Friday afternoon, in the cold and damp, I went to a local pharmacy. It’s best known for the queue reputed to be waiting for methadone. I went for my COVID booster. I was early, there was no queue.
‘Go straight in, the vaccinator is waiting,’ said the cheerful woman behind the counter.
The vaccinator did not speak, beyond handing me a clumsily handwritten list of questions on a clipboard. ‘Can you say yes to any of these?’ he asked.
I barely had time to say no before the needle was in, and I was out of the door.
That evening I had an arm ache, not too bad.
Next morning I said, ‘It’s cold in here.’
My feet were blocks of ice.
‘I’ll put the heating on,’ said Mr A.
I wrapped myself in a duvet, and slept all afternoon.
That evening, I shivered. I watched Strictly by the fire.
All night, I sweated through angry dreams.
On Sunday, I felt drained.
By Monday morning, I bounced right back to the Zumba class. It was over. A weekend lost, but I’m protected and privileged to receive the vaccine. It was free, courtesy of the NHS.
But, we shouldn’t keep it to ourselves, we need to share it across the world. I went online, found a world health charity and ‘paid it forward’. I hope it will give some protection to someone with fewer privileges. It wasn’t much, but the least that I could do.