June 5, 2021

There are lots of discussions going on with respect to what exactly happened to the flu this year. It was certainly expected that the social distancing and masking would have an effect, and that numbers would be lower… but nobody really expected it to be virtually zero. The number of pediatric flu deaths in the U.S. this season was exactly one (where it’s normally in the hundreds), and you can be sure that unfortunate kid caught it from a foreign traveller.

How do I know that? Because the flu, like C19, is a virus… and viruses need a breeding population of hosts that they can infect.

Unfortunate side-note for those of you who want to believe in Bigfoot or the Yeti or the Loch Ness Monster or the Ogopogo; perhaps the biggest show-stopper in there being a possibility of them existing is that you can’t have just one. You’d need a breeding population, and it’d have to be significant enough to perpetuate the species. They’d take up a lot of space, and there would be ample evidence (droppings, dwellings) to find, even if not the creatures themselves, whether on land or in the water. It’s not like “I saw *the* Ogopogo”; Lake Okanogan would have to have been teeming with them for centuries.

The masking, and sanitizing surfaces every 10 minutes, had a drastic effect. Flu probably arrived in North America on various airplanes, but died out with nowhere to go. No breeding population of hosts. In fact, so drastic was its demise that there are two common flu strains that may well be extinct. Around the world, there were zero cases reported of two particularly common strains; two that are always part of the annual flu-vaccine concoction. That, on its own, doesn’t yet mean they’re gone forever… but if they don’t show up next year or the year after that… well, it’s a virus. Unlike 200 BigFoots (Bigfeet?) that might be hiding in a cave somewhere in Sasquatch Park, there’s no hiding place for a virus. When the last one has no place to go, it’s gone forever.

It’s ironic that a couple of flu strains might be eradicated simply as “collateral damage”… while C19, with its variety of variants, is going to be around for a lot longer.

The bigger irony would be that Bigfoot actually exists… but gets wiped out by C19, because the humans were unable to eradicate it.

June 3, 2021

Do you remember learning about convex vs. concave? Which is which? If you have trouble remembering, and are frustrated, go punch a piece of sheet metal… see that indentation? How the sheet is now “CAVEd” in? There you go… conCAVE when it goes in, conVEX when it comes out… like the VEXed expression on the face of the guy on the other side of that sheet, wondering why you did that.

Now that we’re clear on that, let’s look at this new colourful graph I’ve thrown in today… the one on the bottomright. You’ll notice it has three convex lines, a thicker blue one that’s a bit of both, and only one concave one – the thick red Canada line.

Much like the Canada line that runs from downtown to the airport, this one also took a while… and was expensive in its own way… but well worth it in the long run.

This particular Canada line tells a few interesting stories. The first thing that pops out is how ridiculously steep it is in recent months, compared to the others. That’s what happens with a lot of pent-up demand; in fact, you have to wonder if the fact it took so long to hit 5th-gear with our rollout is now contributing to its continuing momentum. Would we have wanted it so badly if it were so easy to get…? Brilliant psychological trick, if that’s what they pulled on us. Either way, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

The best thing it indicates – exactly what the others don’t – is that we’ve not yet reached the end of the “low-hanging fruit”. We’re still injecting as much of the stuff as is made available, but let’s not fool ourselves; we’re going to plateau at some point, and we will start to look like that thick blue American line… concave to start as demand outweighed supply… followed by that flattening… which is also evident in the three other countries I threw in there; Israel, the UK and Chile. Those three were the world leaders in vaccinations… but once the fanfare wore off and the low-hanging fruit was picked… now it gets more difficult. In the last two months, we’ve gone from 14% to 59%. Israel has gone from 61% to 63%. It’s not difficult to see where the momentum is. Those three countries have entered the post-low-hanging-fruit phase and are entering the vaccine-hesitant phase.

To be clear, nobody is getting to 100%… even here. There’s a solid 10% to 15% of ardent anti-vaxxers in Canada who’d rather get Covid-19 than admit they’re wrong, and nothing will change their mind… so forget about them. That number is higher in other places, and inter-mingles with the vaccine hesitant crowd. Looking at that graph, you’d have to assume a global number of around 65% “yes for sure” vs a sliding scale of 35% that ranges from “yeah, soon, eventually, I will probably…” to “never”.

While it’s impossible to know exactly who any of these lines will eventually shape out, there’s no doubt that Canada will go crashing into first place if current trends continue. Assuming the vast majority of people who get that first does eventually get the second one as well, while it took us a while to get there, we may end up in better shape than anyone else. Doesn’t matter through which sort of lens you use to look at that – convex/concave… whatever… it’s looking good.

