26, 36, 46, 56

“I have a text message that says I’m eligible, but it’s still a few weeks ago”, I heard one bloke tell the nearby pharmacist. As I sat and waited at my local medical centre, I took a “healthy interest” in the people coming in for appointments. Almost everyone coming in was looking for a “booster’.

“I’m sorry, we don’t have enough stocks”, the receptionist told people, adding “Since they’ve changed the period from six months to five months, we haven’t been able to order anything more in the lead up to Christmas”. He was directing people to nearby pharmacies.

I suspect news about the massive increase in projected cases has sparked interest in getting boosters.

I’m still a bit dumbfounded about the modelling predicting 25,000 cases per day in NSW by late January. Even with vaccination, there’s surely going to be significant deaths, as well as significant lost time from work, and long term health problems? Has the actual modelling been released?

Much of the “narrative” is now focussed on hospitalisation. Unless people are in ICU, we shouldn’t worry about it, seems to be the predominent school of thought. But in my mind, hospitalisation is only one factor. There’s also long term illnesses, and absences from work etc that need to be factored in. For example, I had a staff member who was diagnosed last week. Not sick enough to go to the hospital, but still away from work for a significant period.

I was in the medical centre/pharmacy to seek treatment for a sebaceous cyst on my back. It’s been a health problem I’ve had before, and it’s back again. Almost exactly ten years ago I had day surgery to remove a cyst. It “grew back” a couple of years ago.

My Wound
My wound ten years ago.

When I went to the doctor today she said to me “You should have come earlier”. I said, “I didn’t think it was urgent, and you would be busy with COVID etc”. She said, “Yes a lot of people have said that”. I think this is probably another “hidden” story of the COVID problem. People putting off seeking treatment, or not being able to get in for treatment for other conditions.

When someone pointed out the other day it was “poking out of my shirt”, I decided it was time to do something about it. On top of the physical protrusion, I have become increasingly worried it might become infected, as it did ten years ago. Thankfully, it hasn’t reached “crisis stage”, but it has reached the stage where the GP wrote “urgent” on my referral to a surgeon/specialist. “Can I ask a favour?”, the GP said to the specialist, emphasising the urgency of a referral in the busy time leading up to Christmas. “Don’t worry, he’s pretty healthy, aside from some flaky skin, so it should be quite straightforward, and he has private health insurance” she told the receptionist at the specialist/surgeon.

I’m feeling pretty good about this treatment. It hasn’t reached crisis stage, as it did a decade ago. I’m not in pain, and I have some pills.

And if I do have surgery in the next few days, I’ll be well supported as I head up to Lismore for Christmas. Michelle is a nurse, and she’s well prepared to “pack” the wound as was required a decade ago.

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