner to improve rail decarbonisation efforts in Australia since mid-December.

These are some details of the locomotives.

  • Two are from Progress Rail and two are from Wabtec.
  • The locomotives have 14.5 MWh batteries.
  • The locomotives will be delivered by 2023.

BHP will also investigate the use of regenerative braking using the topography of the rail route.

With four companies going electric, it does seem that Australian mining, is very much driving the move to battery-electric heavy-haul freight.

Considering, that Wabtec only formally launched the FLXdrive concept in Pittsburgh in September last year, which I wrote about in FLXdrive ‘Electrifies’ Pittsburgh, that would appear to have been good going.

 

January 17, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments