Onwards and Upwards

It’s been an odd year, to say the least. A year that brought out a pinch of community spirit in all of us, and alongside it a large doze of selfishness.

For us it started quite well, Linda was training for the Highland Fling and by February was in a great shape. Then I picked up ‘a virus’ the first week in March skiing in north of Italy ... the symptoms came four days after coming back, just as we were to head to Aberdeen for the D33. At this stage the UK wasn’t taking COVID seriously (thanks a lot Boris), there was no testing, and events like the D33 were still held; Linda sensibly pulled out, her full symptoms came three days later.

We both had what you would call a ‘mild COVID’, I was over the worst of it in 48h, thinking I would go for a short run the next day ... wishful thinking. I managed a 4k jog ten days later, but then needed a full week for my legs to recover (up to this point I’d not consider 4k worth lacing the shoes for). Linda’s experience was similar, it took us both over a month to start getting to some sort of a normal, but with no fitness left whatsoever, and I have been left with an irritable throat that still flairs up time from time when I get tired. As I said, a mild COVID, and we count our blessings.

The biggest regret of the year has been the three lost holidays in March, June and November; the last one in particular rankled, as our area should have been in Tier 2, but was kept in 3 to avoid the Weegies flocking to the pubs (not wholly unjustified given how overrun the Falkirk shops were with Glasgow tourists before Christmas). But again one needs to keep things in perspective, given what might have been, mustn’t grumble.

There were upsides to the year too: discovering some nice places within walking / running / cycling distance of home, growing veggies, eating well, joining the MAMILs. We have learnt to appreciate the little pleasures more (like sitting with a Kelly Kettle in the garden), and that, I think, is a good thing.

Of course, there is the whole Brexit saga finally coming to an end. My take on this has been pretty simple (never forget, never forgive), and nothing I have seen this year has made me change that view. There is only one way forward out of this mess: let England to its own devices, Scotland can do so much better ... bring on IndyRef2!

2021? I expect this coming year not to be dissimilar to 2020, regardless what Boris says. As everything that comes out of that imbecile’s mouth, ‘Freedom by Easter’ (just like ‘Normality by Christmas’) is manifestly bollocks. To achieve herd immunity requires for ~70% of the herd to be immune; using a vaccine with 90% efficacy, that would require nearly 80% of the nation to be immunised. I don’t see this happening by the autumn, because (a) the UK Government is not planning to fully vaccinate anywhere near those numbers, and (b) it would require the vaccinations to be mandatory to achieve that. There is also the fact the efficacy of the Oxford vaccine (which presumably will be the main vaccine used in the UK), is still unknown, with some of the reports suggesting it could be only in the 60% region. Nor do we know how long the immunity might lasts. The vaccines are a wee light at the end of the tunnel, but you know what they say about lights at the end of a tunnel ...

Anyway, have a good one, keep safe, make most of what it brings.