Aaaaaaaaargh! That little grey line has appeared in the wrong place on the Lateral Flow Test and I have Covid. I feel gutted at having avoided it for so long and know exactly where I got it - a casual evening in our local pub which was, I have to admit a bit more crowded than I felt comfortable with.

Anyhow I really did have 100% genuine man-flu, aching all over and unable to think sensibly. I slept for almost 30 hours and on day 2 I woke up soaked in sweat and then suddenly felt better. Reminds me of the scenes in old novels where someone falls ill, displaying a high fever, which then breaks and their recovery commences: I wonder what is the physiology behind that apart from the dramatic artifice of the beautiful heroine mopping the fevered brow.

The beautiful heroine of the past 40 odd years is sensible and socially distances herself and does not mop my brow but now she too has now succumbed to the dreaded lurgy.

Still gives me time to think and reflect and whilst I do not want to get political there is something which the past weeks have made quite clear to me. Namely whilst I am getting the most amazing care and treatment which is delivered free, it is being provided at a cost to others far less able than I to afford such cost.

Personally I think that having under-funded NHS services for the past decade the government is seeking to make up staff numbers by actively recruiting people from countries where economic disparity makes working in the UK an attractive prospect for skilled nurses and carers. Not only does this deprive those countries of much needed human resources but it also costs the UK taxpayer money to fund the recruitment when surely those funds would be far better employed training and then ensuring proper staff retention from amongst our own community.

It is morally wrong to seek to solve our self-inflicted problems by depriving other countries, less fortunate than ourselves, of skilled health workers that they have trained? Why should we expect other nations to train skilled workers when we cannot be bothered to do it ourselves?. We should be ashamed of energetically depriving other nations of these resources - really it is a form of post-colonial exploitation when we should be seeking to train and support our own health workers drawn from within the UK.

Another thing which I think is sad is the way in which NHS staff have to respond to numerous directives which seem to serve no purpose other than to justify some managerial consultant’s need to prove their worth. Thus I find that I am no longer a patient but a ‘client’.

Which is stupid. As a ‘patient’, the NHS is brilliant in the way it treats me for free and seeks, whenever possible to ensure that it is doing the utmost for my comfort and good health. But as a ‘client’ it is rubbish because when I visit other organisations where I am a ‘client’ the least I expect is to be offered a cup of coffee. Dammit it all, my dog gets a free treat when he goes to the vet so why shouldn’t the NHS offers it’s ‘clients’ a free biscuit at the very least.

So I am going to stick with being merely a ‘patient’ of our wonderful NHS and not a coffee deprived ‘’client’.