Wednesday night.

My own personal V-Day grows closer. I went ahead and moved my vaccination appointment from Saturday to Friday after making sure my work won’t miss me. (Good Friday is a holiday in Canada, but not in the US, so it’s a weird business model here in Finance.) I had a minor scare when, right after I cancelled my Saturday vaccination, the one I’d found with an afternoon slot on Friday suddenly disappeared. A few rapid checks of the vaccination portal and voila – it’ll be in Ashland, Ohio. (Sorry it didn’t work out between us, Defiance, OH.)

If you’re reading this in the future, it might seem like sheer lunacy to embark on a 700-mile, 12-hour roadtrip just to get one vaccine shot. The fact that I’ll do that again three weeks later might seem just as bizarre. But if you didn’t live through this, or if you were too young to remember, or if you spent this whole pandemic with your friends and family… As the meme quote goes, “you wouldn’t get it.” It’ll likely take another 2.5-3 months for Ontario to distribute the first vaccine dose to every adult, and it’ll take just as long to get the second shot. After 381 days of this misery, every extra preventable month on top of this is like low-grade torture: not life-threatening but extremely unpleasant nonetheless.

Forty-eight hours from now, give or take, a different version of me will type up an excited recollection of day #383. That future me will have gotten his first shot, and his cells will be hard at work building up formidable defenses against covid. Friday should be fun, eh. If nothing else, I’ll get to catch up on all my podcasts during that long, long drive. I’m definitely not looking forward to getting my brain poked with all the follow-up tests, nor spending two weeks after my return quarantining in my little studio, but hey, that’s the price of admission for taking this crazy cross-border trip.

Tomorrow will be busy with digging out my US passport, the old US credit card I haven’t used since a work trip to Nashville over a year ago, and all my Canadian documents… It’ll be challenging to stock up on food to last me two whole weeks, when all I have is a dorm-sized fridge. Heh.

In covid news, 15 million doses of Johnson&Johnson vaccine got ruined because one of their subcontractors accidentally mixed ingredients of two different vaccines. As the meme goes, you had one job. Now several deadlines are in danger, and whomever was supposed to receive those 15 million doses (US? EU?) will have to wait longer. J&J is a single-dose vaccine – this is the equivalent of 30 million doses of Modern/Pfizer/AstraZeneca. Statistically speaking, at least a few deaths will be caused by this screw-up. How fragile all these systems are… Such massive scale, yet such vulnerable points of failure.

Here in Ontario, it’s official – there’ll be yet another month-long lockdown, this time for the entire province. This most likely means no more patios (takeout only), etc. It’s highly unlikely that the lockdown will begin immediately, right on Good Friday. Politicians love appeasing people’s love of holidays, so this three-day weekend will be a free-for-all – the last chance to get all your dining and partying and hair appointments done for at least a month. If we see a spike in cases about a week from today, it’ll be entirely due to Ford’s incompetence and reluctance to lock things down earlier.

Also in Ontario, there are lots of media reports about vaccination centers staying empty and, well, not vaccinating anyone because the province can’t lure the oldest folks in, while also refusing to use its many, many waiting lists to call other at-risk groups. As a result, appointment slots go unfilled, there are pictures of empty lines at the ripe late hour of 5pm, and there are off-the-record interviews where employees say that yes, they just put the doses back in the fridge. They’re not allowing the same kind of vaccine scavenging that the US had implemented months ago, where anyone in the general vicinity can get those last few doses. The insistence on vaccinating just one high-risk group at a time while flipping off the rest of them will make for an excruciatingly long vaccination campaign… When the land border officially reopens and all Canadians (not just American-Canadians like me) can freely travel, I wonder how many more will follow in my footsteps.

And according to various vaccine trackers, there are over 500,000 doses sitting in fridges and freezers just here in Ontario, waiting to be distributed. That’s the equivalent of about three or four days of vaccines. It really does appear that their vaccination strategy consists of admiring how pretty those vaccines look sitting on that shelf. Ugh. Ugh, I say…

Stay safe, folks.