‘Though vaccinated, I’m confused about what I should or shouldn’t be doing’

Paddy Murray: It seems you can wheel out an ‘expert” to say whatever it is you want to hear

It is probably my own fault, but I’m confused.

I don’t mean confused as in opening the door of the fridge and then forgetting why I did. That’s just normal confused.

I’m confused about what I should and shouldn’t be doing now that I have been vaccinated twice and most people in the country have been vaccinated at least once.

I am confused because, for some reason, I still hear, in my head, the words: “Be careful out there,” – a throwback to that great TV series Hill Street Blues!


I blame myself to the extent that I firmly believed, and still do to a large degree, that fear is and was a necessary part of the strategy to fight Covid.

If people weren’t afraid of it, they clearly weren’t going to take precautions, thereby putting themselves, and more importantly, others at risk.

And, despite all the horror stories, the deaths, the tales of long Covid, looking around now, it’s quite clear that there are still many, many people who have no fear whatever around the virus.

The crowds on city streets, Dublin streets in particular, worry me and, yes, they even frighten me.

I hear often of people with my condition, to remind you it’s Stage 4 COPD, who have fallen victim to the virus.

And I remind myself that a) it is still possible for me to get Covid even after vaccination even if the chances are remote and the symptoms would probably not be serious.

But as I am also immunocompromised I am told the vaccine might not work quite as well for me. And I am indeed immunocompromised and inject immunoglobulins into my abdomen every month.

So do I go out for a meal or not? Would it be okay to go away to an hotel for a week with my wife and daughter? Could I even go for a pint in my local sports club rather than outside when it’s permitted?

That’s something I’d love to do, that and sit in the snug in Toner’s with one or two friends and sip a pint. One or two friends, that is, who are my age and therefore double vaccinated.

But something is stopping me.

Constant uncertainty

It’s the constant uncertainty, the variants and, yes, the fear that I thought a year or more ago was vital in the fight against this thing.

Right now, as I type, I have been two weeks fighting a reasonably mild lung infection. It’s causing only minor problems.

But what bugs me about it (excuse the pun) is that I have no idea how or where I picked it up.

I have been nowhere and met virtually nobody. Some friends have called, individually, to visit. But they have at all times remained socially distant and have been, in the main, vaccinated.

But I nonetheless picked up what has turned out to be a nasty little infection that’s taking its time to go, despite being attacked by two different antibiotics.

So you see my problem.

I managed to pick up what I presume is an annoying but relatively harmless infection while still isolating – not quite 100 per cent, but close.

So could I still pick up Covid?

Like I said, I’m confused. And listening to radio and television isn’t helping. It seems that you can wheel out an ‘expert” to say whatever it is you want to hear. There are experts on both sides of this argument now. Confusion among experts.

And of course our politicians are confused, but aren’t they always?

They are trying to walk the line between saving lives and saving jobs and, I don’t say this in a way that’s any way glib, saving our sanity.

I’m getting very close to that pint.

I think the first will be outdoors in Terenure Sports Club.

And then, if that goes well, I might on another day, see if I get into that snug in Toners.

Well, if it was good enough for WB Yeats, Peter O’Toole and many others, it’s good for me!