1. SWAB (PCR) test – this is suitable for any patient who has possible or definite viral symptoms and who would like to know if they CURRENTLY have the Coronavirus.
2. ANTIBODY BLOOD TEST (Abbott) – this is suitable for anyone who thinks they have had the Coronavirus and who would like to have confirmation that they have developed antibodies. As it is an IgG antibody test, it is IMPORTANT to note that the test should only be done at least fourteen days, and preferably longer, after the illness. As yet there is no definite information as to whether the presence of IgG antibodies confers any immunity and if so, how long it lasts. We also don’t know whether the presence of antibodies means that you can still be a carrier or not. I suspect with time we will know much more about this and can advise accordingly. As with the swab test above this test can be done at home, as a finger-prick blood sample, which is obviously more suitable for anyone who is self-isolating. Please note this test specifically requires proper laboratory testing and does not give an instant self-read result.
Alastair Land, Head Master, went to Manchester Grammar School before he took a First in Natural Sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was President of the College’s Students Union. After completing his PGCE at Cambridge, he began his career at Eton as a teacher of Biology. There he became a Deputy House Master and held several extra-curricular responsibilities, including command of the CCF. Alastair then spent nine years at Winchester, where he was Master in College and a member of the Senior Management Team. Alastair was Deputy Head Master at Harrow for three years from 2012, before he moved to Repton as Headmaster. He returned to Harrow as Head Master in April 2019. He has retained his interests in outdoor activity and scholarship; Alastair is developing a process of strategic development of boys boarding in the twenty first century.
Harrow Community Response
I continue to be inspired by the response of the School community in these uncertain times. We have received thousands of masks, gloves and hand sanitisers from parents and friends. These have been distributed to local healthcare providers along with generous donations to the School’s Covid-19 Response Fund.
Harrow School continues to work closely with the local Borough to provide educational support for young people throughout the Coronavirus crisis. Our offer of classrooms, the Sports Centre and sports facilities for the educational provision for pupils with special educational, health or social care needs as well as the children of key workers formed a key part of the Council’s contingency planning and the site remains available for the Council to use. We are working closely with LEAs both in and outside of London to provide a bespoke learning resource for looked after children throughout the Summer Term and many beaks have volunteered to run live subject-specific Q&A sessions for looked after children and young carers in the area. In the Summer term we will be sharing reading lists and parts of our Super Curriculum and looking to run online lectures on a topic of the day with partner schools.
We continue to communicate regularly with Northwick Park Hospital to ensure that all possible support for our local hospital is coordinated and available. We continue to offer emergency accommodation on site as well as use of the Sports Centre for medical facilities and other parts of the School. We are making and distributing hundreds of protective visors in the D&T department and have provided large numbers of pieces of PPE locally. So far thousands of face masks and a large volume of hand sanitiser, goggles, gloves, protective suits and aprons have been delivered. All available PPE on the School site has been passed on and parents kindly continue to send in more equipment to support our local services. Our fleet of minibuses have been offered to the local Council, NHS, carers and charities for unlimited use as required.
A large volume of food and supplies have been delivered to local charities for dispersion amongst the most in need. Separately, we have set up a food bank distribution centre at the School dining hall that went live on 6 April. With the funds the School has donated, we are currently feeding 18 families (with a family unit of four) for seven days with essential supplies; this provision is in place for at least the next ten weeks. The food bank has been staffed by volunteer members of the catering team. We have arranged for food distribution to two other food bank hubs in the local area using our suppliers with the same discounts that we receive. This represents an initial, minimum £10,000 commitment to fighting food poverty. In terms of benefit to other food hubs and combined with other donations this value is significantly higher. If you feel you are able to make a resource or financial contribution to the fund, please send any donations to the Harrow Development Trust, using reference Covid-19 Aid, where it will be immediately used for relief of food poverty and support for the local community. Transfers can be made through the Development Trust’s account (NatWest; Sort code: 60-10-10; Account number: 37899120; BIC: NWBK GB 2L; IBAN: GB69 NWBK 601010 37899120).
We continue to work closely with our local partners: particularly Young Harrow Foundation and Harrow Carers. Significant financial donations have been made along with many vital food and equipment deliveries. A large number of staff are volunteering locally. So far, Harrow has distributed over £40,000 of the Long Ducker proceeds and parental donations to support organisations working in the community during the crisis. The School continues to run the Covid-19 response fund to raise money for those most affected by the current crisis. The Long Ducker and Long Ducker Bike Ride will be raising money for organisations at the forefront of the local response to the crisis.
There has been a great deal of interest in the media concerning the various different tests for the virus which until recently have only been available for those ill enough to be in hospital, and now for NHS staff. There is now a simple blood prick test to see whether you may have developed antibodies or not to the Coronavirus. Although this test may have a use, it is still under development and may not as yet be 100% reliable. It would therefore be preferable to wait for a full viral antibody profile which will be available in due course and would be done with a proper blood test sample and sent to the laboratory as normal.
The one piece of kit that might be useful is an Oxygen Saturation Meter, which is very useful in determining the overall function of the heart and lungs.
I want this new Blog section to form the starting point of a new social network which will hopefully be of interest to young children and young adults who have had to suffer throughout their childhood and their formative years from the ill effects of the addiction to alcohol and drugs which has been inflicted upon them by their parents and other adult mentors. This should form the basis of my approach to NACOA in Bristol which I hope will achieve a nationwide cooperative effort which will help to deal with this problem.
I am especially interested in promoting interest and research in this matter on the Island of Madeira. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse in other parts of Southern Europe such as the Costa Del Sol as well as the beach resorts around the Black Sea where it is well-known that young tourists over-indulge in the consumption of alcoholic beverages would also be of interest to anyone who is prepared to take an intelligent and constructive interest in our new social network.