Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Wednesday 16 December 2020

I don’t really want to blog about Covid...

I want to blog about doing stuff, and making things. I want to be cheerful and positive. I want to salute Dan’s work, and post pictures of my pots, because I think they’re gorgeous.

I don't need to tell you:
This Covid.

The thing is, everyone’s talking about Covid, and I disagree with so much of what’s being reported, and what’s being ranted about on social media, that I feel the need to express myself on the subject.

It seems to me that the consensus opinion of the science community is what really counts here. We have scientists. We have scientific advisors to the government. 

Here’s my thing: Let’s just take the advice of the scientific community. Let’s not filter it through a political process that, it seems to me, few of us trust.

Science doesn’t need any filter. 

My doctor has told me that if it’s possible for me to isolate, that’s what I should do. I’m in a more at risk group, so, if I got Covid, it could be bad; bad for me, and bad for the NHS, which would have to treat me at some considerable expense to the tax payer, which, not for nothing, is also me. I might also be delaying someone else’s treatment for something that isn’t Covid. I don’t want to be that woman.

Of course, I’m very lucky, because we work and play in the space we live in. So, I don’t go out, and I don’t let anybody in.

We have socialised a little in the garden, distanced, and we wear masks and wash our hands. I even have a dispenser attached to the wall beside the front door, so that if someone has to come in, they can douse their hands on the way.

There are things that I miss doing, and there are people that I miss seeing. I’m very lucky that I don’t live alone.

I miss hugging the Dort, and I miss contact with the grandkids… Who wouldn’t?

My mother and mother-in-law both live alone. My mother-in-law has decided not to have anyone in her home, including us, and we’re fine with that. She’s fine, too. She doesn’t have the internet, but we have brief conversations every day. She’s content in her own company, and she’s an artist, so she’s always working on something. She loves her garden, and she reads, and watches the tv and the dvds we drop off for her, distanced, on a regular basis.

Perhaps it’s because she doesn’t have the internet that she’s decided on this course of action. For her, there seems to be no ‘discussion’. Science, by way of her GP, tells her that she shouldn’t socialise, so she doesn’t. She finds other things to do.

Science should prevail in this situation. That Man Johnson (TMJ) and his cronies are more interested in the economy.

I wonder how it all stacks up.

I wonder how the cost of the NHS treating Covid patients or the cost of testing meticulously, or the cost of a vaccine, stack up. 

I have regular treatments at a hospital (less regular since the crisis began), so why don’t I just get the vaccine at my next outpatients appointment? Why isn’t everyone who sees a doctor, in or out of hospital, being vaccinated? Why aren’t all our kids in all our schools being vaccinated, and why aren’t their teachers?

Why aren’t we vaccinating our captive audiences? We did it for TB, Rubella and HPV… We know how to do this.

Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat. Commercially, this is the biggest quarter of the economic calendar. TMJ doesn’t want to mess with that. He doesn’t want to mess with office Christmas parties, with dining out, and with going to the pub to get slaughtered on Christmas Eve. He wants businesses to stay open, because he’s a capitalist.

The reason that universities were opened for the autumn term wasn’t for the benefit of the students… It was for the benefit of all those landlords making their fortunes off student rents. That’s what TMJ understands. He doesn’t understand that student health and mental welfare suffered because many of them were away from home for the first time, were isolated in strange, new places, and lacked the support of close friends and family.

You can call me a cynic, if you like, but I’m going to miss Christmas, too. I’m going to miss my children and my grandchildren. This year, the Dort, her partner and his mother were planning to spend Christmas with us, and we were all looking forward to it.

My kids are grown up, so, for the past ten years, they’ve done what they want to do for Christmas, and that has often meant them spending that time with their partners’ families, or just with their partners. We’ve always respected that. We never wanted to be the kind of parents that made those social demands on our children. We had them to raise them, and then put them out into the World to make their own lives. I hope and believe that’s exactly what they’ve done.

We’ve spent a number of Christmases, just the two of us, at home, and we’ve been perfectly happy doing it.

We were all looking forward to this Christmas, but it isn’t going to happen, because the consensus of the scientists is that we shouldn’t mix households.

There will still be plenty of good cheer. We will still drop off Christmas stockings, and we’ll talk to each other on the phone. We might even play some games by Zoom.

We could decide to be miserable, because we won’t have the Christmas that we planned and looked forward to. Or, we could decide to make the best of the situation, and hope that TMJ and his government get their shit together, roll out the vaccine, efficiently, and make sure we’re all alive so that we can enjoy Christmas together next year.

Let’s stop filtering the science through the eyes of politics and capitalism. Let’s look after those who are struggling to work, or who have been made redundant. Let’s look after parents and the children they’re struggling to look after. Let’s do the right thing for and by each other.

But, and I’ll say this one last time: Let us be led by the science.

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