As I write this, the sidebar on my laptop keeps flashing up an ad from UNICEF asking for contributions to its *Give the World a Shot* campaign, which is pretty apposite as I try to consider the impact of Covid-19 on our beloved world of football.
Here in the now, and good lad that he is, Dean Smith has made no secret of his attitude towards NCFC players getting their vaccinations and boosters. This excellent Pink Un article from Casey Cooper-Fiske shows how Adam Idah, Kieran Dowell and Sam Byram were happy to get their boosters on Friday and also explains Deano’s take on the situation:
However, Covid has been running through the Club for some time now. We’re in elite company as Man Utd and Spurs have both been in a similar state of disarray and there are individual cases in just about every football club in the land.
Kenny McLean and others have failed tests so far this season and I understand that Przemyslaw Placheta has suffered from debilitating effects for long enough to put him out of team training for a considerable while, although thankfully he is now back and firing on five or maybe even the full six cylinders – it’s hard to tell with PP 🙂
Five PL matches were been called off this weekend, with our visit to West Ham amongst them. Calls are being made to postpone the Boxing Day fixtures and just like Dean Smith, Mikel Arteta is quite properly pleading for some kind of clarity from the bigwigs at PL HQ as he considers how he is supposed to prepare his Gunners for a Boxing Day trip to the Fine City.
This state of flux is confusing enough for me as a private individual so I can imagine what it must be like trying to manage a football team during these strange times. Nigh on fecking impossible, I would suggest.
We all remember the dark days of lockdown and Project Restart and unfortunately, I fear we are heading back towards them in the very near future. What I am about to say from hereon in is purely my personal opinion, so you lovely MFW folks are more than welcome to disagree with me if you feel differently – let us know what you think. You always do, thankfully!
My attitude starts from the base of not believing a word the Government says. Every time I see Boris Johnson, Professor Chris Whitty or Sir Patrick Vallance on the TV I cringe. The UEA’s Prof. Paul Hunter has the same effect on me whenever I see him on an EDP article.
However, out of respect for humanity, I have willingly had two Astra Zeneca inoculations and very recently a Moderna booster. All in Castle Mall where I was incredibly impressed by the dedication of the volunteers, the nurses and the smoothness of the whole process. The way these guys dealt with a couple of nervous types was a joy to behold.
I chose to have the jabs simply because I have no desire to pose a risk to other people – I really didn’t do it to protect myself.
My reward for this display of solidarity with the rest of the nation was not a great one. I felt like a sack of cack for at least 36 hours after every single injection. So did number two son, who considered leaving work early one day because he felt so bad. He didn’t, but I doubt he produced too much one afternoon in the autumn. He is an electrical engineer and thinks he concentrated but even now isn’t too sure.
Mrs P felt no after-effects whatsoever. Men are from Mars and all that ol’ squit.
If I were a young footballer there is no way I could have trained after those injections. Of course, it was a case of right as rain again quite quickly afterwards but it would be potentially debilitating even for young lads like Adam, Kieran and Sam.
I continue to wear a mask in shops and a couple of places I have to go to on business. It doesn’t bother me so I continue to do so. I’d rather err on the side of collective safety.
However – and please understand that this is purely from personal experience – I, like a lot of us, know an awful lot of people and none of us are aware of anybody at all who has ever contracted Covid. Some of you might have very different experiences of course, which I totally respect.
I look at it this way. I sit with 27,000 people at Carrow Road and many are coughing, sneezing and sometimes exhibiting even viler habits.
And that’s just the players.
Over the years I have continued to put so much rubbish into my system [alcohol and nicotine mainly] that I have little fear of the lurgy.
But I’ll continue to go along with the rules, although just like Dean Smith and Mikel Arteta I wish I understood the reasoning behind them.
Sometimes we have to realise that a little bit of selflessness does nobody any harm.
There are people out there who are worried but I just don’t happen to be one of them.
This from the mighty, marvellous Manic Street Preachers from 30 years ago might not sum it up for you, but it sure does for me.