Covid and Cockerels


Hello, have you had your Covid vaccine yet? I had mine this week, and it was both more fun than expected, and more time-consuming. I had booked an appointment online, so went to a nearby vaccine centre in Tonbridge. This took a whole chunk out of the day—whether you are trying to write a book or attempting to learn Hebrew verb conjugations, always real life gets in the way. But perhaps that is good for me.

Anyway, the vaccine was more fun than expected because I had not really focussed on the fact that everyone there would be about the same age. When you are waiting in a sport’s hall with about 200 people of your age-group, you cannot help but compare how you are doing. I went at the same time as Husband, so I checked out how he is doing too (and I think I chose quite well actually, there were a lot of big bellies and bald heads amongst the other candidates!)

My main advice when you have the vaccine is make sure you’ve combed your hair and worn something flattering.

As far as what to wear, it’s also worth wearing something with a sleeve that will roll up. I was surprised how many people had not really thought about what they were going for—unless they thought it was going to be stuck somewhere other than their arm? One person seemed to be having a major strip-tease going on. It reminded me of when I taught the reception class, and without fail when you told the class to change for P.E. there was always one child who got carried away. You would tell them to change, start collecting equipment and then glance up to find a naked body in the room. It matters less when they’re only 5.

It was hard to not think I was having side-effects because at every stage we were told what to expect, given a booklet of scary things to watch for, and were even told by our nurse how ill she had been afterwards. Husband had read somewhere that in trials, about 38% of people had side-effects. He also read that about 20% of people who were given the placebo had side-effects. Hard not to think your little toe feels odd if someone asks you.

I read an interesting article about side-affects from the vaccine. Apparently, they are due to the body having an allergic reaction to the vaccine—much as chicken-pox spots are due to an allergy to the disease rather than the actual disease causing spots. (I think this is different to things like hay-fever, so I don’t think anti-histamine would help.) As older bodies have a less responsive reaction to allergies (and rarely have hay-fever) so too they are less likely to have a big reaction to the vaccine. The younger you are, the more likely it is that your body will decide it doesn’t like the vaccine and produce a temperature or headache. This is completely separate to the antibody producing bit, so whether you have a reaction or not, the antibody count is likely to be similar. The good news is that if you have a bad reaction with the first dose, when you have the second dose your body will realise that it’s not harmful, and there is unlikely to be the same allergic response.

I didn’t have much problem with side-affects (clearly too old).

One thing that did hurt me was being attacked on Wednesday. I was collecting the eggs, and had stooped to reach into the nesting box, when suddenly I was walloped on the leg, which caught me off-balance and I fell over. The wretched cockerel had decided I was interfering with his women and had sprung into attack. He’s attacked me before, and I have picked him up and marched round with him tucked under my arm until he’d calmed down, but as it clearly hasn’t stopped him it was more of an issue this time. A nasty cockerel will attack people, cats, dogs, ducks—everything really. Big problem. Plus it really hurt. His spurs had cut right through my trousers, and although the cut was only about 1cm wide, it was fairly deep.

I wasn’t sure what you’re supposed to do with a wound from a cockerel spur. Is it like a bite and needs special attention, or do you just clean it and stick on a plaster? I went for the Savlon and plaster method and it seems to be healing. Don’t ask what happened to the cockerel, but he won’t be attacking anyone else.

Hope you have a pain-free week. Thanks for reading.

Take care.

Love, Anne x

Anne E. Thompson
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