Wednesday evening.

I’ll start out with great news: my mom just got her second shot of Pfizer! She’s 67 and lives in the suburbs of Seattle – not exactly the hotspot like Florida is, but not exactly Hawaii, either. It’s such a relief to know she’s safe, to know that she’s protected from hospitalization or worse. That alone was well worth waiting for.

My quest to fight bureaucracy continues. (I feel like that’s going to be the theme for this whole year with me.) My former boss and I both moved from the US to Canada at roughly the same time, and we both got invited to apply for permanent residence simultaneously. Neither of us has received our papers yet, but one of his coworkers, who had the exact same situation, just got his – and he’d applied just a month before we did. So maybe, just maybe, the first step toward freedom (and vaccines, and all the other good stuff) is just a few weeks away? Hope everlasting…

My new attempt at a zombie game character last night got eaten alive by a zombie Rottweiler. (Seriously, where is animal control when you need them?) Lessons learned: I need to pay more attention to things around me: I’d completely disregarded an empty dog bowl in the backyard of a house I was exploring – and, well…. Zombie dog chow, c’est moi. Ahh, lockdown entertainment.

In covid news, a few days ago the CDC updated its guidance for social distancing within schools. The new recommendation is to keep 3′ apart instead of the usual 6′. They based that on this study published in the journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases. The study was conducted on 251 school districts in Massachusetts. The study’s authors claim they didn’t find significant differences between the spread of covid in 3′-apart and 6′-apart school districts. At the same time, however, they acknowledge multiple unknowns: there was no extensive testing on students (it was mighty hard to get a test for a kid, even if you wanted to), there’s no way to confirm if the 3′-apart schools actually practiced larger distances, etc. Nonetheless, the CDC has updated its nationwide guidelines: 3′ apart is fine, as long as everyone is wearing masks. Frankly, after the way the CDC whored itself out last year (no offense to any sex workers reading this), I can’t help wondering if they’re sincere in their desire to help, or if they’re working for yet another set of politicians… Their reputation is gutted now. It’ll also give even more ammo to the anti-mask crowd who will crow that the 6′ distancing rule was a lie after all.

The US teacher unions share my skepticism, it seems. The CDC’s recommendation does not come with any baseline mitigation strategies. Not all schools are created equal, and it there are insufficient resources and/or bad ventilation in an underfunded school, must it follow the same guidelines as a fancy state-of-the-art modern school? It seems to me that the death of even a single teacher would make for a powerful counterargument – and there have been many, many teachers who caught covid while teaching in person… Not for the first time, and likely not the last one – what a mess.

Stay safe, folks.