May 29, 2021

OK… the bad news is we didn’t win 65 million dollars. The good news is that nobody else did either, so we get to take another crack at it… this time, with a few more days to grind through the numbers and some new ideas… which might lower the chances from one in 33 million to something a little more reasonable. To put that in context, your chances of getting a blood clot from a C19 vaccine are about 100x greater… and those chances are exceedingly remote already… to the extent that your chances of getting hit by lightning in your lifetime are 200x greater than a C19-vaccine blood clot. Yeah, you read that right. Still worried?

For those assuring me there’s no rational way to predict the lottery, you’re almost certainly right, but I don’t mind telling you what I’m trying to do here… which is to find some tangible edge, if it exists.

For example… let’s briefly talk about Roulette; the casino game where there’s a wheel, with the numbers 1 to 36 on it, as well as a zero, and often (in the American version), a double-zero. Except for the zeroes, half the numbers are red, the other half black. Half are even, half are odd. Half are 1-18, half are 19-36. If you bet a dollar on any of those, you’ll double your money if you’re right. But if you want to win the real money, you have to bet on numbers straight up… where a 37-1 chance pays 35-1.

Here’s an unusual talent of mine; if you give me any number on an American roulette wheel, I can instantly give you the three numbers to either side of it. Like, 32…? 5 7 11 17 20 22 32… and I can bet them all straight-up in about two seconds. I realize this is less impressive in writing; when this is all over, let’s head to the casino and I’ll show you how to win at roulette… maybe.

The maybe has to do with whether the wheel, at that moment, is truly random or not… and usually it is. But, once in a while, especially near the end of a long day, it may be a bit off. A bit of humidity is slowing down part of it, or maybe there’s some dust that’s accumulated on a particular spot, causing the ball to “bite”, right at that point. Whatever the reason, it may temporarily be not so random.

Conveniently, these days, there’s an electronic board showing you the last 20 numbers that have come up. It often looks like a completely random jumble of numbers; like, true randomness. But… if you know what you’re looking at… let’s say you see 22 11 32 7 5 17 as the last 6 numbers. As per above, you’d instantly know those numbers are all in a tight, specific section of the wheel… and so you sit down and you hammer that area of the weel — straight up. Often, it’s not so obvious… but if five of the last ten numbers are all on the same pie-slice of the wheel, it’s a big opportunity.

That is how I play Roulette, and that is how I’m trying to approach the lottery.

There are 49 ping-pong balls of equal weight that bounce around randomly, and then 7 are chosen. All things being equal, it’s totally random. But what if some of those balls are slightly heavier or lighter? What if, by the design of the way the balls are dropped in the tumbler, some generally stay closer to the hopper?

I’m sure everything is checked often, but let’s say recently a few balls picked up some dust… making them likelier (or less likely) to come up. Or some calibration is a little out of whack.

I really don’t know the mechanics of it, but I’m studying the frequency of numbers that have come up recently… and comparing it to, historically, whether these sorts of patterns emerge from time to time. It’s interesting to note that numbers that end in 1 seem to come up more often. A 31 on its own is one thing, but 1, 11, 21 and especially 31… have a degree of consistency that others don’t. Not sure how significant that is, and 4,000 draws out of a potential 33 million doesn’t make much of a dent in “the big picture”. But anyway, that’s what I’m doing… trying to figure out what numbers are likeliest to come up these days… and then coupling that with, historically, what numbers are likeliest to come up together with those likelier numbers… like, if I think 31 is going to come up, what else is likeliest to show up? With that, I’m generating sets of numbers… and that’s what I’ll… uhh… “invest”. Stay tuned…

May 24, 2021

These long weekends used to scare me a bit because it’s like flying blind for a few days. We might wake up Tuesday morning to find 3,000 dead and 400,000 new cases. It never happened (not even close), thankfully, and I guess that’s why when B.C. decided to pull the plug on weekend updates, they never came back. But I certainly appreciated they updated numbers today… and they were as good as we can hope for… beautifully following that descent to zero. Today’s less-than-300 new cases was the lowest since Feb. 1st… before the 3rd wave.

For the most part, the other interesting numbers to follow these days (barring a 4th wave appearing suddenly and out of nowhere) are the vaccination numbers. On a per-capita basis, we’ve pulled ahead of our southern neighbours, and it’s to no great surprise. We are vaccinating as fast as we can; they are not.

