March 2019 saw me in my new home city in Central Germany and two years on I am living in a time of a pandemic.
I began writing these letters at the start of the pandemic in an attempt to understand Germany better and to get to grips with my relationship with the United Kingdom.
July 15, 2021.
In my lifetime I have had numerous vaccines administered to me and I recall vividly a Polio sugar cube given to me in the 1960s at school. I also remember meeting people who had been maimed by the disease or who had spent long periods of their lives in an awful but life-saving Iron Lung.
During my life I have taken prescription drugs and illegal recreational drugs, I also drank when I was in my late teens sometimes over eight pints of beer an evening when out ´with the lads´. I smoked tobacco and to make me feel hard I sometimes lit up a strong Capstan brand or to feel subversive an unfiltered French cigarette such as a Gauloises.
Now, I don´t smoke, I haven´t touched anything illegal in over twenty years and I drink alcohol in moderation and even then, a small glass might make me feel tipsy.
I have never taken any drug (or Pot Belge) to enhance my sporting endeavours or to make me a better lover. The former is somewhat ironic as an anti-vaxer I know who tries to dissuade you and I from accepting the Covid vaccine even though he was happy to introduce EPO into his body just like Lance Armstrong.
I live in a society where diseases such as Diphtheria no longer rip through communities killing children, especially in winter. I find looking at child morbidity rates over the generations is a sobering experience
I accepted my second Covid vaccine today (I had my first in April, its made in Belgium and uses the same water source as Duval beer) with a small degree of trepidation and after great thought as I do all medical interventions, but I was nonetheless comfortable and grateful to receive it.
The current Covid situation in my local area of Göttingen Landkreis is 4.3 people per 100,000 (over 7 days), this is up from a previous figure of 3 and at one point it was 0.9. Nationally the figure is 8.0 and this is also up from 5.0. Most cases are the Delta Variant, whilst the UK is at 330 with 48,000 daily new cases and in Germany the rate is 1,600 per day.
81.9 million vaccinations have taken place in Germany (UK 81.2) with 35.4 million being fully vaccinated (UK 35.1) in a population of some 83 million (63m in the UK).
Today we treated ourselves to pre vaccine cake to give us strength! It was the first time we have sat inside a cafe since 2019.