Colleagues - Are you sick of Covid 19? What can you do about it?
I certainly am! It’s quite natural that by now, we should all be sick of Covid 19. Sick of the government guidance, directives, restrictions. Sick of messages from your managers and employer. Sick of the news. Sick of PPE. Sick of testing. Sick of hand sanitizer. Sick of social distancing. Sick of restrictions. Sick of not being able to hug loved ones, sharing a meal with friends, watching our children blow out the candles on their birthday cakes. - I was thinking all this as I heard this on the news:
In the last 24 hours alone almost a 1000 people have died in the UK.
1000 people in 24 hours. 1440 minutes.
Can you even visualise that? - I’ll admit, I struggled to. I Googled how to visualise it and found this site.
Here is what a crowd of 1000 parents, siblings, grandparents, spouses, loved ones, etc looks like:
It’s sobering isn’t it?
I realised, looking at all those healthy engaged faces, that today there are 1000 families ripped apart by this virus, moving stealthily through the crowd (1 in 3 cases being asymptomatic) and that being ‘sick’ and tired of Covid is a privilege.
Here’s a reminder of the definition of privilege:
a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed by a particular person or a restricted group of people beyond the advantages of most:
the privileges of the very rich.
the unearned and mostly unacknowledged societal advantage that a restricted group of people has over another group:
white privilege based on skin color; male privilege; children of privilege.
a special right, immunity, or exemption granted to persons in authority or office to free them from certain obligations or liabilities:
the privilege of a senator to speak in Congress without danger of a libel suit.
a grant to an individual, corporation, etc., of a special right or immunity, under certain conditions.
the principle or condition of enjoying special rights or immunities.
Being sick and tired of Covid is a privilege, in comparison to the real and lasting loss being felt by families across our communities, country and the world in the last 24 hours and since the global pandemic began.
There’s probably a fancy way for psychologists to explain this feeling. A syndrome-in -waiting for a psychiatrist wanting to make their name. Maybe Covid 19 fatigue?
I’m not sure what the antidote is, but would imagine the following would be high on any list:
Acceptance - it’s ok to feel sick and tired of Covid
Gratitude - for who, and what, we have in our lives
Gratitude - for what we can still do together
Remembering - WHY we are doing what we are doing
As mid-winter passes and we head towards Spring, we have the biggest ever mass immunisation programme in history underway. Yesterday, news broke that a second Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use, as early as next week. With the new vaccine being less costly, more easily stored and transported than the Pfizer one this should speed up the NHS immunisation programme. Changes to the way the vaccines are delivered means the NHS will be able to reach people in the lower priority groups earlier than planned. This is very good news.
One public health scientist I follow on twitter Dr. Tom Frieden described vaccines:
“...Think of it as an email sent to your immune system that shows what the virus looks like, instructions to kill it, and then—like a Snapchat message—it disappears. Amazing technology.”
Being in the early group given the opportunity to be vaccinated, I’m grateful my immune system now has the ability to ‘seek and destroy’ the virus in the way Tom describes. I’m grateful for the privilege of immunity. I’m grateful my body is no longer a convenient ‘stepping stone’ for the virus moving onto those who may die if they are infected.
I’d like to thank my friends and colleagues who have supported the NHS immunisation programme so far and who are encouraging those who have yet to do so to support it too.
This is our way out of the pandemic, back to normality.
Green Light PBS ltd.