Rural dwellers have slammed wealthy capital residents for visiting second homes as they said Londoners should be ‘locked up’ for defying government advice amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Aristocrats, society models and influencers are avoiding busy cities like London by staying at their gorgeous homes – including the likes of Lottie Moss, who shared snaps as she relaxed in the countryside earlier today.
It comes as the government updated domestic travel advice to tell people not to visit second homes, holiday homes, campsites or caravan parks.
Ministers said people should not visit those places either for self-isolation or for a holiday because doing so would place unnecessary strain on rural communities.
People remain highly critical of those Londoners fleeing the capital, with some erecting signs to tell city-dwellers to ‘stay away’ from countryside communities to prevent the spread of the disease.
Countryside dwellers are blasting city residents who are fleeing places like London for idylic retreats (pictured, one person erected a sign on a roadside near Pembrokeshire)
One social media user commented: ‘If Londoners and Middle Englanders could kindly keep away from their second homes in Suffolk and Norfolk, that would be appreciated.
‘Stop spreading the virus. You don’t need to be here.’
Another angry person wrote: ‘Why is it always London? Plenty of rich Londoners now in their second homes, or holidaying in Wales Cornwall. Places with very little resources. Selfish lot.’
Another added: ‘Our village in the Cotswolds was full of Londoners escaping the city.
Socialites are escaping London and heading to the country to enjoy isolation in idyllic rural areas (pictured, Lottie Moss, who was pictured leaving the capital on Wednesday and is now relaxing in a countryside retreat)
Meanwhile Lizzy Hadfield left her home in London for her native Yorkshire over the weekend, and shared snaps as she enjoyed a countryside walk today
‘In 10 years we have never seen it so busy. People coming to their second homes, bringing their friend.
‘Irresponsible idiots, who should be locked up to save the rest of us from them.’
Among those who have left their London homes to self isolate elsewhere included Kate Moss’ little sister Lottie.
The socialite and model was snapped leaving her home in London on Wednesday last week, and has since been sharing pictures on her Instagram page as she picked flowers in a countryside location.
She revealed she was currently ‘with family’ in the location earlier today.
Meanwhile influencer and fashion blogger Lizzy Hadfield also revealed she had left London for her native Yorkshire over the weekend.
She posted pictures online as she enjoyed a countryside walk on Ilkley Moor amid the coronavirus outbreak across the country.
And chocolate dynasty scion Jemima Cadbury also shared snaps in the countryside amid the outbreak.
Hotel heiress Irene Forte was among those who shared snaps of a countryside retreat as she self-isolated away from London
Pictured: A middle aged couple set up at their camping equipment at the Caravan Club site -in Ferry Meadows, Peterborough
The Chelsea dweller appeared to have visited Oxfordshire earlier this month, posting photographs as she posed alongside two men with their pet dogs.
Socialite and hotel heiress Irene Forte also appeared to have left London for the countryside, revealing a photograph as she enjoyed a walk through a woodland earlier today.
The group join many Londoners who have now fled the capital, including the likes of Hum Fleming, Princess Eugenie’s friend and relative of James Bondcreator Ian Fleming.
The great-niece of the James Bond creator posted a video of her horse galloping through a woodland on Instagram last week.
Pictured: Rows of white static caravans at the Hopton on Sea caravan park in Suffolk
Pictured: A home which has been sold in the Cornish village of Mousehole near Penzance
Social media user slammed those who were escaping the city, with many calling it ‘selfish’ and saying they were ‘spreading the virus’
She went on to share a selfie as she walked through a wood, hashtagging the post #Quarantine.
And socialite Valeska Schilemann also shared snaps as she drew by an open window in her rural bolthole.
The trendy teenager shared the snap from her sister Amalia’s Instagram account as the duo relaxed at their countryside retreat.
