Monday, December 6th
I had my booster this morning. It was Pfizer – they were actually using Moderna as the default one for boosters, but I was nervous about that because my friend was ill for several days after having it, so they said I could have the Pfizer.
I’ve got the dates for the scans and other tests. I am really stressed about it all, especially the one in January which will be under anaesthetic, but at least it’s all been booked in. I’m struggling badly with being at work at the moment – there is no privacy at all, nowhere to take a moment if you need one. I assume that anything bad would have showed up at the first scan, and they wouldn’t leave it till January if they thought anything bad had been missed, but these things are always stressful, and I just want it over with. A former colleague of mine, who sadly died last year, had an operation postponed twice and did his best to work every day whilst waiting, even though he was in a lot of pain. Most people are obviously braver than I am!
Tuesday, December 7th
Boris has said that the Omicron variant seems to be more transmissible than the Delta variant. And Storm Barra is about to hit us.
Wednesday, December 8th
The weather is vile, and the Ashes series has got off to a bad start 😦 .
There’s a lot of talk about imposing additional restrictions because of the Omicron variant. There’s a press conference at 6, so maybe something *is* on the cards. Meanwhile, there’s a fuss going on about whether or not staff at 10 Downing Street held a Christmas party last year. It does sound as if they did, and obviously that’s not very impressive, but it was 12 months ago and we really need to be focusing on what’s happening now.
Thursday, December 9th
Well, we are now on Plan B. So we are supposed to be working from home. But my bullying employers have refused to agree to this, even though it’s government guidance. I am so angry. We worked from home perfectly well during lockdown. They just do not give a s**t about people’s safety. All through lockdown, everyone did their best, with no support, no offer to pay towards the gas, electricity etc that people were using, and not even so much as a Christmas card, and now this. You are supposed to work from home if possible. We have all got remote links set up, so it is perfectly possible. There wasn’t even any discussion about it.
We also have to wear masks in theatres and cinemas, and other places such as hairdressing salons and banks, and will need Covid passes for nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people – so this includes Premier League football matches.
On top of everything else, my computer is playing up. I think it’s time for a new one – this is Windows 7 – but am hoping the repair guy (who is coming on Sunday) will be able to keep this one going in the meantime.
Oh, and we drew 1-1 with Young Boys last night. And Carrie and Boris have had a baby girl.
Friday, December 10th
We are now being told that there are signs of “vaccine escape”. Why these silly terms have to be used, I don’t know. It makes it sound as if a hundred doses of the vaccine have climbed out of a lab window and gone to the pub. However, I think we get the idea, and it’s not good. *But* – apparently you should be OK if you’ve had your booster. So we’re back to the virus versus vaccines race – can we slow the spread of the Omicro variant
Sturgeon’s telling people in Scotland to cancel Christmas parties. We’re not being told that in England, but I’m hearing from some friends and relatives (my miserable office, needless to say, wasn’t planning a Christmas party anyway) that their parties have been cancelled. I’m desperately sorry for the hospitality industry, but I also understand the concerns of the people making the decision to cancel. I do *not* understand the people whingeing that Boris is a liar for reintroducing restrictions when we were told that we’d got on an “irreversible road” out of them: it isn’t his fault, or indeed anyone else’s, that this wretched new variant’s appeared. It’s just so demoralising. Snakes and ladders, again … we’ve just gone right down a nasty big snake.
There are rumours that more restrictions could be on the way. It’s expected that the Omicron variant will spread rapidly. After weeks of new cases being around 40,000 daily, they’ve shot up to nearly 60,000 daily. And yet my callous, uncaring employers refuse to let us WFH.
On a happier note, I went to Lightopia at Heaton Park this evening. It was lovely. And it didn’t rain.
Saturday, December 11th
Great. The desktop has now packed up completely. The IT guy has tried and failed to resuscitate it. I’d already accepted that I needed a new one, but I was hoping it’d last out until then. There’s never a good time for these things to happen, but a fortnight before Christmas is a particularly bad one.
I went to the pantomime today – Aladdin, at the Opera House. It was a great pantomime, and I had a bagel and a scone (er, so healthy) at The Vienna Coffee House beforehand, and a walk round the Christmas markets. Town was pretty busy, and, by the time I was heading home, the Christmas markets were heaving.
It’s now compulsory to wear masks in theatres, unless you are exempt for medical reasons. And I think young kids are exempt, which is stupid as the highest rates of infection are in young kids. Well, I thought 80-85% of people would comply, and 15-20% wouldn’t. Wrong. Only about 15-20% of people were wearing masks. The theatre company had sent out e-mails, and an announcement was made before the performance, and staff were reminding people at the doors, but most people just took no notice. I’m not sure what else you could ask the theatre staff to do – they could hardly challenge that number of people.
I get that a lot of people are fed up. This has been going on for nearly two years. We were told that restrictions had been lifted, but now some of them have been reimposed and it looks likely that more would follow. And we were told that vaccinations would be our way out of this, but now we’re being told that two doses of vaccine may provide as little as 2% protection against the Omicron variant. I do not envy the people having to make the politicians. The scientists are shrieking that Omicron’s going to overwhelm the NHS and we need to go back into lockdown, but, in addition to the economic impact, I just don’t think people’d stick to it.
The good news – apart from United beating Norwich, 1-0 – is that, if you’ve had a booster, your level of protection against the vaccine should be fairly good, as much as 75%. But Omicron is said to be spreading more quickly than the original virus did at the start, before anyone was vaccinated. And there are big local discrepancies in the percentage of people vaccinated.
Eeh, I am fed up. Everything was going pretty much OK, and, in the blink of an eyelid, we’re back to talk of another lockdown.
Sunday, December 12th
My new computer has been ordered. Fingers crossed.
Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the F1 drivers’ championship. Bleurgh.
And Covid. Ah yes, Covid.
- My reward for being one of the minority of people who actually wore a mask all through yesterday’s pantomime was to be woken up several times in the night by horrendous catarrh. I was OK after wearing a mask on the trains to and from Scotland, but I suppose modern railway carriages are rather better ventilated than Edwardian theatres are.
- I stayed in the fresh air when going out today – to Styal.
- The Covid alert level has been raised from 3 to 4.
- Anyone fully vaccinated who comes into contact with a Covid case is now supposed to take LFTs for 7 days.
- Some people are in hospital with the Omicron variant.
- I’m hearing about a worrying number of people who’ve tested positive despite being fully vaccinated and trying to be careful.
- Over 1/2 million boosters were given today.
- The trouble is that we’ve got no idea yet just how problematic Omicron is going to be. It seems certain that it’s very infectious, but how many of those who catch it are likely to need hospital treatment, at a time of year when hospitals are under pressure anyway? Where do you pitch things? Impose additional restrictions, which will upset some MPs who are already objecting to “Plan B”, alienate some sections of the public – everybody is *so* fed up – and probably risk non-compliance, especially if it affects Christmas, and risk sending the economy down the toilet? Or leave things as they are, and risk hospitals being overwhelmed if Omicron turns out to be really bad? It’s just a nightmare.
- There’s been a Covid outbreak at United. And Spurs. And Chelsea. And Norwich. And Villa. And QPR. And West Brom.
I am so sick of Covid.