Friday, 7th January, 2022

[Day 662]

Well, today is the day when I am scheduled to visit the bank which looks after our residents association affairs to attempt to get through their Safeguarding procedures. As it was the day for our domestic help, we did spend a certain amount of time catching up on our post-Christmas news. We both expressed the view that it is quite a lot of hard work for not very much pleasure at the end of it and although it sounds a little curmudgeonly to say so, it is rather nice to have it all over and done with and everything put away. Once we had got ourselvs sorted out I walked down to the bank and enlisted their help to get through to the SafeGuarding unit – and then the problems started all over again. My passport was checked and so far, so good. Then could I please supply evidence that our business address is where it says it is (yes – the address to which they send letters and statements of account) by supplying a tax demand (we do not pay any tax), a council tax demand (we do not pay any council tax) or a bill (our only regular bills are paid by a couple of direct debits). In extremis, a driving licence would do (even though it does not tie me to the Residents Association) So I walked home and Meg and I had an ‘instant’ type meal. Then I went down in the car, raced down to the bank and let them have my driving licence (to scan), a communication from the company that services our BioDisc (even though it said ‘date as postmark’ and was probably not valid) and finally a duly signed form which I had downloaded from the relevant website and then filled it and signed. But when this was submitted, it also needed the signature of our Treasurer (ie neighbour) on it but of course, he wasn’t in. On checking my documents, I found I had lost my driving licence – so I raced down to the bank for a third time that day to see if I had left it at the bank. After I had paid for my parking fee and was returning to the car, I discovered my driving licence had escaped from the file and was nestling on the passenger seat so there was huge sigh of relief. I have to admit to saying my prayers than for a long time to secure its safe return and so it proved. So I need to get my neighbour’s signature over the weekend and then to return to the bank for the fifth time to try to make progress. I did say to the local counter staff (who were sympatheric but helpless under these circumstances) that I had in mind to bring a camp bed down on Monday morning, plus an invoice for £4,000 (20 hours of work at £200 an hour). They grimaced but did not demur. When I got home, I made sure that the driving licence and the passport were returned to their proper homes, waiting for the next time.

Today, Meg and I took our first ‘Lateral Flow’ test. We had in stock two boxes of 7 tests which I had pre-ordered a few days ago, ready for when we might need them. The impulse to use them this morning was the fact that we had visited some relatives yesterday. Also, when we called in at our normal newsagents before setting off for Derby, the newsagent was closed for a few days with the note that he was self-isolating for a few days. When I use the store, I always use the COVID app on my iphone before I enter the store and the system has not informed me of any potential contacts. Does this mean that the ‘Test-and-Trace’ app was not working as intended or does it mean that the cause of the self-isolation was so indirect that there was little to be worried about? However, it is always reassuring to test negative and I have ordered another box of tests so that we have a supply in stock. The government website tells me that I can order a new set every day so I trust I am just being prudent and am not contributing to any shortages.

Having been ‘boosted’ there is a natural feeling that we might have that we are ‘protected’ against the virus. However, protection wanes fairly rapidly. On the positive side, protection against hospitalisation is about 90% for people aged 65+. But protection against mild symptoms is more short-lived and drops to about 30% by about three months ago. As our booster jab was on 7th October, our booster jab is now exactly 3 months old. When will a 4th jab be rolled out (if at all)?The Government has set its face against so far so I am not very hopeful.