GERARD Butler’s new disaster movie Greenland is about those considered valuable to society being given VIP wristbands to enter protective state bunkers.
Meanwhile, those considered disposable are left to fight for survival.
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One in three adults have received their first Covid vaccineCredit: Getty
It set me in mind of the vaccine roll-out. I know we live in a “woke” era when we are expected to endlessly virtue-signal our right-on credentials of unrelenting selflessness and consideration for others . . . but to hell with it.
Now we’re told “one in three” people have been given their first vaccine, I find myself suffering from a green-eyed, monstrous case of jab envy.
Back in mid-January I was emitting a benevolent glow when, as a volunteer, I witnessed the glorious sight of hundreds of octogenarians receiving their vaccination at Surrey’s Epsom Downs racecourse.
Then the invitation algorithms started munching their way down the years until, a fortnight ago, the inevitable happened and one of my WhatsApp friend groups pinged with the following: “I’m getting the jab next week!”
Just to rub it in, that was accompanied by emojis of a syringe and a dancing woman. “Amazing!” I responded, genuinely happy for him.
But on my other shoulder, a little red devil was simultaneously whispering in my ear: “Hang on a minute . . . he’s the same age as you , doesn’t have an underlying health condition and you live in the same postcode. So why haven’t you had the call?”
Why indeed. Then other triumphant call-ups started popping up in various in-boxes. Worse, some included a “vaccine selfie” of the radiant recipient.
Before the easily offended start sharpening their green pencils, let me make it clear that my envy is restricted solely to my largely healthy (give or take a few beer bellies, bingo wings and high cholesterol counts) peer group and not those, regardless of age, who have serious underlying conditions.
Right, now that’s sorted, where was I? Oh yes, the seemingly arbitrary rollout of the vaccine depending on which GP you are registered with.
Friends in their late fifties who live in the Midlands got their first jab a fortnight ago, while a friend’s 90-year-old father in the North West is only just getting his this week.
I emitted a benevolent glow when I witnessed older Brits getting jabbed last monthCredit: Getty
But now the rollout seems to depend on which GP you are registered withCredit: AFP or licensors
Meanwhile, the jabless are starting to share private, breakout WhatsApp messages of the “Have you heard anything yet?” variety.
Another friend in her early fifties got a tip-off that the fridge of a health centre five miles from her house had broken down, so they were giving out leftover vaccines to anyone who turned up before they ran out.
She says it was like the Harrods sale but her and her husband made the cut.
“So happy for you,” said angelic me out loud, while the devilish side inwardly whispered: “Why didn’t they give you this valuable tip-off?”
Survival of the fastest, you see?
Others tell me they just hung around their local GP/pharmacy/hospital near closing time and were offered jabs left over from no-shows.
And don’t get me started on those who have suddenly developed “serious” health conditions they’ve hitherto failed to mention.
Sigh. One day, my “just a little prick” will come and, despite all of the tongue-in-cheek rivalry above, I’m happy to wait my turn — particularly when, bafflingly, teachers and other key workers of all ages remain unvaccinated.
In closing, let’s go to healthy 32-year-old Liam Thorp, Political Editor of the Liverpool Echo, whose GP offered him the vaccine last week.
Suspecting it might be a mistake, Liam says he called the surgery to double-check. “Turns out they had my height as 6.2cm rather than 6ft 2in, giving me a BMI of 28,000,” he tweeted.
I like to think I’d have done the same . . . but perhaps he’s a bigger person than me in height and magnanimity.
ANT McPARTLIN and his fiancée Anne-Marie Corbett have been spotted wearing identical pairs of boots.
Uh-oh. Next it will be matching anoraks and a mini-break to the Pennines.
HAVING secured an exclusive chat with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Oprah Winfrey has cemented her reputation as “queen of the chat show”.
“She has spent three years wooing Meghan and it’s paid off,” said one breathless source.
Harry and Meghan sat down for a bombshell interview with OprahCredit: The Mega Agency
The chat show host has been accused of ‘wooing Meghan’ for three yearsCredit: Getty Images
Hmmm. Ms Winfrey was given a prime seat at the couple’s lavish wedding despite having met them only once beforehand.
In addition, it recently emerged that they stayed at her Hollywood mansion while house-hunting, and at Christmas Oprah posted a photo of a large hamper with the caption: “On the first day of Christmas my neighbor ‘M’ sent to me . . . A basket of deliciousness! (Yes that M).”
And lest there was still the faintest shred of doubt about who she was referring to, she added a crown emoji.
Begging the question: Has Oprah been “wooing” Meghan or has Meghan been wooing Oprah in the hope of an easier ride?
Only March 7 will tell.
BORIS Johnson reportedly barked, “Someone shoot that f***ing dog!” after his pet Dilyn chewed books at Chequers and used the floor as a toilet.
Dilyn also disgraced himself by urinating on the handbag of a senior aide, whose reaction reportedly irritated the Jack Russell’s co-owner Carrie Symonds.
Downing Street pooch Dilyn is apparently causing trouble for his ownersCredit: PA:Press Association
I sympathise. As the owner of a recalcitrant Tibetan Terrier, his youthful tally of destruction included two skirting boards, countless pairs of shoes, several rugs, a rear seatbelt and the safety netting of an outdoor trampoline.
And in summer, a walk on the local common was a minefield of picnickers sitting outside the specially designated “dog-free” area who, in my experience, fell in two categories.
Firstly, those who would treat a snatched sausage roll as if it was their only child and they were Liam Neeson.
And those who would respond to my profuse apologies with: “Don’t worry, these things happen.”
Mind you, I suppose a ruined designer handbag is a little harder to just shrug off.
Not for fainthearted
CRIME Scene: The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel is a Netflix four-parter examining the chequered history of a low-budget hostelry on LA’s skid row.
It was a favourite stopover for, among other questionable types, the city’s notorious serial killer the Night Stalker. So how reassuring when, halfway through, my now 28-year-old daughter told me she’d stayed there on her travels.
Parenting. It ain’t for the fainthearted.
MEN Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus was the best-selling self-help book of the Nineties about the many differences between the sexes.
Ironically, these disparities were all too apparent in Moore Towers this week with the news that the Perseverance rover has landed on Mars.
The Mars landing wasn’t high on my must-see listCredit: Rex Features
While myself and the youngest polished off another episode of reality show Below Deck, The Bloke was in the next room, glued to Nasa’s every utterance.
Every so often he’d pop his head around the door to breathlessly relay snippets about the “Jezero crater” and “primitive microbial organisms”, only to be met by blank stares.
To me, space travel is much like accounting: Necessary but dull.
SALMA Hayek is baffled that her 13-year-old daughter has suddenly started giving her the cold shoulder.
“Teenagers don’t want you to cuddle them any more,” she says. “Yes, I am cuddling, but not as much as I would like to.”
Salma Hayek says her teen daughter is suddenly giving her the cold shoulderCredit: Instagram
Salma, 54, is about to star in a new TV comedy called A Boob’s Life, in which a woman’s breasts start talking to her.
And there it is.
Given my teenager brands me “sooooo embarrassing” if I so much as wear a hat at a jaunty angle, mystery over.
So say all of us
MY favourite story of the week is the wanted man who handed himself in to Sussex Police because he was sick of the people he was in lockdown with and wanted “some peace and quiet”.
And so say all of us.
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