I left you, around three weeks ago with the cliff-hanger, that having returned to Poland, I had tested positive for the Chinese Flu.
So, no doubt you are wondering – or, on the other hand, you may well not be wondering – whether I am a COVID-related death statistic, in the ITU of a Polish hospital, or whether I have recovered.
I am happy to report that I appear to have survived.
I say ‘appear to have survived’, because you never know, do you? Should I die in a motorway pile-up in a few weeks time, my demise will be recorded as ‘COVID-related, because I’d had a positive result within the past three months.
No … I kid you not, that’s how ridiculous the logging of these ‘statistics’ is – at least in the UK.
With regard to Poland – who knows? As you can see from these fairly erratic graphical representations. About a meaningful as a toddler’s scribbles, the data is – shall we say: ‘confused.’ Take the death chart, for instance. Since the middle of October, the reported figures have been up and down with the elasticity of a tart’s knickers.
Judge for yourself, but I’d conclude that it’s impossible to draw any conclusions from this data, therefore the Polish government has opted for the wholly unreasonable policy of closing everything down. And I mean everything, churches apart, of course. And there’s very little in the way of compensation for business owners who have had to watch the hopes and dreams that years of hard work had built up, evaporate before their eyes.
You’ll want to hear how I got on with the Chinese Flu, won’t you?
I suppose I was lucky; apart from a fever for two days, then a temperature that went up and down like the aforementioned lady’s undergarments, I came through it relatively unscathed. No loss of smell or taste, no headaches, no breathing difficulties; the only other symptom I had was fatigue on a level I had never experienced before. Oh, and one other thing – for two weeks I could not face alcohol.
So all in all, it wasn’t too bad. I took a week off work, and was good to go the following week. I was able to go for a jog on the morning of my final day in the cooler, with no negative after effects.
I was lucky. Of course, I may still experience a relapse; there are some shocking tales concerning what is referred to as ‘Long COVID’, which seems to be a bit like ‘Yuppee Flu’ … real or imagined, who knows?
The only change I am aware of, having come through this virus, is that I have a significantly reduced tolerance for alcohol. On the positive side, I can still put away as much as had been my norm; however, the following day – even upon consumption of (for me) moderate quantities of alcohol, I suffer significantly more than before I’d caught this damned thing.
The solution to this, you may say, is obvious: give up drinking, and perhaps that’s not such a bad idea.
So here’s some advice from a Chinese Flu survivor.
First, buy one of those Oxygen Saturation monitors; this could save your life. Read this article from the New York Times, which explains why this is so important.
Secondly, I managed to borrow an oxygen machine (for want of a better word). Should I suddenly discover that my oxygen levels had fallen below 90, this would be my first port of call in the hope that this would restore my breathing sufficient to avoid a Polish hospital. Thankfully, it wasn’t needed.
Thirdly, I know you will throw your arms up at this and declare that this is a virus and antibiotics have no effect on it – but they do, and I got this advice straight from – not one – but several, horses mouths: doctors. A mate who has a ‘tame’ doctor, filched me some of the strongest antibiotics on the market and I self-medicated a ten-day course, along with probiotics. I was familiar with these antibiotics because I’d taken them last January when I’d had pneumonia – aka my first dose of COVID.
Other than that, the normal remedies for ‘Man’Flu’ applied: Lucozade, chicken soup, CBBC, a bell to summon my wife when required, and lots of sympathetic pampering. Job done.
So how do I feel about things now?
You may recall how cynical I have been about what I frequently referred to as a total overreaction. I still hold that view. It is, and it continues to be a total overreaction. And I’m sorry but the notion that Boris should personally apologise to the relatives of those who have lost their lives with COVID stamped on their death certificate is simply ridiculous; as is the moronic suggestion to create some sort of memorial to the COVID dead. Memorials should be private and personal, instigated by relatives of the departed; to do this on a national – or even international scale would – in my view – serve no other purpose than to devalue the meaning of the word ‘memorial.’
A recent study published in The Economist revealed that in around ninety five per cent of deaths, the average loss of ‘expected further life’ was between one and five years. Do we really need to crash global economies as a result of this? Do the maths.
And as for the vaccination, in my view most countries are handling this in the wrong way. I agree that health and other essential (okay, this can be a bit woolly) workers should be prioritised. After that however – in my unhumble opinion – the vaccine should be rolled out to those (in work) aged between twenty and fifty. It should not be offered to work shy skankers. Seniors and those who consider themselves to be vulnerable should shield and accept responsibility for their own well-being.
And before you say that this is a bit harsh – it is, but the survival of the fittest has been a fundamental principle of human existence – maybe even evolution – and one which is now being challenged. And that’s before we even consider the effect of the loss of jobs, deprival of exercise opportunity, zero social engagement on mental health … decimated hospitality and travel industries, and – last but not least – the sharp increase of deaths caused by the cancellation of essential medical treatment which COVID has out-trumped.
My solution: Re-open. The. Economy. Now. Everywhere. Get on with it.
Finally, what’s dragging us all down is the boredom, and for this I have no solution. Eight weeks tomorrow I hope to be flying to Spain. Anyone have a spare time machine?
Amig@s, back to the normality of my flippant rants soon, but I had to get this off my chest.