Petrol, A&E and vaccinations

Friday October 1st 2021

Christine Grahame MSP in Parliament Main

Christine Grahame MSP writes her monthly column for Midlothian View

Well today I did have to go and get petrol as the gauge was nudging to empty. Of course, I found myself in a queue at my usual supplier and got a fithy look from a taxi driver for my trouble. There was no point in telling him (he had shot past anyway) that I needed the car for constituency work. What next as the Brexit bourach continues? Shelves devoid of fresh fruit and veg? Covid has concealed a whole load of issues with leaving the EU and Boris, as could have been anticipated, came back empty handed from Washington. Biden incidentally is none to pleased with the trouble brewing in Northern Ireland because of cross border issues. A real can of worms just waiting to escape.

Covid has of course also had a massive impact on the demands of our health service: GPs, dentists, A & E are just a few examples. The latest has been the pressures on the ambulance service .In a debate in Parliament recently it was disclosed that only 21% of calls in August were actually emergencies. These are clearly defined on the Scottish Ambulance website such as when someone is seriously ill or injured and life is at risk. It can include loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, heart attack, stroke, an acute, confused state, chest pains, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped, severe allergic reactions, severe burns or scalds, major trauma, such as a road traffic accident or fall from a height. However, if you are unsure then log on to the Scottish Ambulance Service at

You will be doing your bit to make sure that an ambulance is not sent out for the wrong reason. But we should be grateful that against all the odds the scientific community came up with vaccines at breakneck speed. You would think that those who can take the vaccine wouldn’t hesitate but shockingly a secondary teacher emailed me to boast that she wouldn’t take the vaccine as she hadn’t had covid and other vaccinated teachers had.

I pointed out she might be one of the lucky ones who is asymptomatic but could unwittingly be passing the virus to colleagues, even pupils in her charge. I ended by thanking her for doing regular tests to confirm she was in the all-clear. Of course, she hadn’t told me she was testing but I just threw that in for good measure. Bet she isn’t testing. What on earth can you make of an educator demonstrating such ignorance? I wonder if she has told the rest of the staff and her pupils, or indeed parents? As a former secondary teacher myself (many moons and a couple of professions ago) she isn’t half letting the side down. There that’s out of my system. If you aren’t vaccinated yourself, for your own sake and for others you meet, don’t hesitate.

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