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tv   Coronavirus  BBC News  December 27, 2020 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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the headlines: cases of the more contagious variant of covid—19 first identified in the uk have been confirmed in several european countries — including spain, sweden, and france. the variant strain has also been found injapan and canada. meanwhile, some eu nations have started their mass vaccination programmes 2a hours early. federal agents have searched a house on the outskirts of nashville, tennessee, as part of their investigation into the christmas day explosion there. police say they have identified at least one person of interest connected to the motor home vehicle that blew up. the russian president, vladimir putin, has paid tribute to the cold war spy george blake, who has died in moscow aged 98. blake was a soviet double agent who worked for the british secret service. he escaped to russia from a london prison in 1966. storm bella has brought heavy
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rain and winds of more than 80mph to the uk. the met office has issued warnings for parts of england, wales, northern ireland, and southern scotland, with coastal areas expected to be worst hit. more than a thousand people in bedfordshire have already been advised to leave their homes due to flooding, as anisa kadri reports. a rise in the river levels here caused rising anxiety. 1,300 households were told to evacuate. police said the flooding situation overrides the requirement to stay in your own home, according to tier 4 coronavirus restrictions. we've ended up doing what we've kind of done in the past few years anyway, so oddly enough, it has ended up being a more sociable christmas than we were planning on. debbie ward had police turn up at the door late on christmas eve telling her she should evacuate, but she chose not to. you worry, you panic, you know, it was rising quite fast and has come up but luckily, it has not reached the top of our step and coming in the house.
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bedford international athletics stadium was one of the emergency assistance centres set up for people who had nowhere else to go. we have had all of the measures in place to protect people from the spread of the virus. it was christmas day yesterday, boxing day today, obviously. and our hearts just go out to people that have now, with all that going on, have now had some of the highest level floods for over 20 years thrown at them. here in bedford town centre, the levels of the river great ouse peaked in the early hours of this morning. it is now, the authorities say, receding. more rain is expected, as different parts of the country prepare for storm bella. anisa kadri, bbc news. now on bbc news, philippa thomas hears from people around the world about their extraordinary experiences during the pandemic and how covid—19 has changed their lives.
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welcome. on coronavirus: your stories this year we have been hearing from people around the world about some of the extraordinary ways in which covid—19 has changed our lives. on the programme, we have heard from more than 50 guests across 25 countries. like rachel, a british palliative care doctor, spending her days talking to the dying. there have been times where i have had to pull over on the side of the road and actually stop driving on the way home and sit there and cry to myself in silence, inside my car because i have felt so shocked by the speed of the pandemic and the relentlessness of it, the sheer numbers of people who are dying too quickly and too often.
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it is like nothing any of us have ever experienced. it is like a battlefield environment. nadia and leanne who mobilised community action in cape town. we are cooking food for the whole communities so every day at 12:30pm they come. as long as their food to cook, i will cook. this is my family cooking for our neighbourhood. angela in missouri urging others to wear masks after she lost her mother to covid—19. and it hurts, it hurts me and i know that there are so many people in this... this country and this world everywhere that have lost people prematurely and they are scared to leave their homes because they know what this virus can do, they have seen it. and they feel like they are not being heard. dana, a young doctor in damascus, making medical supplies because so few were getting into syria.
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what we have tried to do is do them ourselves using diy techniques. we were creating designs of masks, facemasks and other ppe through 3—d printer, for example, but the main problem was the materials and to find 3—d printers because it is not common to have 3—d printers around here. another person we spoke to who lives in london and was homeless before getting a lockdown hostel space. what do you think might have happened to you if this intervention had not come along with this kind of lockdown room and help you got? i'll be honest with you, i probably think i would be in prison by now and that is the honest truth. i honestly think i would be in prison by now. now as christmas approaches, we are revisiting four of these stories. together, they reflect how difficult life has become for so many.
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losing business and jobs, health worries, stress, above all, losing loved ones to the virus. but they have also been stories of solidarity and hope, of people rising to the challenge in extraordinary ways. in some of the remotest areas of the united states, native american volunteers came together early to help the tribal nations hit hardest by covid—i9. in utah, jo overton was clinically vulnerable herself, stuck at home during lockdown, but she felt she had to act and set up a nonprofit from her kitchen table. from my youngest childhood, i remember my mother asking me what are you going to be when you grow up? and what will you do to help the people? there are some areas, especially on the navajo nation, where between 30 and 40 people, 40% of the people don't have running water. it also means they have no electricity and no cellphone service because they live
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in a really remote area and that might be ok on a regular basis, but with covid, it means they cannot call for help, they cannot wash their hands. ijust said, i cannot stand here and do nothing. and so, i did something and it has grown and i have an amazing team of people who are incredibly caring and we are all working together to save lives. i was looking for 40 masks and now we can get thousands to people within just days. and also, face shields and gloves, hand sanitiser, it becomes life—saving when you don't have water. nine months on, jo's network is still active and growing. sending help to tribal lands from south dakota to nebraska. how does she describe the challenge today? it has been just...
