Tag: covid-19

Covid Vaccination

Three weeks ago I received my first vaccination for COVID-19 after receiving a text from my GP. A week later I received a letter from NHS England asking me to book my vaccination as I am a registered carer for someone vulnerable to Covid. Today I received a letter of the same ilk from the council’s carers department. Both letters mentioned that the person I care for (my husband) is vulnerable to Covid, however, M has not had his vaccination, and further to it all I have asthma which I have had from birth, and I also have a heart problem. Yes, I have had my vaccination, but only because I am a carer, and not because of my own health problems which happen to fit within the remit of the vaccination rollout.

When I went for my vaccination, one of the nurses who knows both M and me very well asked how M got on after his injection. I had to tell her that he had not had it, nor an invite. Needless to say, she was quite surprised but admitted that people were not getting invites when they should have had one. She assured me that she would speak to the surgery and get it sorted. A few days later she called and said she was having to fight with management over M and others that were missed off, but told me he was now on the list for the next set. The invite never arrived, and after getting my letter from the council I decided enough was enough.

As with anything official involving bureaucrats I knew it was going to be something that I had to fight for and was well aware that I would be sent on a wild goose chase. I called the GP surgery and after being in a queue that said I was number one, waited for 12 minutes to actually speak to someone. However, she was one of the surgeries “gatekeepers”. Unfortunately, most doctors offices in the UK have these gatekeepers who take it upon themselves to fob everyone off. I have had many arguments with these women who demand to know all the details of ailments as though they are the doctors, rather than booking the appointments as per their job description. (Before anyone decides to comment that I am wrong and they are doing their job, I have to stop you there as our surgery confirmed and published that the receptionists are not medically trained and when booking appointments you do not need to tell them about why you are booking it.). Anyway, I told the receptionist the reason for my call, she took M’s details and told me that he was not on any list and therefore would need to wait until they do 45 to 50-year-olds which will be some time. I questioned as to why there are no details on the system, and she informed me that I would need to get letters from the hospital for any appointments attended last year and send them into the surgery for them to look into it. I informed her that he had not attended the hospital last year as all appointments were cancelled due to the pandemic. she told me that if I could not do that I should call the NHS line and speak to them as it is them who decide who has their vaccination and when, but she had no records of underlying health problems. WTF!

Next stop NHS Direct. After going through 8 options I finally spoke to a lady who listened to me and tried to book the appointment. She told me that she could not as the system would not let her and that our GP surgery needs to correct their system to enable her to book it. I told her that the surgery had blamed NHS Direct’s side and said it was their records that were to blame. She assured me that their records are lead by the surgery and that they have “markers” that when the routines are run selects the people in those categories and invites them to have their jab. Feeling that I was getting another run-around I called the council’s carers line for advice. The lady was very sympathetic and told me in no certain words that M should have had his injection and that it is indeed the surgery who are to blame and that they had not coded M’s records properly, and I should call the surgery again and speak to the practice manager and refuse to give details to the receptionist as I would not get to the route of the problem.

Another call to the surgery to be told that the practice manager was in a meeting and she (a different gatekeeper this time) would try to get him to call me back. When I put the phone down I thought that I would not get a call and my request would be binned. However, I was duly surprised to get a call from the practice manager just 20 minutes later. So, on with my explanation to him, repeating everything I had said to all the others and telling of what I had been told by his reception to do, what NHS Direct said and finally what the council carers department told me. He looked into M’s records whilst I was on the phone and could see that something was wrong and he would speak to our new GP and get it all corrected. I told him what the nurse had told me and he said that she was one of the best members of staff and that she knew the patients very well and if she thought M should have been seen, then he needed to act on that too. I mentioned to him that our old GP who left the surgery was very rude about M getting a flu jab stating that those were only for people with cancer. When she said this to M I quickly corrected her and she finally backed down, however, M still had never received an invite for that either. He apologised that this too was missed off and admitted that M should also have been given the flu jab too each year especially in light of him being hospitalised with pneumonia, again, not recorded by the GP in question. I told him that the pharmacist next to the surgery had given M his jab each year and said that M was in the vulnerable group and that the surgery should have sorted this out. Again he apologised for all the mistakes and lack of professional conduct from our previous GP (who left in mysterious circumstances to a new life in Scotland) and promised to get everything corrected and went ahead with booking M in for his Covid vaccination.

Success!

Although I have condensed everything, the calls to all involved took me over an hour and a half. It is a sad state of affairs that we have had to fight for everything just because people cannot or do not do their jobs correctly.

