Having my first covid vaccination was a moving experience, which I hadn’t expected. I’m so proud of the NHS for organising on this scale and speed, and touched by all the volunteers who made it possible.
As I cycled to our local surgery on a freezing Saturday morning, there was a steady flow of pedestrians of similar age, heading that way. It reminded me of the bit in the Christmas Story where “all went to be taxed, every one into his own city”. Impressive to realise this scene is being repeated all across Britain.
Joining a queue of sixty people, all round the car park and beyond, I feared this would take all morning, but the line kept moving, and I was off home in fifteen minutes. The whole organisation was impeccable, and done caringly.
Thirty volunteers were acting as stewards to guide us along. The local Round Table had provided gazebos and chairs for the queue. There was a marquee with heaters where you could rest afterwards if need be. The team delivering injections included retired and part-time nurses, doctors, and paramedics.
This is where the sense of Dunkirk spirit touched me: a massive operation, invented almost overnight, involving so many people stepping forward and achieving a remarkable outcome. This experience deepened my sense that the covid era is quite like being in a war. The Government becomes focal, our civil liberties are cut back for the common good, we watch the daily casualties, try to sort truth from rumours…
In recent weeks, I’ve had numerous conversations with friends and family about the pros and cons of the vaccination. My conclusion is that the wild rumours are merely that, but that for me, the level of risk reduction may be modest. Although I’m 72, I have a great immune system, I’m observing lockdown strictly, and West Dorset still has a low infection rate. So why have it? Because the scientists and Government are asking us to. Because it should give me some protection, and I hope to start travelling within the next few months.
Tips to avoid side effects
I researched this with a couple of doctor friends, and with a homeopath and a complementary therapist. These are the main tips I gathered, and they worked very well for me:
- Take vitamins C, D and zinc, before and after
- Homeopathic remedy Thuja can help, also before and after
- Extra exercise and hydration can help
Many people talk about the fight against covid but it’s probably not like a pitched battle where at last the pandemic lays down its arms. More probably, the virus will adopt guerrilla warfare, changing form and cropping up unexpectedly. Let’s hope that positive wartime qualities like patience, kindness, cooperation, can sustain us.