Tag Archives: vaccination

Omicron

It is the short o in the Greek alphabet, the 15th letter. It’s also the name of the latest new variant of the novel coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease Covid19. It’s official classification is B.1.1.529, and it emerged in South Africa last Wednesday (it’s now Saturday) so we’ve had three days of being frightened by grim and disappointing news:

* it’s apparently more transmissible
* people who’ve been double vaccinated can catch it again
* it can evade some (or most?) of the power of the current vaccination jabs

It’s not yet known whether it’s more deadly.

It’s as clear as day now that the coronavirus is not something humanity is going defeat and eliminate, but something we’re going to have to live with (and die with). I believe it won’t be long before a variant will arrive that will be more deadly and, like The Plague in the middle ages, people will die in their millions. It’s a terrifying thought. But how can it not happen? I hope I’m wrong.

It’s been almost two years since the virus first emerged in Whuhan in China in December 2019. Have we lived with this virus for two years already? It seems impossible that that much time has gone by. Two years of Covid. It’s true though, because I am 52 years old and the virus emerged during my 50th year, the year I wrote ’50: Diary of a Middle-Aged Woman.’ I just have to think of how many years I am beyond my 50th birthday to know how long the virus has been in existence.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has today announced that face masks are mandatory again on public transport and in shops. Meanwhile, I’ve ordered a pack of ten FFP3 face masks and a box of 100 disposable gloves. If I feel that this new variation is dangerous and killing more people I’m taking the kids out of school and locking us down in our own isolation bubble until a new vaccine emerges; and I’ll be extremely careful about touching things and breathing near other people if I go outside, for example to the supermarket. As you may know from reading the diary, I tend to make my own judgements about things, and although I’m guided by the Government and other entities I make my final decision based on my personal assessment and research of the available science and news.

In 2020 I took the children out of school two weeks before the Government ordered the very first lockdown and closed the schools. I saw the chaos in Italy and felt we were in real danger and that the Government was being slow to react. At the time there was the theory of ‘herd immunity.’ I talk about this at the time in the book. But the kids’ school was even worse! They were still planning all trips and activities right up until 20th March. When I told them I was removing the twins from school due to fear of the virus they didn’t support me and I was told they would inform the council (which would fine me for unauthorised absence). How small-minded and unintelligent they were back then (you can read all about this in the diary).

So I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll make up my own mind. I’m quite a good future forecaster.

As it stands now, on Saturday 27th November 2021, I’m keeping my ear to the ground and reading the news every day. I’m poised to act if there is any indication that the virus is more deadly and transmissible. Although I’m doubly vaccinated and had the booster four weeks ago, my children are unvaccinated. I need to be careful.

Peace of Mind

I am three weeks on from my first Covid vaccination jab. From this time forwards the protection is working. My body has learnt what to do with the virus if it gets into my system. It gives me a great feeling of confidence and security when I’m out and about. I still wear my mask and wash my hands regularly of course, but there’s the knowledge in the back of my mind that if I were unfortunate enough to contract Covid-19 again, it wouldn’t be severe and I almost certainly wouldn’t need hospital treatment. Isn’t that astonishing? The virus only came into the human population in December 2019, and 12 months later we have a highly effective, widely available vaccine. It’s truly incredible.

I wish to God that the world would work just as fast on climate change. In my mind that is an even greater disaster than Covid and we don’t seem to be doing much about it.

Flu Jab and Covid-19

I had my flub jab yesterday.
I had Covid-19 nearly six months ago.

Up until now, I’ve felt that I’m more rarely experiencing flare ups of the breathlessness that characterised my Covid-19. In the weeks after I first had it, I was almost permanently slightly breathless, and always coughing, especially in air conditioned environments, such as supermarkets. I then started to have breathless periods less frequently, maybe only about once per week, but it never entirely went away. I feel now as if the flu jab has triggered a flare up. I don’t have to gasp for breath after every word or two as I did in April, but I notice I’m having to pant if I walk briskly around the house, and I only feel that I have relaxed breathing when I sit still for a while. I have that very slight, irritating cough again, as if I’m breathing air conditioned air. There is also a hint of the familiar tight band around my chest and a sensation of cotton wool within the lungs. It’s all so… continuing… and frustrating… and… boring to have it all the time. I don’t want to always be feeling a little bit unwell, which is how having Covid-19 has left me. I’m never quite at full strength, even after nearly six months. I would LOVE to know whether I’m immune to the disease or not, but currently there’s no way of knowing. The likelihood is that Covid-19, similar to other coronaviruses, and can recur multiple times in the same person, possibly within the same year. Luckily, I know I don’t have the actual disease again because I’m required to get tested every two weeks due to volunteering for an NHS Trust and being in contact with patients. But… SIGH. Sometimes Covid-19 is a bit depressing. It just drags on and on and on.