Bill Harvey: Public service broadcasting
Getting better at tennis seems to be the way forward here
Author: Bill Harvey
Stooping to measure the subtitles on Good Morning Britain the other day (see page 27) while the presenters discussed Covid-related restrictions, I noted my wife’s frustration at not being able to visit her poorly mother in Australia. Getting better at tennis seems to be the way forward here. Since my call-out for any arguments against mandatory vaccination for eye care professionals, I have only received emails in favour of the measure. You must wash your hands; you must have a vaccine.
I was also interested to read the findings (published last week in Nature Communications) that described how people living with someone with Covid-19 were less likely to catch the disease if they had recently had a common cold. As some colds are caused by coronaviruses, this does make some sense. But, please note Mr Djokovic, this in no way will be a substitute for a vaccine. I can remember, as a cash-strapped student at Aston in the late 1980s, applying to be a guinea pig at the Common Cold Research Unit. Based in a military hospital in Wiltshire, the centre offered two weeks of full board (and a much-needed wage) during which you could be infected with a cold for study purposes. The advert posted on the university noticeboard promoted the stay as ‘an unusual holiday opportunity’. Sadly, the centre closed in 1990 as interest in coronavirus transmission waned.
Good to see the major breakthrough last week at Great Ormond Street in saving the sight of children with Batten disease. This very rare genetic disorder is of interest as visual impairment is the most common observable symptom of the disease and children (or adults) suspected of having Batten disease should initially be screened by an optometrist for RPE changes around the macula. This is yet more important now that early detection can prevent sight loss.