Monday night.

Just nine more workdays left until I’m fully out of the workforce: four more this week, then five more three weeks later, on my final week. Feels so strange… I’ve set it up so that my last week of work would also coincide with the end of my second and final quarantine. Strategy, eh. Keeping that in mind, even the routine humdrum of creating a lot of written bridges (think TPS reports from the Office Space) on Mondays didn’t phase me. At this point, it’s a collector’s edition sort of event: it’ll only happen one more time, and that’s it.

Aside from the occasional outbursts of rage at inefficient, impotent, and incompetent bureaucracy and its designated contractors, I can’t stop marveling at lucky I am, and how fortuitously all of this worked out. There are so many ways things could’ve gone wrong… I’m not going to be one of those white dudes who, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary, would say they achieved everything through their talent and hard work. Nah, luck was a major factor. I did many things right, but there are plenty of alternate universes where things played out rather poorly for me.

On a meta level, I find that my life got a lot calmer after I stopped visiting that politics blog I mentioned a few months ago. (Lawyers, Guns & Money.) At this point, I have no idea what’s happening with the US politics, and I love that. There’s some noise about yet another politician being caught in yet another sex scandal, but I have no idea about the specifics, I have no one in my life telling me about that, and I’m perfectly happy with that state of ignorance about the things I can’t change anyway.

…outside my window, someone is coughing their lungs out. I don’t think I’ll open it up for fresh air tonight. Microscopic odds, but why risk it?

In covid news, our Vaccine Hunters group is going. The Ontario chatroom on Discord has grown from 40-ish people to 100 to almost 200 as of today. (And that’s not counting the 10,000 Twitter followers.) Some of the stories people share, though… Some of the local clinics are empty, either because no one wants to sign up for the AstraZeneca vaccine, or because they made their criteria so narrow that most people can’t get in. Someone made an excellent analogy: this is just like the plane boarding process when they invite the platinum members to board, followed by gold, silver, ruby, kryptonite, etc. And then, when they finally announce it’s time for general boarding, everyone goes in all at once. Likewise here.

What’s worse is that there are lots of anecdotal accounts about people refusing to sign up for the AZ vaccine at all, even when that’s the only option available. It’s a fascinating paradox: vaccines are a scarce resource (at least here in Canada), yet the existence of choice between vaccines turns people into picky eaters, whereas the only logical reaction should be “OMG yes, yess, yassssss, give me, give me give me give me!” Some of my fellow vaccine hunters are claiming that some of their over-the-hill friends and relatives who refused the AZ vaccine are now in the hospital with covid… Many more are claiming are that after the initial refusal to sign up for an AZ slot, their loved ones haven’t been able to find any slots at all. Heh. So spoiled. So very, very spoiled. The other day, there was a local news story about a woman who actually burst into tears when she found out her vaccine appointment was for AZ, not Pfizer.

Also in Ontario; that big initiative to vaccinate everyone 18 and older in the postal codes with the most covid cases? Yeah, that was a lie. Doug Ford announced that on television with his health minister standing right behind him, but did not actually authorize the health ministry to do anything about that. Now there are thousands of people calling their local hospitals, demanding their vaccination slots, and (I imagine) very depressed hospital workers telling them for the thousandth time that no, there is in fact no way for them to get vaccinated. This is such a dumpster-fire. An absolutely, utterly self-inflicted wound.

It’s so strange to try and reconcile all the covid-related news coming from every direction: there are some amazing breakthroughs in technology and vaccination campaigns, all the while cases are rising all over the world. (And here in Canada as well.) For example, Canada has just performed its first double-lung transplant for a guy with covid. (Only 40 of those have been done for covid victims worldwide.) But at the same time, Japan is setting up 2-week quarantines for travelers from Spain, Finland, and specifically Ontario. (Not Canada, just Ontario. Ever feel like the universe is just picking on you? Heh.)

The head of China’s CDC has admitted that the efficacy of his country’s Sinovac vaccine is so low (perhaps as low as 50%) that they’re considering mixing vaccines to try and boost the odds. The fact that he actually went on record with that is remarkable. And Slovakia is claiming that the shipment of the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia is very different from the vaccine that got a glowing review in The Lancet two months ago. Russia is claiming that’s all fake news and demanding its vaccine shipment back. That’s the same country that submitted fake urine samples to try and hide the proof of doping among their top athletes… I’m biased here, I know, I admit it – but they’re really not going out of their way to help clarify things. Oh well.

Just 11 more days until my second drive to Ohio… Can’t wait.

Stay safe, y’all.