That time of the year again?

And so the COVID looms over us again.

A sudden peak in China, and a few other countries registering significant numbers, all of a sudden, we fear going back to square 1, I mean 2020.

Even after nearly three years, the nightmare still haunts us. In some ways, I feel it has also morphed into some sort of flu-like ailment, since everyone I know (including me) has been sneezing and blowing into tissues much more than they were before.

Do we now get another dose of the vaccine? Well we had three (and some had four), but this mutated so tough luck?

Would we need one every year or two going forward? Do we even take it now, not knowing the after-effects?

Tough questions, and even tougher answers. And so I do not volunteer to offer any.

Instead, I offer you an insight into my brain workings a couple of years back, on the subject. Have I changed my view? Ahem…what do you think?

Yes, you read it right…the instant MBBS degree is now available on major online e-learning platforms.

In fact, you must have already received a call from your friendly neighbourhood pushy Byju’s salesman.

Pity those who wasted 5-7 years of their lives slogging through medical school, when all they needed to do is get this instant MBBS, and be in business.

You may have already met a lot of these instant MBBS degree holders. Your dad must have got one, your brother, your friend, your colleague at work – it almost seems as if this degree is far more contagious than the big C itself.

Here’s the thing – the Instant MBBS is actually MORE effective than the medical degree that your doctor has. You instantly have much more information and analysis at your disposal, and can make detailed comments on all things medicine.

Including vaccines.

So when I finally decided to get my shot, or jab, or whatever you may call it (I prefer calling it a vaccination), these instant MBBS’s materialized all around me. Pfizer is the best, said one. No way, Covaxin is better, said another.

The dark horse is Sputnik, countered the third. After all, the Russians have been working on this in secret, he whispered. Sinopharm is right from the horses mouth – said the fourth. Who better than the originators, to create the antidote?

No, don’t do the Chinese one, said the first. They also tried to administer it anally, and it was a tad bit uncomfy for a few diplomats who then realised that they had been had.

Bharat Biotech (isn’t that Covaxin) goes through the nose, chipped in the third. That’s where the Covid resides, so a direct attack at the citadel, rather than a roundabout route. Ahem.

And then there were the percentages. 80%,63%, 75%…arbitrary numbers thrown in to convince me to gravitate towards the vaccine with the highest percentage points, sample size be damned.

Oh wait, the composition as well. Bharat Biotech made this from the virus, he countered. What better than that?

Ah, said another. I wouldn’t be comfortable taking the virus in. Classic case of “aa bail mujhe maar” na? (roughly translated – oh wonderful bull, come and take me…or something to that effect).

Johnson and Johnson is the safest – said my colleague. Na, I don’t trust anyone who came up with the same name twice, I retorted.

“How bout a cocktail?”, said his friend, while taking a swig. “Two are better than one innit?”

Hmmm…not so sure about that. But sounded more fun than the jab and shot, both of which do not seem to result in anything good really.

Anyway, after a lot of discussions and deliberations, I finally started to feel better…about not taking the vaccine in the first place.

Until the veto arrived. In the form of my wife.

“Go and take it tomorrow”, she said firmly. “Of course, what’s there to say no”, I said with a smile. “I have been checking the pros and cons of all the ones available”, I continued, as part of the justification. “And a…”

I was stopped mid-sentence. “Just get it done.”

And so I am scheduled to go tomorrow.

And I have concluded that Pfizer is the best one there is. It has been created by a reputed company, it is widely-tested, and clinical trials have consistently yielded wonderful results. People who had other diseases too were cured by this vaccine…

Ok, not the last part. But it is the best.

Also, on a sidenote, I got the appointment in a few hours, and it’s free. So..

No, my decision wasn’t swayed by the free bit, and the convenience of nearly getting a walk-in appointment.

Actually, it was.

All the vaccines are good. Stop listening to instant MBBS’s, and go get yours. TODAY.

Let’s try to get back to normalcy soon, and stop using that irritating “new normal” phrase. Sometimes, I want to get back to normal just to get rid of that phrase.

Ok bye. See you tomorrow. Hopefully no fever. No body pain. Just pure Covid swimming in my blood. I mean vaccine.