650 days of plague

So. Enjoying a much quieter Christmas than usual; though still a bit more convivial than last year; for Christmas dinner, we invited our old Cambridge friend P, who normally goes to his family in England but couldn’t this year. I’m happily blogging away (most of my book blog posts are written at least a week in advance). We took B out for a walk today despite the rain (which she doesn’t mind) and did not quite succeed in getting everyone to look at the camera at the same time.

The girls have now had their booster shots, Anne and I have appointments for next week and F has his for later in January. Anecdotally, my sense is that a lot more people are feeling knocked out by the booster than by the first jabs, but it’s still better than the alternative. Next time I write one of these posts, I’ll have had mine.

Despite the rise in Omicron cases, the Belgian numbers in general were improving rapidly before the holiday weekend, with infections falling by 36% weekly. We’ll see what happen tomorrow when (presumably) we’ll get new numbers. One thing that already strike me is that in the current peak ICU cases, rather than deaths, are now the lagging indicator, peaking last and falling more slowly; which possibly points to cases being in general less severe now than in previous waves. (Of course maybe most of the really vulnerable are already dead…

One consequence of the tangibly less severe situation is that in Belgium at least, the social contract of respecting decrees on social distancing is starting to break down; today’s front page headline in De Standaard is that theatres and cinemas are refusing to close as ordered. Being De Standaard, it also says that this is more of a Francophone probem. For now.) We’ll see how that develops.

Otherwise I am reasonably hopeful of getting back to the office more than one day a week some time in January. Stay well, everyone!

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