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V: For Victory

 As the rainbows fade and peel off the windows, we come to the letter V in our Alphabetti Spaghetti of the virus that is currently holding the world hostage.

At the beginning of the year, like Private Pike in Dad’s Army, I was keen to play my part when my country came calling in its time of need.

Volunteers were wanted, so I bravely put myself forward. Only their organisation was worse and more hapless than Captain Mainwaring’s ever was.

They asked for 250,000 volunteers and got a million. The volunteer army was assembled to help the 2.5 million people considered to be at risk, by delivering food and medicine and phoning the isolated.

Public service at its finest.

Unfortunately, I was not wanted; I was surplus to requirements; as, it turns out, was everyone else. People who were accepted waited by their phones, and waited, until it became obvious they were not going to be contacted after all.   

The NHS Volunteers cock-up was a harbinger of the calamities to come.

V is for Vaccines

There are two types of vaccine that we need to consider here; the holy grail, a vaccine against Covid-19, but also the annual flu vaccine.

The government has asked anyone over the age of 50 to get the flu vaccine this year (it is usually just for those over the age of 65). This actually makes sense, since flu symptoms are pretty much identical to symptoms of Covid-19 and if you have had the flu vaccine, they should be able to rule that out. 

However, predictably, they do not have enough doses of this year’s flu vaccine and will restrict it to those with serious underlying health problems. Same as every other year in fact. No wonder conspiracy theorists are having a field day.  

Covid-19 jabs are expected to be on offer by the NHS from as early as November, and five mass vaccination centres are planned to be in action by Christmas. They plan on innoculating 30 million of the population.  

Leaked documents (the UK government leaks rather than briefs) have revealed the plan for hundreds of NHS staff to be deployed in five sites across the country – injecting tens of thousands of the public each day.

Those most vulnerable to coronavirus will be called up first, with centres manned by trainee nurses and paramedics planned for Leeds, Hull and London.

The leading contender in the race to find a vaccine is Oxford University, where trials have been ongoing (and stopping) since April.   

Around 100million doses of the Oxford vaccination, which is yet to be proved successful, have already been ordered by the government.Unfortunately, their trials are currently on hold due to some side effects and, according to the i newspaper, rollout of the vaccine faces years of delay. 

People, sadly, have been killed by cricket balls in the past, but I don’t think they have ever been called vectors of disease before. This is what Boris Johnson called them in March, after banning people from playing cricket.

Boris has talked a lot of crap, but this raised the bar.

He has a natty turn of phrase and my recent favourite was; “The iron laws of geometrical procession”, that he used to describe a graph, whose line was going in an upwards direction. Style over substance is the best we can hope for from our current PM.

A cricket ball is no more a vector of disease than a llama; a bowler, even in normal times, polishes the ball as much as possible before delivery and if anyone in the outfield catches, or picks it up, a slather of hand gel soon sorts that out.

People are vectors of disease, not cricket balls. Scientific fact.

V is for Victory : There is no victory in sight. 

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