In the latest instalment from our monthly columnist, Grump Group Organiser shares some views on the Covid-19 vaccine, the future after a Brexit deal and the controversial tunnel at Stonehenge.
A shot in the arm
After enduring 2020, what we all need is a shot in the arm, literally. Has a saying ever been more apt? As I watched the news story about how well a number of Covid-19 vaccines had performed during trials I suddenly noticed I had rolled up my sleeve. I’m not even sure what happened, it was obviously a natural reflex motion. So stick that needle in my arm and let’s get on with looking ahead to being humans again, rather than hermits.
Indeed, according to a new study by travel insurance provider battleface, two thirds of Brits would be prepared to take a Covid-19 vaccine that has passed all necessary tests, if it meant they could travel internationally. My initial ambitions are not as lofty; I would just love to take my group to the theatre, a museum, perhaps a couple of nights away at a nice resort with good entertainment and a well stocked bar.
All I know is that I am 100% going to be in line to be vaccinated, and lo and behold any queue jumping. Then onto bigger and better things; we want to go on another cruise holiday, and I would dearly love to go back to Las Vegas. Do you know what the difference is between Wuhan and Las Vegas? What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Brexit mess and goodbye EHIC
We have benefited from reciprocal health care with our European chums for nearly 50 years. It was the E111 and more recently called EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) and it’s probably going to be blown to bits by Brexit, along with a long list of other things. Football is always exciting when it goes to extra time, Brexit negotiations not so. By the time you read this I am sure we will know one way or the other what we have agreed or not agreed, because we’re into injury time and the ref is about to blow.
Brexit, what a mess. Funny, I miss being bored about its coverage in the media… it all seems so trivial compared to what the coronavirus pandemic has brought us all.
There is no sign of a replacement for the EHIC but then again, who uses this thing? I’ve never once thought about it, and just ensure my travel insurance is well stocked and the pathway to my hotel room well lit when I stumble back from the bar.
Build a longer tunnel, simple
You may have read about a controversial tunnel that is to be built near Stonehenge. There are two reasons for this.
The first is to aid traffic flow and stop all the nitwits slowing down to look at the World Heritage Site as they meander along the A303 in Wiltshire. The second is to vastly improve the environment and aesthetics of the historic site, removing the annoying sight of cars and lorries as you gaze in wonder at the stones. I completely understand both arguments and think it would be a great move. The road really does ruin the atmosphere.
But, there are concerns that the construction project will destroy a significant number of artefacts underneath the earth and calls for the tunnel to be almost doubled in size are growing louder.
Anything involving the transport secretary, Grant Shapps has a high probability of blunder. Planning inspectors were seemingly ignored when they said that the tunnel would “lead to substantial harm to the significance of the designated heritage asset.” Make it longer, make it better and do it right - simple.