If there was ever a year to pay attention to health news, it was 2020.
From the first celebrities to receive a Covid jab, to vegan junk food, to that trip to Barnard Castle – take The Mail on Sunday Health Team’s ultimate Christmas quiz to find out just how much you recall of a year like no other…
1. On February 28, life in Britain changed quite possibly for ever, when it was confirmed that a man in Surrey was the first person to catch coronavirus on British soil.
But at that point, how many confirmed Covid-19 cases were there in the UK among people who had caught it while travelling abroad?
2. A host of MPs have been struck down by the virus since March. but who was the first well-known MP to contract it on March 4?
Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse said she would not rule out having which cosmetic operation in the near future?
3. South London yoga teacher Annemarie Plas started which initiative during the first lockdown that was adopted by millions of people across the country?
4. In May, experts grew concerned about a growing number of young children suffering a series of extreme, bizarre symptoms, such as rashes, swollen glands and vomiting, in reaction to Covid-19.
Scientists likened it to which uncommon condition that affects roughly eight in 100,000 children every year?
5. Which British star of one of the highest-grossing Hollywood film trilogies in recent history said he felt ‘euphoric’ after receiving his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine last week?
6. In April, the Prime Minister’s then chief of staff Dominic Cummings was vilified for breaching coronavirus restrictions by journeying to Durham in the North East – 260 miles from his London home – after suffering with coronavirus symptoms.
What reason did he then give for driving to the tourist spot of Barnard Castle with his wife and child?
South London yoga teacher Annemarie Plas started which initiative during the first lockdown that was adopted by millions of people across the country?
7. Which famously curvy British pop star revealed a new slimline figure, then appeared on popular American comedy show Saturday Night Live and joked: ‘Because of all the Covid restrictions I had to travel light, and I could only bring half of me.’
8. In January, bakery chain Greggs launched a vegan version of one of its most popular snacks – much to the irritation of Piers Morgan, who claimed on TV it was a ‘total con’.
What was it?
9. In September, NHS England announced that thousands of type 2 diabetics would have access to a gruelling diet intervention, proven to put the illness – triggered by being overweight and a lack of exercise – into remission.
But what does the diet involve?
10. Name one of the three main anti-obesity measures announced in July, as part of the Government crackdown on Britain’s ever-expanding waistline.
11. In late March, the Government began sending care packages to people who were shielding and unable to get to the shops.
The inclusion of which beloved biscuit sparked outrage among diet gurus?
b) Custard creams
c) Jammie Dodgers
12. Music mogul Simon Cowell was almost paralysed in August after breaking his back in three places while doing what?
13. The London Marathon was delayed until October this year due to the pandemic, with only a small number of elite athletes permitted to run the traditional course.
Instead, thousands of competitors – who usually raise millions for charities – were asked to complete the 26.2-mile challenge in their gardens, in the gym or on streets near their homes.
But how many bothered to? In 2019, there were 42,906 participants.
14. SoulCycle– a high-intensity spin class set to pop music that is popular with celebrities such as Beyoncé and Lady Gaga – is also enjoyed by which senior member of Government?
a) Matt Hancock
b) Rishi Sunak
c) Priti Patel
SoulCycle– a high-intensity spin class set to pop music that is popular with celebrities such as Beyoncé and Lady Gaga – is also enjoyed by which senior member of Government?
15. Which England World Cup winner became the fifth member of the 1966 squad to be diagnosed with dementia?
16. In October, artist Tracey Emin revealed she had undergone surgery for which cancer?
17. Presenter Davina McCall, 53, said she had gone through the menopause a decade ago and likened the symptoms to what?
18. Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse said she would not rule out having which cosmetic operation in the near future?
a) A facelift
b) Breast enlargement
c) Breast reduction
Which England World Cup winner became the fifth member of the 1966 squad to be diagnosed with dementia?
19. Former England cricket captain Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff revealed he suffered from which mental health problem?
b) Obsessive compulsive disorder
c) An eating disorder
20. In July, a landmark NHS decision gave thousands of Britons suffering which genetic condition access to a new drug that is effective in 90 per cent of patients?
21. Which Second World War icon was involved in the celebrations of the 72nd anniversary of the NHS?
22. In the first lockdown, many families across the UK tuned into fitness instructor Joe Wicks’s daily PE lessons via YouTube. But how many viewers did the sessions, coined PE With Joe, rake in at its peak of popularity?
c) 1 million
23. Which British sporting champion said that they lost nearly a stone after catching Covid?
24. A large study published this year, tracking the health of nearly 2,000 Britons over a decade, found that eating a diet rich in which festive treats was most associated with reduced risk of developing dementia?
25. How many of the world’s seven continents have been affected by the coronavirus?
1. Just 20.
On the same day, the first British Covid-19 death was confirmed: an unnamed man who caught the virus while on the Diamond Princess cruise liner, which had been quarantined in Japan due to an outbreak.
2. Nadine Dorries.
The Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire developed symptoms after attending an official event, hosted by the Prime Minister, on March 5. Her mother, aged 84, also contracted the virus, a week later.
