Got my sticker, got my card. Where’s my chip?
Springtime for Blaska
winter for COVID and shutdowns!
The indentured servants received their Fauci ouchie on February 17 at SSM headquarters off Madison’s Beltline. Went smooth as a baby’s bottom. No big lines, no waiting. Didn’t even feel it and your genial host is a big hypodermic-syringe baby.
We’re old enough to remember doctors’ house calls. Dr. Behrend came out to our farm in rural Sun Prairie with his black leather doctor’s bag. To a 5-year-old, that needle looked big enough to darn socks. Doc yielded to the little coward’s shrieks and announced that his young patient was allergic to penicillin and administered a pill. To this day, Blaska’s medical charts read “Allergies: penicillin.”
We got the Moderna version, mint chocolate flavor. Due for the booster on March 17, St. Paddy’s Day. Green beer chaser. Even after one dose, the Pfizer vaccine is 85% effective (as opposed to 95% after two) and Moderna is 80% effective (as opposed to 94% after two). (Source here.)
So far, so good, although the head groundskeeper hereabouts still can’t play the piano.
We are among the 16.4% of Wisconsin receiving the coronavirus vaccine (slightly better than the nation’s 15%) — half of which have had both doses.
Viruses, New York Times science writer Carl Zimmer writes, “are deeply weird.”
The coronavirus is so tiny that 10 trillion of them weigh less than a single raindrop. They are, best as we can understand, scraps of genetic information that invade cells and change their nature. Speaking of trillions, that’s how many viruses exist. They can invade plants, animals, even bacteria. When they do the latter they are called phages.
“In the ocean, phages invade microbe hosts 100 billion trillion times a second. They killed to 40% of bacteria in the world’s oceans every day. Out of those shredded bacteria spill billions of tons of carbon for other marine creatures to feast on. — “Secret life of a coronavirus.”
In the human gut live 21,000 species of phages, Mr. Zimmer reports. Seems no limit to the infinitely small and the immeasurably huge. That mankind can engineer these things is mind-blowing.
Life is returning to normal
Today we have three kinds of dope going into arms — only one year after this nonsense began. They said it couldn’t be done. (You know who “they” are!) The seven-day rolling average of confirmed new COVID-19 cases dropped some 70% in the last six weeks.
The United States is vaccinating 1.8 million arms a day, now. We have inoculated 50.7 million people against COVID-19. Predictions are for 130 million by the end of this month (March 2021). Those vaccines are 95% effective at preventing symptomatic illness, and close to 100% against hospitalization and/or death.
Add to that the natural immunity acquired by 20 million recovered victims and we’re getting damned close to herd immunity. Says NY Times columnist Ross Douthat:
I am not vested with Biden’s authority or Fauci’s expertise, but I can read trend lines and vaccine studies, and at this moment both their takes look way too pessimistic. … a combination of infections and vaccinations could deliver us into the herd-immunity range by July.
We’re having breakfast with old friends this week in person instead of via Zoom. But on-line will remain a greater part of our life, it says here. We’re going to continue meeting via Zoom every other week with friends who live farther out — even in other states. Would not surprise us if government and business continue some of their meetings virtually. Going forward, how many of us will agree to sit packed in small spaces with other potential disease carriers?
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Let’s hear no more whining about “Big Pharma” from the likes of Elizabeth Warren. Let’s give some credit to Trump/Pence’s Warp Speed. And let’s enjoy life.