As is customary, I’ll begin with the good news.
The impressively-named Medical Research Council’s biostatistics unit at Cambridge has calculated that, thanks to vaccinations, the fatality rate of coronavirus is now 0.085 per cent. Or, in old money, fewer than 1 in 1,000 infections now result in death.
This is particularly reassuring given the recent bad news – positive case numbers are rising again – by more than 3,000 yesterday, a record high – and have been since the beginning of mass testing.
That’s the good and the bad. Now the ugly.
At the weekend, I took my daughter to the newly-reopened Science Centre in Glasgow.
It was great. My daughter learned about hydrogen power and I enjoyed an interactive exhibit that calculated my grip strength, which apparently is less than half that of the average woman.
I plan on wearing very heavy rings from now on to improve my muscle tone.
As we left, we saw a small but noisy protest outside the BBC Scotland building.
The group were diligently applying stickers to the windows and handing out anti-vaccine leaflets to passers-by. A few police officers stood watch.
We wouldn’t normally wear our masks outside but it seemed prudent, given the demographic that were gathered.
I ignored a man who shouted at me to TAKE HER MASK OFF’ as we cut through them to walk to the train station.
Unfortunately, it was at that moment they decided to pack up their stickers and loudhailers and head in the same direction we were going. I felt like the Pied Piper of eejits.
A few more men – who evidently couldn’t see my resting bitch face because of the mask – whittered on at me about muzzles and vaccines and the government’s grand plans to poison the over 30s and feed them to the Loch Ness Monster. Or something.
They screamed MURDERER at one uniformed NHS worker as she walked past
Again, I ignored them. We stopped for a bit so they would pass by and we could walk in peace.
Alas, they had reassembled at another point on our route – the SECC centre, which is currently being used as a vaccination centre.
With no police around, the atmosphere was a lot more hostile. They screamed MURDERER at one uniformed NHS worker as she walked past. A big bald dafty was puffing up his chest at the female security guard who was trying to calm things down.
By this point, my daughter was a bit upset. She loves stickers but she doesn’t like aggressive men screaming at women for doing their jobs.
When we were clear of them, I stopped briefly to give her a hug and reassure her everything was okay.
It was then that a few of them approached. The big bald dafty said something about how my daughter would be even more upset if I got vaccinated.
Words were exchanged and I asked them to move away from us. They didn’t, of course. They shouted about their rights and their freedom of speech.
God only knows why they chose to exercise that freedom of speech by aggressively shouting and swearing in front of a visibly upset wee girl. But that’s by the by – I’d had enough.
Apologies but no absolution
You can take the girl out of Inverkeithing but you can’t take Inverkeithing out of the girl. I told them exactly what I thought of them and their disgraceful behaviour.
One man, who didn’t like being called a bullying scumbag when it was his pal that had done most of the swearing, attempted a half-hearted apology.
He quickly realised that I wasn’t in the mood to offer him the warm glow of absolution.
And guess what? That little injection of selfish arrogance has made me more immune to it – and even more excited for my second dose of the vaccine.
Nicola Sturgeon struck a note of cautious optimism last week when she indicated that ‘’all remaining legal restrictions’’ could be lifted on August 9.
It’s been dubbed ‘’Freedom Day’’ – although that’s Boris Johnson’s phrase so it’s probably cursed given the number of times he’s postponed it in England.
Can we pick another one? Nae-space 9th? Magic Monday? Let’s put it to a vote.
There was more hope on the BBC’s Sunday Show, when Professor Jason Leitch held out the prospect of a return for music festivals and sporting events even sooner.
However, he also said that we should write these milestones in our diaries with pencil, not permanent marker, and reiterated that it is reliant on the vaccine rollout.
Prize is in our sights
We’re in a race right now.
In one lane, there’s the super-infectious Delta variant. In the other, the vaccine programme, which would appear to be edging ahead.
Most people are rooting for its success. Get the jags done then we can get the beers in.
Some, as my daughter and I were reminded, are not.
But we’re all in with a chance of winning here, as long as we don’t let the selfish idiots slow us down.