Vax Pass

Good, bad, or in between?

Listen: NDA by Billie Eilish

We all listening to Billie Eilish’s new-new? Rather than to dissect what this particular album reveals about where this starlet is in her journey to adulthood, I’ll just say that musically, it sounds just like the Billie we know and love — plus maybe a little more autotune — and that’s just fine. Listen here for the joys of predictability.

More important: mRNA by Pfizer

Nothing like getting off your first airplane in two years and getting a push alert about how the Delta variant is coming for the vaccinated, too. Every news outlet published some version of this story, and no one is happy with the way any of them was written. The NYT, for example, spent a bunch of time talking up the insane viral load of breakthrough infections, but omitted that vaccinated people are still MUCH LESS LIKELY to transmit the virus than unvaccinated people. NBC wrote that “at least 125,000 fully vaccinated Americans have tested positive” for COVID, but didn’t bother to mention that’s relative to the 35,000,000+ Covid-positive people who don’t have vaccines. The excuse so far seems to be, “well, these journalists got this info from a report designed for public health officials, so how would they know to answer the basic fucking questions on everyone’s mind?” Maybe we’ll get it right on the next variant.

Let’s have some proof

So how are we all feeling about vaccine passports? They’re something we’re going to have to think about as bars and restaurants require proof of vaccination to come inside— but in states like *ahem* New York, the passport platforms are notoriously loose with your  information. I thought this report was going to tell us once and for all if these apps are net positive but the jury appears to be out on how cool it is to share your data with… whoever it is that collects it from your phone. So by way of inference, let’s all read this story about this guy who tracked a priest through his location data on Grindr and outed him in some Catholic newsletter. I don’t want to say that we shouldn’t be disclosing our Covid status for the public good, but it would be nice if we had a secure place to do it.

On second thought: What good is proof, anyway

All of us aiming for an accurate case count can suck it because teenagers are already learning how to fake positive Covid tests to get out of school. All it takes, evidently, is soda. The acids in Coke or whatever seem to denature the proteins in antibodies so that they stick to the virus-detecting substance and indicate a positive result— a discovery that ought to amount to an A in chemistry for whatever kid figured it out initially. Everyone else fails civics.

Lesson being, we are all Cormac McCarthy.