On Tuesday of this week, I had my Covid-19 vaccination. I had received the famous blue envelope at the beginning of the previous week and was looking forward to having it done, not so much for myself, although that was part of it, but more that I have always had a concern about bringing the virus into my younger brother’s house and passing on an infection that I didn’t know I had, and he with as many underlying conditions as you could care to count. Of course, on Monday night, I was listening to all the warnings about Storm Darcy, and the Beast from the East Two. It was at the time of the Beast from the East One that I had spent a couple of nights sleeping in the office here, being unable to make my way back to Bishopbriggs because of the deep snow. So, there seemed to be a very real danger that the predicted heavy snowfall and road chaos would prevent my finding my way to Barmulloch Community Centre where the vaccination was scheduled to take place.
I was determined, however, to get the vaccine, even though reports were saying that, if you didn’t feel safe travelling, there would be no problem getting another appointment. I was also anxious to get into the church afterwards and put some heating on. Someone had planted the thought in my head about the danger of frozen and burst pipes because of the plunging temperatures, and once the thought was in my head, I couldn’t shift it. With the church closed at present due to Covid-19, we don’t have the heating on at its usual repeat schedule, although I come in and put it on for a few hours most days, but there are also the halls and the old retreat. I lay awake most of the night imagining frozen and burst pipes, and I almost got up in the middle of the night to make my way in to St. Mungo’s to put the heating on, but even I thought that was a bit crazy, and decided to wait till the morning, until after the vaccine.
At 6 o’clock on Tuesday morning I got up, washed, shaved, showered, had some breakfast, and said my prayers, by which time I decided I had best check the car and the conditions outside. It looked bleak, but I thought, once I negotiated my way out of the estate, the main roads would be gritted and passable. On Monday morning I had made a dummy run to the Vaccination Centre, just to be sure that I knew the way. However, the road was unrecognisable in the snow and I took a wrong turn at a double mini-roundabout. I then encountered a driver stuck in the snow with a Good Samaritan helping to push her back to get going again. I followed the signs to the Centre and got parked. I was a wee bit early and it transpired I was there before some of the staff so I had to wait. Eventually I was called forward, a sizeable queue having formed behind me. The vaccine itself was painless, and very well organized. Once administered, I was asked to wait 15 minutes before getting back on the road. I sat watching fresh snowfall, anxious that I might be stuck where I was. I made my way out of the Centre to get on the road to St. Mungo’s. Before getting out of the Barmulloch estate I encountered another car whose wheels were spinning and couldn’t move. It took some time for him to get moving again and at last I felt I was on the road. There was one more incident of a car stuck in Townhead, on the Stirling Road, before I eventually made my way into the church yard. At last, I put the heating on in the church, the halls and the old Retreat, not considering how I would eventually pay for it, but feeling the cost was preferable to having frozen and burst pipes.
I still had another journey to make in the snow, up to Drumchapel to check on my brother and to make him a meal. While there, I remembered I had left a heater on in the office and, picturing myself lying awake all night, for the second night in a row, worrying about it, even though it would have been fine, I drove back into the church, turned it off, and then made my way home to Bishopbriggs. That night, I could feel the tension in my shoulders from all the driving in the snow, but, thankfully, I had a great night’s sleep, and was up bright and early the next morning to begin a new day. Meanwhile, everyone else in the community is fine.
So, protect yourselves, protect your loved ones and others, and protect Christ in your lives.