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..kind of overwhelming emotionally and very difficult to watch people that you love and are part of your family to become sick, to have people that you care about die. more native americans are going to become sick with covid and more native americans will die. they make up 9% of the south dakota population, the native americans do, and they are 19% of the death rate. jo, tell us more about what your network is doing to get some of the basics out there. we absolutely depend on our partnerships, our collaborations with the native peoples. they are our moccasins on the ground. without them, there would be no distribution, especially to those that are in more need.
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the ones that are more remote, the ones that don't have transportation. they are bringing food and face shields and right now, our sewing expansion is sewing a request for great plains, which covers all the tribes in south dakota, north dakota and nebraska and one in iowa for 60,000 cloth masks. this is a nonprofit, a network, jo, that you set up from your kitchen table. what has been happening to you? i have been basically on lockdown in my house since march and the most difficult part for me has been how much i miss my grandchildren. and i have not had a hug or a kiss or a snuggle. it is... ..incredibly difficult. what is driving you on, jo? my people are dying. what would i do, sit here and do nothing? i can't.
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the most important prayer that we say is that the people may live, not that i may live and i have been guided in my efforts by my ancestors and a deep drive to make my mother proud of me for her to look on at me and say, good for her, she is doing something important. and it has been what has lifted me in the darkest of times in the midst of this. jo overton in utah. this year's panic about the deadly coronavirus among us has led, of course, of long periods of lockdown around the globe. and that has had, that is still having an economic impact, with many families now running short of funds to buy even the basics like food. in the philippines, we heard from a family which set up an aid programme to help thousands of neighbours for whom lockdown meant losing access to theirjobs
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and to food. chantel told us about her hometown of cainta. because the lockdown has spanned for months‘ long, people have ended up using up all of their savings. people have ended up selling almost all of their items at home just to be able to get whatever form of income they can. people in the communities, especially those that we've reached, that we've helped give milk to, give relief packs to, would send messages, would send videos and pictures of their children with the milk or with the food, reallyjust thanking us for the support. to them, what you give, regardless of how small you think it is, actually means the world. to a lot, itjust might be there world because they are just trying to survive on a day—to—day basis. thank you. since we spoke, cainta was hit by a typhoon season and that meant that thousands have also lost their homes.
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in desperate need now of food, aid and medical supplies. about two or three weeks ago we were hit by a typhoon. it hit the country, the philippines, including my hometown. so hundreds of household work submerged in floodwaters, causing thousands of people to evacuate into evacuation centres. and it has been a struggle because people have only really started to recover from the lockdown, so from the day the typhoon hit, we managed to send out pack meals to people in evacuation centres. so in just under three weeks, we managed to provide 3,000kg of rice, i,000kg of vegetables, 30 boxes of canned goods and hundreds upon hundreds of grocery kits to almost 10,000 people. crisis or no crisis, we have each other‘s back. and do you think that you will continue to be organising supplies all the way for the christmas season?
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i know it is a long season in the philippines. yes, yes. we actually have the longest christmas season in the world, so we start in september and end in earlyjanuary. so basically, half the year. but of course we will be continuing our relief and food programme for as long as it takes. although for some people it seems as though we have lost the christmas because of everything that has happened this year. to me, it has never been more alive. there are people out there on the streets, in their homes, at work or on social media, doing whatever they can to be there for others and to me that is what christmas is all about. community, solidarity, love and hope. chantel, what has it been like for you this year stepping up, not once, but twice? it has changed your life. this pandemic has shown me what is most important. the floods have shown me
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what we can do to help others, especially when we are together. that was chantel in the philippines. i am philippa thomas and you are watching coronavirus: your stories, a programme about how covid—i9 has changed lives around the world. we are revisiting some of the stories that people have shared with us in this extraordinary year. as the world went into lockdown, we saw countries shut their borders to limit new infections. this put many seafarers in an unpredictable situation. we heard from a ship's captain and a young engineer, both key workers on important shipping routes, but effectively stranded at sea. we also heard from american and swedish couple brian and karen who had been sailing the world for years now with a baby, sierra, on board. we first made contact with them on an uninhabited island in the bahamas where they had been living their lockdown for more than 100 days.
