Real life

To be jabbed – or not to be jabbed?

31 July 2021

9:00 AM

31 July 2021

9:00 AM

The doctor’s receptionist was adamant. ‘If you had not had the vaccine you would have been even more ill with Covid than you are now,’ she said.

The builder boyfriend’s father argued back and forth with her for a while, but the conversation went nowhere. His GP wasn’t in the least concerned that he had contracted coronavirus despite being doubled jabbed. The fact that he was managing to make a phone call and was not in need of hospitalisation was proof of the vaccine’s resounding success.

He rang us immediately to tell us this good news as the BB and I were languishing in bed, having caught it, presumably, from him. We were managing fine and not needing hospitalisation either. Presumably, that would also have been hailed as proof of the vaccine’s success… if we’d had the vaccine.

It gave me an idea. ‘I’m going to ring my GP and tell them I’m furious I’ve got Covid,’ I croaked, ‘and when they say, “Oh well, you’ve only got it so mildly because of the marvellous vaccine”, I’m going to say, “What vaccine? I didn’t have the vaccine.” Ha! How are they going to get out of that one?’

‘Quite easily,’ the BB pointed out, rolling over in bed and sending spaniels sliding down the bedcovers. ‘They will inform you that if you had had the vaccine you wouldn’t have contracted Covid at all.’

‘But that’s not what they told your father,’ I argued. ‘They told him quite clearly that the vaccine does not stop you getting it, it just stops you getting it too badly.’

‘Yeah, and they’ll tell you something different. What are you going to do about it?’ Truly, this lurgy had put us both in a stinking bad mood. We hardly ever argue.

Earlier, when it first hit, I knew something was up because after cooking dinner, I suddenly threw all the crockery across the kitchen and screamed, for no reason other than my nerve endings felt like they had been set on fire.

The BB crawled up to bed saying he felt a bit off. I followed after, and we settled beneath the duvet to suffer four days of what felt like being stabbed with an ice pick, he in his spine, me in my neck and face. Nothing else, just stabbing. It was like we had been kidnapped and an invisible sadistic torturer was randomly plunging a sharp weapon into us. Every now and then one or the other of us would yell, ‘OW!’, as the tormenter drove the ice pick in.

‘So, let me get this straight,’ I groaned, reaching for another paracetamol and a gulp of orange juice. ‘If you say you’ve caught Covid despite being vaccinated then it’s a testament to the resounding success of the vaccine — OW! — that you’re able to function enough to complain you’ve caught Covid despite being double vaccinated. But, on the other hand, if we say we’ve caught Covid while being unvaccinated then that is proof that we’ve left ourselves vulnerable to Covid by not being vaccinated. It then follows you are claiming that if we had had the vaccine we would not have caught Covid. While also claiming the opposite.’

‘Now you’re getting it — OW!’ said the BB, and he rolled over and went to sleep.

The builder boyfriend’s father hadn’t wanted the vaccine. He is as tough as old boots with a constitution that defies his seventy-something years. But the texts had kept coming in to his phone and he had been unable to deal with the constant reminders.

We told him it was his choice and they couldn’t compel him. But in the end he said it was just easier to have it. Afterwards, he felt immediately run down and developed a cold he couldn’t shift. He complained and complained until truly we were sick of listening to it. His constant refrain was that he had ‘not been the same’ since having the jab.

He sniffed and sniffled and coughed and spluttered until that simply segued seamlessly after four months into him complaining that he had just tested positive for Covid.

‘Do you wish you’d had the vaccine now?’ I asked the BB, as he lay beneath a heap of fretting spaniels. Poppy in particular would not leave his side, peering into his face or licking his nose every few hours to wake him up. Cydney was more focused on the morsels of leftover food by his bed.

He shrugged and said it didn’t really interest him either way. Personally, I’m not sure I want to be stabbed with ice picks for another week of my life. I would be very interested in a vaccine that prevented me getting it entirely. So if they bring one of those out, I’ll be the first in the queue.

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