14 December 2021

it's time for the sky to grow larger

If you are closer to being old

than you would like to be and slowness

begins to redefine the idea of difficulty

into something you would much rather

take a pass on, then it is time for the sky

to grow larger than the earth, than the sea even . . .  


Jim Moore

Today I was informed that I probably don't have MS or maybe just a bit of it and that we'll have a look at it again in a couple of months or so. Nothing to worry, they said. Not yet anyway, they reassured me. As for the symptoms, well now, they said, our best bet is that these could be side effects from the monoclonal antibody therapy and right now, there is no distinct nerve damage. Yet. So tell you what, they said, we'll check that over the coming months. Just watch your step, you don't want to have a fall. Still, you better go for the lesser evil and continue with the monoclonal antibody stuff because where you're at with your illness it's all a matter of weighing one shit against the other.

Or something like that. This is the colloquial version of several long and serious phone calls. The way I retold it a hundred times by now. You get the gist.

Then I watched the latest press briefing from the WHO on our new friend omicron, which is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant, infection numbers are doubling within a period of roughly 40 hrs. So please don't make the mistake of dismissing omicron as mild. It's not vaccines instead of masks. It's not vaccines instead of distancing. It's not vaccines instead of ventilation or hand hygiene. Do it all. Do it consistently. Do it well.

But most importantly, this issue was discussed: 

Journalist Gabriella Soto Mayor from Mexico. asks: "One of the things that most worries many children is Santa Claus - because he's old, he's overweight. They are concerned whether Santa Claus is able to leave his house and stay safe; whether he will be able to travel. So, do you have any message to the children in Mexico and, maybe, all over the world ? Thanks." 

Dr Van Kerkhove (WHO) answers : "Thank you very much for this really important question. I think you have highlighted a concern that many children have across the world. We can tell you that I understand the concern for Santa because he is of older age and from one of the risk groups. But, I can tell you that Santa Claus is immune to this virus. We had a brief chat with him and he is doing very well. Mrs Claus is also doing very well. They are very busy right now. We have also heard from a number of leaders across the world who have told us that they have relaxed the quarantine measures for Santa to enter their air space. So, he will be able to travel in and out of the airspace and be able to deliver presents to children anywhere. But, I think it is very important that all children of the world understand that physical distancing by Santa Claus and also of the children themselves must be strictly enforced. So, it is really important that the children of the world still listen to their moms and dads and their guardians - and make sure that they go to bed early on Christmas Eve. But Santa will be able to travel around the world to deliver presents. So, thank you very much for that important question."

Before we shout, ugh what condescending adult rubbish, I can confirm that I have met children who are most concerned not just for this gift bearing overweight elderly santa-like figure but also their overweight (or not) elderly relatives and friends in general.  Children are not stupid.

In other news, cycling still works a dream, better than walking. And, only seven days to midwinter. The sky will grow larger again, soon.


  1. I'm sorry and I'm glad? Not sure. It sounds so ambiguous.

    I'm glad Santa will be ok this year. It's been an awful year and kids need something to look forward to, so do their grandparents.

    Sending hugs woman cause that's all I've got.

  2. I didn't know it was possible to have just a bit of MS. Cycle on, dear woman. Enjoy your sky.

  3. Thank you for the introduction to Jim Moore/ Cycling and poetry have healing power. That's for sure. Sending love. These short days and long nights before the solstice feel sacred.

  4. Health care system is so confusing these days. Medications and side effects, and other new issues. It all gets so mixed up. I hope things improve for you, Sabine.
    Love that Santa story. I love that WHO answered the question so sincerely and seriously and with so much good spirit.

  5. It's got to be hard to be in "wait-and-see" mode, but at least you don't have a readily identifiable complication. Santa is definitely in a virus-vulnerable demographic, so thank goodness for that whole immunity thing!

  6. Ah- those lines hit home.
    Keep cycling. Which of course you will. The sky will get larger, as it does and Santa will be fine. Mostly I want you to be fine.

  7. I guess your news is good. At least it wasn't definitely terrible if confusing. In other words, they don't really know. Just keep doing what gives you pleasure when you can.

    I find it amusing that children are worried that Santa might get covid but then I guess they don't realize Santa is a magical figure.

  8. I thought I already left a message, but I've been having such problems with my computer. Anyway, I am glad you "probably don't have MS or maybe just a bit of it. I'm sorry you'll have to wait and the doctors will "have a look at it again in a couple of months or so." So much stress and worry. The sky will most definitely get larger, soon. Celebrate with lots of lights.