Reasons to be cheerful

Today is Blue Monday, which according to recent tradition is seen as the most depressing day of the year – but we have reasons to be cheerful.
Firstly, we are vaccinating people quicker than any other country in Europe and most in the world.
Secondly, half the over-80s in the country have had a vaccine and invitations are now going out to over-70s.
Third, it is so heart-warming to see the rush of volunteers eager to support medics with the vaccination programme in Mendip.
When WCN announces the next list of shifts for vaccination marshals they are filled with amazing speed despite the miserable January weather.
Fifty of our volunteers were helping at West Mendip Hospital on Saturday and Sunday – with plenty more on standby.  Close to 1,000 over-80s were vaccinated at the weekend.   To date two-thirds of over-80s have been vaccinated in West Mendip, there are significantly more over-80s here than in Central Mendip and this why some people who are younger are being called to Shepton.   

Also in action were volunteers who provide medical services at Glastonbury Festival giving the injections in Mendip care homes and they will start work at the new vaccination centre opening at the Bath and West Showground next Monday. 

They belong to a charity called Festival Medical Services whose managing director and retired GP Dr Chris Howes, from Croscombe, said: “Many of our members, working in their main roles on the NHS frontline, have seen at first-hand and on a daily basis how devastating this pandemic has been and continues to be. 

“We are humbled by the dedication and self-sacrifice of these colleagues and friends.” 

People from all walks of life are coming together to do what they can in the greatest medical emergency in living memory.
Three of the trained Festival Medical Services volunteers ready to start vaccinating at a care home