Getting your EU Digital COVID Certificate – A step by step walkthrough

If like me you don’t need a personal digital certificate or god forbid a cl@ve which I have only read about but sound as though they present most people with problems you can still access miHistoria either on your laptop or via the app without either of the above in order to get your EU Covid Certificate.

The following is a step by step walkthrough for those of us who are often technically challenged so that you end up with your QR Code should you need it.

Yesterday I went to my GP in Arona and the lovely man at reception (he has helped me before so I knew he would be good) showed me exactly what I needed to do.

  • You give him your phone number and he messages you a numeric code so he can check you are who you say you are. He then sends you a personal password to allow you to access your information.
  • You then need to download the app to your phone which looks like this

  • or access it via your laptop from HERE and you see this

  • Open either the app or on your laptop the box that says SCS Digital Identity Access.
  • Once open type in your NIE and the password that you have now received from your health centre.
  • Press accept and then you have to change the original password to something of your own choice and that you can remember. (As with normal passwords you need to add the new one twice to make sure it is correct). Mine is made up of capital letters, lower case letters and numbers but whatever you choose it cannot be your email, your NIE, your name or less than 6 digits.
  • Once you have done this and pressed accept you are taken to a new screen
  • From there (more security measures) you need to add 3 digits from the 6 that are listed as CVV on the back of your medical card.

  • You then have access to all your medical history through various areas, including the new Covid Vaccine and you can either open the QR code directly or download it as a Pdf file if you are happier keeping a printed copy.
  • If you choose the file it is in Spanish and English and gives details of when you had the vaccine, what you had, information about you, i.e. name, date of birth and in the top corner the QR code.
  • If you choose just the QR code it will look like this

The above may sound complicated but if I can do it and particularly if my OH can do it (anyone who knows him knows just what a technophobe he is) it is straightforward just follow the steps above.  I spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon looking in each section finding out what I had told the medics in the past, what and when I had my last prescription, what other vaccines I had received like flu jab etc. allergies and even the date I last saw my GP to renew a prescription….  All interesting stuff.

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Remembering the ’80s.

I recently asked a question on Facebook – Could you go back and live as we did before the 1990s? I anticipated the answers would be, like my own, a very strong NEVER, so was surprised that from the 60 replies only 5 said no and the remainder were convinced they would love to return to the 1980s.

I couldn’t understand it. We have progressed so much in the intervening years but it seems for many it is a decade associated with nostalgia.

I remember the ’80s in vivid colour, it was as if we came out of the darkness of 1970s punk to vibrant designer noise and images. The ’80s were an exhilarating time for music, fashion, and culture. Hair was bigger, shoulders were wider and the music was full of synths.

So let’s go on a trip down memory lane (or at least my trip, yours could be totally different). We were getting through life virtually without the internet. Only rich yuppies that “dressed for success.” in their Miami Vice jackets had mobile phones – giant mobile phones, but mobile nonetheless. Young people were moving to big cities in droves and many were driven by success.

The 80s was the start of women in the workplace who wanted to show they were capable of doing any job a man could do and with that came power dressing and the desire to present themselves as serious, intelligent and strong. This meant following the icons of the popular TV shows and wearing shoulder padded garments wide enough to make an American footballer jealous. The successful woman was guilty of really bad hairstyles and it seemed at times that bigger meant better. How many have looked at old wedding photos and felt regret over the choice of hairstyle?

Big hair wasn’t just for girls and the mullet was the ultimate in bad hairstyles chosen by many men. It didn’t look great then and looking back, it looks even worse than we thought!

It was also the decade of Flashdance and Fame and leg warmers were at the peak of popularity not just for people in the gym they were used as part of everyday outfits.

The music be it New Wave or Hip Hop was all about image. Nothing was understated, not the sound, not the fashion. The forces that drove the bands was a profound desire for something new. This was a time of great innovation, as bands acquired a can-do attitude and began to experiment with synthesisers and new technologies that would change forever the way music was made, altering the mood, energising a whole new generation, many of whom were already high on the drug ecstasy.

Having a Walkman seemed way ahead of its time. Being able to go out and take your music with you was awesome and didn’t seem quite real, but it really makes you realise what we now take for granted. Ghetto Blasters were considered to be portable radio. These were big and the people who would walk around with them thought they looked cool. They were also heavy, so you had to be pretty strong to lug one around with you.

On the other hand, Britain in the 1980s could be a brutal place and reflected the beginning of a period of great disparity.

