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England dropped most of its Covid restrictions in July. One month on, here's how it's going – CNN

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London (CNN)It’s been a month since England dropped most of its coronavirus restrictions, a move that was welcomed by much of the country’s hard-pressed business sector but criticized by thousands of scientists as a “dangerous and unethical experiment.”

In an open letter published in the Lancet medical journal, they argued that a rising number of Covid-19 cases, the new Delta variant and the fact that a large part of the UK population was not yet fully vaccinated made the move too risky.
But the government was determined to push ahead.
It removed all limits on mixing and allowed venues like nightclubs and sports stadiums to open at full capacity starting on July 19. Face masks are no longer required apart from in a few specific locations, such as airports and hospitals. And as of Monday, fully vaccinated people are no longer required to quarantine after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
A month on, it’s becoming clear that while vaccination works, the reopening has come at a cost.
“The UK is averaging around 90 deaths a day from Covid. Our reopening has been far from an unqualified success,” said Kit Yates, co-director of the Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of Bath.
While the death toll is much lower than it was at the peak of the pandemic, when as many as 1,300 people were dying every day, experts like Yates say it’s still unnecessarily high.
And with roughly 800 Covid-19 patients ending up in hospital each day, the UK’s public health system is once again under pressure and unable to provide non-emergency care at the level that is needed, Yates said.
“There isn’t capacity to carry out all the routine treatment that’s necessary. As a result people are missing out on lifesaving treatment,” he said.
The number of people waiting for routine hospital treatment has risen to 5.5 million in July from 4.4 million in February 2020, according to NHS Providers.
“If there was one lesson I wish other countries would take from watching the UK’s attempt to reopen is that vaccines are not the whole solution to the problem,” Yates told CNN.
“Yes, they make a huge difference, but if you want to keep on top of this disease then you need to back vaccines up with other tried and tested public health measures: Mask mandates in indoor public spaces, ventilation in schools and work places, a functioning, locally-driven test, trace and isolate system in combination with support for isolation,” he added.

Cases dropped, then rose again

Epidemiologists expected the reopening would lead to an increase in the number of people becoming infected with the coronavirus — but this didn’t happen, at least not immediately.
While the number of new cases increased just before the restrictions were lifted, it went down in the first few weeks after the reopening. This unexpected drop was likely down to the fact that contacts between people didn’t increase as rapidly as some predicted, and because the Euro 2020 football tournament, which led to a spike in cases, ended on July 11.
“Thankfully, although technically we’ve lifted restrictions, the UK looks a very different place than it did before the pandemic. My workplace is still practically deserted. It’s quite clear that people are not behaving as they were before the pandemic,” said Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh.
“There’s an awful lot of scope for people to change their behavior more to allow more transmission of the virus in the future. Whether they will, we don’t know — predicting people’s behavior in the face of an unprecedented pandemic is a fool’s game, really,” he said.
The spike in cases before the reopening meant a large number of people were in quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tested positive. More than 2 million people were “pinged” by the track and trace app in July alone, according to the NHS.
On top of that, the school summer vacation got underway in England on July 16.
Christina Pagel, director of the Clinical Operational Research Unit at University College London, said it has now become clear that schools played an important part in the overall picture, adding that cases in children have been halving every week since the beginning of the holidays.
But while the overall infection levels dropped in the first few weeks after the reopening, they have started creeping up again.
“In the last two weeks, cases in adults have started going up again, and more than you would know just from looking at the numbers, because they’re kind of masked by the big drops in cases in children,” Pagel said.
She said the increase in cases is worrying, because July and August are precisely the months when it should be easier to keep infection levels down.
“We’re still in a situation where we have a lot of cases and a lot of poor health from Covid, so I think there is kind of a bit of trepidation about what happens when we go back to school in September,” she said.
While hospitalizations in the UK are on the rise, the proportion of people who end up in hospital now is much lower than it used to be, thanks to vaccination.
“In January, before the vaccination program really got into full swing we were maybe seeing upwards of 10% of cases going on to be hospitalized. Now that figure is down to between 2% and 3%, so vaccines are making a huge difference,” Yates said.
The data also shows that while overall vaccination rates matter, the key is in the detail.
The UK has fully vaccinated 60% of its total population, according to Our World in Data, while in the US, that figure stands at 51%, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the overall rate is similar, the US has more unvaccinated elderly people who are more vulnerable to the disease.
“In the over-50s, in our vulnerable populations, we have 90% to 95% fully vaccinated. And that’s making a really big difference. So we do have a lot of hospitalizations, but it’s nowhere near as high as it could be,” Pagel said, referring to the UK population.
“And if you look at places like Florida, which is seeing unsustainable hospitalizations, this is because they have a higher number of people who are still vulnerable, so even though they have high vaccination rates overall, it’s not helping them as much because of how its distributed in their population,” she added.
According to the Florida Department of Health, 79% of people aged between 60 and 64 and 86% of people above the age of 65 have been vaccinated.

