It is 08.00 am on Friday 07 May 2021, two hundred and forty-eight days from the start of the 2020 – 2021 school year.
Week One into our ‘new horizons’ programme
We were all so focused on making sure that we did not miss out any viable option for change that we totally forgot all about the ‘bleedin’ obvious’, GETTING VACCINATED!
Dad is already vaccinated, thanks to the combination of his advanced age and the heavy interest in vaccination that President Macron has been displaying here in France. He is desperate to contain, hopefully to reverse, the damage that SARS-CoV2 has done to his reputation and great, he thinks vaccination is the answer – a good public health decision for once.
This just leaves Mum to get her jabs once they lower the eligible age – we should not have to wait too long according to the latest statements from the ‘men-in-charge’. So, our first activity has been to set up a daily scan of the vaccination centres in our neighbourhood so that Mum will be one of the first in the queue. Yes, we know all about the vaccine pros and cons, about the level of vaccine effectiveness (works well against the original SARS-CoV2), about the supposed problems with the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, and, in particular, about the concerns of the experts with regard to vaccine escape (whereby the current vaccines may not be effective against the host of new variants descending upon us all).
Despite the rhetoric, both positive and negative, we remain confirmed vaccine supporters in general. For SARS-CoV2, it is a no-brainer to argue that some immunity protection is a million times better than no immunity protection – and as such, makes our on-going anti-Covid19 procedures much more robust. The unanswerable question at the moment of course is – how long is the immunity going to last after our vaccinations? If it is really short term, this would seriously disrupt our level of risk going forward. Clearly we will need to arrange for serial tracking of this possibility and take the results into account as we expand our ‘new horizons’.
The latest on the primary schools and SARS-CoV2
At last, a bit more common sense from the ‘men-in-charge’. It used to take 3 positive cases in one class before that class would be closed for two weeks. They have now brought in a new rule, whereby it takes the occurrence of only a single case to send the class home. A little step in the right direction! Unfortunately, their approach also confirms there is still not a serious plan B, namely a systematic virtual schooling at home programme for all ages. This is a shame, because in the first lockdown, we experienced an excellent daily tuition programme for all the primary classes, including for our Child. It is also very surprising in the light of the numerous successful mainstream on-line teaching, established in numerous other countries.
Tracking our progress towards the best possible, safest possible ‘new horizons’ programme
We have now started to investigate and assess the level of risk of catching SARS-CoV2 on all our proposed options for establishing a still safe, but more satisfying and enjoyable life style. We are already aware of our key problem – how do we verify the truth of all the information we will be downloading onto our laptops, knowing that practically nothing we have been told about Covid in the last year has been 100% reliable?
For example, we phone a hotel saying we would like to make a booking but first we need reassured about: 1. You can only make a booking if you have been vaccinated and 2). The explicit range of anti-Covid procedures they have in place. All of which trials and tribulations makes the strange teachings of Donald Rumsfeld spring into our minds. Way back in 2014, he stated:
‘Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know’. Our high risk mission puts us fair and square into the swamp of the worst category, the unknown unknowns! How to risk assess unknown unknowns? – that must be worth a PhD at least! We will maintain the records below as our pictorial’ record of our imminent breakthrough into an acceptable enough nirvana or of our descent and collapse into abject failure if we confirm the truth and the implications of Donald’s rhetoric:
By John Saunders
World Health Communication Associates (WHCA) & INSPIRIT Creatives UG NGO,
MediaWise and MediaFocusUK
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