Vaccine sadly came too late for Sutton man's dad
For someone who has the job of finding the funny side of things, I am aware that I have done some unfunny columns over the last year.
Sometimes because that suited 2020 and sometimes maybe the jokes didn’t work.
Sadly, this isn’t a funny one.
On the first Thursday of this year, my father tested positive for Covid-19.
He’d moved into a care home a couple of years ago with vascular dementia and I knew that a lot of people would have been in a similar situation.
It’s really hard when you care about someone who is vulnerable, but you can’t do much to keep them safe in a pandemic.
You can’t see every surface they touch and you can’t stop them touching their face.
It was hard enough holding back from touching my own face.
I grew a beard in lockdown but couldn’t even stroke it.
I have mentioned the window visits I got to do with dad.
They aren’t ideal but there’s much to enjoy in them.
It was great to see the look on my father’s face when he spotted me standing outside his window.
I also liked how he thought I was being an idiot for not going inside.
He’d say, “what are you doing out there?’
I think he thought I’d forgotten how to use doors. Lots of people would have done the same kind of visit.
Many of us would have had the chance to do garden visits during the summer.
They were socially distanced and required face masks but my father didn’t seem to mind those.
I suppose after months of thinking I’d refused to go indoors, a little face mask wasn’t too much of a jump.
I remember what it was like when the news broke that scientists had developed a vaccine and it was approved for use.
Like so many, I saw this as the light at the end of the tunnel.
The lockdown has been so hard for so many.
All we had to do was hope that the infection rates stayed low and the virus didn’t get into the care homes.
Sadly, my father passed away just over a week after his test came back.
I know that so many families will be going through this or will have gone through it already in this difficult year.
While it’s great to hear that the vaccine is protecting lots of people, spare a thought for those who for whom it came too late.
Steve N Allen is a comedian and broadcaster who was raised in Sutton-in-Ashfield.