The world could also be a stage, however William Shakespeare from Warwickshire didn’t flinch or draw back from his activity: As Britain began to roll out the coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, Mr. Shakespeare grew to become the second particular person within the nation to obtain the vaccine.
“It might make a distinction to our lives any more, couldn’t it?,” Mr. Shakespeare, 81, mentioned with a smile shortly after being vaccinated at College Hospital Coventry, in central England, simply 20 miles north of the place his namesake, the slightly older and more well-known poet and playwright, was born.
That one of many first recipients of the vaccine bore such a well-known identify — a incontrovertible fact that was confirmed by the Nationwide Well being Service — introduced shock and lighthearted jokes at a time when Britain faces the daunting task of implementing the largest vaccination campaign in its history.
“Shakespeare will get Covid vaccine,” the BBC wrote as a headline. Shakespeare’s comedy “The Taming of the Shrew” became The Taming of the Flu. And “The Gents of Verona” shortly changed into The Gents of Corona.
In a reference to Hamlet, one person wrote on Twitter, “If Margaret Keenan is affected person 1A for the vaccine, would William Shakespeare be 2B, or not 2B …,” in regards to the first affected person to obtain the vaccine, and Mr. Shakespeare, who was subsequent in line.
Even Britain’s theaters weighed in.
Mr. Shakespeare acquired the shot in his left arm and wore a hospital robe and brilliant purple socks.
Britain’s well being secretary, Matt Hancock, appeared to shed some tears on ITV as he heard the identify of the primary man within the nation to obtain the vaccine.
Might Parsons, a nurse on the hospital who administered the dose to Mr. Shakespeare and Ms. Keenan, mentioned the injections have been a primary step in giving extra folks a way of normality. “That is actually necessary for me realizing that they’re going to be secure, that they’re going to be protected,” Ms. Parsons advised Sky News in regards to the first recipients of the vaccine.
For the numerous jokes made, although, Mr. Shakespeare’s kin reminded everybody that rather more was a stake than the ephemeral fame of “their” William Shakespeare.
“Sooner or later he’d prefer to see his spouse, kids and grandchildren who can’t go to him in the intervening time,” Emily Shakespeare said on Twitter about her uncle.
“Invoice is way beloved,” she added in a reply to a well-wisher.