Other broad brush strokes… our military is 85% vaccinated, and that number would be higher were it not for logistics… so it’ll keep rising. On the flip side, the American military refusal rate is somewhere between 33% and 50%, depending who you ask.

Military aside, what about the general population?

In the U.S., it looks like this…

Democrats: 67% vaccinated + 24% asap or waiting = up to 92% eventually, with 8% saying never.

Republicans: 46% vaccinated + 22% asap or waiting = up to 68% eventually, with 32% saying never.

In Canada, it looks like this…

Already vaccinated or will eventually / outright refusal:

NDP: 79% / 9%

Liberal: 84% / 5%

Conservative: 69% / 19%

Seriously, what is it with right-leaning mindsets? Why does conservative equal vaccine hesitancy? Is it because they don’t trust the government? Is it because they don’t trust science? Is it because it’s not in the bible? Or it IS in the bible in some hidden way?

The first time I ran across this sort of horseshit was when I was only 13 and it was pointed out to me that the new American president (Ronald Wilson Reagan) had 6 letters in each of his names. 666… the sign on the beast. Clearly, he was the anti-christ… notwithstanding he was himself a staunch Republican. Seems about as valid as the fact that Reagan can be spelled/pronounced Ray-gun – queue the space lasers and World War III.

If you like this sort of nonsense, get this:

6 66 — run for the hills!!!!

… or just trust the science and get vaccinated. Jeez.

May 23, 2021

I hope you got your good dose of sunshine in yesterday, because around here, we’re back to “the usual” for a week. The big Vancouver Weather Wheel (VWW) has only three sections… “It’s about to rain”, “It’s raining” and “It just rained.” A recent spin landed in section 2, and that’s where it’ll sit for a while… and actually, that’s ok. The freshest air on the planet exists when things transition from section 2 to section 3.

The other thing going on these days is the transition from the NHL regular season to the NHL playoffs –lots of rain equals Spring equals NHL playoffs… and there’s an interesting correlation… you can sort of map playoff performance with Covid-19 numbers.

Here in B.C., our numbers have recently tanked, which is very good. The Canucks have also tanked… which is good or bad, depending on whether you like to see a strong finish or a better draft pick. Either way, both our pandemic numbers and our team’s performance have crashed down noticeably. Playoffs? LOL.

One province east of us is Alberta, whose pandemic numbers were riding high. Also riding high were the Edmonton Oilers… who seem to have hit a brick wall when they entered the playoffs. And right around the time the Oilers began their journey to falling down two games to zero to the Jets, so did their C19 numbers. That’s an impressive meltdown, their daily new-case numbers… falling like a rock. Much like the Oilers’ chances of getting much further in the playoffs. They might go down 3 games to 0 to the Winnipeg Jets, who are flying high these days.

Unfortunately, so are the C19 numbers in Winnipeg. Manitoba is the one province that isn’t yet headed in the right direction, though perhaps they’re turning the corner too.

As has happened numerous times in the past, the Leafs and Habs are battling it out; that series is tied, similar to the C19 numbers in those two provinces, as far as things getting better… though I’d have to give the “trending advantage” to Quebec… which, in this warped correlation of mine, is good news for Leafs fans.

Two of those four teams will meet in the next round of the playoffs, and only one will make it to the semi-final round… where they’ll run into an American powerhouse team.

I hope at that point, the team is Las Vegas… and I hope that’s there this correlation breaks down. Las Vegas numbers are looking so good these days, the place is almost back to normal. They’ve already thrown the doors open in most places, and will do so entirely in the next couple of weeks; any Las Vegas hockey game will play to a packed house, and that’d be a great way to watch a game… whether live or on TV. I’ve been to games in Las Vegas; usually it’s the Canucks getting beaten up, but it’s always a memorable experience… one I hope to partake in once again, sooner than later. I don’t see myself in that crowd anytime soon… but watching something that real will be a very good indication we’re in the final stretch.

And, for what it’s worth, it rarely rains in Vegas.

May 16, 2021

Today’s update is being posted an hour earlier than usual; the numbers aren’t going to change much in the next hour, and this timing works better for me today.

Speaking of timing…

The smallest increment of time people generally use is one second. Or, perhaps half a second… as in, “Hey, gimme half a sec…”

Funny to note that if you’ve ever said, “I’ll be there in a jiffy”, it actually means something. A “jiffy”, for computer/electronics people, is the measure of time between alternating power cycles. In North America, that’s 1/60th of a second… to correspond to our 60Hz convention, the rate at which our alternating current flips back and forth from positive to negative.

