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Guinea-Pigs All!

February 10, 2021

Today I got jabbed!

Astra-Zenica (since you were going to ask) and no, so far I’ve not had any side-effects but it’s only been an hour and a half.

I got called at an ungodly hour yesterday (08:36) by my GPs’ surgery. They could offer me a vaccine shot the next day and after I intimated that five past nine in the morning was a little early for me they shifted it to two fifteen in the afternoon.

And it was only a totter down the road in the freezing bloody cold to the town hall and wait outdoors for a few minutes before the line moved forwards at a rate of knots. Inside, got told to take my gloves off and use the hand sanitizer provided. Check the temperature of my forehead and then in to give my name and get given a card with that and my date of birth which I give to the young lady I’m guided to. Off with my jacket and jumper (I wore the t-shirt in the illustration but no-one noticed. Sigh. The life of an entertainer is hard. You can order your own via Redbubble.) Then they gave me a card with the details of the treatment and a piece of paper describing the vaccine and I was off.

The nurse asked if I was happy to have the vaccine and when I said something like: “Well, I’m here, aren’t I?” she explained that some people change their minds at the last moment.

She said I’d be called again in twelve weeks. Probably. If the government doesn’t decide something else.

And then it was out and back into the cold pulling my gloves on again, over my nrewly sanitized hands. A little light shopping and then staggering back to my flat.

Oddly enough, the night before at the Monday GURPS game we’d chatted about getting innoculated. At that moment only our oldest member, Hartley Patterson, (he admitted to being seventy-harumph) had been innoculated. Astra-Zenica too and only slight throbbing in his arm. And having noted that all of us were getting on and therefore vulnerable we wondered when we would get our jabs.

The very next morning… It’s the sort of thing you really hope is just a co-incidence and not a sign of us being under constant if benevolent monitoring.

And one thing Chris Southern said Monday night sticks with me. He said we can’t know, no-body can know how all this will work out. Which vaccine, how long between the doses, whether you can combine the different vaccines (that”s bound to happen): all of that is being subjected to experimental use on everybody. Results and certainty comes later. People need reassuring, especially the people suspicious enough of the state to balk at the last minute with their arms already bared for the needle.

We are all Guinea-Pigs now, the whole nation. Hopefully, we will learn a lot. And it’s not as risky as getting up in the sky in a Spitfire or a Hurricane and getting near burned to death, the way the original Guinea Pig Club did. So be glad about that as you serve Science and the Nation. Even the refuseniks will have their place in the great statistical analysis.

EDITED TO ADD: It’s odd after my writing that but during Wednesday night’s game (BLADES IN THE DARK) my friend Graham Arnold (a legend in his own lunchtime!) said that he’d managed to get innoculated already despite being notably younger than me by being a) in his fifties and b) willing to have two different vaccines in the two different doses so they could see what happens. So he is doubly a member of the Guinea Pig Club. If he (or indeed I) develop super-powers as the result of experimental treatment I’ll let you know. Happened to Deadpool: there’s no reason but science why it shouldn’t happen to us!

  1. Chorlton Voice permalink

    Well done. Hope you do avoid the side effects, though they only lasted 24 hours with me anyhow. I lilke the T shiirt.

  2. Congratulations!

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