Like so may other people, I was back in the gym and the pool this week. It felt great. It also felt great seeing clients again – many of them suffering from what I call ‘lockdown syndrome’.
Things were different in the gym to how it was the last time I was working out there. Partly because coronavirus numbers are well down in the UK and even lower in Islington. So it felt more relaxed – helped by the fact that people still respectfully kept their distance and cleaned equipment after use.
It was a different experience for me too because I’ve been vaccinated – first dose so far and another booked in for next month. So I felt, well, certainly not invulnerable but safer. And that’s because it is safer. There was a sense of society opening up again at last and I was enjoying it.
Some people who have been vaccinated still go around as if they are just as much at risk as before. While it’s true that fully vaccinated people can and do get Covid, the chances that they will get anything worse than a common cold are tiny. A car trip is a bigger threat. And the chances of them passing Covid on to others are minuscule too.
As we come out of lockdown and get used to the new new normal, it will take a while to trust ourselves and our friends, let alone strangers, as we meet up again without distance and without masks.
The cost of Covid in terms of hospitalisations and deaths has been terrible and yet the number of people who have died from it in this country is a small fraction of the population. Of course Covid is a risk and it has upended daily life for more than a year but because we talk about it all the time and listen to news about it all the time, we feel it is ubiquitous. It isn’t. And what’s more it’s a risk we can now reduce to the point of being negligible – through vaccines.
So I encourage everyone to be as rational as you can be about the risks – pointless, for example, to turn down the AstraZeneca vaccine because of the minuscule risk of a blood clot – because only by persuading everyone (or almost everyone) to get vaccinated, can we stop the virus from pushing us back into yet another lockdown.