3. The 36-year-old wrote a post on Instagram calling for people to step outside their front doors on Thursday, March 26, and ‘clap for carers’.
It became the first of 12 events that would see millions clapping, cheering, banging pots and pans and setting off fireworks in appreciation of NHS workers.
4. Kawasaki disease, which causes the swelling of blood vessels that supply the heart.
Scientists have since renamed the Covid-related condition Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2, or PIMS-TS.
5. Sir Ian McKellen.
The 81-year-old, who played Gandalf in the Lord Of The Rings films, had the jab at Queen Mary’s University Hospital in London on Thursday. He said: ‘Anyone who has lived as long as I have is alive because they have had previous vaccinations.’
6. Dominic Cummings claimed that after recovering from coronavirus symptoms that affected his vision, he drove 30 minutes from his family estate in Durham to Barnard Castle to ‘test his eyesight’.
The 32-year-old London-born singer had reportedly lost seven stone since her 2016 tour, and svelte-looking pictures she posted on Instagram in May caused a huge stir. She has never spoken about how or why she did it.
In January, bakery chain Greggs launched a vegan version of one of its most popular snacks – much to the irritation of Piers Morgan, who claimed on TV it was a ‘total con’. What was it?
8. Vegan steak bake.
The launch marked the start of Veganuary – a month-long campaign promoting the meat-free lifestyle. Piers, who’d tried Greggs’s hugely popular vegan sausage roll the year before, said: ‘I’m not going to try it, I vomited last time. It’s a total con.’
9. Low-calorie meal-replacement shakes and soups.
Trials showed the intervention, along with expert advice for increasing exercise, resulted in remission for half of patients which lasted at least a year after the diet ended.
As part of the first stage of the NHS plan, 5,000 type 2 diabetics in ten areas will be offered the treatment.
10. A ban on TV and online adverts before 9pm for foods high in fat, sugar and salt.
A ban on ‘buy one get one free’ deals on similar foods. Calorie labels on menus in cafes and restaurants – including alcoholic drinks.
11. Custard creams.
Diet-book authors claimed by including the treat in the box of essential foods, officials risked fuelling Britain’s obesity crisis. This, unsurprisingly, was widely criticised, including in these pages.
Specifically, road-testing a new electric bike which ended in the 61-year-old falling backwards on to concrete. Cowell had a six-hour operation to insert a metal rod into his spine. Last week it was revealed he is back on his feet, walking five miles daily.
13. More than 45,000 runners took part in the 2020 London Marathon, tracking their progress via an app.
14. Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who admitted he has attended a few classes in London with wife Akshata.
15. Sir Bobby Charlton.
His diagnosis came a week after the death of England team-mate Nobby Stiles, 78, and three months after the death of his brother Jack, 85 – both from dementia.
In February, the Football Association announced a ban on heading the ball in youth training sessions, amid mounting fears about its links with the disease, in an attempt to protect developing brains.
16. Bladder cancer.
Tracey Emin revealed she’d been diagnosed during the summer and had surgery to remove her bladder, ovaries and part of her vagina.
She wrote at the time: ‘I said to the doctors, ‘So I’m going to lose a load of weight and have a really tight vagina – and this is bad?’ ‘
17. The symptoms reminded Davina of her younger days, when she abused drugs.
The former Big Brother host said: ‘I was waking up soaked in sweat, having to put towels on the bed. It really reminded me of when I was using, and I really hated it.’
18. A breast reduction.
The 39-year-old Strictly judge claimed her DD cup breasts had made a career in dance difficult.
Motsi said: ‘They have not been an advantage… not at all! My best friend had a breast reduction operation. She said it was the best thing she’s ever done.’
Which British star of one of the highest-grossing Hollywood film trilogies in recent history said he felt ‘euphoric’ after receiving his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine last week?
Andrew, 43, spoke candidly of the illness which has haunted him for two decades and was rooted in a period of weight gain during his early career followed by pressure to lose it.
20. Cystic fibrosis, a condition in which thick, sticky mucus builds up in the lungs and gut, causing life-threatening complications.
The drug, Kaftrio, is the first to be effective in the majority of patients. Previous treatments worked in about 45 per cent of cases.
21. A Spitfire flew over several hospitals with the words ‘Thank U NHS’ painted on its underside.
22. 1 million.
On March 24, Joe led the most-watched fitness workout live stream on YouTube ever with 955,185 viewers. In October, the 34-year-old was awarded an MBE for his services to the public during the pandemic.
23. Lewis Hamilton.
The Formula 1 champion, 35, who has been crowned Sports Personality of the Year, said he lost 9 lb (4kg) due to the virus.
24. Cheese and wine.
The study, published in the Journal Of Alzheimer’s Disease, found participants who regularly ate cheese and drank a moderate amount of red wine appeared to have sustained their cognitive ability better when compared with those who ate little of the two.
25. All seven – 39 cases were recorded at a research station in Antarctica last week.