As you know, I am on a short holiday. However, I am aware that the Taliban has taken over Afghanistan. I am watching desperate Afghans attempting to leave their country, and it saddens me enormously. If allies of countries that fought the Taliban are not evacuated, they may be tortured and executed.
United States President Joe Biden and many Americans believe that there is no good time to leave Aghanistan. They are quite right. It has been a twenty-year war and many have died or been disabled. Hostilities could continue for several more decades.
It also saddens me that human life is currently threatened by persons who look upon Covid-19 as a conspiracy. How can the pandemic end if people refuse to wear a mask and also oppose vaccination? These individuals are fuelling the pandemic, but do not know they are.
Once again, I am writing mostly unprepared, but happy to have been vaccinated the day after I dialled the correct telephone number. The better approach is to make an appointment online. Telephone lines are busy. In other words, I was lucky.
I have not fully recovered. On Saturday, I ran a low grade fever, and I felt a little dizzy and exhausted. On Sunday, I was tired. I remain tired and my lungs hurt. However, being infected with Covid-19 is a greater evil than the side effects of the vaccine.
AstraZeneca was used. I was told that the source was safe. A poor source may have slowed down the Vaccination Campaign in some European countries, but it is not too late.
If one reads The Hare and Tortoise, Le Lièvre et la Tortue (VI, 10), one may think that the “cautious” countries wasted precious time. But there is a little godliness in human beings. La Fontaine wanted to illustrate that animals had a soul, not a human soul, but a soul. His two rats find a way of carrying their egg to safety. Animals have all the wit they need to stay alive. And, by and large, so do human beings.
The human condition is at times merciless. So, it could be that in the humbling days of Covid-19, one chooses the appropriate, i. e. reassuring, fable. Ingenuity could correct a delayed start.
It all started when my telephone rang in the middle of the night. Someone was at the main door to the building asking me to unlock the door. He said he was delivering groceries. I let him in. It then occurred to me that he could be an intruder and that he could harm one of my neighbours. If so, it would be my fault. I dialed 9-1-1. Two police officers, a man, and a woman came to my door. I told them that I had foolishly let someone into the building and asked them to check the corridors. They didn’t check the corridors. I also told them that persons did ring the door to my apartment occasionally and then disappeared. But matters were different. This time, I had let a person enter the building.
They asked several questions, reassured me, and left. The building was quiet. The next morning, I realized that one of my neighbours had played a joke on me. Who else would know that my groceries are delivered and by whom? Later in the day, I phoned the police and spoke with a person who knew about this incident. I said that, in my opinion, a neighbour had played a joke on me. The gentleman wanted to know how I felt. I was fine. My neighbours were not the target, I was the target.
I have since wondered whether this incident is related to Covid-19. I have been inside my apartment, alone, for a year. However, someone delivers groceries once a week.
The Covid-19 Vaccine
I did leave the apartment two days ago. On Tuesday I received a letter from the government informing me personally that the vaccination programme had begun and that all I had to do was telephone the number I was given or go online to make an appointment. I dialed the telephone number and was vaccinated the following day. Covid-19 is so aggressive that all Canadians will be vaccinated before June 24, the first injection, if AstraZeneca is used. That goal is realistic for Quebec. The team is working so efficiently that several hundred persons are vaccinated in a matter of hours. The government hired a small army.
After the injection, one sits for 15 minutes and, if all goes well, one disinfects one’s hands and goes home. A gentleman called a cab for me. He made me sit comfortably while I waited and he helped me get into the cab safely.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was used. My mouth was very dry after the injection, but there were bottles of water. I was given water. I was not otherwise affected.
The Washington Post reports that many victims of Covid-19 who have been cured are not able to return to a normal life. I suspected this would happen. I caught the H1N1 virus in early February 1976. It triggered Myalgic Encephalomyelitis which did not relent, except for very brief periods, for forty-four years. ME ended when Covid-19 began. Long-Covid patients are vaccinated and it is reported that many patients start feeling better. Do not look upon them as malingerers.
Would that awareness of complications had been present in 1976! I could handle a normal workload by going to bed early and living cautiously. But my workload grew to include too many areas of literature, and the creation of language lab components. I fell to exhaustion and was not replaced, which shouldn’t have happened. I was then maneuvered into selling my house and leaving Nova Scotia. Two years later, I was fooled into accepting an arrangement that ended my tenure without my realizing it. I still ache.
Let’s just say that Covid-19 has been a curse, but that the government vaccination programme is very rapid. I have not experienced adverse effects. As for my neighbours, I sent management a letter they will never forget.
Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, his wife, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Grégoire, have tested positive for Covid-19. Therefore, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in self-isolation, but he can work. Wherever it is possible, people are working from home. Moreover, in certain countries, employees whose benefits do not include paid sick leaves are being supported by their government. I hope that movement will spread because avoiding exposure to the virus is our best weapon. Covid-19 is extremely dangerous, but if we work together, we may defeat it.
Worse than a bomb … a tsunami
The BBC interviewed Italian Dr Giacomo Grasselli who stated that Covid-19 arrived in his country in a manner that was worst than a bomb. Covid-19 spreads quickly, it is agressive, and it is new. It’s a tsunami, says Dr Grasselli (CBC).
Italy was not given sufficient time to prepare. But many countries had time to prepare, at least minimally. They were able to enlarge medical facilities and purchase the materials they require. As well, people are being sent home, so they do not catch the disease and transmit it.
Pandemics are horrible and Covid-19 is a new threat, but I am seeing people working together to save themselves and to save their neighbours. Doctors alone cannot defeat Covid-19. It’s a community project.
Italy had little time to prepare, but the first order of business was containment, which is what Dr Grasselli is advising and which many of us have been given the time to do. However, Covid-19 is nevertheless a surprise and many of us are in denial.
I heard people trivialise the situation, which we can’t. We must keep at a distance from one another, which, in the days of coronavirus, is working together. Covid-19 is real and it is happening.
Two weeks before the bomb fell and multiplied, Dr Grasselli would not have expected the calimity that is unfolding.
I embedded a BBC (British) interview with Italian Dr Giacomo Grasselli (publications) as well as a CBC (Canada) interview.