Thursday, 29th July,2021

[Day 500]

Today was the day of my medical investigations and I promise you that I am not going to dwell on medical maters whatsoever. However, there is one little incident which ardent readers of this blogg might be able to identify as having been written about 18 months ago. My son kindly took me to Evesham hospital some twenty miles distant which is evidently being used as a unit for the conduct of clinical investigations well removed from other potentially virus-threatened major hospitals in the area. My little incident was as follows. When I got into the hospital system, I was ‘received’ by a male nurse whose role was to take my particulars, go through my medical history and other formalities. I happened to mention to him that last time I had had such a procedure in the hospital in Kidderminster, the analogous role was performed by a little Spanish nurse who announced her name has ‘Amparo‘. Upon learning she was Spanish, we conducted a conversation in Spanish (which was not very good on my part, first thing on a Sunday morning) This is how the conversation went:

Me: I know what I would rather by doing at 7.00 on a Sunday morning.

Amparo: Yes, me too.

Me: What you rather by be doing then?

Amparo: I would like to be tucked up in bed snuggling up to my husband!

Me: And so would I – No (desperately thinking in Spanish) – I mean snuggled up in bed not with your husband but with with someone else’s husband. No – I mean snuggled up in bed with someone else’s wife. No – I meant snuggled in bed with my own wife.

Amparo: Are you sure ? You seem to be getting awfully mixed up between my husband, someone else’s husband, someone else’s wife and your own wife!

Me: (weakly) Yes, I’m sure…

We had a giggle together and promptly went on to forget the whole incident (apart from the blog of course) Now my whole point about reporting the story now becomes plain. The nurse who was inducting me at Evesham hospital happened to be – the husband of Amparo! He shot off to get his phone and showed me a photo of Amparo so that I could confirm her identity. Then, to add to the surprise, he showed me a photo on his phone of their little boy that they had had about six weeks beforehand. So in some ways, this was a most amazing coincidence – and yet in some ways not given that nursing personnel tend to marry each other.

Tonight, as I was still in a recovery mode (my son having collected me and brought me home from Evesham) I decided to crash out and indulge ourself in a re-run of the film of Brideshead Revisited. Whether I want to be regaled with the cavortings of the British upper classes is another thing, but the film was shot at Castle Howard in Yorkshire and some of the cinematography and story lines are superb. Given the paucity of good films during the summer season, I was more than happy to indulge myself for once.

The COVID news today is quite interesting – and disturbing. For a start, the number of cases has risen for the second day in a row. This makes the recent 4-5 day dip in new infections seem to be only a temporary dip. More disturbing is the fact that monitoring of wastewater sites (sewers and the like) has shown marked increases in the virus in the last month. People shed fragments of coronavirus through daily activities like going to the toilet and blowing their nose, and these subsequently show up in the surveillance of wastewater at sites throughout England. This sounds like a very indirect method of measuring the virus but when you stop to think about it, it seems a remarkably comprehensive way of measuring the distribution of the virus. The BBC website reveals that: ‘Generally, the more people with COVID-19 in the community the more viral RNA (ribonucleic acid) will be shed into wastewater,” the report says. “Therefore, the concentration in wastewater is indicative of the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community..’ In the meanwhile, the fact that we are going to let in lots of travellers from other parts of Europe and the USA is raising some serious concerns amongst some sections of the scientific community who are more than worried that new variants might be imported. After all, we have been there before (as in the case of India)

This afternoon, my daughter-in-law took Meg along to Webb’s to divert her whilst I was having my hospital visit. Webb’s just down the road is a remarkable institution – although starting life as a garden centre at which it still excels it has expanded into all manners of household goods. it has several interesting sections such as a cookshop selling kitchen utensils and a range of homemade local products.It will also sell you a range of household pets (rabbits, fish) if you prefer. But one of the start attractions is a riverside walk with a delightful calm atmosphere and many interesting shrubs, trees and flowers which are now in full bloom.