Thank you to those that have wished me well and get well soon. I actually feel fine apart from an irritating cough that is more habit than anything else. However, having been laid low enough that the cellulitis in my dodgy leg that hasn’t bothered me for five years flared up and needed butch antibiotics to sort (I was one day off being sent to hospital for antibiotics on draught) I am a feeling a bit vulnerable and I have had quite enough snot, phlegm and coughing myself inside out for this winter and this was just the bog standard flu!
This wasn’t what tipped my final decision though. If you have seem Paul Holmes’s apology for absence for his Hulme End Leek & Manifold Layout on Facebook it makes pretty sobering reading. Here’s an extract …..
I was due to stay with our daughter, a haematologist. They had planned for me to change clothes, shower and decontaminate the car if I had returned to their house.
Her case load obviously includes patients who are immunocompromised through leukaemia and lymphoma.
My personal appraisal of the situation, as a retired doctor, is that the current response from our government is shallow, belated and inadequate. This is not the post to expand further on that.
I know that everyone is stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one and hope that the show succeeds despite the current situation.
Those of you that know me from shows and events with steam engines will know my other half, Annie. Not quite as extreme as a haematologist but she works at St Leonards Hospice here in York in the fundraising team, not medical, but she came home last night full of how she’s spent her day cancelling fund raising events and preparing to cancel others whilst the hospice was putting steps in place to slow or delay the infection getting into the hospice. That is why they are cancelling events that promote a gathering of people and looking at measures to limit visiting or to segregate more within the hospice. One of the scenarios they explained when asking staff to think very carefully was to consider who and where they mixed with. Me going to NG North and catching something is one thing, i’d take my chances, but I could get it, pass it on to Annie who took it to work before either of us knew anything about it. That made my decision, whilst uncomfortable, a lot easier.
One last point I would make as to how it was a difficult decision was that I know that hospices rely on fundraising. I help with the fundraising for St Leonards Hospice which has to raise £6 Million a year to support the services it offers. Narrow Gauge North massively supports Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice so the consequences of the attendance at the show being poor can be far reaching. I would ask you to think of this and if someone sticks a collecting pot under your nose please give what you can spare, doesn’t even matter which charity really, they are all going to be in the same boat when it comes to reduced income from fund raising.