Yet again this year Christmas has crept up on me far too fast. In October I was telling myself that I had plenty of time to prepare and suddenly last weekend, I was hit by the realisation that there was less than three weeks to go. That was my cue for some frantic activity: the annual trip to the loft to retrieve lights and decorations; the writing of Christmas cards; thinking about making the Christmas cake (well I still have a bit of time left, don’t I?), the buying of presents and deciding what food we will need. Of course, Christmas will be a bit different this year. Normally we have a large family gathering but through a series of calls and discussions, we have decided to postpone our usual celebrations in the hope that the vaccination programme will be successful and that we can meet-up for a belated Christmas in the spring. So, time to scale down the usual food order and store away some crackers for use in a few months’ time.
Whilst the number of Covid-19 cases in Eastbourne is less than half the national average, this virus can spread extremely quickly and it is important that we do not allow ourselves to ‘throw caution to the wind’ over the holiday period. Viewing scenes from London it is clear that many people are totally ignoring Social Distancing regulations and many have abandoned the use of face masks. My fear is that this will lead to yet another spike in the rate of infections and many more avoidable deaths.
I have been asked many questions about the vaccination programme. People want to know how it will operate; where they will have to go to be vaccinated and which groups will be vaccinated first. I have asked these questions myself and the answers I have received are that these details are being worked on. Conducting this programme is going to be a herculean task and the call has gone out for vaccinators and trainee vaccinators in Sussex. If you are interested you can find the details at www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk/work-with-us/covid19vaccine.htm
With Christmas Day now just two weeks away, I wish you well with your Christmas preparations. Things will feel very different this year. Many more people than usual are likely to be feeling lonely, especially elderly people who live alone and have been isolating to avoid the risk of infection. If you know someone like this, please give them a call and let them know that you are thinking of them. Hopefully we all have better days ahead.