log: fourth wave incoming

WORMDATE: L2: 668-106,898: 4-1,756: 37,533-1,039,066 

It looks like we’re having our first real outbreak in Busan. It’s come out of 노래방 (karaoke rooms). So we’re in Level 2 here or will be in Level 2 on Friday — I’m not really sure. I haven’t been following things all that closely. There’s not much social fat to cut off my life at this point so the difference in levels mainly boils down to me timing my shopping trips a little more carefully, which is a thing I’ll do whatever the official level is today. Not that my timing is exactly reckless right now anyway.

Overall, nationwide, there’s some talk of the start of a fourth wave and new incoming restrictions. The reproduction rate is back above 1. There’s been a lot of talk of complacency in the public. The feeling seems to be that the restrictions are strict enough, it’s more a matter of people being tired, and not following them quite as well as they have in the past. The spread is essentially occurring in those areas that it’s difficult to control, regulate, or legislate. That mushy spot between policy and public. So we’re being encouraged to tighten things up. I hope we do!

Like, I had to do some shopping last week and I took a different route out of the market. And, man, there are just so many restaurants that I want to eat at. 정말 식당들은 갈고싶어요. I really hope that this can get sorted out well enough by the fall so that I can try some of these places. I want to eat my face right off. Let’s not fuck it up now!

The vaccination campaign seems to be proceeding about according to schedule. Slow but steady. We crossed one million people given at least their first dose within 40 days and things should probably start to ramp up. Experiencing some supply issues and the usual stuff that can be expected. I, for one, think it’s pretty important to remember that there are no magic bullets here. Vaccines are a terrific tool but they are only one tool out of many. More often than not, social changes end these things as much as technological solutions. The heavy emphasis on tech solutions such as vaccines is, historically, largely a result of some old fashioned American paranoia about any social change being a gateway drug to FULL COMMUNISM. So, yeah, vaccines are important but they’re not a basket you want to put all your eggs in either. Shit to do in the meantime.

Important shit!

I’ve heard from friends back in Toronto about how terrible the communication from their government has been. I don’t know – I have no communication with the government of Ontario. But I can tell you how the news from the government is relayed here. On the English language channel, at least. I think it’s a pretty good model. And, I don’t know – maybe knowing a good model helps? Like, it sure hasn’t yet but one lives in hope. Terrible hope!

There’s a daily briefing from the KCDC. Before that starts, we get what’s basically a weather report, telling us the numbers in different regions. A young woman stands in front of a map reporting the COVID. Another lady behind a desk then gives us a summary of what’s going on, and what to expect from the briefing. We cut to the briefing, where a KCDC official explains what’s going on, what they’re doing about it, and what we’re being asked to do. The briefing ends. We return to studio. The briefing is summarized. Then there’s about 15 minutes to half an hour in conversation with two professors about what they make of the KCDC’s response, areas they think can be improved, problems to keep an eye out for, and this is also often an educational discussion about some issue that has become prominent — like reproduction numbers and what you can and cannot tell from them, or vaccine supply and what you can expect from that going forward. And that’s it.

It’s shown live in the early afternoon, repeats in the evening, and then, I think, again late at night. It’s called COVID Today or some such thing. It’s all very lowkey and calm. No pundits yelling. The opinions are given calmly and backed with evidence. The conversation with the professors reminds me a lot of The Agenda on TVO. You watch COVID Today about once a week and you’re pretty well informed about what the what is. You don’t need social media or whatever to find out more, don’t need to stay tuned for ever incoming updates and suspense. You just tune in, watch that, and you’re informed. You can go back to whatever. And the rest of time, the current restrictions just play on the bottom of the screen, so you can just read those.

I think it’s a good model and pretty good way to get information.

Anyway, I wish you all the best. I’ve got to get back to my reading.

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