vaccinate me baby

fits & starts, but it’s finally done

a medical doctor with a face mask standing in front of a screen with the title card 'national covid-19 vaccination'
pre-vaccination briefing. room of 6 pax with personalised attention.

I was in the middle of reading through my old substack to pick the posts to transfer here, and 2020 posts are just so adorable, with how outraged I was at the number of cases etc. Flying off the handle at the mere hundreds, when we’re now currently in tens of thousands. The ambient risk is so high, i went out once to get my meds and i got tagged on the app as a possible casual contact to a known case. URGH. yes, it’s been 10 days since my second dose, but I’m spending my Raya in my room, eating my lemang separately. 

I’ve got links lined up for a post on the concept of the value of statistical life (VOSL), but i’m just wrung out because all of my writing and planning juice outside of work is being taken up by the other thing. But at least now I really know how to set up a WordPress site? I guess. In the meantime, feel free to enjoy this absolutely dry piece on Malaysia and its reporting on its SDG commitments through the Voluntary National Review process. I know, exciting. At least the busywork is taking my mind off of things. 

I’ve got at least three proposals (brief ones, thank god) that I set out for myself to do, since it’s a literal case of who else is gonna do it? Is this karma?? Can’t believe it finally got me, and I was doing so well, not having children or setting up a family or all that. I had an exploratory meeting last evening about maybe a small evaluation of the women’s rights CSO coalition’s latest push on getting gender responsive budgeting institutionalized, and it is still WEIRD AS FUCK to represent myself as a president of an association. (anyway, that went well, now proposal brief 1 of 3 is staring me in the face, and I ‘only’ have to do about 500 words)

It’s not like I’m not creating anything–I got my yarny stuff (Tour de Fleece season!), and yet another half-assed crochet project, and setting up a website really can be a creative endeavour. I just joined this theatre group, where we’re doing weekly readings of non-western plays. I even have a podcast assignment due because I signed up for a workshop earlier this month. I mean, I have no brain power to actually write, but I’ve been actively beta-reading/reviewing pieces, both the fanfic and non-fanfic kind, and that’s been fun too. I should talk a bit more about the essay one, which was really good fortune for me to have been given a seat at the early drafts: it’s about the political history angle to the right-wing terrorism in the region by my counterterrorism specialist friend, and it’s been percolating in my head, along with another editorial on the NEP written by a development economist acquaintance. There’s a common historical element between those two things that’s caught my mind’s eye, and I just have to write them. Why am I such a slow writer?? UGH.

(and it’s not really going to be anything impressive either, when i do, since I just completely give up when it comes to essay-writing)

I thought this post is about me getting vaccinated…

a nurse showing me the vial of the cominarty vaccine that I'm to be administered with
did the whole ‘here’s your vial, here’s the amount of liquid…’ inspection

When it finally happened, it was truly the platonic ideal on how it could happen in this country. I’m grateful for it, but the cinderella-like aspect of it makes it hard to not notice the different levels of care you could get just in this country alone. If not for the pumpkin that was my vaccination queue situation that became the glass carriage that fast-tracked me, I wouldn’t even realise such a treatment was possible.

So the vaccination itself was basically frictionless. The moment I got my allocated time, it was an in-and-out situation (my boss got a different vaxpoint and they instituted a different enough process that he needed to wait for hours for his shot).  I barely had time to sit down–to be honest my family, who’s got on the AZ track also had no complaints when it was their turn. Larger numbers, but no excessive waiting time, compared to other stories circulated. Even my household’s helper, who got the vaxpoint with Sinovac supply, didn’t have time to linger. So as a family, certainly we’ve been very lucky. The AZ side had to wait weeks for their app to update with the 2nd dose appointment, while us Sinovac and Pfizer folks had our vaccination cards already filled with the next date. But we’re all on track to 100% fully vaccinated by August. 

My helper was actually set as my app’s dependent, but as soon as we deleted that and got her registered on her app, it took under a week before it updated with an appointment. At the same time, other people have been registered since February (like us), and is still waiting. I was still waiting myself– the JKJAV AZ sub-site getting slammed meant I couldn’t even register… or at least I thought so,  but either due to my friends’ efforts or my own, I got a date update the next morning.

And let’s talk about having to have an AZ sub-site for a bit. Which had to happen because the bougie fearmongering was starting up over the blood clotting fears, so it needed to be pulled out of the main vaccination cycle onto its own track to allay those fears. (and in rather on-brand twist of fate, the ONE GUY whose fb post i called out, had to be the playwright whose play I cold-read a month or two later. This city is either so small, or I have to stop picking up new hobbies/jobs/fancies. Can I blame my Saturn placement, for this tendency of saying my piece without regard for my own damn hide?)

(I’m not worried that he’d make the connection. He got called out a lot.)

the classic vax appointment card

–and can I just log my dismay at the fearmongering? Because the combination of kiasuness, the fact the registration can only be done online, and the critical technical issues, meant that the vaccine best-suited for transport to rural and hinterland areas as well as medical complications since its the traditional viral vector kind, ended up serving major portions of the urban and well-enough-to-log-onto-a-website-repeatedly segments of the country. you know, the ones with lower incidence of chronic health conditions or logistical issues.

So, basically, been registered since February, then, when the AZ track opened up, I couldn’t get past the badly designed site to even register. Then still couldn’t get past the second round of the AZ track, except apparently I did, because I got a date (that wasn’t my first, second, third, and so-on, choice). AND THEN… finding out that because my employer did manage to sign us up on the international organizations employment track, have that date completely cancelled for a new one to get us to a vaxpoint with Pfizer. I’d have missed that date too, if HR didn’t reach out to me to ask me to check the app again.

(Meanwhile, Indonesians are like, you need an app to register for vaccination? What happened to just going to the ground?? To which Sarawak has taken to heart, and yes, probably it’s because of their upcoming state elections, but one of the most rural constituencies, Kapit, has now achieved almost 100% vaccination rate)

(Thais in the meantime are currently making memes over the fact that if they’re bougie enough to be scared of the Delta variant, and would prefer the NOT FREE (like, I’m seeing USD100 prices being quoted, which is like wtf, if you know at all about the general state of Thai income inequality) vaccine options available in select private hospitals, they could buy appointment slots on fucking Shopee (which is one of the two regional Amazon/Taobao equivalents). 

My brother in the meantime, has been fostering a sense of indignation from his first dose experience. “What the hell, Malaysians can actually queue and be on time after all!”

yea i got a vaxpoint where there’s a staff on standby for your photo op

Reading list

The Delta Variant Isn’t Just Hyper-Contagious. It Also Grows More Rapidly Inside You

A new study, published online Wednesday, sheds light on why. It finds that the variant grows more rapidly inside people’s respiratory tracts and to much higher levels, researchers at the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

On average, people infected with the delta variant had about 1,000 times more copies of the virus in their respiratory tracts than those infected with the original strain of the coronavirus, the study reported.

In addition, after someone catches the delta variant, the person likely becomes infectious sooner. On average, it took about four days for the delta variant to reach detectable levels inside a person, compared with six days for the original coronavirus variant.

Here’s How Well COVID-19 Vaccines Work Against the Delta Variant

(very well, is the short answer, with the notable exception of Sinovac, which isn’t covered in that piece, but regardless seem to falter in areas of elevated risks like a COVID-19 treatment centre)

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