I received a phishing scam email purportedly from the NHS about a vaccination.
Given my age this was a nice surprise. I am not on the priority list, but who am I to question an email from the National Health Service? No one knows quite what is going on, so I was quietly pleased about this.
Did I want to accept the invitation for a vaccination, or reject the offer? Why would I want to reject an invitation for a vaccination?
All the type faces / fonts and logos were good copies of the NHS official documentation. I was directed to enter all sorts of information:
Date of birth
Mother’s maiden name
MOTHER’S MAIDEN NAME?
This is not an NHS data requirement.
I checked who the sender was. Right click the mouse on the sender’s name and the actual address is revealed. It showed a private hotmail.co.uk address. The NHS does not distribute such information from a UK Hotmail address.
I called by my brother-in-law’s flat at his invitation. We haven’t seen each other for a while. We are each other’s half of a support bubble. We talked about end of life care. This was an important discussion to us for a number of reasons.
After we moved onto talking about football and cricket it was time to head for home. The rear tyre of my bicycle had suddenly blown while he was on the phone to one of his daughters. The pop came as surprise to him and disappointment to me.
It was close to midnight. There was just one other pedestrian on the street. No traffic. Light rain was falling. The rain was soft and cool. It felt like springtime.
A few blackbirds were issuing alarm calls from the wooded escarpment to my right.
I enjoyed the walk. There is a full moon somewhere behind the cloud cover.
I went out to deliver a loaf of bread and spent time talking with my friend who was taking a few moments outside her front door taking in the bizarre combination of fresh air and tobacco smoke. She smokes quite theatrically, turning her head to the side when exhaling the toxic gases she has moments before inhaled quite deeply. I haven’t spoken to a smoker for many months and it was a novelty to observe her process.
A recent study from Kings College London showed how vulnerable smokers are to covid-19. As I may have mentioned before, I think that banning tobacco sales would have been a good move when the pandemic measures were implemented. If saving the NHS was such a big deal, why not remove one of the main sources of ill-health in the country (in the world!) from the market?
“It is my only pleasure” you might hear a nicotine addict say. Will they say that again when dying of pneumonia after having a lung removed and their loved ones witnessing their ghastly and untimely demise?
Rain started to fall as we stood about four metres apart. Here and there tiny white balls of ice fell that appeared too white and too light to be hailstones. They melted on touching the ground. Snow balls? The Inuit have a word for this form of precipitation I suspect.
As I cycled back home through Chapelfield Gardens two police officers were talking to a homeless man. One was writing into her notebook. The man’s worldly possessions, including a sleeping bag rolled up and tied with string, were lying under a bush. I hope the officers were able to direct him toward some support. They will have plenty of information to tap into. The question will be whether he wants any help they can offer.
The first lockdown illuminated the size of the street homeless population. It is a growing problem as jobs are cut and incomes fall due to the economic impacts of the pandemic and Brexit.
Goldfinches litter the air with their excited song. The days are a little lighter, despite the cloud cover.