It has been a long, frustrating afternoon. A couple of days ago I noticed a new COVID vaccination centre had opened not far from here, so today I thought I would go and see if I could get vaccinated. It has been a dismal few months, and like everyone else I’d like to see the threat of this virus lifted. Since I’m in close physical contact with people like Personal Assistants and shop assistants so regularly, and given that I can’t wear a mask, I thought there was a good argument to be made that I should get vaccinated earlier than people my age would ordinarily be.
At about midday, then, I trundled down the path to see what could be done. There, outside the small centre, I spoke to a friendly lady who, seeming to understand my predicament, explained that they would need to see my NHS number before they could help. With that I sped back home (via the off license – well, it is Friday after all). Luckily Serkan was still here when I got back, so he helped me find a letter with my NHS number. I put it in my bumbag together with proof of my new address and passport, just in case, and made my way back to the vaccination centre.
This time, though, things weren’t quite so positive: as friendly as the staff there were, once they saw my NHS number, they found I couldn’t book a vaccination. The program they used just took people’s ages into account, so as much as I tried to explain why I needed the jab, there was nothing they could do. The best they could do was give me a phone number to get someone to ring. At that I began to get frustrated: I am now reaching the stage where I would give almost anything to cuddle mum or dad, have a beer with Charlie, Chris or Steve, or be rolled down a hill in a plastic bag by my brothers (don’t ask), but I can’t due to this damn virus. I’m stuck, trundling around my local area in my powerchair, waiting for the day that things return to normal; hoping that neither me, Serkan or anyone else catches anything in the meantime. And on the one occasion I decide to be proactive and take the initiative, I get fobbed off with a phone number.
Well, at least I tried.