We are all going to die sometime and the worth of our days is measured by how we act – and we can still work together to save each other, writes journalist and Local Democracy Reporter George Makin.

Four days after getting my first Covid jab I was diagnosed with advanced, incurable lung cancer.

Like everyone, when I got the vaccine I started to hope for the future, plan holidays, look forward to hugging loved ones again and generally begin to enjoy life once more.

Then out of the blue I had to start thinking ‘How do I tell my  wife, family and friends?’

Covid has dominated our lives for more than a year now and has controlled where you can go, who you can see and even who you can touch.

When I got my diagnosis that all ended for me. In an absurd irony even I’ve had to laugh that I got the life-saving jab only to go and catch the wrong bloody illness. 

But at least I don’t have to worry about catching a life-threatening disease anymore –  I’ve brought my own. 

So it could mean no more masks, no more social distancing, no more staying at home and no second jab. 

Doesn’t matter does it?  Not for me? 

Except that I will continue doing all that, if for nothing else but to annoy the hell out of what I sometimes call the absoluters.

They are those who believe with absolute certainty they have direct and incontrovertible access to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

And not the sort of truth which demands evidence and/or compelling argument.

On Saturday tens of thousands of people marched in London in protest at the lockdown regulations.  

Some say Covid is a hoax, some said it’s no worse than common flu, some say it’s an attempt by the state to take away our freedoms to choose how we live our lives, while others just repeat the latest conspiracy on the internet. 

The good thing about believing in absolute truths is without the need for proof you can have as many of them as you want at any given time, even if they contradicted each other. 

I don’t know what affect my decision to continue social distancing and to have the second jab will have have on others.

I do know that by thinking of others, by listening and not prejudging, by continuing to make small sacrifices for the benefit of us all, we can all save lives. 

In January, Sandwell had one of the highest rates of Covid infections in the country. 

Since then, hard work both nationally and locally – and because people listened and acted – those figures have dropped dramatically.

Director of Public Health Lisa McNally has headed Sandwell Council’s response to the pandemic during the darkest time times and through false dawns.

After the demonstration in London she took to Twitter and wrote: “This is our chance. Last summer, we turned our back on Covid because we thought we’d beaten it.  

“We hadn’t. Let’s keep our guard up. Keep suppressing the virus and build our defences through vaccination.

“The severity of the next wave is up to us. Let’s take this chance.”

There is one absolute truth. We are all going to die sometime and the worth of our days is measured by how we act.  

The decisions I make in my remaining time will probably have little impact but our actions on behalf of each other can.

As an individual it is too late for me but together we can save each other. 

As a community this is our chance, let’s not balls it up.