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Tuesday 11th January 2022


Only 500 days to my 20,000th day. That's well over a year. Let's not count our chickens.

I was feeling better this morning, when the worst possible news came by text from downstairs. Someone else in the house had tested positive (whilst the other two were negative) and it was pretty much the worst possible person (from my point of view). Ernest Herring had Covid. And now I had a buddy in my cell. But one that was going to take the most looking after and who would be attempting the most obvious escapes. Suddenly my fantasy of writing my book for a week, untroubled was over.
And yes, maybe my first thought should have been - oh no, I hope my child will be OK. But this is Ernie. Of course he’ll be OK. He throws himself into danger and always bounces off. And Covid didn’t seem to dent his will to live life to the full at all. I did spend some of the day considering how fortunate we were that the virus that has conquered the world is relatively harmless to nearly all children. Imagine a virus like this that was taking people down twenty five per cent of the population (or more) and which everyone was just as likely to die from. Like a proper plague. How would we cope with that? I reckon we’re likely to get a chance to find out with one of the future global pandemics, but I suppose we should thank blind chance that this one isn’t doing a Pied Piper on the youth of the world (and I say that with the greatest of respect and sadness for the young people who have died from Covid). But living in a world where anyone can just die at any second is one that pretty much every generation of humans (and a good percentage of the current generation) has experienced. How did they cope. 
I hugged my boy tight and not just because I am allowed to now we’re both unclean.

We were actually OK as Covid buddies. We watched both Frozen movies (Frozen II first, obviously) and rebuilt the Scooby Doo Haunted Mansion and played with a little programmable dog that is supposed to help kids learn coding and until he went a bit wild and badly behaved around bedtime I was having a relaxed time and thinking that I might even have shaken off Covid early. But a bit of chasing after him and shouting at him and I realised I was pretty tired and my throat was still mildly raw (it’s hard to express how minor the symptoms have been so far).

Both kids had to stay home, not because half the household have Covid. Incredibly Catie and Phoebe are free to do what they like as long as they are testing negative, which seems insane to me. But both their years had had to shut down bas more than a third of the kids had Covid and in Ernie’s case, both teachers had it too. Who could have predicted this would happen if you opened schools with a rampaging virus?
No one.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to the people who came up with the vaccines for this terrible virus. To be in the lucky position where something that might have punctured or skewered me might only just graze me is extraordinary. That the celebration of those people is not universal is an additional sadness heaped on all the sadnesses of the last two years.

I made the decision to cancel next Monday’s live RHLSTP. Even if I come up negative by then (which is far from certain) I am assuming that we will be dealing with a full house of Covid by then and so it makes sense to move the gig on line. Laura Jean Marsh will still be a guest, but Bilal has done a remote RHLSTP before so I will save him up for a live occasion in the future. I will probably try to do a double bill though. And it will stream live on Twitch like the good old bad old days.
And the line-up for the Leicester Comedy Festival is finalised. It’s Joz Norris and my good friend, actor and singer Rebecca Wheatley. I know both these two will be very good value. The stalls are already sold out, so book now if you’re coming to the Festival 
I’m cautiously optimistic that I will still be alive at that point.

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