Kids on the front line

In England, next month’s return to school is a major risk, because most kids won’t be vaccinated against the disease.
The UK medicines watchdog, the MHRA, has approved the Pfizer and Moderna shots for children and teenagers aged 12 and above, but only clinically vulnerable teenagers have been able to get the shots so far.
The government said Sunday that 16- and 17-year-olds will be offered the vaccine by next week, but there has been no announcement on inoculation for younger children.
“We will see lots of students meeting up indoors in schools at which few or no mitigations have been put in place … we should expect to see further rises in transmission when this happens, which will inevitably lead to more cases, more hospitalizations and tragically more deaths,” Yates said.
Deepti Gurdasani, a clinical epidemiologist and senior lecturer in machine learning at Queen Mary University of London, has long been critical of the government’s approach to the reopening, arguing that the plan put children at unnecessary risk.
“They may not individually get hospitalized or die at the same rate, but if enough of them get infected, then a large number will still get hospitalized and sadly, some will die. And they do get long Covid,” she said, pointing to data released by the Office for National Statistics earlier this month, which showed that 34,000 kids aged 17 and under are suffering from long Covid, with 22,000 of them saying their illness is having an impact on their day-to-day activities.
“These are not mild cases … 7,000 have had persistent symptoms for more than one year. That’s not mild,” she said.
Pagel said that while schools don’t appear to be major drivers of new injections when overall community transmission levels remain low, they become a problem when Covid levels are higher — as they are right now in the UK.
“Every other high income country is doing at least one of three things … they are either vaccinating adolescents, or they’re keeping in mitigation (measures) in schools such as masks and social distancing, isolation and (investing in) ventilation, or they’re keeping community transmission low … most of them are doing two of those things. We’re not doing any of them,” she said.

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Java News Roundup: Classfile API Draft, Spring Boot, GlassFish, Project Reactor, Micronaut – InfoQ.com

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This week’s Java roundup for June 20th, 2022 features news from OpenJDK, JDK 19, JDK 20, Spring point releases, GlassFish 7.0.0-M6, GraalVM Native Build Tools 0.9.12, Micronaut 3.5.2, Quarkus 2.10.0, Project Reactor 2022.0.0-M3, Apache Camel Quarkus 2.10.0, and Apache Tika versions 2.4.1 and 1.28.4.

OpenJDK

Brian Goetz, Java language architect at Oracle, recently updated JEP Draft 828039, Classfile API, to provide background information on how this draft will evolve and ultimately replace the Java bytecode manipulation and analysis framework, ASM, that Goetz characterizes as “an old codebase with plenty of legacy baggage.” This JEP proposes to provide an API for parsing, generating, and transforming Java class files. This JEP will initially serve as an internal replacement for ASM in the JDK with plans to have it opened as a public API.

JDK 19

Build 28 of the JDK 19 early-access builds was made available this past week, featuring updates from Build 27 that include fixes to various issues. More details may be found in the release notes.

JDK 20

Build 3 of the JDK 20 early-access builds was also made available this past week, featuring updates from Build 2 that includes fixes to various issues. Release notes are not yet available.

For JDK 19 and JDK 20, developers are encouraged to report bugs via the Java Bug Database.

Spring Framework

Spring Boot 2.7.1 has been released featuring 66 bug fixes, improvements in documentation and dependency upgrades such as: Spring Framework 5.3.21, Spring Data 2021.2.1, Spring Security 5.7.2, Reactive Streams 1.0.4, Groovy 3.0.11, Hazelcast 5.1.2 and Kotlin Coroutines 1.6.3. More details on this release may be found in the release notes.

Spring Boot 2.6.9 has been released featuring 44 bug fixes, improvements in documentation and dependency upgrades similar to Spring Boot 2.7.1. Further details on this release may be found in the release notes.

VMware has published CVE-2022-22980, Spring Data MongoDB SpEL Expression Injection Vulnerability, a vulnerability in which a “Spring Data MongoDB application is vulnerable to SpEL Injection when using @Query or @Aggregation-annotated query methods with SpEL expressions that contain query parameter placeholders for value binding if the input is not sanitized.” Spring Data MongoDB versions 3.4.1 and 3.3.5 have resolved this vulnerability.

