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  • caldun09


Updated: May 21, 2021

I am currently reading that sad book “Boy 11963” by John Cameron. What a tragic story and how ashamed our institutions of church and state should be about how we treated vulnerable young people in institutions in the not-too-distant past.

Today I was heading for my second Pfizer injection. I had listened to the radio, looked at TV and read the paper in the past month since I received my first Covid jab. There was a lot of chatter about all the side-effects a person might have after getting the second dosage. There was not much comment that most people had no side-effects. This bothered me slightly.

The morning of May 5th,my jabbing day was cool weather wise. There were some hailstones about, but I still headed out on my morning stroll. One of my walking companions was a retired nurse who spoke about many things, but her favourite topic was the Covid Injection. She told me all about people she knew who were sick for 3 days. She told me about people who could not move their arms after the injection. Then she told me that she had heard of people who had gone home after the injection and gone to bed waiting to be ill. I told her that my wife, mother-in-law and sister-in-law and myself had all got the jabs . We had all exercised on the morning of our jabs. We had taken two paracetamols after the jabs and had gone for another walk in the evening to keep the blood pumping around our bodies.

On the day of jab one I walked 13000 steps and on Jab 2 day I managed 14779 steps. We went to bed a wee bit earlier on jab nights and none of us had any side effects .

I got home at midday and my sister rang me wishing me all the best with my jab.

We then sat down to a lovely dinner of yummy ham and cabbage and some Maris Piper potatoes with added Kerrygold.

Having dined and chatted I had my shower about 2 hours pre jab. When I was finished, I lay down and took out the Boy 11963 and read a few more chapters.These dealt with the early life of John Cameron when he was fostered out to foster parents until he was eight years of age. This was a life of pure cruelty, starvation and neglect. At eight years of age, he was transferred to Artane.

Here was I thinking about and worrying about a simple jab in the arm while I read the true story of a man living a few hundred metres away from me . He now suffers from Alzheimer’s. I told myself to get real and stop worrying about trivialities. I put on my short-sleeved shirt and jacket and headed to my local GP for Pfizer jab 2.

When I arrived at the door there was a queue of six people waiting in an orderly socially distanced spaced line. One of them was a retired teacher who also happened to be a Kerryman and friend. Our masks were so deep that we did not recognise each other immediately. We chatted until we were called, had our temperature taken, asked the time of our appointment, pointed to sanitising unit, and despatched to jabbing point. At the top of the stairs the lady on the computer registered us in and so we proceeded to the jabbing area.

Here we were given our sitting position by the friendly staff on floor duty. I had barely parked myself when I was called into the jabbing room. The nurse was very polite and asked me the compulsory set of questions and hey presto ,jab, and jacket back on. She then proceeded to tell me that after the second dose that I might have a sore arm, feel tired or nauseous. I thanked her. She opened the door. I was released.

Now I was despatched to another room where 6 of us sat around with our time related release tags on our lapels. We had a good chat, and all were happy that some safer normality was about to return to our lives. There was a certain childish like giddiness about the place .

It was a super well organised operation with everything happening bang on time. Despite the business of the place, you could sense the caring atmosphere that abounded.

I had entered the premises at 4.46pm and exited at 5.05pm ,proud as punch with my HSE stamped Vaccination card. I felt a great sense of relaxation and freedom that after a full year of lockdown I had only 14 days to go to be fully free again,

Now my wife and I went for a drive and a proposed walk on the beach, but our plans were stifled by some unfriendly ,unseasonal hailstones.

Thankfully the inclement weather ceased but it was still quite chilly beachside. We departed and Instead we visited a family member’s house where we met a very excited 7-year-old .He had just got his first golf clubs. He was practising his drive and swing. The family pet, in the form of a French bulldog thought it was great fun to run off and chew golf balls. After some unfriendly name calling, she was safely confined to her pen to play with her own ball while our latter-day Rory was in full swinging mode.

Meanwhile a very active three-year-old discovered a new game in throwing away golf tees and hammering them in to the ground. The elders were not amused, and he was teed up for some chastisement.

Having taken the obligatory photos and video for internal family distribution on what’s app the gang got the call to move indoors .It was in house feeding time for hungry golfers and hammer men. We headed for the home territory to fortify ourselves with some further salad nosh post jabbing. We must not forget important issues even on jabbing days.

We had a short rest period and donned appropriate walking gear .We trotted off for a very enjoyable lively loop around Gorey town.Having trotted and arrived safely home we felt good, and it was time for some TV and a return to Boy 11963.

Now I hope you are all ready mentally and physically for the freedom times and walks ahead. We will be able to travel inter county and meet up again in the not-too-distant future .So, keep Joe Wicksing,walking,jogging,cycling,spinning,kayaking,golfing,tennis, or whatever keeps you fit and active

Keep reading, googling, writing, crosswords, Jigsaws, bridge or whatever keeps your grey cells active and working well in these better and more hopeful times.

Stay well and stay connected.

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