Thursday evening.

Someway, somehow, today we had some actual warm weather. I ventured outside for a celebratory Tim Hortons lunch and was surprised to find that it was just sweater weather: no jackets or dramatically billowing cloaks required. (Ditto for not having to watch out for refreezing ice.) This really sneaked up on me. Not sure if things will be easier now that it’s not necessary to gear up to head outside, or if it’ll be that much more frustrating that as the nature awakens, it’s still not safe to socialize with others. (I would seriously pay hundreds of dollars for just a basic hour-long massage if I knew it was 100% safe.) Or maybe this is one of those “false spring” things Canadians talk about. We’ll see.

I should get my experimental covid vaccine next Friday morning, or in about 180 hours, give or take. It’s probably not a good idea to start counting down hours, but there’s not much else to look forward to. Actually, scratch that: there is absolutely nothing else to look forward to. It’s just a long grey stretch of groundhog days as I await the many, many pending bureaucratic formalities. Bah, humbug.

A pleasant surprise today: while I was recommending one of my favourite sci-fi book series to a coworker, I realized the writer released yet another book. Somehow, some way, it completely slipped past my radar two months ago. The series is “We are Bob” (or “Bobiverse” as fans lovingly call it), and it’s about a programmer who signs up to be frozen and revived should he die – and promptly gets hit by a bus. He wakes up as computer software onboard an experimental little spaceship tasked with exploring the galaxy and making more copies of himself. This series is about his adventures and saving the world. It’s incredibly geeky but fun: highly, highly recommended. (At least this will help me kill a couple of evenings, maybe even three.)

In covid news, this is remarkable: Alaska becomes the first US state to drop all covid vaccine eligibility requirements. Alaska has vaccinated 23.6% of its population with one dose, and 16.4% with both. It’s the leading state in terms of its vaccination progress, and 46th state in the number of covid cases. They’ve had a total of 59,000 cases and 305 deaths. (For context, Alaska’s total population is 740,000 people; there are New York buroughs with more people than that.) I expect other states to follow its lead pretty soon.

Just like with stocks, just like with weather, just like with many other things (I’m really gonna have to work on this pessimistic trait of mine), this news has sneaked up on me. I’d expected something like this to happen, but not until May. This is truly remarkable, and great news for all Alaskans – and other Americans who don’t mind booking a ticket there. (The article says it’s only for residents, but I’m not sure just how strictly that’d be enforced.)

That opens up some more options… Neither my elected congress-critters nor the US consulate got back to me. Canada’s own vaccine rollout is moving with all the urgency of a lethargic caterpillar. (And they’re still aiming to have a four-month gap between their doses, based on educated guesswork and no actual clinical data.) I may have to fly to the US to get my vaccine shots: that’s somewhat of a grey area, ethically speaking, but I still pay my US taxes, and if they’ve really got so many extra doses, I wouldn’t be depriving anyone. One issue with that plan: as per Canada’s travel restrictions enacted months ago, there’s a good chance that I wouldn’t be able to reenter Canada with just my work permit. (All the search results say the trip must be “non-optional.”) That means I should keep waiting for my permanent residency and hoping that it’ll be sooner rather than later. It’s been seven months and one week. It might get here tomorrow; it might be five months from now. This is a whole new type of hell, eh?..

Can’t leave the country (or return, rather) without my residency, but assuming I do get it in the near future, the choice becomes an interesting one: do I get my first dose in Canada and then fly to Alaska (or wherever) to get the second shot of the same vaccine three weeks later? (I’d rather not wait around for months on end.) Or do I just fly off to Alaska (or some such) for three whole weeks to get both of my shots while exploring whatever sights the local area has to offer? The worst of all possible combinations is one where my PR is delayed forevermore and I have to join millions of Canadians as we all participate in a gigantic medical experiment to see if a single dose is good enough to last four months against all the variants out there. There is, of course, always the possibility that Canada relaxes its travel restrictions. We’ll see.

I hope all y’all’s day is less existential-crisis-y than mine is.