I keep meaning to…

I sit in the lounge and think I should write about that, then stop myself as my blog is not political at all. Even though the political system in the UK & USA is draining my life-force away at a rate of knots. Both places have idiots in charge, and really no one can deny that at all. Our PM is a blundering buffoon who really has no right being in office. As usual, he is just there to help his mates out and feather his own nest, and as for the impersonations of Churchill, much to the chagrin of the nation he seems to think the whole COVID-19 crisis is his “moment in history”, but history will remember him for the dip-shit he is, a man without a clue, a man that lets his ministers and colleagues break rules and then criticises the general public for breaking the same rules, rules set out by the very person that is breaking them, proving that there is one rule for us and another for the government.

Now, as for the USA, I become more exasperated with POTUS each and every day, from his blatant racial hatred to his denial of doing anything wrong and then quickly trying to change the subject by slagging off anyone that opposes him or slagging off previous presidents and their collective wives. This week also proved again to the world that he is unfit for the job, by posting on twitter hate videos. No, I am not willing to discuss with anyone who is stupid enough to think that he had not listened to the video, of course he did, and he thought nothing of the hate-spewing from the guy’s mouth. Last week stating that if they didn’t test for COVID-19 then the numbers would fall, yes, this is logical as they are not getting recorded, but it would not mean that the populous of the USA would not still be getting it. Talk about deluded and burying your head in the sand. The latest now from the USA is that there are bounties on the U.S. troops paid for by Russia and POTUS and his people knew. Surely this has to be a crime and impeachable? Again, if you support Trump, then move on as I will not give you space or time to argue in his defence as I do not believe in fake news, especially peddled by him and his cronies. Trump will have a legacy of being the worst president ever.

The other thing I was thinking about is the whole pandemic, and again the way it is being handled. The UK & USA have the worst records for COVID-19, and I am not surprised. The people running the countries do not have a clue, and can only think of the economic side of things, regardless of the deaths, spikes, second waves etc. Both countries acted too late and then acted too soon on lifting lockdown measures. We only have to look at other countries to see that catching early and not relaxing lockdown measures too soon worked for them. Although I am not a fan of Nichola Sturgeon aka Janette Kranky, she proved that her way worked and there are been no more deaths in Scotland for quite a few days, proving that Boris was too hasty, and the whole Cummings saga meant that no one here was going to carry on following guidelines. The same goes for the USA, the president badmouths experts, sacks people who know what they are talking about and tries to cover up the problem, and hey presto numbers climb as no one wants to follow rules, and even if they don’t vote for him, quote him and his nonsense in order to break the rules, and want to “get the economy working again”.

Another thing that our government really got wrong is this track and trace app. £12 million spent on it and it does not work on Apple devices, and more over, no one wants to use it. Imagine, you are in the supermarket and have the app tracing you. Someone has COVID-19 and happened to be in the same supermarket at the same time you were, but, in reality, your paths never crossed, and they came in less than a minute after you left, but as far as the app is concerned, you could now be contaminated, therefore you and everyone in the place, including staff have to isolate for 14 days. Wherever that person went that day, all the people that happened to be in the same places and same time also have to isolate, and so it goes on. Patient zero could have left home and gone to the post office, then the supermarket, followed by the garden centre, and maybe chemist as they wanted paracetamol as they had a headache, (not yet knowing yet that they had COVID-19), then after that, maybe a quick trip to the DIY store, followed later by a visit to the take-away. The number of people now having to isolate because of one person is now massive, yet, maybe no one caught if from patient zero and every person was well, had the test and were clear. Each person within the area after crossing paths with patent zero now has their movements logged from point of contact and all those people now have been added to the isolation number, and so on. The number could go from one person to thousands in a day, and as such people have thought about it and are not willing to go through unnecessary quarantine because the app is too overzealous. The other thing people do not like is the idea of being tracked and watched by the government, forgetting that they are traced just by the fact they have their mobile phone on their person.

I am a carer for M, and also work part-time within the construction industry, I have a heart problem and asthma which I was born with. Now, with this information, you would think that due to health conditions I should have been told to isolate for 12 weeks, but I was not. M has quite a lot of problems and has a history of infections, pneumonia and due to low white blood cells does not have a proper defence system against infections of any kind, therefore should have received a letter saying isolate for 12 weeks, but, he did not get one. I know people that have just mild asthma and have received notice to isolate. So again this country was getting it wrong on that level too. I was away from work for two and a half weeks and then we all went back, as construction never stopped officially, this meant that the owners wanted to get back to work. Where we at risk of getting COVID-19 whist at work? Yes, because the people who used our services did not care about rules, and thought they were better than that. I admit that I do not know of anyone that has been infected, but, maybe that is just more luck than anything else. On a positive side, the council sent me a letter of ID as being a carer, I could go about my daily business and if stopped by police, I would only have to show this ID and they would have to let me carry on, and offer assistance if I needed it. Not that I was stopped or required help. I never even used it to go to the supermarket during front-line workers/NHS times as I thought it was wrong of me when I can go other times, even though the ID and letter stated that I could as I was considered front-line.

