Miriam’s Musings

Parents are not ‘anti-vaxxers’, they’re simply hesitant about Covid jab!

The surge in the Delta Covid variant in school-going children signals not just a statistical challenge, but a medical one for both parents and teachers alike when the new term begins. And, even though the vaccine is now available to those students in the 12 to 15 year age category, the fact remains there’s still a high incidence of hesitancy among parents/guardians, (even vaccinated ones), when it comes to registering their little darlings for their jab. I for one fully understand this.

I’d imagine, as caring, responsible adults, these parents may well have taken the decision to get the vaccine themselves; however, questions around probable ‘unknown side effects’ regarding their children are clearly making them pause. This means that parents and guardians, although armed with all of the relevant information from their own doctors, remain skeptical, and you have to ask yourself why this is?

As someone who is fully vaccinated against Covid, I made the decision to receive the jab for myself. Therefore, should there be any negative repercussions/side effects relating to the vaccine, (hopefully there won’t be), then it’s my health, and mine alone, that will be impacted!

However, I’d imagine if I were parenting a child or teen, I’d be very much concerned about the probable effects (and again I stress probable), this  vaccine may have regarding interfering with puberty, hormones and perhaps hampering future fertility opportunities.

We are told – and I do believe – that this virus doesn’t impact on children’s health as badly as it does adults; and, we’ve heard reports that unless a child is medically vulnerable, contracting Covid is unlikely to see them being hospitalised. When you weigh up that nugget of information and compare it to the fear regarding the newness of the vaccine and, let’s be honest, the fact it was, some say, developed ‘too quickly’ it’s understandable that parents, (even ones whose kids are up-to-date on other ‘tried and trusted’ childhood vaccines), remain doubtful.

However, it’s not all negative news because according to reports, ‘over 75,000 children in the 12 to 15 age cohort’ did register for their vaccine in the first 48 hours of the portal opening’. Perhaps these kids’ parents are people like me who, in their search for answers, came across a report which states how designing this vaccine began decades ago.

Here’s the nerdy bit. According to www.sciencenews.org (and yes, I know I need to get a life), researchers ‘first deciphered, or sequenced, the entire human genome over a span of almost 13 years, starting in 1990 and wrapping up in 2003’.

I haven’t got a clue about medical mumbo-jumbo, which is why I research everything; but for me, the above quote signals that crucially, scientists already had the genetic instructions needed for making the so-called ‘spike proteins’ that this pervasive virus uses to break into our bodies’ cells!

To put it bluntly, they had the key ingredient to manufacture jabs, which are, let’s face it, our first, last, and only line of defense against Covid-19!

I’m not suggesting parents should get their kids vaccinated. I’m not suggesting they should not. However, given their dilemma, and, without clear empirical scientific evidence this new-fangled vaccine does exactly what it says on the tin…i.e. protects their kids without causing probable harm, then it’s my view their hesitancy is strongly justified.


Comhghairdeas Mayo, from a true blue Dub!

For me, the Dublin footballers always were and always will be, what those of us raised on the Northside of the capital would call ‘pure class’.

However, it was with a heavy, yet enormously proud heart that I, (and my fellow Dubs’ fans living in Roscommon), watched our six-in-a-row heroes’ dreams of making it to seven-in-a-row shattered last Saturday by their old foe County Mayo. And, even though the Dubs are absolute Trojans, nay in my opinion, the kings of GAA, it has to be noted that on this occasion, it was Mayo’s skill, and the collective composure and confidence of their entire team that won, not just the semi-final, but indeed the day itself.

It is with that same sentiment in mind, that I’d like to say a massive comhghairdeas and well done to every player on that Mayo team and to every single Mayo native who has waited long and hard for what I’m sure must be a tumultuous event in their sporting calendar.

I’m no sports pundit, rather I’m just a spectator, therefore I haven’t got a clue about tactics, skills, strategies or concepts etc., they’re all lost on me. However, from where I was sitting, (which was at home on my sofa cheering on the boys in blue), I have to say that, in the past, following what were a litany of agonising misses for our neighbours, in all fairness, last Saturday, the Mayo team truly deserved their win. Because I’m not a begrudging Dub, I wish our close neighbours every bit of success possible in their bid to bring Sam home next month. If this happens, I’ve got no doubt the craic will be mighty in Mayo!

A massive well done goes to the Dublin Ladies team who, having beaten Mayo in their match, (and well done also to the Mayo Ladies), have now qualified for their eighth final back-to-back! You’re now on course to (hopefully) take your fifth title in a row ladies; so, come on you girls in blue!

I cannot and I will not let this week go by without extending a heartfelt well done to the Roscommon U20s team who did their families and their county proud. Take a bow lads, each and every single one of you are remarkable young people who did an exemplary job.


We must banish this ‘drunken Irish’ stereotype!

As the latest alcohol ‘price survey’ was reportedly carried out in counties Sligo, Dublin and Meath, and not in county Roscommon, does that mean that, down this neck of the woods, we can still buy and enjoy our budget booze?

I only ask because according to news reports, minimum unit pricing, which will be aimed at setting ‘a floor price’ under which alcohol cannot be sold in retail outlets, comes into effect in January.

Therefore, even though the finger-waggers tell us that alcohol is so cheap in this country, with the cost of reaching our ‘weekly low-risk’ limit being  €7.65 for men and €4.95 for women; (according to Eurostat’s Price Level Index), Ireland remains ‘the most expensive country in the EU’ to buy our booze! Note to self: cider is cheaper!

Before anyone says I’m supporting the consumption of the ‘demon drink’, let me add that the survey also says we’re the ‘most expensive’ country for ‘non-alcoholic drinks,’ within the EU!

My point here is that ‘big brother’ has become the almighty arbiter of every single aspect of our lives, most especially, how we, as responsible adults, spend our ‘fun’ time and, importantly, how we dispense with our own money, and that really grates on me!

As a consenting adult, and, I hope, a reasonably intelligent one; I, and I alone will decide what, for me, are acceptable activities in which to engage when I’m off-duty.

I’m enormously proud of being Irish, and I’m seriously sick of us being labelled and satirised for our drinking patterns. I’m someone who enjoys alcohol in moderation, and this ‘drunken-Irish’ stereotype needs to be banished along with every interfering, controlling, oppressive, jackboot-wearing despot who continues to dominate each and every aspect of our lives. And breathe…