As technology has evolved, the ability to time things more accurately has greatly improved. Some sports now time things down to the thousandth of a second… but beyond that, unless you’re delving deeply down into science and technology, you won’t be using anything smaller than that. I’ve never seen any handheld timing device that goes beyond milliseconds.

A million times smaller than a millsecond is a nanosecond, something entirely irrelevant for most of us… though it’s also interesting to note that the word “shake” means 10 nanoseconds. If you’ve ever said “I’ll be there in a shake”, it’s probably not what you literally meant… I’m going to guess it took you a bit longer than that.

A trillion times smaller than a nanosecond is a zeptosecond… and, at present, the smallest fragment of time we’re able to actually measure is 247 zeptoseconds… and you’d need the world’s most accurate atomic clock to do so.

Eventually, you reach the bottom… where the smallest fragment of time conceivable can be found. The smallest length we can measure is a Planck length, which is 100 quintillion times smaller than the diameter of a proton. The fastest speed that exists is the speed of light… so, how long does it take light to travel the distance of a Planck length? Not long. The Planck time unit, measured in seconds, has 44 zeroes after the decimal point. That’s the limit of physics, so there can’t be any smaller measure of time.

Except yesterday, I actually discovered a unit of time that’s a bit smaller than that; it’s the unit of time you’d use to measure the time between the moment I hit [Post]… and the moment my mom called to check in on my damaged leg.

On that note, thank you all for your concern. At the end of the day, I didn’t go to the ER… because having had a number of doctors remotely evaluate and discuss, figured the course of action I was taking at home would be exactly what the hospital would do… and given how long it’d been and how it was healing… ok, just leave it. I’m up to date on tetanus vaccinations and I have everything I need to irrigate, disinfect and dress it here… and it’s looking a lot better today. And yes mom, if it shows the slightest hint of infection, I’ll be head straight to the hospital…

And actually, on this beautiful day and with no local C19 update, that’s all I have time for… but I’ll be back in a jiffy with all of the updated numbers… give or take 25 hours.

May 12, 2021

A few months ago, I was talking about vaccine envy… how all these people around the world had access to vaccines, and we didn’t. The natural consequence of that is to develop “reopening envy”… which is something we’re going to see a lot of in the next few months. Sure, we’re all getting vaccinated at a record pace now… but we’re months away from everyone being vaccinated, and even longer for getting back to normal.

I’ve been hearing from friends around the world, but you don’t need to go far. Wander into any nightclub in L.A. and it’s like 2 years ago… crowds, no masks, party time. “How irresponsible” you might think… except every single person in there has been fully vaccinated, and their second shot was several weeks ago. This is what the world looks like when things go back to normal, so don’t be shocked; it’ll take some getting used to after more than a year of paranoia, but if there’s any silver lining to being effectively last in the first world with getting back to normal, it’s that when we get the all-clear, the world will be waiting for us with open arms… because we will pose zero risk. Vaccination works, and the places who’ve been doing it for a while are now reaping the rewards. The U.K., where daily cases are down 99% and daily deaths can be counted on two hands, is set to significantly ease restrictions in 5 days… and, assuming that goes well, is set to fully re-open June 21st, the first day of summer. And fully reopen means just that. Fully. Full blast. Restaurants, clubs, theatre, concerts, museums, sporting events. No masks. Life as we once knew it.

We get to watch from the sidelines because we’re behind, but… rest assured, we’re very much heading in the right direction. Locally, more than 40% of B.C.’s population has been vaccinated… and that’s counting everybody. If you count only those who are currently eligible (18+), the number is over 50%… and we start approaching the lower levels of assumed herd immunity at round 70%.

Also, if you look below… I’ve thrown my two vaccination graphs. The one of the left shows the comparison between us and the U.S. with respect to daily vaccinations… what percent of people got a shot today? Less than 0.2% there, More than 0.7% here… and that trend is widening, and we are days away from, per-capita, having a more vaccinated population than our neighbours to the south… even though they’ve been drowning in surplus vaccine for a long time. Yo, once again… if you’re not using it, send it up here… we have lots, and we’re plugging through it, but we could certainly use more.

So… in a nutshell… there’s bad news in the past, there’s good news in the future… and there’s a bit of frustration that it’s going to take longer than we’d hoped to go from one to the other. But… rest assured; we’re getting there, and, rather than being envious, perhaps it’s comforting to see other places that already have. That’ll be us.

