While news of strains and variants are causing much stress, and there are stories in the US and Canada of a bungled vax rollout, there seems to be more good news than not. The Canadian controversy is how to count the number of vaccines the country is getting from Pfizer--whether we can count each vial has having 5 shots or 6. This is a good problem to have. Canada is not at the top of the list of countries vaccinating their public, but it is also not as far behind as the Economist suggests. The good thing is that most cities are not handing over their vax programs to douchebros. The bad news is that my mother resides in the one that did. I am heartened by seeing my friends' parents and grandparents getting the shots as well as those who in the health care business or nearby. The latest lockdowns, as weak as they have been, are making a difference. Biden and the CDC are making the decisions that should have been made a year ago--requiring masks on planes, for instance. There is another vaccine that may help. With so much death, it is hard to focus on the good news, but that is the way to get through this long winter.
A key way to get through this winter is to mock the conspiracy theorists:
why are they calling it jewish space laser when death star of david is right there— Steve Kandell (@SteveKandell) January 29, 2021
I know that I have been most lucky, that I have found projects that take me to great places. My next project is unlikely to lead to as much fun travel unless .... I go with a joke I have been making to myself--that the current project skips all the I countries. Which means the next book should do just that--check out the civ-mil dynamics of Ireland, Italy, Israel, India, and Indonesia. Yeah, I would skip Iran and Iraq for the obvious reasons, and Iceland has no military.
Speaking of work, having gotten past the big grant application, I have found time to think and write. Some of it was forced by the inevitable ebb and flow of work. The Dave/Phil/Steve project hit a stumbling block as we got rejected from a top journal, but good feedback that will force us to think more clearly. Our strategy worked as expected although not quite what we hoped. We had a good zoom meeting to figure it out, and the next parts are in the ballparks of Dave and Phil, so I moved onto other stuff to do. I owe different people chapters for their edited volumes, so that is my next thing.
Well, that and more CDSN stuff. We rolled out our Post-Doc competition this week, and I got acceptances back from the people who were nominated to be our Capstone Scholars. That event will be on March 22nd, bringing together the best presentations on Canadian defence and security of 2020. We are now working on the end of the year reporting (our fiscal year ends at the end of March) and on our Summer Institute--which was postponed due to the pandemic. We will try again, planning for an online version, which will be tricky since the goal was to have the participants share their perspectives with each other and build a cohort. We will figure a way to make it work.
While facebook remains pretty evil, it does remind me of some of the best pictures I have ever taken, so here's one to remind me of ski trips past and future.