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we are out here in an island that is completely uninhabited. there are no stores, no people, no cities, just us, the bush and a few other boats. and you are managing with a baby who i think is going to be ten months old this week. how are you surviving? yes, she is actually going to be ten months old and three days. but i feel like we are doing quite well. we are feeling very fortunate to be out here. it's a beautiful place and we're normally set up on the boat to be self—sufficient for months at a time and so we are able to make our own electricity with the sun and wind, we can make oui’ own water with the desalination plant, we even make our own alcohol with a still we have on board, so we are pretty well set up to be out here and we are just
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taking it day by day, month by month. we catch our own food a lot here, brian is able to go spear fishing. when the lobster season was in full swing, we did that. having a baby on board, you think about things differently, right? it's changed the way we feel, like, we want to be a little extra safe, so we are probably going to move north fairly soon since we have heard this is going to be a pretty bad year for hurricanes. with hurricane season approaching the caribbean, brian and karen decided to head north to the us state of maine on the canadian border. they made it to harbour, sailing past some iconic sites, strangely empty of tourists because of the lockdown. when i talked to the couple in august, they admitted, that was not all smooth sailing. we got hit by a big low coming over us and we saw winds in excess of 35 knots and we were in the gulf stream and so itjust created these
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gigantic standing waves and the boat was shaking and getting slammed around and the wind was howling. we blew out a sail. sierra really couldn't come outside because it wasjust too poor weather. that sail kind of taught me a lot also about my limits and what i feel comfortable with. i mean, we have been out sailing for like ten years, but sailing with her is definitely different. but now they are in the country with the highest pandemic death toll in the world and now that winter is here, what does this sailing family do next? we decided to sail up north to canada, unfortunately, the border closure is still in effect, canada is not letting any americans in and you really can't blame them for that. and then we had to head back south again. i mean, the plans change all the time, but i think in general, we are going to head south and probably down towards florida. life on a boat is still
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the life you want? definitely. yeah. i love it. i love living on the boat. it is a much different world that sierra has come into than the one you expected. definitely. you know what, i ventured into the hardware store the other day. we were walking around and everybody else is wearing masks and to her this is what she is used to now. she sees somebody out in the store wearing a mask and it is not strange. we have watched her grow up on this programme, which is lovely to see. and i am just thinking about what you will tell her, you know, when she's a bit older, about her first year. because we make the videos, we will be able to not only tell her but show her what it was like, which is going to be pretty cool to look back in a few years and see her grow from a four—month—old baby to now this i6—month toddler walking around and destroying everything on the boat she can get her hands on. oh, is that funny?
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when you look back at this year, the year of coronavirus, what do you remember most? i feel like even though it has been a lot of struggles and we have not been able to meet people in the same way, there is still all lot of really amazing people out there and connections you can make in a safe manner and it has been... it has been really, really special in a more challenging way. laughter in a different sort of way. can you wave goodbye, sierra? come on, we are going this way. oh, there she goes. goodbye! brian, karen and sierra. on this programme, we have heard a lot from people who realise how much it matters to make connections at a time when we are supposed to socially distance. this year, a lot of people have
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thought about what matters most to them and what matters in their relationships. so, for our final story we're hearing about a couple tested in this pandemic year, not by a physical isolation like troutmans, but by unexpected togetherness. so for ourfinal story, imagine two friends, world travellers, who first meeting in australia. one year later, they meet again in new zealand and romance is in the air. then, pandemic strikes. so canadian katie and brit ryan suddenly find themselves far from home in a small flat, facing lockdown life together for weeks and weeks. how did they react? for katie, one word. panic. laughter please, no. i'm sure it was a shock for everyone, really. just knowing that we would be cooped up in a house for a long period of time.
