Last week I watched the news on Friday morning which claimed that every adult in England could collect a box of lateral flow tests from locations such as Pharmacies.
Having left work last thing on Thursday night, I thought to myself, “Oh no, we are going to end up with a queue of people coming to ask for lateral flow test kits when we don’t have any. But to my surprise, when I turned up on Friday morning, there they were – a huge box of lateral flow test kits was waiting for us.
No sooner had they arrived than people started to pour in to ask for them.
It’s hard to explain my headspace over the weekend. I came home from work on Friday night to hear news reports suggesting that the new vaccines had become a startling political issue.
It was one of the most demoralising phases of this pandemic for me. The idea that nations could virtually “go to war” over a vaccine designed to help keep people healthy and safe, was truly discouraging.
The whole world needs to be offered the vaccine and that will take time, but we will get there. We have to, if we want to feel safe. There should not be a mad scramble to get in there first. Everyone will need the offer of a vaccine for the world to be safe.
I believe most people feel that it it is right to offer the vaccination to everyone. So governments should not let us down by sparring politically in a time we are trying to heal the world.
Most difficult customer of the year goes to….the lady who would not take no for an answer and decided to belittle every member of our team.
We had the most odd situation at work this week. A lady demanded we supply her with a covid vaccine. We explained that we are not administering covid vaccines. She looked around sixty years of age, so we assured her that her GP will contact her to invite her to attend a vaccination appointment.
Yet, she was not satisfied, she said she has seen pharmacies on the news administering the vaccine. We acknowledged that some pharmacies are doing exactly that, but we are not. She became furious, accusing us of trying to trick her.
Then she asked if we – our members of staff – have been vaccinated. I stayed quiet but one of the young girls nodded and told her that NHS front line workers have been offered the vaccine and that most of us have received it. That only added fuel to the fire. The lady started ranting and yelling that we had to arrange a covid vaccine for her.
We tried to calm her down, explaining we had no way of arranging an appointment for her, assuring her that she would be invited in time and reminding her that the best way to stay safe is to stay at home and be careful to wear a face mask and observe social distancing rules when out for essential reasons such as grocery shopping.
She stayed at the pharmacy for an hour distracting us from our work, demanding we arrange a covid vaccine for her and accusing us of deceiving her.
So the great news this week is that here in the UK a record breaking 493,013 people were vaccinated with the new Covid-vaccines on one day this weekend. I think I might have been one of them.
You can read the report in the Express Newspaper here:
News reports are claiming that around 75% of people over the age of eighty have now been vaccinated. When I went along for my jab. there were a lot of young people. I heard them explaining they were NHS staff, care assistants, pharmacy staff (like myself). We actually had an email on Friday afternoon asking us to make an appointment and to go along and get ourselves immunised.
Since the start of the pandemic, we have had no choice but to work closely with people, only reliant on PPE and good hygiene to protect us. So after seeing how many of our colleagues have tested positive with the virus and how many of them have been very ill, we were jumping at the chance.
So far, the government say that over 6.3 million have been immised, meaning they are on track to reach their goal of vaccinating 15 million people by mid-February.
So, a couple of days ago, I finished work and jumped on the bus to head to a local NHS facility. There I had my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination.
Why did I get to have a vaccination so early on? I am an NHS Frontline worker – so I was assigned to Group 2 along with rest of the team. Unfortunately, they have all tested positive for the virus over a week ago, so we still have locums with us next week.
I mentioned a couple of days ago that I was the only member of staff at work who tested negative for covid-19. That left us in a crazy situation and totally reliant on locums.
But yesterday got crazier. In the end the decision was made to close and wait for a deep cleaning company to come and mist the entire building with cleaning chemicals.
There were some crazy phone-calls and situations we had to deal with yesterday. I can’t explain all of it because you would wonder what the heck is going on. But hopefully that deep clean will have removed whatever was lingering in our building and resulting in so many staff and patients being ill.
My pulse was racing all day yesterday as adrenaline surged. I don’t think I have ever had such a crazy day at work.
The unimaginable has happened! Four members of the pharmacy team are having to self-isolate. One is ill, and tested positive for Covid-19. Everyone else was tested again, three tested positive. I tested negative.
