Wednesday evening.

Boredom level: I’m contemplating buying a $150 digital microscope with a built-in display and a 12MP camera. Oh, and 1,200x magnification. Something like this model made Opqpq. (That’s a Scrablle-winning word if I ever saw one.) This particular obsession is caused by a combination of a tweet with a cool picture taken by a digital microscope, and the book I’m currently reading about an obsessive taxonomist. This might be just another brief obsession, so for once, I’m going to wait for a week before I click that “buy” button. Possible benefits: cool photography right here, at home, without going outside to the cold weather. Also, science and stuff. I highly doubt that those fancy and exotic 12MP pictures will get me any notoriety or fame, but maaaaaybe? Who knows. The price is higher than what I’d typically be comfortable spending on a random whim, but the vaccine trial people will allegedly pay me for my participation, and that should more than cover the cost.

Boredom level, continued: in order to add at least a little variety and to fast-forward through these boring waking hours, I’m going to give self-help hypnosis a try. Those free hypno files are something I’ve dabbled with for years, on and off. (As a listener, not as an actual hypnotist. My accent doesn’t make for a very relaxing and soothing voice. Heh.) Here in the second year of the pandemic, singles meetups are illegal, and dating is a weird form of prisoner dilemma where each party tries to figure out if the other is honest about having zero covid exposure. Unless, that is, both parties are dumb and/or just don’t give a damn about covid anymore. That’s also a significant possibility. So, yeah, random human voices telling me sweet nothings through my stereo headphones as I wait to get tired enough to sleep until another identical day. That sounds healthy, right? Heh.

In covid news, a new paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine claims that AstraZeneca is useless against the South African variant (aka B1351). The vaccine showed only 10.4% effectiveness, and that’s after two shots 21-35 days apart. Given that Canada still plans to vaccinate people four months apart, that 10.4% effectiveness will probably drop to zero. This is remarkably bad news… More and more European countries are stopping their AstraZeneca vaccinations due to the fears of blood clots. Even if some thorough analysis shows that there’s zero risk, that vaccine’s reputation is already ruined. And even if it got used on large scale again, the B1351 variant could sweep through that population as they try to return to their regular lives. This is such a hot mess… We’ll see how this plays out, I guess. For now, I’ll have to update my personal pandemic-ending criteria: not only two shots three weeks apart, but two shots of a vaccine that’s not Sputnik V and not AstraZeneca. That may take a while, eh.

Good night, y’all. Watch out for them South African viruses.