Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Post script. The wonders of modern technology. Opinions about that vaccine.

Here is a little post script to yesterday’s ramblings on the subject of Valentines: 

“Evidence suggests that the history of wedding rings began in ancient Egypt, about 6,000 years ago. The ancient Egyptians were among the first people known to exchange wedding rings, wearing them on the fourth finger of the left hand. It was believed that this finger contained a special vein - vena amoris, or the vein of love, which connected directly to the human heart.”

It wouldn’t surprise me to find that modern medical science looks at supposed links like this and uses them to help with the treatment of heart problems. Clever people those Egyptians!

Years ago, before we could establish links with places all over the world electronically and digitally, I remember being involved in a class-penfriendship project. My pupils were supposed to write letters in French (very ambitious! and optimistic!) and a parallel class in France was supposed to write back in English. It was only partially successful. Helping 30 thirteen- to fourteen-year olds come up with stuff they could say in French was hard work and the time lap caused by the postal service made the whole thing rather disjointed. Nowadays we could probably do it with a weekly zoom session - assuming there was room for it in a crowded curriculum.  

I was reminded of this when I read about a school in New Hampshire whose pupils took part in a project to launch a small boat filled with interesting stuff - photos, fall leaves, acorns and state quarters (I had to google state quarters: specially minted coins for each of the states in the USA) - into the ocean and see where it ended up. Rather like a 21st century version of a message in a bottle, I suppose. It was about 6 feet long and equipped with a tracking device which occasionally stopped working. They followed its progress when they could but it seemed to disappear, lost in mid-ocean perhaps. But it was not lost at all. Launched in October 2020 it finally arrived in Norway on February 1st this year. The child who found it took it to school, where his class opened it and examined the contents. The Norwegian teacher is organising a call (a zoom call?) to the school in New Hampshire. A little bit of international education. How fantastic!

In our Italian zoom conversation class yesterday one of the topics was asking what brings us joy: family, friends, music, art, freedom, all sorts of stuff. One of our members recounted her joy, years ago, at going to watch Roger Federer play tennis at Roland Garros in Paris and discovering a young Rafa Nadal, who became her new obsession and remains so to this day. Given half a chance, she would adopt him! This led to opinions about Novak Djokovic, especially his stand on covid vaccination. I read today that he would prefer to miss further grand slam tennis opportunities rather than have the vaccination. He’s not against vaccination per se. It’s more that he objects to being coerced into being vaccinated and will probably, possibly, maybe decide to have the vaccination some time in the future. It’s a little bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face though. But then, having taken a public stand at this point, he’s probably going to have to wait for the smoke to die down before he quietly goes and gets the vaccination. 

And here’s a link to an article about someone who had never had a vaccination in her life. She grew up in in a family of ardent antivaxxers and when her own son was born she declined to have him vaccinated against anything. This is quite a big thing when you consider how many routine injections children receive in the first years of life. Then along came covid. She thought about it, looked at the science of it, and changed her mind. And last year had the first injection of her life. She seems not to have looked back since then and has had all the family vaccinated against anything and everything! 

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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