Can you believe it’s nearly a year since the first Covid cases hit the UK?
Just as well none of us had an inkling the virus would still be a killer-plague 12 months on. We made a pretty good fist of the first lockdown, happily confident the draconian distancing measures would last only a pucklie weeks.
We even enjoyed the novelty of the early evening family Zooms and the weekly quizzes were a hoot.
Come summer, with the mass cancellation of foreign holidays, we still clung to the hope that when the schools went back in September, it would mark the beginning of the end.
How wrong we were. I dread to think how bleak our world would feel right now were it not for the promise of victory over the virus thanks to the vaccines.
Meanwhile, this is also a personal one-year anniversary – almost 12 months since I stopped smoking. Miraculously, after more than half a century in thrall to the wicked weed, it’s been easy-peasy.
You might remember (although nae wi’ my memory) I cut down big-time when I started sounding like Darth Vader on my walks. Fearing the dreaded smokers’ curse of emphysema, I peched aff to the doc who, after tests, declared no. Yer jist too fat. Me? Fa’ hidnae dared step on scales in yonks and adored her nosh as much her fags.
Gettin’ doon tae aboot five-a-day, it seemed contramacious (luuv that word. Look it up) not to kick the habit a’ thegither.
So it came to pass, Mo-nio on her Own-io succeeded where – doon through the decades – hypnotists, acupuncturists, stop-smoking gurus, two husbands, children, grand-Toots had failed.
And no, I don’t feel the slightest healthier. Still breathless, because I lost only a stone before the Christmas calories did for the diet. But I’m certainly loads richer.
To begin with, I thought some kind soul from RBS was siphoning dosh into my account!
I’d be a minted Rubislaw Denner now if I’d saved all the money I’ve set fire to since I wis an affa-daftie 12-year-old with my mate Jenny.
Buying a packet of five fags on the way to school. Coerced perfect prefect Lynette (dinna tell Miss Christie!!) into guardin’ the bogs while we puffed oor Cadets.
Now retired and permanently de-stressed with nothing to do but watch telly, I really don’t need no nicotine fix. Ah but… when the sun shines. And I can sit ootside under my bonnie parasol, gettin’ a nippy napper from The Times’s Saturday Jumbo Cryptic, there’s nothing in the world I crave more than an afternoon of brain-soothing chain-smoking.
Bright blue envelope… at long last
On Tuesday, a Facebook chum from Glasgow posted a celebratory message that she was due to get her Covid jab the next day.
Now why did that irk me? Because the quine is only 68 and here’s me and my 70-to-75 cohorts in the Neest still waiting for letters. Other happy Weegies piled in comparing dates, while Aberdeen and Shirers harrumphed about being tail-end Charlies.
Naturally, now that we know protection from the virus is on our doorsteps, we just canna wait to get it. Apart, of course, from the anti-vaxer feels.
However, by Wednesday this Moanin’ Mo had changed her tune. Nae mair needlin’ because through the door comes a bright blue envelope.
Eureka! Not forgotten this time. I’m all set for P&J Live early Monday evening. Bring it on. By the way, congrats to Mastrick grunny Vi Adams for being the first for an arena jab last Monday. I heard some pensioners who hadn’t been there before were turning up days ahead of their appointments to “case” the joint. Quite right too. And somebody urged the city cooncil and Bear Scotland to up the signage to the place.
Meanwhile, I’m no mathematician, but I was just pondering… since we all need two jabs, it’s going to be well into the summer, at least, before all the over-50s are done and dusted. Then on to the younger folk.
Then, what if we all need to have the vaccinations every year, as seems likely? All the volunteers – and even the arena – could be needed all year, every year.
Isn’t the hero-worshipping a tad ott?
Now I expect the following might not endear me to many readers.
After raising £33 million for the NHS Charities with his circuits round his daughter’s garden, the late centenarian Tom Moore deserved every honour going, including his knighthood.
And it’s sad that he died from Covid, probably contracted on his BA-paid holiday to Barbados, a place he’d long yearned to visit.
But hasn’t some of the hero-worship been a tad OTT?
As for Boris urging us to join Wednesday night’s nationwide clap for him, enough is enough.