In praise of the wonderful vaccine after landing the dreaded Omicron double lateral lines | Jack Marshall's column

Friends, colleagues, my fellow Lancastrians: it got me. Two years into this pandemic, I’ve finally got the dreaded double lateral flow lines. Having dodged the dastardly ‘rona like a Fijian rugby player until this point, I’ve finally been thoroughly dump-tackled.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 4:55 am
Booster rooster: the nice vaccine lady said I had nice arms, which made me blush

Straight off the bat, I’m alright. It may be hard, but do try to contain your relief and joy. ‘Tis but a sniffle at this point, a mild annoyance and a handy excuse not to spend money in the early throes of 2022 as I nurse my bank account back to full(ish) health.

This is, of course, thanks to the astonishingly clever scientists who thunk up the vaccine and our bafflingly brilliant NHS, which has stepped up in spite of our rubbish government to make our life-saving vaccine rollout programme truly world-class. A hearty and sincere thank-you.

It’s weird getting Covid. As soon as the test came back positive, I sat on the sofa, painfully aware of a weight in the room: the lurking and ominous presence of a disease which has killed almost 14 million people. I was suddenly acutely aware of my lungs and of the air in them.

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I’m (relatively) young, (relatively) fit, and sensible enough to have had three jabs so far, so the odds of Covid laying me low were slim. But it was still scary - the thing causing my scratchy throat, my Barry White voice, my runny nose, and my thick head was a killer.

It can be easily forgotten, but 14 million people is the equivalent of the populations of London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, and Edinburgh being lost in one fail swoop. That’s terrifying. A healthy dose of fear is normal.

Thanks to being able to work from home since the heady days of 2020 when we all secretly thought this thing would last six weeks tops, I’ve been in the privileged position of not really ever being on the Covid front line. I wore my mask and followed rules on meeting people.

As cases seemed to lull last summer, life opened up a little, but precaution was still a part of everyday life: being maskless in shops now feels bizarre and foolish. I still didn’t get it. Family and friends who did isolated. I got both jabs and the booster. Job’s a good’un.

So, while it’s been rubbish to have tested positive, it’s made me eternally grateful that I didn’t contract this virus before being vaccinated. As a result of the immunity bestowed upon me, I’m able to keep working - hell, I’ve had worse colds thanks to my dose of that miraculous MRNA.

Thanks to the NHS and thanks to vaccines. They’ve made my isolation very comfortable indeed.

Just send loo roll.