Tuesday night.

This is the kind of busy, work-jammed week where you have to stop and check to see what day this is. It is, in fact, Tuesday.

…it will never cease to amaze me that if you want to buy a six-pack of cider after a particularly stressful day here in Canada, you have to get to the nearest government-run alcohol distribution centre (closed at night and on holidays) instead of, say, just walking up to the nearest convenience store. Heh.

I might have discovered a fun new hobby. Last night, I saw someone on social media mention a US consulate, and it hit me. I’m a US citizen, I still pay my US taxes, so maybe the consulate can help me, right? (Spoiler alert: wrong.) The good news is that they replied to my email (“covid-19 vaccinations for US citizens in Toronto?”) in record time: I emailed them at night and got the reply at 8am. The bad news is that they told me to get lost. Officially, what they told me was “The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow Canadian developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.” Unofficially, they may as well have told me to stop bothering them.

According to this federal report, as of 2018 there were over 860,000 Americans living in Canada. That’s more than the population of Wyoming. And because America is such an odd animal, all American expats must pay US taxes forevermore unless they surrender their citizenship. Can you imagine the sheer outrage if the White House told Wyoming that it wouldn’t get any vaccines? Yeah, me neither.

So, righteously pissed off and all, I decided to do something I’ve never, ever done before: contact my elected representatives. I sent out requests for help to my congresswoman, to both of my senators (I still pay property taxes on my condo near Seattle, damn it), and tweeted at the US embassy in Canada. (The US is currently in between ambassadors.) The embassy itself doesn’t stay open 24/7, apparently, so I’ll call them again tomorrow. I really, really don’t want to turn into a male version of Karen (albeit one with a poli-sci degree), but I’m not proud, and I’ll take any option I can think of when the main stratagem fails. And once those options fail, I’ll think of some more. To be fair, I think there’s a low chance of this working out – but this chance is greater than zero. I don’t want to have to wait until September to get my first dose, followed by four more months for the second dose in goddamn January – and that’s assuming their logistical desperation doesn’t spawn any more brilliant ideas. I can just imagine them trying to keep a straight face while telling the cameras that actually, one year between two shots is the optimal way to go.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe Canada will get it together and get everyone vaccinated by June, just barely behind the US. So far, though, there hasn’t been a single logistical success. All the current official timelines say either September or “don’t you worry your pretty little head about that” when folks ask general Hillier when Ontarians under 60 might get vaccinated. I’m tired of complacency.

In covid news, a fun two-fer development from the US. First, Dr Fauci very politely said that there’s no way the US is jumping aboard the crazy train with the four-month vaccine gap suggestion. He politely but strongly rebuked that suggestion and said, “What we have right now, and what we must go with, is the scientific data that we’ve accumulated. And it’s really solid.” Meanwhile, Biden announced that the US would have enough Covid-19 vaccine doses for every adult American by the end of May. (That’s just the supply, though. It’ll take longer to distribute them.) He also said that Merck would help manufacture Johnson&Johnson’s vaccine to help make as many doses as possible. I don’t know much about pharmaceutical companies, but that sounds like a very rare kind of partnership. Good for them, eh.

And almost forgot – Texas keeps fighting Florida for the title of the stupidest state in the union. Texas governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order that would do away with masks entirely (can’t penalize anti-maskers, so it’s basically free for all) and would open up all businesses. The sole tiny concession to sanity is that local authorities can still limit business capacity if their county has a lot of covid hospitalizations, but even then they can’t limit a business’s capacity by more than 50%. This is madness. All of this is because Texas has managed to vaccinate 20% of its population. A karaoke bar that’s half-full can still generate new covid clusters. People will almost certainly die because of this, because he couldn’t wait just a couple more months. Abbott’s reelection will be next November, which is no time at all in political terms. Does he really think people will remember his so-called leadership positively? Hell, maybe he’s right. Maybe they’ll only remember that he let them out to party months ahead of schedule (woo, spring break!) while also ignoring the fact that their grandma died two weeks later.

Stay safe and out of Texas, y’all, eh?