Mar 15, 2021: Jabbering

I’m having my covid jab in a couple of weeks time, which is very exciting. I mean, the fact that my invitation to get the jab coincides almost seemlessly with numerous countries pulling the vaccine because of side-effects, not so much. But overall, it’s an exciting time.

My favourite part of the whole thing, though, is when you log on to book your appointment. The first question is simply whether or not you know your NHS number.

Honestly, who knows their NHS number? No-one. No-one knows their number. Unless they’re a serial user of the NHS and all of its fantastic services, no-one in their right mind knows their NHS number.

I certainly do not know mine. I’m not even sure I could find anywhere it might be, even if I had to find it or die a horrific death. I couldn’t do it. I have no idea. Not a Scooby. I don’t even know my National Insurance number, and that’s one of those numbers you’re supposed to know off the top of your head. For years, when I worked at the bank, I used to refer to my own personal account information page if I needed my National Insurance number.

But my NHS number?

Nope. Not even on a bank information page. And they know everything.

Luckily, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know it (no-one knows it, don’t even bother) because they can just find you from things you do know, like your name and when you were born. If anything, they should ask for names and dates of birth first and then include an option after that that says “If you know your NHS number…” rather than the other way round, sending you into an instant tizz.

And when you get through all that, the choices just never end. What day do you want the jab on? What part of the day? Which hour? Which ten minute interval in that hour? What day would you like to come for the second jab? What hour? What minute of that particular hour?

I am more committed to this bloody jab than I have been to anything for ages. I haven’t planned anything this far in advance for at least twelve months. I don’t know what I’ll be doing in twelve weeks time. I assume it will be something. But then, who knows? Maybe it won’t. Maybe it’ll be more of this because a random variant from somewhere has crept in and nothing can touch it with a barge pole. But, hopefully, everything will be up and running and I’ll be back at work. And I’ll have to book a day off for the second jab. It’s bad enough I’ve booked the day off three days after our scheduled return because it’s my birthday. I’m booking time like I haven’t had the better part of a year to my own devices already.

Like one of those people who immediately books a day off as soon as they get back in the office after a two week break.