Spring Data versions 2021.2.1 and 2021.1.5 have been released featuring upgrades to all of the Spring Data sub projects such as: Spring Data MongoDB, Spring Data Cassandra, Spring Data JDBC and Spring Data Commons. These releases will also be consumed by Spring Boot 2.7.1 and 2.6.9, respectively, and address the aforementioned CVE-2022-22980.

Spring Authorization Server 0.3.1 has been released featuring some enhancements and bug fixes. However, the team decided to downgrade from JDK 11 to JDK 8 to maintain compatibility and consistency with Spring Framework, Spring Security 5.x and Spring Boot 2.x. As a result, the HyperSQL (HSQLDB) dependency was also downgraded to version 2.5.2 because HSQLDB 2.6.0 and above require JDK 11. More details on this release may be found in the release notes.

Spring Security versions 5.7.2 and 5.6.6 have been released featuring bug fixes and dependency upgrades. Both versions share a new feature in which testing examples have been updated to use JUnit Jupiter, an integral part of JUnit 5. Further details on these releases may be found in the release notes for version 5.7.2 and version 5.6.6.

Eclipse GlassFish

On the road to GlassFish 7.0.0, the sixth milestone release was made available by the Eclipse Foundation that delivers a number of changes related to passing the Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) for the Jakarta Contexts and Dependency Injection 4.0 and Jakarta Concurrency 3.0 specifications. However, this milestone release has not yet passed the full Jakarta EE 10 TCK. GlassFish 7.0.0-M6, considered a beta release, compiles and runs on JDK 11 through JDK 18. More details on this release may be found in the release notes.

GraalVM Native Build Tools

On the road to version 1.0, Oracle Labs has released version 0.9.12 of Native Build Tools, a GraalVM project consisting of plugins for interoperability with GraalVM Native Image. This latest release provides: support documentation for Mockito and Byte Buddy; prevent builds from failing if no test list has been provided; support different agent modes in the native-image Gradle plugin, a breaking change; and support for JVM Reachability Metadata in Maven. Further details on this release may be found in the release notes.

Micronaut

The Micronaut Foundation has released Micronaut 3.5.2 featuring bug fixes and point releases of the Micronaut Oracle Cloud 2.1.4, Micronaut Email 1.2.3, and Micronaut Spring 4.1.1 projects. Documentation for the ApplicationContextConfigurer interface was also updated to include a recommendation on how to define a default Micronaut environment. More details on this release may be found in the release notes.

Quarkus

Red Hat has released Quarkus 2.10.0.Final featuring: preliminary work on virtual threads (JEP 425) from Project Loom; support non-blocking workloads in GraphQL extensions; a dependency upgrade to SmallRye Reactive Messaging 3.16.0; support for Kubernetes service binding for Reactive SQL Clients extensions; and a new contract CacheKeyGenerator to allow for customizing generated cache keys from method parameters.

Project Reactor

On the road to Project Reactor 2022.0.0, the third milestone release was made available featuring dependency upgrades to reactor-core 3.5.0-M3, reactor-pool 1.0.0-M3, reactor-netty 1.1.0-M3, reactor-addons 3.5.0-M3 and reactor-kotlin-extensions 1.2.0-M3.

Apache Camel Quarkus

Maintaining alignment with Quarkus, The Apache Software Foundation has released Camel Quarkus 2.10.0 containing Camel 3.17.0 and Quarkus 2.10.0.Final. New features include: new extensions, Azure Key Vault and DataSonnet; and removal of deprecated extensions in Camel 3.17.0. Further details on this release may be found in the list of issues.

Apache Tika

The Apache Tika team has released version 2.4.1 of their metadata extraction toolkit. Formerly a subproject of Apache Lucene, this latest version ships with improved customization and configuration such as: add a stop() method to the TikaServerCli class so that it can be executed with Apache Commons Daemon; allow pass-through of Content-Length header to metadata in the TikaResource class; and support for users to expand system properties from the forking process into forked tika-server processes.

Apache Tika 1.28.4 was also released featuring security fixes and dependency upgrades. More details in this release may be found in the changelog. The 1.x release train will reach end-of-life on September 30, 2022.

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iQOO will debut the Dimensity 9000 Plus processor in the upcoming 10-series flagship smartphones – Notebookcheck.net

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YouTuber tries to upgrade his old M1 MacBook Pro 13 to the brand-new Apple M2 processor – Notebookcheck.net

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