May 1, 2021

Today is the Kentucky Derby, so while horse racing is on my mind, let me tell you about a certain match race.

A match race is quite simply a race between exactly two horses. Always very exciting, because they’re relatively rare. There’s usually between 5 and 20 horses in a race, not 2.

Mike Smith is a very-well-known hall-of-fame jockey. A tough, ragged and talented guy who’s ridden some of the best horses in the last 30 years.

Chantal Sutherland is a Canadian model, TV personality… and jockey. She’s been in in Sports Illustrated, Vogue, and has been one of People magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful People”.

Those two dated for a while. Then they broke up… and then someone decided they should do a match race – a Battle of The Exes. A winner-take-all sort of thing.

This was ten years ago, so who cares… except that it was one of our horses that was chosen to race. The track that hosted the event, Del Mar, picked two relatively-evenly-matched horses… got the OK from the owners/trainers (that was a very interesting phone call with our trainer, Carla Gaines…) and once the horses were picked, a coin was flipped to decide which jockey got which horse. Or vice-versa, I suppose.

As it turns out, Chantal got our horse “Parable” and Mike Smith got the other one, “Joker Face”… which added an extra layer of competition… American owner/jockey vs. Canadian owner/jockey

That was a fun weekend… we flew down for the race, participated in all the pomp and circumstance, had a great time… and, as you might expect when Canada goes up against the U.S., finished second.

In the race, Mike Smith controlled the pace beautifully. Forgetting how evenly the horses may have been matched, he really out-jockeyed Chantal. He went out in front, stayed exactly where he needed, kept her exactly where he wanted, and, as they say, had plenty of horse left to win easy.

But let’s talk about another match race that we’re all involved in…

When it comes to vaccinations, the U.S. got off to a terrific start… just like Mike on Joker Face, exactly where you’d expect them to be. Except… if this were a horse race, you’d now say they’re running out of horse. They’re fading. And here comes Canada, flying on the outside.

If you look at the two larger graphs below, you can see what I mean… the one on the left is a graph of what percentage of the population is being vaccinated every day. There was a time where it hit above 0.60% in the U.S., but they’re down to around 0.35% these days… and that number keeps dropping. In Canada, we’ve slowly been rising… and are pretty-much doubling our southern neighbours. We’re in the 0.70% neighbourhood, and have been out-performing the U.S. since around April 8th.

The graph on the right shows how the gap in vaccinated population is narrowing, and assuming things continue at this pace, the Canada horse will blow by the U.S. around May 26th… and will never look back. This extrapolation is relatively consistent with what the government is telling us… that 75% of adults will have had their first jab by mid-June. It looks like 80% by July 1st, according to how things are trending. And if this holds, the U.S. may have trouble breaking 60%… though this is all speculation and just numbers.

It’s speculation and numbers that just lost me a few bucks on the Kentucky Derby… but this other horse race is far more important… and I know where my money is.

April 29, 2021

Today’s brief summary requires nothing more than a brief look at the vaccination graph I’ve posted below the usual charts. And if this were being presented as a brief summary in some boardroom somewhere, there would be some hushed whispers. “Hey… what’s the deal with the blue line?”

We’ll get to it.

This is a graph of smoothed-out daily data of the number of people being vaccinated by region, normalized to a number per million.

If you look at the tail-end of the graph, which is from the last day or two, you can see the thick red Canada line somewhere near 7,500… which means, on a daily basis, 7,500 out of a million Canadians are being vaccinated. That number was 4,500 a month ago.

In fact, here’s a look across the country of rough seven-day averages:

BC, a month ago: 4,600. Today: 7,100
AB, a month ago: 3,700. Today: 7,300
SK, a month ago: 3,600. Today: 6,000
MB, a month ago: 3,000. Today: 8,800
ON, a month ago: 4,700. Today: 7,600
QC, a month ago: 5,200. Today: 7,400

Across the board – very good. Vaccination programs across the country gearing up and/or delivering at increasingly-effective rates.

Now, let’s look at that thick blue line… our neighbours to the south. That’s the line that seems to be going in the wrong direction, opposite to all the others.

US, a month ago: 5,300. Today: 3,700

The irony of course is that the U.S. is comparatively drowning in vaccine… but demand is waning. This is the pattern that took them to a 43% vaccination rate, but the next 43%… well, it’ll be beyond difficult. It may actually be impossible.

