log: blood

벌레 일지 WORMDATE: PHASE 1 LEVEL 4

4,212,652(+254,327): 896 (+99): 8,796(+216)(0.21%)

a little frayed around the edges maybe

Last night I had a last meeting with one of my research groups before spring break. I could use the break. There’s a couple of things that I could probably do during this break but, sometimes, going forward means knowing when to stop. And I’m pretty sure I need to stop.

I’ve been on a much better schedule this last week than I had been and things have certainly felt more manageable but I feel like I’ve been staring at the same coding sheet for a month. That might be because I have been staring at the same coding sheet for a month.

I feel like a bit of space and some fresh eyes might serve me well.

After that, I have some thinking to do. I feel like dropping one of the RAPs is probably my best bet after this semester. But which one? Option A is much easier, more organized, and offers a lot more in terms my academic development. It’s also a lot more in line with my interests. Option B is much more difficult, more time consuming, doesn’t offer much in terms of individual research projects, and is basically peripheral to my interests. Both offer the same amount of credits. Actually, if I took Option A again, it would offer more credits than B.

Seems like an easy choice, don’t it?

Problem is, Option A has about 30 people working on it and Option B has 3. Option A basically doesn’t need me at all. Option B? If they had to retrain someone –considering that we’ve been getting trained for about 7 weeks now– that would do serious damage to the project. It would set things back. Though, maybe, I don’t know, they’d find someone better?

So I must be a complete fucking idiot because I’m leaning towards Option B.

I basically just don’t want to abandon ship. Having said that, there is a point when I put myself first. I’m not there yet. But I might get there. I have another half semester to decide.

Aside from all that, Wife and I donated some blood last week.

even vampires have been replaced by machines

That was my second time doing that. As I’m sure you can imagine, there’s an Omicron related blood shortage at the moment. Not quite a crisis but still a problem. And Wife and I both have an unusual blood type for Korea so it’s in demand. Hope it helps.

Omicron has been a rough ride. A LOT of cases. But low death rates, fairly low critical cases, and, so far, it’s been difficult but manageable for the hospitals. We’re not at its peak yet. That may happen this month.

Not taking into account the secondary effects of mild or even asymptomatic cases (vascular diseases, long covid, etc.) which is an incoming public health crisis of their own, this wave’s numbers have been both much better and much worse than the Delta wave. Depends how you interpret the numbers. But it’s still shit however you look at it.

We’ve had a couple of broad but important changes to restrictions. The vaccine pass system is gone. The government will no longer provide negative test results out of testing centers. (These are still available from clinics.) And they’re asking employers to stop requiring negative test results before they allow people back to work.

The vaccine passport system is being removed for a couple of different reasons.

The first is manpower. The vaccine passport system takes time and effort and, right now, that time and effort is needed elsewhere. We have 4 million total cases since the start of this pandemic. 2 million cases of those are in the last couple of weeks. So 1/2 of ALL our cases have come in the last two weeks. That’s a pretty serious wave.

So, rather than monitoring and enforcing that pass system, which doesn’t even seem to be doing all that much, medical workers are being redeployed to protect the vulnerable and keep the hospitals functioning. Same goes for the negative test thing — it takes a lot of time for medical workers to provide those test results and, right now, it’s better for them to perform other tasks — like helping sick people and protecting the vulnerable.

The other reason for getting rid of the vaccine pass system is “social cohesion.” The system has been controversial from the start, it is implemented differently in different regions, and making it universal is proving difficult. In certain cases, the courts have ruled it unconstitutional. In short, the vaccine passes are more problems than they’re worth.

I could see such a system acting as a goad in a place with low vaccination rates. But the benefits offered by a vaccine pass in an already highly vaccinated population? Those seem pretty marginal — if, indeed, they exist at all. The costs, however, are pretty high. And that pass system doesn’t seem to be encouraging anyone new to get vaccinated. We’ve been at 86% nationwide for a while now and about 97% of adults are fully vaccinated. I’d say that those who could be goaded have been goaded. There’s been sufficient goading.

I sometimes think more shutdowns might be warranted. I don’t know if they’re practicable. The massive shutdowns in the early days were largely voluntary. (Well, an interesting combination of volunteerism and restriction but participation was huge.) They were inspired by a certain degree of fear and were meant to buy time while vaccinations and/or treatments were developed and society adjusted to the new situation. So I don’t think we’d see that sort of participation now. In a way, I hope not. Because that would mean the fear was back. If that sort of fear returns, it means something very bad has shown up. And it probably means the vaccines have been rendered useless. I really don’t want any of that to happen.

Right now, the response is geared to keeping the hospitals functioning and protecting the vulnerable. Stopping spread is part of that but, really, it’s more about slowing spread until this thing peaks out and peters away, doubtless to be replaced by some fresh nightmare.

That means, basically masks, ventilation, basic hygiene, some restrictions, vaccines, and 성숙한 시민의식이 필요합니다 — “Mature civic consciousness is needed.” So, you know, use your head and don’t be a prick. That sort of thing.

It could be better. It could probably be a lot worse too.

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