For me, it began with the election of Margaret Thatcher and ended with an internal party coup that ousted her. I have never forgotten picking up my morning paper to be told, “She’s won.” as those restless for change and weary of failed quasi-socialist politics of the post-war decade voted Conservative for the first time in their lives.

The 80s were going to be different… and they were.

The 1980s saw Britain go to war as Argentina invaded the Falklands Islands. Poverty trapped many in its grip leading to scenes of deprivation in inner cities across the country. People were forced onto the breadline after mass factory and mine closures left them out of work. England was being convulsed by a social, cultural and political revolution, there was violence on the football terraces and kids left to roam the streets while parents felt too downtrodden to care.

Sometime in the mid-80s, everything calmed down. The fiercest political battles had been fought and won. The miners were defeated. Free-market fundamentalism was the new practice. People began to feel richer. It was the beginning of a slippery slope as the pursuit of individual wealth superseded community affairs. In Thatcher’s words ‘there is no such thing as society, just individuals.’

The summer of 1989, the last of the decade saw something happening in eastern Europe and it soon became clear it was the sudden and dramatic fall of communist totalitarianism. For one sweet moment that year, it seemed as if things were changing for the better, the Cold War was at an end and we were seeing the beginning of something new and promising. The feeling of euphoria didn’t last; how could it? But it was an inspiring end to a thrilling decade of upheavals.

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A heroic expedition that saved millions of lives

Gosh, I have been waiting weeks to share this lovely story with readers but couldn’t say anything until it had been officially announced. And now it has, so here goes…

We have Covid – but in the 1800s the killer was smallpox and before vaccination, as we know it was invented, the practised method for inoculation involved taking fluids from an infected patient and puncturing it into the skin of a healthy individual. The person being inoculated would become infected, but the reaction would be less severe and usually not fatal. After about two to four weeks, the patient would make a successful recovery and be immunized.

This Friday, a video promoted by the Government of the Canary Islands tells how 22 children arrived in the Canary Islands in 1803 to finally stop the smallpox pandemic that afflicted the world at that time and left thousands dead.

 

HISTORY

Francisco Javier de Balmis was appointed honorary chamber surgeon to King Carlos IV of Spain and while in Madrid, he learned of Edward Jenner’s discovery of the smallpox vaccine. By then smallpox was killing a fifth of the population. The problem affected not only mainland Spain, but also its overseas domains. Therefore, the doctor suggested sending a Spanish corvette to the New World with a number of children who could act as receptors to the disease passing it from child to child during the long voyage across the ocean, thereby forming a living chain. It may not have been an acceptable or ethical vaccination method by our current standards, but it was a very effective way of carrying the vaccine within the constraints of the technology at that time.

The so-called Royal Vaccine Philanthropic Expedition departed from La Coruña on November 30, 1803, and the corvette “María Pita” made its first stop in Tenerife, where the vaccination campaign began. Just before they left for the colonies, a doctor gave two of the orphans’ smallpox. After nine or 10 days at sea, the scars on their arms would be ‘ripe’. A team of doctors onboard scratch the fluid from the arms and pass it on to two more boys. Nine or 10 days later, once those boys developed sores, a third pair would receive fluid, and so on.

With luck, the ship would arrive in the Americas when the last pair of orphans still had sores to lance and the doctors could then leave the ship and start vaccinating people.

Given the era, it’s likely that no one asked the children whether they wanted to participate. They’d been abandoned by their parents, were living in institutions and had nothing to lose. The Spanish king, Carlos IV, made them a few promises: They would be stuffed with food on the voyage, they’d get a free education in the colonies, plus the chance of a new life with an adoptive family. It was far better than they’d get in Spain.

Two of the orphans portrayed in the video were asked if they would like to take part in the reproduction of the journey they are Olly McGhie and Sonny Pindoria. They had a great time filming in Garachico and I would lay odds on their parents are so proud, I know I would be. I had to look twice but I did spot you both in the video, you did a great job. 🙂 

Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, announced the arrival next week of around 4.6 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19, in line with the increase in the vaccination process in the second quarter of the year. During her speech, the Minister of Health stressed that next week will be an outstanding week and that it “is going like clockwork”.

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Spoiling ourselves with a new car

Anyone who is on my friends list may have seen that a couple of weeks ago, as Jim was on his way to the doctors, someone drove into the side of our car. Nobody was driving fast, it was one of those 5 mph accidents that looked messy as both doors were stoved in but nobody was hurt.

