“I got the frozen one.” This was my Mum’s response when I asked her which Covid vaccine she received at the weekend.
At 75, she was near the back of the queue when it came to getting her jab. Not that she was complaining – especially as she only had to pop down the road to her doctor’s surgery in the south of Edinburgh to get it. Some of her friends had been directed miles away to get their vaccine.
Her major hurdle was being able to get her car out of her drive. Last week’s snow had effectively blocked her in. So, a big thanks to her neighbour who helped clear her drive and make sure she could get her 4.30pm appointment safely and in good time.
And I’m delighted to say that she is reporting no after effects from her Pfizer jab. “I’m Scottish – and made from girders,” she tells me!
15m vaccines – job well done!
Today is a landmark date in our fight against the virus. Boris had set today as a deadline to have vaccinated the top four target groups – effectively everyone over 70, frontline health and social care workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable.
It means a quarter of the UK population have been vaccinated. The plan is to have the over-50s vaccinated by May and all adults jabbed by September.
It is reassuring to see the vaccine programme going so well particularly with the arrival of a new variant of the virus from South Africa. This is said to be more infectious but also there is concern that our current vaccines may not be as effective against this strain.
Lockdown 3 – when will it end?
I will admit that my heart sank to as low as it had during the whole pandemic the other day. I caught a headline on the news saying to expect the ‘Rule of Six’ returning by May.
May? Friggin’ hell that’s another ten weeks away. And we’ve already served six weeks in lockdown. The year is slipping away, with every day like a Groundhog Day. With grey skies outside and freezing temperatures, missing family and friends Scotland and elsewhere, I had a ‘poor me’ moment.
Then I shook myself. I can’t change the situation. But I can change my attitude towards it.
Refocusing a perspective
It only took a few moments to come round. I thought about what a really long wait actually looked like. How did women whose fathers, brothers and sons went to war endure the months and years before they saw them again? What must their longing for a reunion, for a return to normal life, have been like? And what was it like to wait months to hear word from a loved one, worried sick they might have been killed?
Also, what have I got to complain about? After being on furlough, I am working again. My husband has a steady job, my daughter is home from university and coping with having her wings of freedom temporarily clipped. We have food, shelter, love.
Oh, and we’ve worked out how to play Settlers of Catan – after having it in our games cupboard for 20 years.
We should know more about the route out of this lockdown next Monday when Boris is due to make an announcement.
So far we know schools are supposed to go back on March 8. News headlines over the weekend suggest we will be allowed to meet a friend and stop and chat on a park bench (with a coffee, of course). Which marginally beats meeting a friend and walking around the same old routes week in week out (with a coffee, of course).
There was even a headline suggesting tennis and golf may be allowed soon. As a keen tennis player, that would be news to cheer me up. Ace, in fact!
Facts of the day
Cases worldwide: 109,048,482
Deaths worldwide: 2,405,114
Cases UK: 2,405,114 (fourth highest in the world)
Deaths UK: 117,620
- Hotel quarantine system begins in UK.
- Boris Johnson says in a speech tonight he wants this lockdown to be the last.
- The Guardian reports 32 cases of a new variant of the virus (B1525) in the UK , which is worrying researchers.
- In York – a turnaround in fortunes as Covid cases become the lowest in the region. Also, the number of Covid patients at York and Scarborough hospitals has fallen below 100 from a peak of 242 less than three weeks ago.
Sources: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Cebtre (Coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html), The Guardian and The Press, York