Corona Chronicles January 2023

Happy New Year 2023


It would be wonderful to consider a new year free from Covid, alas that isn’t so. Although numbers continue to decrease, there are still well over a million people testing positive. The situation in other countries varies enormously with perhaps China topping the list of biggest difference since it scrapped restrictions in response to public rejection of its previous (failed) zero Covid policy. The prevalence of the disease and its associated travel restrictions have prevented me from taking a much needed winter break on distant shores. Of course, the low value of the pound was another factor, with the continued unreliability of the British rail system being the final deciding cause.

Last year had its challenges. Whilst I seemed to have escaped the dreaded Sars-Cov2 virus (the virus that causes Covid 19) and seasonal illnesses, I have not been so lucky with my mental health. Trying to support people affected by Covid, and friends living with cancers and those with dementia or other long term health conditions has taken its toll. However, it is the deaths of those close to me that has had the greatest impact. Gerald at the start of the year, Alan next and then Angie in October. These bereavements added to the déjà vu experience of the previous AIDS pandemic in the 1980s and 90s. Perhaps my accumulated sagacity over the years has helped me develop a kind of toughness…but maybe it is more to do with the kindness of friends and the therapeutic influence of music and other creative activities.

Riverside terrace House of Lords October 2022

Lord Fowler’s invitation to the launch of ‘Fifty Over Fifty’ at the House of Lords in October will take some beating….but I am looking forward to going to Manchester to talk about my life as an older gay man living with HIV in a hybrid live and streamed presentation next month. I have also had an invitation to National HIV Story Trust launch of the complete collection of recorded interviews in London.

OLGBT stand at Stoke Pride
OLGBT Group’s stall at Stoke Pride

The North Midlands LGBT Older Peoples Group continues to keep me occupied. We hope to start another two year plan RECONNECT that will have members’ health and wellbeing at its core. Although we are currently enduring below zero temperatures, the snow has almost gone locally…and green shoots are poking their welcome tips from the frozen ground. We are into the last stages of winter…so spring is not far away.






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