Website issues have kept me quiet of late, but I’m pleased to say that normal service has now been resumed.  Since January, when I last blogged, there’ve been two developments of note – any lingering symptoms of the coronavirus that I caught over Christmas have long gone, and I’ve had my first vaccination.

I’ve said all there is to say about my brush with Covid-19.  I continue to believe that I was very fortunate to have only mild symptoms, when my compromised immune system suggested the opposite might be the case, and I wonder if I was only exposed to a small amount of the virus whenever and wherever that happened.  I doubt I will ever know.

As for the vaccination, it was an uplifting day without doubt, but I didn’t feel as emotional about it as I think I would have done if I’d not had the virus.  However much I was still intent on following the rules and behaving cautiously, it was impossible not to allow oneself to think “I’ve had this now, so I’m probably OK for a while”.  That mindset has continued since having the jab, so despite receiving yet another shielding letter from Matt Hancock and Robert Jenrick, I haven’t religiously followed their guidelines – and they are only guidelines – and I’ve felt confident to go into shops and, occasionally, into work.  Others I’ve spoken to, in similar situations to mine, have done much the same.

We won’t know the full, long term consequences of this pandemic for, probably, years.  And one of those consequences is the impact it’s had on people needing treatment for other conditions.  Obviously my focus is principally on arthritis, and I know even a large charity like Versus Arthritis has faced significant fundraising challenges over the past year.  The spotlight was inevitably elsewhere.  But I’ve also taken on a challenge in recent days to raise money for another health-based charity which is doing some vital work – Prostate Cancer UK.

It’s running a campaign called ‘March the Month’, and the idea is simple……march, or more realistically walk, at least 11,000 steps each day and raise money from family and friends as you do so.  11,000 represents the number of men – at least 11,000, according to the charity – who die of the disease each year.  I’ve known people who’ve lived with prostate cancer and some who have, sadly, died of it, so the cause is clear.  But I like the challenge too.  It’s manageable, and while there’s a degree of altruism involved, it also helps the participant.  Those of us who’ve added a few kilos over the last twelve months can take this on, knowing that it will mean a bit more exercise gets done.  So everyone wins.

You can guess how this blog is going to end.  If you’re feeling inspired, even generous, here’s the link to my justgiving page……

https://marchthemonth.prostatecanceruk.org/fundraising/julian-worrickers-march-challenge-11000-daily