30th December, 2020. I wake up to the news that a stable, easy to administer vaccination has been approved for public use.
GPs will be delivering the mass vaccination programme as soon as possible. A GP on the morning news programme estimates that he could issue up to 500 jabs per day if supplies from the manufacturer are available.
Those who argue against mass vaccination have undoubtedly been infected by fears of their own and a need to feel as if they are “independent” or “free thinkers”, when in fact they are out of touch with humanity and a danger to public health. I suspect most, if not all if them, were vaccinated as children against polio, as a minimum and probably tetanus at some time, so they have had the privilege of health protection from the start of life.
Anti-vaxxers will continue to rely on the humanity of others being vaccinated to allow themselves to continue to enjoy the privilege of pontificating to others about their “free will” and crazed conspiracies.
We need everyone’s engagement in this public health programme from the off to get up to full hugging speed.
This BBC programme will tell you more about how the vaccine has been developed…although it may not be available everywhere worldwide.
In the meantime, my thoughts today are with those currently fighting infection, treating infection, or mourning losses from Covid-19.
I feel particularly humbled by the sacrifice made by those volunteers who were in the vaccine control group that did not receive the test vaccine who became infected and those who subsequently died from Covid-19. Science is not magic.
n.b. Intellectual property rights and patents are all very well, but as with HIV, not worth the paper they are written on if used to hold a gun to the heads of the poor, or inhibit production of effective vaccines for Covid-19.
n.b. So what if I cancelled my cards after waiting on the phone to the bank for fifty minutes? I came home to this in my postbox, with a very soggy wallet; everything present and correct. Thank you, Mark.
n.b. Everyone has choices. Ironically, this bridge in Hoxne, Suffolk is where Danes on an excursion to Britain in CE 870, crossed paths with the Anglian king, Edmund. It didn’t turn out well for the Saxon. Besides being beatified soon after his death, little is known of him.
More sunshine. These days are brightly lit, but carry a chill that reaches deep to the bones.
The first swallow has arrived here and waits patiently on a telephone wire strung high above the street. It calls out to attract its followers to join the line-up. How many will battle successfully through the northerly winds? When you see these birds in Spain and France one wonders what attracts them to this North Sea coast. There are certainly enough small flying insects to feed them and their young.
I mention the swallow’s arrival to a man walking nearby. He laughs, as if disdainful of this cheery sign. I felt it worth sharing. I wonder, what made him laugh so harshly? Was this a triviality because he carries great worries? Was he just caught off-guard by the lightness of the comment? For some, the unrelenting strain of these days is hard to exchange for a fleeting courtesy. I grit my teeth and press on towards the sea.
On the beach a dead small-spotted catfish, one of the smallest members of the shark family, has been left far up the shingle by the falling tide. Its eyes are still bright enough to reflect the sun’s last rays, but it’s rough, mottled skin is drying out. The slender body is already curling to one side, its tail now stiff. There is no obvious sign of injury. These catfish, members of the shark family, have several names, including Sandy Dogfish, Rough-hound, or Morgay.
The name Morgay is only applied to this fish in Scotland and Cornwall, highlighting common roots of language at the extreme ends of Britain, some eight hundred to nine hundred miles apart, (about 1,400 km distant).
At dinner, there is nothing much new to say. We are grateful for what we have, but anxiety holds us tight. The unpolished surface of the old pine kitchen-table quietly absorbs silently spilt tears.