Good morning, it's Paul here, with Monday's SCVR.

I've pre-written a few general thoughts over the weekend, so am posting this first bit early, on Sunday evening, to get you started nice and promptly on Monday morning.

Estimated timings - I should be able to get things wrapped up by 1pm official finish time
Edit at 12:14 - wonders will never cease, today's report is now finished (early!).

Covid-19 latest thoughts

Personal stuff - I decided to get a covid-19 antibodies test last week, at a private GP, which was the Abbott Labs approved test. It cost £95, and involved a nurse taking a vial of blood from my inner elbow. The result came back 2 days later - confirming that I have indeed had the virus, evidenced by my blood containing antibodies. There was never really any significant doubt, for the heart-breaking reasons I've explained before, but it’s good to have it confirmed.

Experts don’t seem to know, or agree on, how long the antibodies last, but it should at least give short term immunity apparently (some suggest maybe 6-12 months? Who knows?).

Incidentally, the nurse told me that the DIY testing kits, that use a finger-prick blood sample, are not reliable, and can be difficult to use. She said that getting enough blood from a finger-prick is difficult, and some people have had to prick their finger multiple times, to get enough blood out. Also, she told me that the blood in your finger tip may not necessarily contain antibodies, when blood from a vein might do. Hence there's a greater risk of false results. It seems best to get a test done properly at the doctors, rather than buying what might be a useless kit off the internet.

I did gently query the nurse's experience, and she replied that she had being doing blood tests for 28 years. "So you're getting the hang of it then?!", I quipped with a twinkle in my eye & broad smile, and we shared a laugh. "You were very brave, you didn't even flinch", she complimented me. I hate needles, but just close my eyes and talk incessantly, which does the job of making it bearable.

Knowing that I've got antibodies in my blood has given me a sense of freedom. I had Mum round and cooked her Sunday lunch, more comfortable in the knowledge that I…

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