Panic in Needle Park

As in many countries, the covid vaccination campaign in Poland began as an optimistic kind of affair. Even the fact that the worst wave of covid deaths happened as the campaign was gaining steam didn’t really dampen people’s enthusiasm that much.

To encourage people a campaign was launched featuring celebrities (mostly sports figures) encouraging people. The catchy phrase Ostatnia Prosta! (The Home Stretch) was used.

THE HOME STRETCH! #let’sgetvaccinated

Sometime in the summer, enthusiasm waned as did cases and the whole effort sputtered down. The government no longer releases figures and the last numbers I remember seeing were that just over 50% of the population had been vaxxed.

That includes me, teachers were a priority group and were given the Astra Zeneca vaccine. After thinking about relative risks and benefits and talking it over with a couple of people, including a couple involved in healthcare, I decided to get it. I didn’t think it would be spectacularly effective but it was a real vaccine and one of my main thoughts was that it would be a good way of avoiding an mRNA vaccine which I’m not interested in, no way, no how. I had no reaction at the time beyond slight soreness for about a day about two inches below the shot site. A friend who also got AZ had a fever for about a day about 10 days after the second shot, and I had what I thought was a brief bout of stomach flu also about 10 days after the second shot. Now I think that was the second shot kicking in for whatever it was/is worth.

In the summer, the fact that the heavily vaccinated UK was undergoing large numbers of cases didn’t help the campaign and neither did waffling about easing of restrictions (at present there are almost none left beyond wearing a mask in stores, offices and on public transport).

That’s when the campaign turned sad…. and now we’re left with a rando woman with a blamey expression on her face (not any kind of celebrity) pleading with people to get vaccinated…

Please GET VACCINATED and together we can stop another wave – live normally #let’s-get-vaccinated

Currently the Fourth Wave is going on, about half of what it was last year and the government isn’t really doing much. It rushed through third ‘booster’ shot authorization but not that many are keen on taking them up on it and there’s no talk about it being mandatory.

Meanwhile classes keep going on and there’s (so far) no talk of switching to remote learning (I’ve heard to pressure is all about not doing that). I don’t mask during class because…. that’s just dumb.

And so it goes… not ending with a bang! or a shot (or twenty million of them) but with people going about their daily lives.

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