Gillian Tett, a contemporary of ours at Clare, wrote a piece a week ago (well, the Guardian published an excerpt from her new book) that really captures what we have lost in the last year of virtual interaction. Roll on normality. We went for a drink after work on Place de Londres (I refuse to go to Place Luxembourg on Thursdays) and it was really good to see people enjoying themselves on the terraces on a lovely sunny evening. There was a palpable feeling of decompression. We were a good multinational group - two Romanians, two Italians, a French/Croatian colleague and me, so seven nationalities between the six of us.
The Belgian numbers continue to go the right way. I had hoped in my last update that I might be able to say today that ICU numbers are at their lowest all year; not quite there, but we’ll hit that threshold in the next couple of days. More importantly, perhaps, vaccination rates are ramping up. Anne had her first dose yesterday, and I get my second tomorrow fortnight.
(A few weeks ago I met - in person - with officials from a Central Asian government. “We have all had Sputnik vaccine,” the leader of the delegation told me. “Now we can receive Russian television without antenna!”)
And in the office pool for the European Championships (as I still old-fashionedly call them) I drew Denmark. Which may not seem such good news, but (unlike some of my colleagues who had not been born then) I remember watching the 1992 final in a pub in Maynooth, when Denmark won despite not having actually qualified. I take it as a good omen.
See you soon.