Thursday, 6 January 2022

Healthcare 2022

 I hung up my stocking last night and this morning it was full of treats. "Hang on, Sue," says the reader, "surely you mean you did that on Christmas Eve?" 

No, as I explained this time last year, today is the day where kids here in Italy get presents from a good-natured witch called Befana. At least traditionally. Nowadays they go for Santa Claus instead, like everywhere else. I guess it's another case of a multinational taking over a local business.

In last year's post I also promised a leggings lookbook sometime, which I will do soon. I did several lookbook and tips posts last year such as winter boots, swimwear, perfumes, nail prep and a long series on hosiery (stockings, tights, fashion, matching, practical advice, acquiring). Thanks for your positive responses to those.


But this week I'm trying to look after my health. I have a very awkward health problem that, in its more extreme manifestations, makes my body temperature drop when vertical but overheats me when horizontal. So I freeze by day and boil by night. Maybe I need to lean at 45 degrees to be just right! This is the main reason why I moved to somewhere where extremes of climate are rare (it's usually around 15C/60F in winter and 28C/82F in summer). But on Sunday I still suffered overheating that gave me a headache so powerful it made me vomit for much of the day. No doctor has yet been able to diagnose the cause of this affliction despite all the tests they've done on me. Moving somewhere with a more even climate was the suggestion and it's certainly reduced such attacks, so this was unusual. 

I've now been able to join the national health service here so yesterday I travelled by train to collect my health card and various other documents that had arrived for me as a new citizen. 

Do you remember the days when you went to a station, bought a ticket and got on the next train to your destination? No more: now you have to book a seat and have your ID and Green Pass (i.e. vaccination certificate) checked by the police before going to the platform. Once on the train you must wear a mask of FFP2 grade or above, then have your ticket, reservation and Green Pass checked by the guard. No vax, no travel. This is extreme. And restrictions here are getting more severe even as vaccination becomes compulsory. In Britain, by contrast, official policy seems to be to "let the bodies pile up", as the Prime Minister so charmingly put it. And there are as many variations on these extremes as there are countries. In the '90s I worked on sickness and pandemic strategies that the government of the day endorsed and I can safely say that few recommendations have been followed, notably a worldwide problem being dealt with piecemeal by petty national and local bigwigs rather than globally. Look after yourselves as best you can. You are your own best guard against ill health.

I put on a lot of weight over Christmas as expected and now I am heading back down gently. I wonder if I will be in the healthy weight range by this summer? I hope so, but I'm not going to rush it because that too can be unhealthy. 

Wishing you the best possible health this winter.

Sue x


  1. Good luck with the weight loss and medical investigation into your health.

    As to the ticket, mask, and pass situation, I think it's a complicated situation. While it certainly makes travel more of a faff, getting COVID is no walk in the park and for an unvaccinated person, can be very serious or even fatal.

    1. Thanks, Lynn.

      My issue with the complexities of travel in the Covid era has more to do with governments failing to get to grips with the problem and essentially blaming the citizens. Just today, despite a soaring infection rate, the government insists that all children shall return to school, in the teeth of sensible opposition by teachers, unions, local education authorities, local health authorities, etc. When the infection rate soars even more as a result of kiddies going sick, the restrictions will become greater still. It's all our fault, never that of governments that refuse to tackle a worldwide problem in conjunction with the WHO, with other governments, with international bodies and transporters but just act to bully the locals, which is what government largely boils down to anyway.

      As for the unvaccinated, there are those who are antisocial and refuse to vaccinate because they love chaos and being contrary. But there are plenty of folks who are genuinely scared of needles and doctors. Nothing is being done to allay their phobias, they are just being bullied into vaccination with threats of fines and the loss of work. The conspiracy nuts would rather be martyrs than vaccinate but nothing is being done to help ease them out of their irrational beliefs that vaccines are nanobots or poisons or control systems. Bullying them merely increases their suspicions. It's only the antisocial ones who need to be dealt with firmly, in my view, but instead we are all being stomped on, indiscriminately.

      The UK approach seems to be the opposite: let the weak die and continue to reduce health services in anticipation of privatising a system that they can now claim is failing.

      Sue x