Saturday, April 17, 2021

Quarantine, Week 57: One Down, One To Go

 The story du jour for the Canadian Saidemans: we are vaxxed.  This morning, we went to
Walmart and got our shots.  I had been growing very frustrated with the confusion coming out of Ontario (more on that below), so I started playing around with all of the pharmacies' vax sign up pages.  I was surprised when I finally got one that didn't just say that my wife was on the waiting list (I was signing her up since she is over 55) but said that a spot was open Saturday morning.  Then I inserted my info as it turns out that turning 55 in 2021 is good enough.  So, voila! 

Mrs. Spew  makes
a rare appearance
 By choosing the pharmacy route, we chose AstraZeneca.  If we waited for the city distribution and Pfizer, that would have taken much longer since they were still limiting to 60 and up.  Lots of stories about AZ not getting out fast as people "shopped" for better vaccines.  All of the vaccines do a pretty excellent job of preventing death and hospitalization, even if some are better at preventing any infection at all.  I will take a 75% chance of dodging COVID entirely rather than waiting weeks or even months for 95%.  Especially with these scary variants.  Now we have to wait until ... July for dose #2.  Canada's strategy has been to try to maximize first shots and not worry so much about the pharma recommendations about followup shots within a month.  I worry about this since there was no science really of whether a three month delay is problematic or not.  So, yeah, I will shop next month for places that are willing to give second shots. I expect policy to change as more vaccines make it into Canada.

So, personal relief as well as much outrage.  Doug Ford and the Ontario government announced yesterday new restrictions at a time where cases were spiking higher and faster than at any other point in this crisis, with hospitals on the verge of collapse.  Given that we know where much of the transmission is, did the new policies focus on that?  Hell no.  There is no science for what they are doing.  Instead of giving paid sick leave so that hourly workers can stay home rather than infect folks at work who can then infect their families, they have closed the playgrounds despite abundant evidence that such places are quite safe.  He also gave policy authority to stop and frisk ask folks why they are outside.  Rather than spend money and maybe take a hit to the economy (under the dumb belief that the choice is stopping covid or helping the economy rather than stopping covid to help the economy), Ford has chosen a series of measures that are inconvenient but not effective.  Incompetent murder clowns has been the phrase used to describe him and Legault and Kenney...  

I had my last class and now it is grading season.  So far, I am learning much from these papers from my MA Civ-Mil class.  I finished grading the Masters Research Projects, which are one of the ways our students finish their career here at NPSIA (they can take more courses or do a thesis or this paper).  I still have a heap of Phd dissertation proposals as well--I have to assess whether folks are making progress and how close they are to defending their proposals.  

The big IR news is Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan.  I have been meaning to write a post on that, given how much I wrote about the surge in 2009, when I was a younger, more energetic blogger.  My quick take here is: what would one more year do?  

I did ponder some funny business.  The question is whether the shots will produce side effects that will allow me to procrastinate on my taxes...

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