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Vaccine helped in my virus battle.

Byline: A Conservative voice BY WEST SCOTLAND MSP RUSSELL FINDLAY

Coronavirus has dominated our world since March 2020. You have probably grown weary of hearing about it and, like me, dream of 'normal'.

While the spectre of this deadly virus has shaped our lives for almost two years, it has also at times felt slightly abstract.

Then, last month, I caught it. Receiving an NHS text message informing me that I was infected made it seem very real indeed.

A family member became unwell so took a lateral flow which was positive.

I felt okay and expected my own to be negative, which it was.

Nonetheless, PCRs were required. To my surprise, this brought confirmation that we both had Covid-19 joining the 10.1million others across the UK who have (with 723,000 of them in Scotland).

My surprise was followed by several thoughts. I tried to work out where and when I had caught it.

I felt reasonably well although tired.

Had I too hastily dismissed fatigue as winter blues?

Also, had I passed it on to anyone else?

I'll probably never know. I had a phone chat with a cheery NHS contact tracer who I provided with the necessary information of those I'd been in close and recent contact with.

Then came the instruction that I was prohibited from leaving home for 10 full days.

Unlike during lockdown, there could be no neighbourhood strolls or nipping out to Aldi, even just to break the boredom.

While self-isolation was not much fun, I realised that I am very lucky indeed.

Being in my late 40s and living in the UK means that I have been double vaccinated.

I have no doubt that this resulted in my symptoms being mild and manageable.

Rest and recuperation at home was a bit tedious, but without being vaccinated, there was a much greater chance I'd have ended up on a ventilator in ICU.

Covid has claimed nearly 10,000 lives in Scotland and continues to do so.

Towards the end of my self isolation, I read a newspaper report from a doctor in an unspecified UK hospital.

The headline was "I suppress a howl of disbelief. She would rather die than get a Covid vaccine".

The 'she' in the headline is a cancer patient in her mid-thirties, with two young children at home, fighting a life-threatening infection. On this occasion, the infection was not Covid, and she survived.

Her vaccine refusal made the doctor "want to weep".

Around 75 per cent of Covid patients being treated in ICU have chosen not to be vaccinated.

The so-called 'anti-vax' movement flourishes online.

The spread of misinformation is reckless and reprehensible. Conspiracy theories kill.

Even before my own infection, I despaired at those who reject the vaccine in the same way that I can't understand the significant number who refuse to wear masks in shops and on public transport.

With the Omicron variant taking hold now that I am free to leave home, I have just booked my booster jag.

I would urge everyone else to do the same.

CAPTION(S):

Street campaign Anti-vax brigade in action

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Author:A Conservative voice BY WEST SCOTLAND MSP RUSSELL FINDLAY
Publication:Paisley Daily Express (Paisley, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 4, 2021
Words:517
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