Of Vaccine Jabs and Lossless Audio
9th June, 2021
On Tuesday I went and had my first COVID-19 vaccination jab. I could have gone many weeks before, as I'm (just) 45, but every single vaccination centre listed by the NHS booking system was 15+ miles away. Thankfully St. Pauls Church in Woking started opening up appointments over the past few weeks and I was able to book both jabs there.
I was going to faff about with buses, but I found it easier just to book an Uber instead. As we made our way into central Woking, a place I have not seen for a year and a half, it was quite a shock to see how much development work has progressed with the two new "skyscrapers" as well as the main car park. Hopefully I might get a chance to take a better look soon.
Having turned up at the church, there was a queue - not terribly long, but my poor old legs/back having been used to a home environment for much longer than is necessary, didn't like it too much. That said, it only took about 20 minutes to get up to the registration desk where I was told I was going to get the Pfizer vaccine. I was expecting the AstraZeneca (and dreading it slightly due to the whole rare blood clots issue, but I kept telling myself that even ordinary everyday medicine can have serious adverse side effects if you're really unlucky, plus the numbers of those that have had suffered blood clots is nothing compared to those that have already received the vaccine and are fine). I was also dreading some of the other side effects colleagues and friends reported - especially the shakes/chills, dead arm, and being completely shattered for a couple of days.
Anyway, after being lead through to a second reception, I took a raffle ticket and was told to sit down until it was my turn to be called. Within 10 minutes - maybe even less - I was seen by a nice lady who entered all my details into the computer, asked about my medical history, etc. Once that was all cleared, all I felt was a bit of pressure on the upper arm and it was done. I was escorted to the second waiting room where I sat quietly for 15 minutes to ensure there was no adverse reaction, then I went on my merry way.
The only side effects so far have been a slightly (and I do mean slightly) sore upper arm, and being rather knackered. But that may be that my body isn't used to being out and about as much. So I'll have to start getting back into shape again soon - depending on what happens on 21st June.
But I must say that I was almightily impressed by how efficient it all was. From reception to the jab itself, it was all handled exceptionally well by the volunteers at St. Pauls Church and I can't thank them enough for their hard work.
Apple has finally updated the Apple Music app so that Dolby Atmos (Spatial Audio) and Lossless Audio is now generally available to all. With my current set-up, a Blue Yeti Microphone with a cheap pair of wired headphones plugged into its monitoring port where I get all audio from the M1 Macbook Pro, the lossless quality isn't especially noticeable (I can't test Dolby Atmos until I get the Beats Studio 3 headphones), but I think I can hear some difference in some songs.
A good chunk of my iTunes purchases have still yet to be converted to lossless, and my Macbook Pro's 512Gb SSD is rapidly dwindling from re-downloading the lossless tracks. And there are still a number of Apple Music albums that still need to be converted to lossless too - but there are surprisingly a large amount that are. Here's a good one to try - the soundtrack to Jim Henson's Labyrinth which is released in High Resolution Lossless audio.
Still, given all this extra audio quality is being given away free at no extra subscription cost - you can't grumble.