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Coronavirus Update - Week 8 of Lockdown

15/05/20

I hope this latest update finds you safe and well? The good news today is that we have an antibody test with a high (virtually 100%) accurate test result. The test has been developed by Swiss Pharmaceutical Company Roche and has been tested at the Government’s (secret squirrel centre) Porton Down facility. But what does it actually mean?

Well, for one thing we will be able to tell how far the virus has spread and get a greater understanding of it’s impact.  The second thing and by way the most important is it could lead to an easing of the “lockdown” allowing people with immunity (although it’s not yet confirmed if they will have immunity - see below) to return to work and crucially for Care Homes, Hospitals and Doctors Surgeries to not spread the infection to vulnerable people. 

A study from the University of Manchester claims that 29% of the UK population may already have had Covid-19. The study claims that for every 1 case recorded there are 237 predicted “community cases”, I take that to mean undiagnosed cases. Out of a recorded population of 60,000,000 people that would mean that 17,400,000 people have had the virus and potentially built up some immunity. I say potentially because as I write there is little evidence to back up the suggestion that if you have antibodies that you cannot be reinfected or transmit the virus. These numbers fit with some of the anecdotal evidence that we’ve heard but again it’s just a guess and is at odds with data coming out of both France and Spain. Studies in these countries suggest 4.4% and 5% infection rates. 

And the markets... continue to be uncertain, earnings reports from Companies are generally dismal and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the UK fell 2% in the first quarter. This is to be expected and the longer we are locked down the worse these figures will get. The tricky problem is... how? After closing down the economy pretty much overnight and scaring people to death, do you convince them that it’s now OK to go back to work and not create a second wave of the virus... answers on a postcard please! We’ll forward to Boris and Matt!

Finally, a favour! Most if not all of you will have at some point completed an attitude to risk questionnaire. We as a business have used a number over the years and haven’t been entirely satisfied with any of them. The reason... they tend to be biased to producing a higher risk result. Understandable from an Industry perspective, the higher your risk rating generally the more you should invest. So during “lockdown” I tasked Victoria (our Head of Advice) and John (one of our paraplanners) to come up with an “in-house” solution and they have! The favour; at your next review would you please complete it. Or sooner if you like - all volunteers gratefully appreciated - it might even relieve the “lockdown” boredom!   We will then review it in-line with what we know about you to make sure that it “does what it says on the tin” and puts “round pegs in round holes” (apologies for the cringeworthy anecdotes). Until next time... 

Stay safe and if you need to chat feel free to give us a call.