Disappointing news arrived yesterday from the phone buying company. They had magnified the corner of the phone by about 200x and there was a tiny crack in the join of the screen. We had not noticed it with our old eyes! In the end the company offered us £20 not £80, I don't really blame they as they do have to make their profits but £20 off the duck run cost is obviously not nearly as much as £80 off it. Oh well, it's disappointing but I have to tell myself it's extra money from something that was just stuck in a drawer.
There has been a lot on the news yesterday about covid vaccination passports. There seems to be a possibility that we may have to carry proof of vaccination before we are allowed to go on holidays abroad or even to visit pubs and restaurants. It reminded me of an incident that happened in 1973 a few weeks before we went on on holiday to Corfu. A young 23 year old woman who was a laboratory technician was admitted to the Harrow Road branch of St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, on the16th March. When smallpox was suspected on the 23rd March she was transferred to Long Reach Smallpox Hospital in Dartford Kent but in the intervening period a man and his wife, who were visiting another patient in the same ward, became infected and were admitted to an infectious diseases hospital on the 2nd April and transferred to Long Reach on the 4th April. It was thought the source lay in the laboratory in which the young woman worked.
All of a sudden from nowhere, we were not allowed to travel unless we had a Small Pox vaccination. I remember my Mum, Dad and my sister and I had to go to our GP for our vaccination just days before the holiday. I presume we must have had a certificate to be allowed into Corfu, I can't remember, but I do remember we probably wouldn't have needed one, we would have just been able to show our arms as every British person at the hotel was sitting around the swimming pool with a swollen lump oozing pus on the top of their arm. I had a scar that lasted years! Strange how we didn't seem to complain about our rights back then!
No other patients were ever treated at Long Reach and the hospital was knocked down in 1974 to make way for improved flood defences. The last outbreak of smallpox in England was in 1975, from a laboratory in Birmingham and the last case in the world in Somalia in 1977. On the 9th December 1979 the World Health Organisation declared that smallpox was eradicated. Incredibly in the early 1950s there were an estimated 50 million cases of smallpox occurring in the world each year with a 30% mortality rate. So hopefully no matter how terrible coronavirus seems now, one day, the same thing will be happening with this.
We had a lovely day yesterday with the sun shining and I was out and about most of the afternoon. I know so much of the west side of the country is having terrible rain and I hope the sunny weather arrives with you soon. Our sunniest flower bed is all ready for spring when it should be a mass of colour. I can't wait. I hope everyone has a lovely day and you manage to see some sunshine where ever you are. xx