Well fuck. Though I guess nobody should really be surprised by this latest even more contagious Covid variant since we keep on not sending vaccines to less developed nations, preferring to make anti-vaxxing a political football at home. I mean seriously, just send the damn vaccines to the people who really want them. And so the latest variant omicron has left its “birthplace” of South Africa and is now rapidly travelling around the world, just as Delta (India) and Alpha (UK) did before it. Of course by the time we are notified of it even existing, by the time we are told it is a “variant of concern”, it is already spreading everywhere. And so now what?
For the most part this wouldn’t affect me in the sense that my life wouldn’t change that much. EXCEPT that this week I had made plans to take a couple of research trips (for another Decanter article) to Cádiz province, first to Arcos de la Frontera and then to Cádiz city and El Puerto de Santa María. Now I just want to stay at home. I mean, if these trips had been last week I wouldn’t have been as worried as I am now, even though the reality of the situation probably wasn’t much different last week, we just didn’t know about it yet.
And so… fuck it, I am going. Today to Arcos on a day trip with my friend Tania in her car. We’ll be visiting two bodegas and then coming home in the afternoon. And tomorrow I’ll be going to Cádiz by train with Peter, stopping off first in El Puerto to visit another bodega, then overnighting in Cádiz city, and coming back on Wednesday. I had originally planned on staying two nights in Cádiz but have decided to just stay for one and cut back on exposure risks.
Last Friday my health centre told me I could have my booster shot today (!!!) but as I won’t be here I have to go back and rebook it after I return. In any case, the booster wouldn’t have “taken effect” in time to make any difference for this trip. But guys… THIS IS MY FIRST TIME OUT OF SEVILLA SINCE MARCH 2020. I’m a bit terrified.
Have a good journey and don’t worry too much. Paul is now “boostered” and we both are la gripped today too. The new south African variant (I refuse to use that silly name) is, currently, different in that it is infecting a younger cohort – 20s and 30s – but seems to give most mild illness and no real increase in hospitalisations, important to note, because as you say most of the countries it is prevalent in have low numbers of vaccinations…..Spain has stepped up with both vaccinations and providing genetic testing and ordinary testing kits. Mainly directed to S America, The Philippines and other ex colonies but some for Africa and India. Others, especially the UK have been more selfis, in the UK there have been incidences of stockpiling until use by dat s have been reached. Totally mad!
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I gather that vaccine hesitancy is just as much of a problem in some poorer countries as it is in the “first world,” for different reasons — mainly suspicion of “western” medicine (west of what?). When I think how predatory some global “health care” has been, like pushing infant formula on mothers perfectly capable of nursing, I can understand that but the education effort has to step up as much as the sharing of the vaccine itself. And when we in nations that have plenty of vaccine stock can’t talk people into taking it or wearing masks, I don’t know what we do. It’s like Groundhog Day.
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