Two years ago I would have been writing about boxing or kickboxing with such a title had my knee not been completely ruined by this that or the other. Fastforward to 2021 The Jab might as well be the title of a B or C movie gone wrong, but in my case it simply refers to obtaining my first vaccine against COVID-19.
It’s a gloriously sunny and warm day in Berlin today, although as I write this the clouds are gathering and plotting something sinister with the wind. Nevertheless, I was so excited to head outdoors again and get my first vaccine that I mixed up the appointment time in my head. Long story short, I was all dressed up and ready to go when I checked my phone and realised I was two hours ahead of schedule! Oh well, that gave me time to give both cats a furious brushing, much to their chagrin, and mess up a bank transaction.
Nevertheless, I eventually made it to town in time with plenty of time to spare. What a thrill to see people out and about again, sitting in outdoor cafes, strolling around the market, and basically re-acquainting themselves with life beyond lockdown. It was a very, very new experience to be among people albeit most people wearing the FFP2 masks, but to encounter old couples sitting on a bench in the sun again, or people going about their business with a lighter stride. After so many months of constantly looking over your shoulder and keeping the prescribed distance, or simply entrenched in self-isolation, it is literally a breath of fresh air.
It’s June 1, 2021 and today I joined the 43% of Germans who have received the first vaccine, one of 35.8 million people. Wow, those numbers simply have to sink in. We are nowhere near the ideal levels, but ever since the GPs began offering the vaccine in their clinics things have been moving very quickly. I received COMIRNATY by BionTech /Pfizer and am scheduled for my second shot in July. I have have to shake my head in wonder what a difference the GPs make because when I initially tried to get an appointment with the government establishments the earliest I could get the first jab was end of July, which is already significantly better than August, had the original schedule by age groups and comorbidity prioritisation continued.
The incidence rate in Berlin is down to 33.5, which is a huge achievement considering that not too long ago we were hovering around 170+ and lockdown is applied from 100+ onwards. Life is still complicated with all the restrictions, but we are grateful for the fact that restaurants, pubs and cafes are open for business again for outdoor service. Gyms are scheduled to re-open soon and so are schools. Personally I feel that many are jumping the gun by booking summer holidays already, but I can’t really blame the hotels and resorts for being eager (desperate?) to attract customers again.
So yes, June is kicking off on the right foot! My flowers are joining in the celebration as well