A text on Saturday night from my dear friends and neighbors Peter and Jane, in which they informed me that 80 year old Peter had received his invitation from the NHS to schedule an appointment for his Covid vaccine. Great!
They dutifully went to the NHS online booking site to find the hub closest to their north London home. Only to find out that this was the ExCel center in East London, ten miles away. Other options include: Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, 30 miles away; Robertson House in Stevenage, 21 miles away; and Millennium Point in Birmingham, 95 miles away. Not so great!
Peter is desperate to have the push. His wife, Jane, is 76 years old and has been quite immobile since she had excruciating knee pain a year ago. She's on the waiting list for a knee replacement, but my goodness knows when that will happen.
She also recently had a fall down the stairs at home. You are totally dependent on Peter now.
Jenni Murray (pictured) investigates how her neighbors couldn't get the vaccine due to their distance from vaccination centers
He goes shopping on foot, but doesn't drive. Jane was the driver, but gave up her car when her knee pain became unbearable.
So what would they do about the shock? "I don't go to any of them," was the brief answer to my question.
Another text on Monday: “Peter has just called our general practitioner. You have not been nominated to be given the vaccine. & # 39;
How confusing. It is a major health center. A phone call to the practice revealed no information as to why they were not designated as a vaccination center, even though we all had our flu shots there.
Peter tells me that he was advised to go back to the website and maybe go to Edgware or the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. The Royal Free told him he would need a referral from his family doctor.
That was not available, the receptionist told him in practice. He had to call at 8 or 2 p.m. to set up a phone appointment with his own family doctor. The plot intensified.
She asks why there are so few plans to help the elderly and advocates calling in the army, St. John's ambulance, general practitioners, and chemists to make it easier (archive image).
Why didn't I drive it? He wasn't happy to share the car with me. We keep ourselves apart according to the rules. Our Scrabble games are no longer happening as we are following the instructions.
Public transport? A nightmare trip and probably not safe. How about a taxi? I checked the cost of a return trip to East London. £ 60. On a pension? Come on! And how Covid-safe is a taxi for an older man?
When he saw the pictures of retired colleagues driving over the ramps at the ExCel center, Peter became even more frustrated.
At ExCel's they stood in line in the freezing cold, some leaning on sticks, others waiting half an hour for someone to bring a wheelchair to help them up the ramps.
As Peter says, “It feels like a conspiracy to push us. If Covid doesn't get us, there will be hypothermia. & # 39;
I am in the fourth group to be offered the vaccine at the age of 70. No invitation yet, but apparently expected in early February. A chance!
My neighbors are not Covid anti-Vaxxers or deniers. Peter wants the vaccine. Why are there so little plans to help the elderly who are unable to reach these huge vaccination centers?
They trust the NHS to take care of them from cradle to grave. The hospital staff are working to the bone, but the government has made a vaccination promise without thinking about the weakness of the people they have given such a guarantee.
Please make it easier. Bring the army, St. John Ambulance, general practitioners, and chemists. Open up some of the office buildings that are empty when the workers stay home.
It can't be that hard to make sure vaccination centers are accessible. This virus will beat us if we cannot show that we are smarter and more organizational than him.
I am not tickled pink from Vogue & # 39; s new cover
As we get closer than ever to the possibility of a woman president of the United States (Joe Biden is 78 years old, after all), it's great to see Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, 56, on the cover of Vogue in February.
In the photo, she's relaxed in the kind of black jacket and pants any of us could wear – not expensive haute couture – and Converse sneakers. (That should ban those high-heeled manolos from the next Sex And The City, thank god.)
But did she have to stand in front of a silk pink background? Let's not stress that she is a girl, just a woman who is good at her job.
Jenni said it was great to see Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, 56, on the February cover of Vogue (above).
A message from Radio 4 comedian Jon Holmes on Friday January 1st. "Dry January starts on Monday, right?" "Right," I replied. I was wrong.
It is now Thursday, January 14th. While maintaining my vodka and my low-calorie Fever Tree Tonic with Lemon, all I can say is: "Cheers!"
May you love Women's hour as much as me
For 33 years I presented Woman & # 39; s Hour on radio 4. For 20 years I was four days a week and the rest three days.
After recovering from breast cancer in 2007, I cut back and stopped in October last year after my 70th birthday.
It's a little strange to hear someone else greet the audience at two past ten, but presenter Emma Barnett is now in her second week and will soon be joined by countryfile presenter and Strictly Come Dancing supremo Anita Rani.
I wish you the best of luck and hope that you love and promote the program, Woman & # 39; s Hour audience and her team of brilliant producers as much as I do. It's the best broadcasting job in the world.
Saved from the piggy on Percy
I am very disappointed that Percy Pig fell victim to the bureaucracy and the Brexit tariffs.
They are made in Germany and then sent to M&S in the UK who export them back to stores in Europe.
A price hike seems inevitable, but will a few cents more protect me from my secret vice? I try to avoid sugar, but Percy Pig was irresistible and a bag snuck in with my fruits and vegetables. No more!
Percy pigs (pictured), made in Germany before being sent to M&S in the UK who export them back to stores in Europe, have fallen victim to the bureaucracy and tariffs of Brexit
I will not keep my mother informed about home births
What a shame to hear that some health foundations are suspending home births. With the pandemic raging, there are fears that ambulances may not be free to take a working woman to the hospital if she is in trouble. It's a shame because it has been the only way to ensure a father can be present at the birth lately.
I had my first child in the hospital and advised it was safer for a "geriatric" mother (I was 33). The second time, at the age of 37, I tried a powerful argument about the benefits of home delivery for the hospital advisor and was thrilled when he said, "OK!"
Work started at 6 p.m. in M&S. At 9:30 p.m. I felt the crown of my head while in the bathroom. Around 10 p.m., I was breastfeeding my second son, surrounded by the family I love. It was calm, quiet and wonderful.
At 37 years old (pictured), Jenni tried a second impressive argument about the benefits of home delivery for the hospital advisor
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