WORMDATE: 1,629 -187,362: 2-2,068: 32.8%-13%
I’ve been pretty busy with my math class. It’s one of those high intensity ones so it’s an entire semester in 8 weeks. This means, Monday through Thursday, I’m doing about 4-5 hours of math a day. But I’m enjoying it and doing fine. Sitting at 99.91%. This is the last class I need for my AA in anthropology and then it’s off to online ASU to get the BA.
Also on a fairly regular writing schedule –not that you would know it from the blog– and have started up on something new. I’m just having some fun with the shit, kind of remembering some of what I liked doing in the first place. And I’m happy with what’s happening with the story, though the process has been a bit more roundabout than usual for me. I’ve had to dump about 15,000 words into the first chapter – just to get my bearings, then figure something out, and start again from scratch. But that’s fine. I feel like this particular story has finally clicked for me. I’ll enjoy that while it lasts.
And Interdimensional Puncture Wounds is still going, though my output there is down to once a week instead of two.
Midnight trips to the exercise zone are still a thing. Doing a lot of skipping, hanging exercises, some weights, that sort of thing. Also trying to work a little more on balance and flexibility. A cat sometimes joins me and watches me from the woods. He’s very shy though. And I don’t know why he’s in the woods, if he’s an explorer or an exile but, whatever the case, I’ve named him Garak.
And it’s really pretty embarrassing to fall off a balance bar in front of a cat. Like, for a cat, that bar is so wide. I must look like a total clumsy asshole.
I also picked up a few linen shirts from my tailor.
Sweat straight through one last night on a walk with my Wife. Um, no pictures of that mess. Gross, how a body leaks.
All that aside, fairly stressful time at the moment. We’re in our fourth wave, a pretty severe heatwave, and it seems like the vaccination rollout has rolled to halt. Hesitancy isn’t a problem but a lack of supply is. This has been compounded by an overly complicated registration system and –somewhat shockingly– computer problems. South Korea is known for a lot of things but computer problems is not one of them. Yet here we are.
All the same, Wife, who is teaching, now has an appointment for her first shot set up in early August. I’m keeping an eye out for any nearby extra doses through my phone –a thing my tailor helped me out with– but so far, no luck. All in all, at the moment, it’s not going well.
But Canada, and it’s ability to turn around what was a pretty fucked up rollout, is, I suppose, a sign of hope. Or whatever passes for hope these days. Things can change. I hope.
I’m not that worried about vaccines or mutations. Pretty much expected an operation of this size to be some sort of clusterfuck and that seems to be what’s happening. In the meantime, it’s pretty much a matter of keep doing what we’ve been doing. 처음부터 끝까지 재미 없어요.
I think a lot of the so-called pandemic fatigue comes, not just from the restrictions and trauma of the whole thing, but just the boredom. One has been trained to expect a certain degree of novelty. But the situation and its solutions stay pretty much the same. On one hand, it feels like pretty much everything has changed. But the solution (or mitigation might be better) is basically the exact same shit we were doing in late January 2020. There’s a certain lack of variety in what anyone can do. Even with shots, a lot of that still holds.
And when you look at the vaccination rates globally, it seems pretty clear that we are in this thing for very long time yet. It’s been an incredible and unconscionable fuck-up.
To my mind, the countries with good health systems or the wealth to create them, the countries capable of mitigation, should have taken serious mitigation measures from the start then, when the vaccines arrived, used that luxury to distribute them first and foremost to the most affected people in the most affected areas. A global effort directed by science and our best understanding of the problem. That’s not at all what happened or is happening.
This has left me with a great deal of doubt about the idea of vaccine passports. Largely, the approach to this thing has been to take the cracks in a system that a virus exploits –inequality being one such crack– and to attempt to turn these cracks into moats to protect the affluent. That’s pretty much what a vaccine passport looks like to me. As things stand, I can’t see a vaccine passport being anything other than a disaster for global human rights.
I do sort of understand the emotional appeal of such measures if one lives in a place were a bunch of morons are refusing to take the vaccine. In a situation full of anti-vaxxers, I can sort of understand any sentiment along the lines of “thinning of the herd” and “survival of the fittest” and a desire for punitive measures as a kind of inappropriate emotional outburst. And an outburst I’m not totally above having in my worst moments. But those sentiments are pretty completely fucked up. (Sounded better in the original German, if you get my drift. And I’ve never subscribed to the divine justice theory of disease.) Thinking like that shows a complete inability to grasp the nature of a pandemic, the way ideas like that are enforced and upon whom, and it’s just –at this late date– beyond exasperating.
As things stand now, such passports will probably only give the rich and vaccine-rich freedom of movement, while demonizing immigrants and the like. The affluent will be allowed to take their cruises, travel to the developing world for their vacations, while the people in those places and from those places will be scapegoated, demonized, and under an even more violent form of international quarantine than borders already subject them too. What the affluent refuse to give up in pleasure, the poor will pay for in corpses.
And I don’t even think it’ll work.
It just seems like a complete waste of time and resources — both of which would be better spent attempting to finance mitigation measures in affected areas, provide health support, and get shots into the arms of the people and places that need it most.
Of course, I could be wrong about all of that. But I think a much better conversation about it needs to be had than any that I’m currently hearing. The conversation that I’m currently hearing just seems based in the affluent wanting to declare this thing over when it’s just temporarily out of sight. Fucking ostriches. Swear to Satan . . .
I don’t want to go on too long with this but something I said very early on in all this, and stand by, is that a pandemic means that the threat does not come from outside. Passports create the illusion that it does – it creates the illusion that the holder is secure virgin territory and the non-holder is a reservoir of disease. And the important thing is not now –nor has ever been– your personal risk of contracting the disease. It’s a group effort. We’re not trying to protect ourselves from Others, we are trying to protect Others from us. Or should be.
I know I rattle on about the poison of individualism quite a lot here. In some sense, I’m very in favor of individualism. I really do believe every person is pretty special — a totally unique and amazingly rare creature, who is entitled by mere fact of their existence to a lot of dignity and respect. That sort of individualism, I’m fine with. Strong supporter, really.
But the version we seem to get is some idea where every person views themselves as the only person in the world. Where other people are not treated as special and unique creatures due respect, but as simple means to fulfill a list of fucking goals. People are not fucking rungs. It’s perverse and psychopathic to view them as such. Yet it seems to be pretty much the standard view. A lone hero standing amongst an undifferentiated mass of suffering. Whole planets exploded so someone can learn a lesson about their Daddy.
The shit is fucked up. As per normal. New or otherwise.