Forget all of the complicated supply/demand market elasticity theories you may have come across. All of it is irrelevant. If this were a business, the boardroom presentation would be a PowerPoint full of lousy explanations and poor excuses… because the fundamental value proposition is gone. The business model is going to fail, because, as good as the product may be, demand is drying up. R&D department? They did what they were asked and delivered beautifully. Legal? Check. Logistics and distribution? Check. Marketing? Ouch.

It still boggles the mind. This is the part that I and many others simply didn’t see coming. That, after creating, in record time, what’s arguably one of the greatest achievements ever in medical science, an awful lot of people simply don’t want it. A massive failure, arguably due to nothing more than awful, irresponsible, criminally negligent messaging. The marketing department responsible got fired in November and the new team took over in January… but as hard as they’re trying to fix the damage, it may be too late.

Brutal. Meeting adjourned.

April 27, 2021

Take a map of Canada and tip it to the left… like rotate it about 45 degrees. Now you have British Columbia on the bottom. If you imagine the population being 38 million little specs of dust all over the map, you shake it a bit, and the specs all fall towards B.C. To some extent, this is the understood path of migration of people in this country. Should you choose to move from wherever you are, there’s a good chance you’re heading west. Vancouver is continually voted one of the best cities in the world to live in; choosing to move somewhere around here is pretty sane.

On the flipside, our neighbours to the south do it very much the other way around. First of all, you have to tip the U.S. map 45 degrees to the right. That leaves Florida on the bottom. And then, the little shakeout is not the sane people… quite the opposite. How else can you explain disproportionate insanity that seems to emanate from The Sunshine State.

News headlines from Florida are in a league of their own… things like “Thousands of gun owners in Florida planning to ‘shoot down’ Hurricane Irma”

In fact, whenever you see a news story that starts off with “Florida man…”, you know you can expect the crazy. It’s such a thing that there’s even a Twitter account of exactly that – a collection of Florida Man headlines… with gems like:

Florida Man tries to rob GameStop while wearing transparent bag on his head

Florida Man denies drinking and driving, says he only swigged bourbon at stop signs

Florida Man stabs tourist despite having no arms

Florida Man asks trooper if he can leave the scene of crash to get more meth

Florida Man bursts into ex’s delivery room, fights her new boyfriend as she’s giving birth

Florida Man bored, calls 9-11 to talk about Hitler

Florida Man tries to evade arrest by cartwheeling away from cops

Florida Man trapped in unlocked closet for two days

This is an endless list that grows on a daily basis, and serves as a perfect introduction to the “crazy of the day” – a private school in Miami that’s barring contact between students and vaccinated teachers. Because, somehow, vaccinated teachers may pose a threat.

The school’s position: “Tens of thousands of women all over the world have recently been reporting adverse reproductive issues from being in close proximity with those who have received any one of the COVID-19 injections.”

That’s bullshit. There have been no such reports.

Also, “No one knows exactly what may be causing these irregularities, but it appears that those who have received the injections may be transmitting something from their bodies to those with whom they come in contact.”

Also bullshit… of the spectacular sort.

There is, of course, zero scientific credibility to any of this… and it’d be next to impossible to come up with anything plausible to explain it. Magical evaporation of vaccinated blood somehow making its way to bystanders? Just make up the insane narrative, shove it down peoples’ throats, and hope they swallow it. And many do.

The school’s response to being questioned on this policy: ““We’re doing what we think is in the best interest of the children because children shouldn’t be around teachers who are vaccinated.”

This is amusing at first glance, and then terrifying when you think about it some more. It’s frightening to think what else might be being taught to the kids there. We rhetorically ask… how can there exist people who think this way? The question and the answer are the same. Where do university-educated anti-vaxxers come from? Places like this.

The bigger problem is that this is all part of why the U.S. may actually never get to a vaccination percentage high enough for herd immunity. They have millions of doses available for whoever wants one… but the demand is waning. They’re at 43% of the population having at least one dose, but now some are saying they don’t want the second one… so there’s no real purpose in arguing what’s needed for full herd immunity. 70% 80% 90%… they’re all the same, because the way things are going, none of them will get reached.

It’s not incorrect to label this an issue of ignorance and bad messaging. The previous administration, the demonizing of science, the miseducation of large swaths of people… factors which add up and conspire against critical thinking and common sense. It’s perhaps not a lost cause for those who genuinely don’t know any better, but it’d require a big public-service effort of education. Back to school for everyone. Just… please… not that one in Florida.

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