Work over the last two days has been manic! Better get myself to sleep and get some rest before another crazy day tomorrow.!
“The stupid one is reckless and overconfident.”Proverbs 14:16
There is a deadly disease on the rampage, but some people still don’t seem to take the warnings seriously.
We ought to comply with all that has been asked of us – it is for our protection. We may have a lot of questions and concerns over jobs, education and all sorts of other things. But the restrictions are there to save our lives.
To go around thinking, “I’m be fine, I’m fit, I won’t get ill,” is inviting pain and heartbreak. We ought to think about how our actions will effect not just us and our family – but others too.
I was chatting with a London-based blogger who said that she was sad but convinced that cancelling her plans to travel at Christmas was the right thing to do. She said, “I wasn’t just thinking about the danger to my own mum, I was thinking of everyone else in the train carriage if I had travelled. I don’t want to be responsible for someone else losing their mum.”
How can we expect our Creator’s blessing if we are not showing appreciation for the cost of life?
I was at work a couple of months ago with a locum pharmacist. He’s a great pharmacist and a nice guy, but for some reason he loves listening to a well know radio station which features political controversy and tends to milk it for every contentious sentiment.
That morning the radio presenter was commenting on some lockdown protestors actions. Now I don’t remember everything he said, but I do remember him criticising people for being like sheep. He seemed to be encouraging people to question authority over their guidance during the pandemic and challenge it, rather than meekly obeying. I was angry that he can take to the airwaves and preach a message like that, and I found it weird that the locum pharmacist was listening to it in earshot of our patients.
I was listening to him and feeling angry. In many parts of the world, for thousands of years, sheep have been protected by shepherds. Although you could say that the shepherd was only caring for them for the sake of their fleece, milk and their meat, the point is the shepherd protected them.
At the moment, during this pandemic, governments and authorities are trying to protect us. There are so many bizarre theories flying around and people protesting the protective measures and even claiming it is all a hoax. I suspect with some of these people, the only way they will realize how wrong they are is when they catch the virus. I would not wish this virus on my worst enemy.
Most people have the sense to realize that as a vulnerable flock we need some shepherding, protecting, guiding, and in some cases strong direction to prevent people who are putting themselves and others at risk. It is so much easier for those providing that shepherding if we just obey.
I have been working at chemist’s for a couple of years. It’s alright. 2020 was insane, but we were not the worst effected. We have had customers giving us their opinion on the pandemic for the past ten months. This should give you an idea of the different opinions – and we have to be polite no matter what the customer says to us:
- first they said it was deliberate, that a nefarious government engineered the virus and unleashed it to gain the upper on other countries.
- then they said the virus is not real, that it’s a hoax
- then they were glad that schools closed because they were terrified for their kids
- then they were saying that kids should be at school because they are suffering at home
- then we have queues out the door of customers asking for face masks (we couldn’t get them at the time, but the government were saying back then they were not necessary
- then face masks were mandatory and they were saying that facemasks violated their human rights
- then they were saying we desperately need a vaccine to get us out of this mess
- then they start saying that they don’t trust the vaccine and they think there is a microchip inside it
People are cute man. We have had the weirdest situations and scenes with customers yelling at each other “Back off buster, stay two metres away from me,” or storming into the store pushing each other out of the way to grab as much alcohol gel as they could,
So the latest thing is the attitude towards the vaccine. I keep on hearing people say they can’t wait for everyone to have the vaccine so we can all go back to normal. I don’t want to tell them – “normal” has gone. We are hoping they will be able to start lifting some of the restrictions in the next few months. But normal won’t be around for a long time. Packed arenas, conventions (someone seriously needs to tell the US that), festivals, marathons – there are so many parts of what used to be normal that just won’t be safe for a long time.
We are hoping that soon, we can visit the Aunties without worrying. We are hoping for some normality to come back. But we cannot go back to being packed like sardines on a train for a long time. Even once the vaccination is rolled out, there is a lot that needs to have changed. Safety is going to be different from now on. It has to take into account a mutant strains, that the vaccines are not 100% effective and that some people don’t want it.
Even if you have had the vaccine, we are still going to need to be careful for a long time to come.