Meanwhile The presenter Rosie Tapner, who regularly hosts horse race coverage including Ascot and Goodwood, also revealed she had escaped London and headed to Cornwall
Lottie Moss shared several snaps on her Instagram stories as she relaxed in a rural retreat with her family having left London
It comes after it emerged socialites and models were escaping the city in order to isolate in the countryside (pictured left, Hum Fleming and right, Valeska Schilemann)
The model, who has worked with brands including Balenciaga, Topshop, Burberry and Selfridges, revealed she had left London for the south coast yesterday.
The 24-year-old, who has been tipped as the next Cara Delevingne in the past, is close friends with the supermodel, as well as brushing shoulders with Jourdan Dunn.
Sharing a snap as she stood on a coastline, she told told her 16,000 followers: ‘There are worse places to be isolated!! Rather misty view today!’
It came as updated cross-government UK travel advice issued last night told people not to visit holiday homes or campsites and urged everyone not to travel ‘unless it is essential’ in order to help stem the spread of coronavirus.
The advice warns of the potential impact second home owners or holiday home owners could have on vital rural services if they leave their primary residence and head for the countryside.
Presenter and model Rosie Tapner also revealed she had travelled out of the city and was planning to isolate in Cornwall
She shared this snap online with her 16,000 followers as she stood on the misty coastline in Cornwall
It states: ‘This guidance is for people planning to visit second homes or holiday premises during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
‘Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays.
‘People should remain in their primary residence. Not taking these steps puts additional pressure on communities and services that are already at risk.’
The government has already advised against ‘all but essential international travel’ as countries around the world respond to the crisis.
As of yesterday there were 5,683 identified cases of coronavirus in the UK and the death toll stands at 281.
What is coronavirus?
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS?
What is the coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.
The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.
Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a ‘sister’ of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.
The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.
Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: ‘Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals.
‘Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses).
‘Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.’
The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.
By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.
The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000.
Where does the virus come from?
According to scientists, the virus almost certainly came from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.
The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in Wuhan, which has since been closed down for investigation.
Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat.
A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent identical to a coronavirus they found in bats.
However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.
Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: ‘The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.
‘We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.’
So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it?
Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.
It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans’ lungs. It is less deadly than SARS, however, which killed around one in 10 people, compared to approximately one in 50 for COVID-19.
Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they’ve never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.
Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: ‘Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.
‘Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we’re talking about a virus where we don’t understand fully the severity spectrum but it’s possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.’
If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die.
‘My feeling is it’s lower,’ Dr Horby added. ‘We’re probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that’s the current circumstance we’re in.
‘Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.’
How does the virus spread?
The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.
It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. It can also live on surfaces, such as plastic and steel, for up to 72 hours, meaning people can catch it by touching contaminated surfaces.
Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.
What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?
Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.
If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients will recover from these without any issues, and many will need no medical help at all.
In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people.
Figures are showing that young children do not seem to be particularly badly affected by the virus, which they say is peculiar considering their susceptibility to flu, but it is not clear why.
What have genetic tests revealed about the virus?
Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world.
This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.
Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.
However, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.
This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.
More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.
How dangerous is the virus?
The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.
Experts have been conflicted since the beginning of the outbreak about whether the true number of people who are infected is significantly higher than the official numbers of recorded cases. Some people are expected to have such mild symptoms that they never even realise they are ill unless they’re tested, so only the more serious cases get discovered, making the death toll seem higher than it really is.
However, an investigation into government surveillance in China said it had found no reason to believe this was true.
Dr Bruce Aylward, a World Health Organization official who went on a mission to China, said there was no evidence that figures were only showing the tip of the iceberg, and said recording appeared to be accurate, Stat News reported.
Can the virus be cured?
The COVID-19 virus cannot be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.
Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.
No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it’s not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.
The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.
Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.
People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.
And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people’s temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).
However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.
Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?
The outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11. A pandemic is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’.
Previously, the UN agency said most cases outside of Hubei had been ‘spillover’ from the epicentre, so the disease wasn’t actually spreading actively around the world.
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