The other driver admitted liability and we passed the information to our insurance company. They came back to us the same day and told us to go to the workshops in Cabo Blanco/Buzanada to meet with the assessor and sort out a repair. This was done and although we didn’t actually see the assessor, the mechanic said it would be two new doors and they would get back to us once they had sourced these, probably from another island. A couple of days later, we heard back from our insurance. Due to the age of our car and the amount the repair would cost, it turns out the chassis was also bent, our car was a write-off and they offered us the book price less our excess as it was our insurance that was paying. ¿¿?? It turns out the other driver was not insured due to being on ERTE, ever increasing bills etc. Sadly a common story for many at the moment due to the pandemic and no work.

Having bought our car when we moved to the island, we had expected to keep it until we popped our clogs. Although it had dings, scratches and some paint marks (including a patch of Titsa green on the back bumper which we saw as we returned to where we had left it parked in Las Americas a few years ago) nevertheless, it was mechanically sound. Our choice was to accept the write off price and get another car or sort the damage ourselves and hope that it would pass and ITV so it could be insured again. We felt there was only one option and we chose a ‘new’ car.

As we have not looked at cars for over 16 years we had no idea who was good or who was dodgy. I did my usual research and saw the reviews for Wheeler Dealers in Las Chafiras. These reminded me that over the years I had only heard good things about this company but you don’t actually know until you try yourself.

I checked out the website and saw a car we may have been interested in so rather than waste time I phoned to see if it was still available. Having spoken to Paul who said, it was but it had a piece of plastic missing from the front end which they were trying to get hold of. I thought, this guy sounds honest, some would not have mentioned that. So we went along mid-morning. The workshop was clean, the staff were lovely and chatty and Jim and I both felt confident we could find what we wanted.

Paul showed us the car we had enquired about. It was nice, we had his missing part because it was identical to our own car just a different colour, but of course, with the amount of choice within our price range that was available I spotted something else and plans changed. I saw a white Citreon C3 its only drawback, which Jim will have sorted in a couple of days, is that it has manual transmission and for the past 20 odd years we have had automatics (except when hiring cars on holiday). Paul gave us what in our opinion is an excellent deal on our write-off and as for the new car we are very happy – we picked it up yesterday 🙂

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What we experienced having our first Covid-19 vaccine

Friday lunchtime OH and I were at our doctors in Arona and in passing asked when it was likely that we would receive our Covid vaccinations. Luciano our nurse (sadly Friday was his last day and we will miss him because he was excellent but we will be getting the lovely Guillermina back) said just ask at reception. So we did – and on our behalf, they phoned a number which I assume was 012, going by the amount of very fast talking going on, and booked us appointments for the following day. On Saturday at 12.30, we turned up at El Mojón and joined the short queue. We had been told that along with the printout we were given at the doctors to take our green cards (no mention of TIE) and passport which we did. We were met at the main door of the annexe where the vaccinations are being given by a young lady who only wanted to see the stamped paper appointments. She told us to put the rest of our paperwork away to keep it safe. We were then asked to queue in front of one of the numbered doors. The first one we waited at was taking quite a long time and we were moved to another door by a young lady who told us to go in together rather than individually because most of our details would be the same. We still had a little wait because the lady in front of us had no Spanish and the young people who were checking details were doing it through translate on their phones. I thought it was an excellent way to ensure that people knew what to expect. We were fortunate that we could understand and confirm we had no serious illnesses or allergies. We said we understood that we could get flu or gastroenteritis like symptoms and to just take what we would normally take i.e. paracetamol but if we continued feeling unwell for more than a couple of days to let the doctor know. We were also told to expect a text around the 20th or 21st of the month giving us a time to go for the second Pfizer injection on 22nd May. It was then that the nurse (only 2 giving injections and one preparing the syringes) came along and asked which arm we used the least. He continued to say that we should spend some time in the waiting room, just in case we had a reaction, 30 mins for Jim because of his age and 15 minutes for me. While he was saying this he had given the injection and I hadn’t felt a thing. We moved through to the waiting room (sala de espera) which had a nice outlook over the gardens and read our books while we waited and over the past few days neither of us had a single reaction. It is now Thursday and while this has no logic, I do wonder…. In January 2020 both the Quayles and ourselves were really poorly. We were of the opinion that we had all had Covid before it became popular with the masses. Since that time I have had a cough so bad that at times OH has had to go to another room to get some sleep and I have been using an inhaler two or three times each day. On waking up this Sunday after the injection, I had no cough, I haven’t coughed since and I am wondering if it could be that whatever was wrong with us 18 months ago has been overcome by the vaccine. As I said I can’t explain how or why but I do wonder if anyone else has had a similar experience.
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