Saturday night.

Well, the shot is definitely making itself known. My left arm has moved from sore to actually painful when I move it, and I woke up with mild cold symptoms: stuffed nose and feeling lightheaded. (The latter never happens to me.) There’s always the outside chance that was caused by my long roadtrip yesterday: it was quite a shock to the system, and my diet wasn’t exactly healthy. Still, the achy arm shows the vaccine is doing its thing. I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to be in pain before.

Clarification for yesterday’s post, since quite a few people saw it without having read any others: I’m a US citizen. I wasn’t an amoral Canadian trying to sneak into the States to steal their vaccine under the cover of darkness. There are at least two ethically clear interpretations here: first, the vaccine was paid for (in part) with my tax dollars, since I still pay my US taxes – and since my elected officials never replied to my questions about vaccinating expats, this was me coming to the source to get my vaccine. Second, I’m also a Canadian, and Canada had ordered the Pfizer vaccine from the US plant in Michigan last year. All exports are blocked, so in a way, I was also a Canadian coming over to the US to get the vaccine my Canadian tax dollars paid for. Heh. When you start to stack up different legal jurisdictions you belong to, life gets a lot more interesting…

There’s also a pretty disturbing philosophical conclusion here: as the US is starting to vaccinate absolutely everyone (even 16-year-olds) while keeping the export ban in place (the one-time donation of AstraZeneca hardly counts), that implies they consider the life of a single American teenager to be more valuable than that of a Canadian elder who might not get their Pfizer vaccine in time. I get the “America first!” defense, I really do, but how big does your stockpile have to get before you finally start exporting as per existing business contracts?..

In less depressing news, I’ve gone ahead and paused my zombie game in favour of No Man’s Sky – a giant, infinite, mostly peaceful exploration game where you fix up your spaceship, explore new solar systems, marvel at randomly generated plants and animals, and do whatever the hell you want. You can be a space pirate, a botanist, an architect, a courier, a friend of the three alien races, etc… There’s also some sort of overarching plot, too, but I never bothered with it. The game was half-baked when it originally came out in 2016, but they’ve done wonders with it: I highly, highly recommend it.

Of course, it doesn’t take a PhD in psychology to see the shift: instead of wasting all my time in a hostile game where everything (zombies, dogs, birdies) tries to kill you, I’ve switched to exploring the galaxy and building up a peaceful little world. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I got my first Pfizer shot, that I’m already protected against covid – and will get even more protected when I get the second shot in 20 days. It’s hard to digest after all this time. I do feel much better, mentally speaking. Although I can’t even leave my studio (you never know when they might stop by to check up on me), I know that there’s a finite amount of time left. For the first time in what feels like forever, this longest lockdown feels like a miniature vacation – an inconvenience at worst – just like it always should have.

In covid news, the CDC has another minor self-inflicted PR disaster. The new CDC director, Dr.Rochelle Walensky, made a very strange statement during a cable news interview earlier this week: she claimed that vaccinated people “do not carry the virus, don’t get sick, and that it’s not just in the clinical trials but it’s also in real world data.” That was one of those bizarre “am I really right while she’s wrong?” moments where the words of the CDC director seemed really wrong, yet I doubted myself because, well, I’m a nobody compared to her. That was also why I never mentioned that on my blog. I guess I wasn’t the only one: a CDC spokesman admitted that Walensky “spoke broadly” and didn’t mean it. That does not inspire confidence, and that’ll be yet another thing anti-vaxxers will be able to justifiably quote. (“See, even the CDC doctors don’t know what they’re talking about!”) I work in Finance: we’re always extremely careful about the way we phrase our communications to business partners. (Up to and including saying “correct” when we get a potentially ambiguous yes-or-no question.) I want the kind of CDC director who would stare at the camera for a solid minute before uttering a single perfect sentence in reply. I get that Walensky is new on this job, and that she’s definitely better than her predecessor (Redfield recently claimed, against all evidence, that covid was China’s bioweapon), but when the CDC director engages in free-flowing improv or word association on national television, that does not inspire confidence… This is quite minor compared to the CDC’s utter failure last year, but still – this isn’t helping the remains of their reputation.

Good night, y’all.