Other things have been going through my mind over the last weeks and months, but I don’t feel I need to vent here about that, well, not yet anyway.

Face Mask

I decided to have a go at machine sewing. I have a Janome heavy duty machine which is from 1984, yes its an old one, but it has never let me down. I need to do a bit of maintenance on it i.e. oiling and service cleaning, but apart from that it works like a dream.

I am a hand sewer, so using a machine is quite the different experience, especially since I have not used the machine in over 20 years, in fact about 1997. I made draped blinds back in 95, and even though I had the machine I like the process of hand sewing. The draped blinds were for a huge bay window, and I was rather proud of them, but it would have been faster to machine sew.

The machine was my Aunts, and she taught me how to use it, and I did very plain straight sewing from the age of 14. However, I am not all the proficient with it, I am happy to keep practicing. One of the problems I had was the cotton broke quite a few times, and the feed dog tangled with the top threat a few times when beginning the the lines. But I did manage to sort it out in the end, just frustrating when things go wrong.

This is my first go, and I don’t think it looks all that bad. It is lined with blue non-woven material, but in all honesty it is a little to thin, but I have left it with a pocket so a filter lining can go in there.

If there are any experienced sewers out there who want to pass on any tips and help, especially with the above snags I had to deal with then please drop me a message.

Panic on the street of London…

Now, I will preface this post that I understand that many people have died due to the coronavirus outbreak about the planet.  That aside, I have never seen so many bloody idiots about reacting to the news.  I have witnessed people stealing from other people’s trollies, people running about supermarkets like they are on supermarket sweep.  I went into the supermarket this morning to get bananas at 7 am, and the place was rammed full of people panic buying.  Most of the shelves were empty and one woman had a trolly full of toilet roll.  As she went past me I shook my head and muttered “idiot”, she saw me shaking my head and shouted at me, I am a mother, which my reply was “no, you’re an idiot stockpiling”.  I understand people want to have things in, but they forget there are other people about, and what about the elderly who have not been able to get supplies?  I also wanted just one bag of sugar and a carton of orange juice too.  Due to the stripping of the shelves, I was faced with a 5kg bag of sugar which I did not want and a four-pack of orange.  The orange was not a problem, but I was forced into getting this huge bag of sugar, all because of the dickheads acting like it’s the end of the world.

We have not gone mad, and we have enough food in the house for a few weeks, but that is usual, so no stockpiling.  One of the things I noticed was the lack of pet food as people have stripped the shelves of that too.  The big supermarket close to work has no meat, poultry, tinned food, rice, pasta, pet food, frozen chips/fries, cleaning products of any kind, long-life milk, sugar, tea coffee, water, and the list goes on.  My friend who works there said she has never seen so much greed in her life and that people are fighting over things.  However, the supermarket has a big responsibility to stop people doing this by limiting purchases to stop hoarding and madness, but so far nothing has been done and they are letting the raids carry on.

Our government seems to reflect that of the USA, and are doing very little about it all, and their so-called measures are just laughable.  I think our PM watches the great Cheeto and follows his lead, and we all know the Cheeto buries his head in the sand and patronises his nation with instruction to calm down as it’s all fine.

Our latest instructions are that those over the age of 70 and people that are in “risk” groups have to stay in for 12 weeks, and others should not go out, “even for food and essentials”, but, can leave the house “for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others”.  So, they can keep fit, but cannot buy food, in essence, could be the healthiest corpses about.  The blind leading the blind in the UK.

One of the things which are becoming annoying is the lack of information.  We are not getting told any demographics about those that have died, those that are ill, and those that have it and are fine.  The news from the USA is that the average age is 80 and all had underlying health conditions, but we are in the dark here.  Although we live in the country, we have a city 24 miles north, 17 miles south and 40 miles east, the Irish sea to our immediate west (safe zone lol) and all cities have reports of people with the virus, so the circle is slowly closing in.

Where I work we are suppliers of building materials, so are in contact with people all the time.  It is a family business, so we are all involved with every aspect of the company and as such are all in contact with customers, who are in contact with their customers, who are in contact with many others, therefore, we cannot hide from it. The owner is off ill, and now her son seems to be coming down with the same thing, which she said is norovirus as she if vomiting and can’t get off the toilet.

Today more and more people were calling to see if we were open or we had closed due to this virus. A lot of customers visiting were asking the same thing, so I think it will be a short time from now till we have to close for isolation.

Now, on the positive side, I have just taken delivery of 20 balls (4000 meters) of aran yarn to start making The Great American Aran Afghan which will be quite exciting to do. Remember all you who do knit and crochet, this is the time we have been training for all our lives. Isolation and a massive stash of yarn. It’s going to be like the perfect holiday. Needles going, Netflix playing, feet up and tea to keep us going.

Stay safe.

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