The homeless deserve their place at the front of the Covid vaccination queue | Emma Kay

Vaccines are being rolled out by the thousand now. We all know someone who has visited their hub for the jab.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 5:18 pm
The life expectancy for a homeless person is only 47.

This is encouraging to see.

Two in five adults have now been vaccinated, but despite this, there are still many of people who are still waiting in the wings.

With the global scramble for a vaccine, admitting you have been vaccinated can be like walking on eggshells.

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Every passing day means another day of going out into the world facing the unseen viral danger. Seeing social media posts of people proudly showing off their jabbed arms is a tough feeling to deal with. You feel relieved and pleased for them, but the green-eyed monster still lurks within. Vaccine rollout is testing our jealous patience.

Priority groups now include homeless people. This is due to those sleeping rough or those who are homeless are not always able to access healthcare and GP records for people off the radar are likely to be incomplete and yield little information. This makes them a group of people who are at higher risk of having underlying health conditions and who belong in priority group 6. But what does this mean for those of us who are still waiting?

Everyone believes they deserve to be vaccinated first or would prioritise their loved one above others without hesitation. It’s human nature. If we see another person getting something that we feel we deserve more, it is natural to feel aversion and jealously. That is why it is imperative that we erase the bias and bigotry associated with homelessness, particularly during these times. We must look past how we feel and look into what is logical and right.

Being made homeless is more a tragedy than choice. Relationship breakdown is the most common cause of homelessness along with debt or childhood trauma. Poor health and homelessness go hand in hand. On average a homeless person will live for only 47 years.

The vaccine will not automatically guarantee safety for those on the streets.

Mental and physical health will be taking a constant hit with their lack of sense of safety and security. The ongoing pandemic has been stressful for us all, but living rough means existing health conditions are likely going to be exacerbated.

Homelessness is a complex issue that won’t be solved overnight. It is a reflection of us at our most vulnerable. No one wants to be in such a situation.

Hating the homeless because they are further up the line for a vaccine is fruitless and shows a lack of empathy and foresight. Every vaccine given makes us all a little safer. We must practice patience.

Pupil power

So many of us worry for our children and their ability to cope, but most of all, we worry about their wasted potential dribbling away in repeated lockdowns.

Moving to online lessons when schools had to reduce their number intake, demonstrated a shift towards a new way of learning, with schools becoming reliant on technology to tread through the tides of teaching. It is easy to cast a weary shadow over this peculiar time and blame the situation but I feel we are not giving our offspring enough credit for their achievement.

Our children have demonstrated amazing resilience and independence. They have turned on to class meetings every day and submitted work to the best of their ability and beyond.

They have learnt to be independent and responsible for their own learning. Their ‘can do’ attitude and zealous nature is something we can learn from and should replicate.

Golden Wallpaper

Boris is flimsily flouting heritage claims for the refurbishment of the Downing Street flat.

Anyone with a good set of eyes and ears can see this is an odd request. He has been warned it is controversial and could result in a possible ‘conflict of interest’.

Substantial redecoration has already cost over a £100k. He was told he could only claim £30,000 from the state, so is now pleading for ‘charity’. Describing this as charity is laughable.

Yes, Downing Street is a piece of 17th century history, but the top floor flat his fiancé wishes to decorate is simply a place to live. Since when does splashing out £100 per metre for wallpaper count as a charitable act? It is doubtful Boris is struggling with the pennies. Why does everyone else have to pay for his luxury?

Downing Street’s living spaces are not a cultural imperative we should pay for.