640 days of plague

I’ve continued to feel more and more like my normal self. My blood oxidation is back up to a healthy 97%-98%, and I also seem to have lost a couple of kilos (down to 78 from 80, from 176 pounds/12 stone 8, to 172 pounds/12 stone 4). Most excitingly, the booster jabs are being rolled out in our area earlier next year and I immediately signed up for 6 January (which is 20 days from now, so will be in the next-but-one COVID update).

I went into the office both yesterday and a week ago. Last week I was still too tired to stay at the office Christmas dinner to the very end, but yesterday was fine (apart from very heavy traffic caused by the EU summit). I also went in on Wednesday this week, not to the office but to a couple of external meetings, one of them a guided tour of this exhibition, which I recommend.

I am glad to say that the Belgian numbers are all now moving in the right direction. Yesterday was the first day since June that all four metrics that I follow – new cases, hospital occupancy, ICU occupancy and deaths – had posted both day-on-day and week-on-week decreases. (Seven out of eight down today; deaths, which are generally a trailing indicator, blipped slightly upwards from yesterday’s number.)

However disruption still continues. Anne’s parents had planned to visit us in the week after Christmas, but their Eurostar has been cancelled so they will now come later in January. More worryingly, the omicron variant has not yet hit Belgium very hard, and that will probably push the numbers back up again in the next few weeks.

I sometimes use these posts to comment on British politics, and I can’t ignore last night’s spectacular by-election result in North Shropshire; the shape of things to come, hopefully. The only bigger swing from Conservatives to Liberal Democrats in history was the Christchurch by-election of 1993, which is also the only parliamentary election in Great Britain that I’ve ever campaigned in, putting in two days and a night for the Lib Dems. Ironically, in recent years I have become very friendly with the Conservative candidate who lost Christchurch in 1993, bonding over a shared interest in psephology.

Anyway, I’m still working next week until Thursday, and I’ll go straight back in January; plenty to do, and all great fun too.

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