I’m Back in the Desert Without a Horse

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by John Connor |

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Well, that was fun.

I’ve got my party hat on from a recent birthday (of course I have one, it’s my trusty trilby! See my avatar above) and have been out and about having a lot of fun. I splurged by spending time with family and friends, ’cause I’ve been through the desert, but without even a horse!

Things have been going well. I just got my third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The U.K.’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization said that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is preferred for booster shots. The good news is that it seems highly effective, as the companies recently announced results from a large trial revealed an efficacy of 95.6%. How cool is that?

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Even better for me is that it only made me feel chilly and a tad lethargic for two days — unlike my first vaccine shot, which put my trigeminal neuralgia pain into hyperdrive.

Then, my wife, Jane, who watches the news more avidly than I do these days, informed me that our South London suburb, Sutton, had the highest COVID-19 infection rate of any borough in the capital last week. After 30 years of being immersed in topical comedy, COVID-19 has somewhat ironically put me into retirement.

Anyhoo (ooh, I seem to have become Americanized after listening to endless U.S. comedy podcasts), that means I now keep up with the news at a distance, since I no longer need to watch it closely for my profession. I miss writing topical jokes, but like any ex-pro, I consider tweeting to be writing for free — for the sake of investment funds.

Hardly anyone wears a mask here. My nephew, who regularly travels up to central London on public transport, informs me this is even the case where masks are mandatory. In the U.K., you would merely be asked to leave, while in France, there’s currently a 135 euro fine (about $157) for not wearing a face covering where required.

Many of us who wear masks in England do so to make a point. Although mask-wearers are less likely to have COVID-19, masks are particularly important in preventing those infected from spreading the virus to others.

The threat is getting closer. My youngest nephew, who is 14, just contracted COVID-19, probably at school. Our government only just approved the COVID-19 vaccine for his age group (12-15) in September, even though the delta variant has resulted in a higher rate of infections and hospitalizations for children. No one really knows yet what kind of impact the delta plus variant will have.

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For all those who don’t believe in Darwinism, knock yourself out learning about this little virus. Especially since viruses may not even count as a wholly living thing. Enjoy the philosophical quandaries of that lot.

OK, class, break up into your discussion groups and get back to me for next week’s lecture. You can wake up now, Mr. Smith, you’ve failed the semester. Nice try actually getting out of bed, but it would have been far more snuggly there. And you wouldn’t have teed me off.

In the argot of a South Londoner, I’ll now have to “reel me neck in.”

For the first time, I’ve received rapid lateral flow COVID-19 test kits. Our National Health Service currently supplies them for free, and recommends doing one of these self-tests twice a week. I have no idea how to use them yet, but it’s about time I found out.

COVID-19 booster | Multiple Sclerosis News Today | Photo of a rapid home self-test kit for COVID-19, which John received from the NHS.

My first ever medical lab — and it’s not even Christmas yet! (Photo by John Connor)

It’s either that or become the least spiritual hermit in the world again.

The hope of fully breaking free from the virus has been dashed by my government’s seeming lack of effective policies. Still, that’s where I came in — sealing myself away well before I was told to!


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


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