While the news keeps coming in from India of the dire situation there, with new virus diagnoses running at well over 300,000 a day and where deaths have passed 200,000, I got up this morning and walked to our local version of a miracle, just to get things in perspective. Out to a large hall in a suburban university for my second Covid vaccination. Two and a half months after my first injection and pretty much when my GP had said it would be.
I’d only been to Hope University twice before, to listen to writers Ian Rankin and Jay Griffiths talking about their very different work and opinions. Each time leaving without much of a look round. Well today I got a look round as the ‘Covid Centre this way’ signs took me up the side and right round the back of the university, assuming I was a car looking for a parking space. Which I really didn’t mind as it allowed me to take lots of photographs of beautiful late 1930s brickwork and still arrive a little early for the 10 minute vaccination slot I’d been given.
‘729’ was the number on the raffle ticket I was given when I got to the sports hall. “The kind of raffle where everybody wins” I remember thinking for a line in a blog post, and within fifteen minutes I was done. Identified, questioned, jacket off, sleeve rolled right up and grateful thank you said. Leaving with a leaflet about after effects and a song of relief in my heart (‘The moon is made of gold’ by Rickie Lee Jones if you’re interested).
Not having expected this occasion to be as emotional as the first vaccination it certainly was. Job done, over half the country vaccinated now and now I’m one of them. Or one of us rather, vaccines not being just about me, or you, but about all of us. That’s what makes them work and why it’s going to be such a huge task to do the same kind of job in a place the size of India.
But today, for here, I walked away from Hope across wide lawns and leafy avenues rejoicing in a local miracle I think everyone should be able to walk to on their own Wednesday mornings wherever they are, like it’s a human right. Which wouldn’t seem too much to expect.
So thank you NHS, thank you scientists, thank you volunteers. For the song in my heart, the spring in my step, and this local miracle. Let there soon be ways found for the same sort of miracle to be happening everywhere, for everyone.