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and it was really new, so that was terrifying because we both did not want to live with each other right away. it kind of forced us to understand each other quickly and really get to know each other quickly and, you know, i'm sure if it was not for lockdown, we would not be in this position that we are in at the moment. we wouldn't still be living together. so tell us about some of the understandings you reached. what are you talking about? well, basically... ryan snores and when he snores really bad, he has to go to a different room. understanding number one. and number two... don't mix the dirty laundry and the clean laundry together. it is life lessons, hey? laughter what did you learn, though? ryan, what did you find out about katie? i was searching for someone that was similar to me and i was searching for someone that wanted to explore and travel and see the world and... you know, we would go on adventures all the time together and i haven't
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really had that before. so when we got back in touch this month, there was one key question, katie and ryan — are you still together? yes, we are. we are still together. and we are moving into our own place, so that is a major new thing. you said something about having to learn to understand each other, because you had to, you are in lockdown. we heard, for example, ryan's snoring and we heard about ryan wanting to have a travelling lifestyle, both of you still getting out on the road. so now your lockdown is over, i wanted to catch up. are you still doing the things you want to do together? are you still travelling? oh, yes. we have been to a few places, not as many as we would have liked. kind of hard. we have been away for a few weekend trips, been on a lot of hikes around the area. luckily, there are so many
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nice walks nearby. for all of us, it has been the year of pandemic. if you look back at what has happened, what stands out about how you have both coped with the crisis and the lockdown and everything that has happened? i think learning to just go with the flow and accept the things that are not in your control. no—one could have predicted this. and we are just rolling with the punches and crossing bridges as we come because you will drive yourself crazy if you don't. on this programme, we have talked to a lot of people and something that comes up again and again is the importance of relationships. you know, people think what really matters at a time like this. and i see you two of a brilliant example of that. thank you. yeah, thank you. yes, just keeping each other entertained, i guess you can say. i am quite, i wouldn't say stupid, i would say clumsy. so, i'm sure i'm quite funny to be around, i guess.
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and just communicating and learning to understand each other, you know? learning to understand what is not said as well. my mum has already looked up our horoscope signs and figured out how compatible we are. so we are pretty compatible. my family will get to meet you when the time comes, i guess, when trouble opens back up. they are excited. to canada, to the cold. i think they like you better than me already. lucky you. so, describe what you think your christmas is going to be like. our christmas is going to be a different one this year. we are having all of our friends that don't really have anywhere to go, we are all going to be together, well, not nowhere where to go, but no family around. we are going to be together and just...
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have a big pot luck. some fun and games and just have a laugh and have a good time. hopefully we can get a sunny day. ryan and katie in new zealand. i am philippa thomas. thank you to our guests for sharing and thank you for watching this special addition of coronavirus — your stories. hello. after a night of wind and rain, sunday won't be as windy. there will be showers around but also sunshine, too. but right now, it's still very wet and very windy out there for some of us. from this area of low pressure, storm bella as named by the met office to raise awareness of the impacts from the wind and rain, but not just that. in areas that have seen the back of the rain and the strongest winds overnight, the colder air moving in — and for some of us in scotland and northern ireland, icy, and a few wintry showers around to start the day. damaging winds from storm bella
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could cause some disruption, particularly into parts of england and wales and there will be more heavy rain in areas already seeing some flooding. so, that's not going to help. the greatest chance of disruption from the wind will be in the areas where the met office has an amber warning in force, the potential of some gusts up to 80 mph or so, slowly easing as we go on through sunday morning. once this overnight rain will have cleared away, clearing around mid—morning from the east of kent. you can see it's a colder start the day, particularly across scotland and northern ireland, where it will icy in places, potentially parts of northern england. we have these wintry showers moving in. some snow, mainly on hills, but perhaps not exclusively on hills. it's the west that sees most of sunday's showers. it is sunnier and drier the further east you are. it is still windy. these are wind gusts, but we're talking around 30—a0 mph, just a little higher around some coasts in the west. and it is going to be a colder day, temperatures in scotland just hovering close to freezing during the day, and a longer spell of snow pushing across parts of scotland, northern ireland, northern england, north wales overnight sunday into monday — notjust on hills, that snow. a few centimetres to lower levels in some spots, too.
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and even where you don't get that, it could be icy, frosty, as monday starts. so, a cold start to monday. the area of low pressure right across us. so if you are close to that, you can expect some cloud. and around that, there will be some bands of rain, sleet, and snow around on monday morning. so, there could be some problems from that. it could well be the further away you are from that low pressure system in scotland and northern ireland by the afternoon, the greater chance for you to see a bit of sunshine. but it's cold, and it's a cold week to come. but a reminderfrom storm bella — damaging winds potential and also further flooding. there are weather and flood warnings. keep up—to—date online.
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welcome to bbc news. i'm rich preston. our top stories: the new coronavirus variant that first emerged in england is spreading across many european countries and has now been confirmed in canada and japan. us federal agents search a house on the outskirts of nashville as part of their investigation into the christmas day explosion in the city. i am confident in the team we have that will get to the bottom of this. we will find out the story of this individual or individuals. at least 10 climbers die in mountains north of tehran during an avalanche. iranian rescue teams are searching for others who are still missing. president putin pays tribute to the former mi6 officer and soviet spy george blake, who has died aged 98 in moscow.


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