Oct 2021 – Covid gets me

It was only a matter of time, some people argue. Which ignores the vaccine efficacy stats. But for those of us with the Astra vaccine, which is only 60% effective at preventing catching symptomatic Covid Delta variant, perhaps it is true that it was only a matter of time.

Does 60% effective mean: if you meet 10 infected people, you have a 60% chance of not catching covid? Or does it mean that you have 60% chance with the first person, then 60% chance with the second person, then 60% the third time, etc. If the latter, then absolutely it is only a matter of time – even for Pfizer jabbees who are extrovert / risk-taking enough.

In any case, my time struck earlier in the month. I got a sniffle, then slight flu-like symptoms, progressing into a headache. I did a lateral flow test. It was positive. Ho hum. Another lateral flow and then, a few days later, a PCR test result all confirmed the picture.

Thankfully the virus has progressed in me in a pretty typical way. The flu wasn’t too bad, and then quickly became a cough, which has slowly been dying down. I’m back to normal, or at least 95% normal – I haven’t got my full sense of taste, and very little sense of smell. Apparently that can take weeks. Which leaves me much more aware than normal of foods’ texture – rather like, so they say, the Chinese appreciate certain foods.

Continue reading “Oct 2021 – Covid gets me”

Sep 2021 – Inflation looms

All it needs is one idiot government minister to say ‘there won’t be any need for panic buying’ and, well, everybody’s panic buying.

The month started out with empty supermarket shelves and finished with North London petrol stations that still had petrol in them being a rarity, with queues that I assume will soon be rivalled by queues at car dealers for electric cars.


In related news, there is a definite buzz returning to London. Clear differences with pre-pandemic life remain – widespread (tho mostly voluntary) masks, much more outdoor eating/drinking, testing regimes at offices and even before private social events. Thankfully, the trendy Dishoom restaurant chain is continuing to take bookings and hasn’t reverted yet to ‘queues only’. Oh, and the tube’s Northern Line has a new extension – the first tube addition for about thirty years.

Continue reading “Sep 2021 – Inflation looms”

Aug 2021 – The Taliban returns

The Taliban’s back. The West has been vanguished. We all read the media. There wasn’t anything else to read.

The Taliban 2.0

I was surprised to learn that total UK deaths in the last 20 years in Afghanistan numbered less than 500. Total USA deaths: under 2400 (fewer than 1900 as a result of hostile action – leaving me shuddering about the other 500). A lot of treasure but not, in the scheme of things (compared to, say, road traffic, alcohol, let alone covid-19), that much blood. For reference, the UK lost 258 people in the Falkland conflict, 47 in the Gulf War and 179 in the Iraq War.

In the business press there is a lot of talk of supply chain shortages. Pictures of empty shelves. Tales of shortages of lorry drivers. Rampant inflation. I don’t see these things in evidence around me but what you see on the internet can’t be wrong.

London is starting to feel a little bit like normal. People wearing masks are a frequent sight – though almost always on a voluntary basis. Restaurants are filling up. I haven’t used the Tube in over a month but carriages are now sometimes standing room only again. People are getting covid but it is starting to feel like a nasty cold / flu / etc – nobody is panicking.

Continue reading “Aug 2021 – The Taliban returns”