COVID Variants, Vaccine Strategy, and Weirdo Southern Chickens
This last week has been a little bit overwhelming for me. If you follow me on Twitter (Editor’s not: not recommended, do not follow this person on Twitter) then you might think that I’m not talking about COVID anymore because, well, other things are happening and the overall discourse has shifted.
I have very strong feelings about the internet and free speech and if you’re really interested, you should read Rise of the Machines, which is a book about technology, encryption, cypherpunks, and the original vision of the internet from the people who invented it.
Yes, this has nothing to do with COVID. That’s not what you’re here for. Even so, it’s what I’m thinking about in my “off time” and I probably need to write about it in some capacity at some point. On a related note, if you haven’t yet read Liora’s epic post on citizen journalism, now is the time.
Looney Tunes: Walky Talky Hawky
COVID news is kind of all over the map right now. As a summary, at this very moment:
1) We’re in the middle of a incredibly high wave of infections and deaths (which I will address next week in my state-by-state analysis)
2) There are a set of COVID variant strains that are deeply worrying
3) Vaccine applications and strategies are in a state of incredible flux
Is there good news? Yes. There is good news all over the place.
I wrote recently about how different states have different strategies for vaccine distribution. Some states (cough New York cough) have decided to focus on making sure that the proper sequence of vaccine distribution is followed. To this end, they have instituted fines for vaccinating people in an improper order.
I thought that was insane. But I’m slow to judgement and so I was not condemnatory of that strategy.
To my despair, that strategy has resulted in vaccines that had to be thrown away. But, to my delight, that has spurred the states with the poor vaccination strategies to update their plans to reduce vaccine waste.
While all my friends on twitter are dunk-posting, I can’t help but feel like this is a win. Is this not exactly the thing we want? Don’t we want public officials to alter their decisions when they see that their original strategies result in undesirable behaviors? I don’t personally like Governor Cuomo, but is seems silly to me to attack him for pivoting to the strategy that I prefer.
There is a lot of concern about certain COVID variants that have caused high rates of infection in the United Kingdom
The main concern is that this particular variant has increased the contagion of the virus, which means it can spread even faster than the absolutely horrible virus we’ve been fighting for the last 10 months.
I’d like to provide a couple of notes on this.
The first note is that this variant is probably not containable. We already have confirmed cases in the US and if we’ve already sequenced it, that’s a good indication that a lot of people have it.
The second note is that we have little evidence that this new variant is vaccine resistant. We should be making vaccinations the highest possible priority if for no other reason than to try to cut off this new variant as quickly as possible. My political position at this time is that I am in favor of anything that puts more vaccines in arms and against anything that stops vaccines from going into arms. It’s that simple for me. Let’s kill this thing as quickly as we can.
Looney Tunes: Walky Talky Hawky
The likelihood that I will return frequently to Foghorn Leghorn is pretty high. I grew up in the south and there is something about a cartoon character who replicates my southern heritage that I find endearing.
This is the first cartoon with Foghorn Leghorn and he introduces himself by first humiliating the farm dog and then proposing to a young and inexperienced Chicken Hawk that he is not a chicken but a horse.
The remainder of the cartoon is just perfect hilarity. Leghorn sets the young chickenhawk against the dog until the dog snaps and attacks Leghorn, which brings additonal barnyard animals into the mix. In the end, the chickenhawk drags every character in for interrogation to see if they are, in fact, a chicken. It’s adorable and hilarious every inch of the way.