Today has been V Day. Vaccinations, that is. Both of us at the same time - 0900 - at our walking-distance local Settle Townhead surgery. They had five or six vaccination stations inside the main building and another one in a posh new Portakabin on the surgery car-park for the infirm or specially vulnerable.
We had to fight our way there against a biting northerly gusty wind with occasional snow showers for good measure through the near-deserted town centre.
Townhead however was a hive of superbly well organised and welcoming activity. There were volunteer meeters and greeters cum ushers. We had to join a socially distanced queue outside of ten or so people, then inside, peeling off our outer garments as we shuffled along in a jovial moving lesser queue. Then into one of the familiar consulting rooms with three people already there - a nurse and two more volunteers.
Questions asked about our suitability then sit down, roll up sleeve and a totally painless injection of the Pfizer vaccine - the one that has to be stored at some amazingly low temperature. They had warmed it up, thankfully.
In and out in no time at all then 15 minutes of socially distanced and seated recovery time in what is normally the waiting room. The chairs were given a thorough antiseptic wipe as occupants left, one by one at a +15 minutes time which had been written on a slip of paper in the vaccination room. Prompt at 0930 we were away.
This was the very first vaccination session in Settle and they were doing 400 * today. Had it been earlier in January we would have had to travel to Skipton - and would have gladly done so of course.
* UPDATE they actually did 425.
Well done Pfizer and all the others who have developed vaccines in record time. And well done Settle too. A splendid community effort by the wonderful Townhead surgery, staff and volunteers.
Still with COVID, this notice is doing the rounds on social media. It was taken on the Leeds-bound platform of the S&C's delightful Garsdale station. You need to know that Garsdale is in the middle of nowhere with a widely scattered population of 200-ish. And a dog. It is unstaffed and does not have busy periods. Ever.