I had my second covid vaccination two days ago (moderna) and just recovering now. I developed side effects that knocked me back into bed for most of yesterday and slowly recovering today. I had to abort a visit to Farmoor after struggling to walk round the reservoir and then got kicked when down on finding out a couple of Roseate Terns appeared a few hours later. All rather amusing but quite angry I wasn't made aware that I should have booked two days off following the jab- I was completely jabbered and its messed up a very busy week.
Annoying too, as I've very much been in the vaccine hesitancy camp. I find a problem in having to react to a lead cultural narrative where one low risk (covid with a death rate of 0.018) is pitched against another low risk (side effects of vaccine- even lower than that). Even though these risks are miniscule and there are much higher daily risks (e.g. in 2020 worldwide causes of death were 1.8 milllion to covid, 4.2 million to Diabetes, 9 million to Cancer, 5.5 million to Stroke and 17 million to heart disease and the human population increased by 81 million people to now be at 7.8 billion ((Google Search))) there is a powerful psychological game at play that is being manipulated by the establishment to keep the attention of the masses and to control the cultural narrative. Even if the risks are tiny (for anyone not in the high risk categories) there is an anxiety about not being vaccinated and the fear of social ostracism and life long regret (if those low risks were ever realised) that drives aversive behaviour. On top of that there are the social benefits of being vaccinated (e.g. no quarantine for amber listed countries and the dangling carrot of vaccine passports). Once that is compounded further by daily images of unvaccinated people dying on ventilators begging the world to get vaccinated and not be fools like them (which is pure propaganda) the whole thing is clearly a perfect example of mass psychological control.
The real problems in society are grotesque inequality (which is linked to the biggest killers) and the ecological and climate emergency. Covid is being used in an Orwellian way to turn a lesser threat into the greatest threat and turning the greatest threats into side shows. On top of that covid is believed to be zoonotic in origin (originated from wild animals which are stressed due to habitat destruction and captivity) and actually caused by the ecological crisis and attempting to solve that threat by starting a vaccine arms race with a rapidly evolving pathogen could be suicidal.
And there lies the problem, according to official stats (Google Search) over 60 percent of the UK population are now vaccinated. Restrictions have more or less been lifted and as we enter the winter we are likely to see a new wave (vaccinated people still get and spread covid). In this unrestricted environment the number of cases could rise to millions and in that environment the pathogen will mutate requiring constant boosters. You wouldn't want to be an unvaccinated person in that new environment of even more deadly strains of covid, so the arms race has begun and unless you are vaccinated you are not keeping up with the race. If the race was never started the anti-vax argument was stronger. It's a terrible situation to be in and one that requires life long dependency on vaccinations and who knows what the long term effect of that will be.
Surely a better approach is one that involves halting the ecological emergency, re-building ecosystems and nature and ethical animal husbandry (to prevent future zoonotic diseases) and building more resilience in herd natural immunity (better diets and personal health and more equality), de-crowding (people moving out of cities and spreading to less populated parts of the world and work remotely) and shielding and vaccinating only the most vulnerable groups. We need natural capital accounting, multi-value indices systems to replace GDP, we need GoogleDemocracy (online mass decision making), carbon prices, carbon border adjustments, net biodiversity loss border adjustments etc etc. Covid is a warning shot to upgrade corporate capitalism to natural-social-economic capital systems which are more efficient and less dense (some of the changes are happening naturally with people already moving out of cities and working remotely etc). That would be better than this big government and big business approach of business as usual destroying the planet and the cure will be found by (big pharma and stock market driven companies) that very same system. Surely this road is the road to escalating disaster? I missed two Roseate Terns because of it, which proves it is already :-) Excellent pics on Oxon Birding Blog HERE and HERE.
Anyway before I had to abort my Farmoor mission yesterday I saw 2 Dunlin.
Looks like my birding forecast was right with a small drop of American vagrants in Iceland today HERE. Next drop Outer Hebrides/ Northern Isles?