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San Francisco, USA

 

We have a lot of vaccines

I find it frustrating that, when it comes to covering COVID-19 issues, the media and the community has largely remained gloomy. For example, this is an article headline

The steep dive in the Bay Area's coronavirus numbers has stopped. How worried should we be?

Thank you for keeping us feel worried.

California has announced they will remove vaccination eligibility requirements and open it up to all adults by April 16th. This is followed by the announcement of individual counties of advanced schedule to first open it up to 50s and above by April 1st. Contra Costa County race ahead to open to all by April 1st. The general availability of vaccines should be greeted as a victory. Yet the press keeps on publishing quotes that pour cold water on the good news

“Except we don’t have the vaccine,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Santa Clara County’s vaccine officer.

Certainly they have vaccines. What it means is it can take several weeks to vaccinate everyone eligible. No problem. A reservation system is set up to manage the demand for this reason. I don’t think anyone demands to get vaccinated on day 1. A reservation system is expected and welcome. People are used to make reservations for routine diagnostics tests. To wait a week or two is entirely acceptable. All these gloomy predictions of vaccination sites overrun by a stampede of people is unwarranted and unnecessary discouraging.

Let’s say the demand of the 50-64 group is so high that appointments have stretched out to three weeks. This means there will be no opening by April 16th for general availability. Given this proven demand, the authority should adjust the schedule and push it out a week or two. Again, this is informed policy adjustment. It is not a reason for gloomy predictions. In fact, I find this encouraging if people treat vaccination with such high priority.

The fact is, the outlook of vaccine availability is very positive. This is the fundamental basis of opening up vaccination to everyone by April 16th. From January to March, San Francisco has already vaccinated 44% of adults. Out of the first three months, January was very slow. The supply was only picked up in March. If we can do so much in the first three months, the coming glut of supply is only going to accelerate this. I will even make another prediction. After May, anyone (in San Francisco) who wants a vaccine can get a vaccine. There will be no line anymore.

Running out of vaccines is not a concern at all. You will quickly find out from the experience of the accelerated schedule of Contra Costa county. The true worry is a substantial number of people either refuse it or treat it as a low priority. Instead of limiting people from getting vaccines, the priority of the health department will quickly shift to persuading these people to get vaccinated. Supply is the least of their concern.

2021.03.31 comments

 

Nomadland

Sometime ago I discovered Chloé Zhao’s Songs My Brothers Taught Me, the story of a Native American boy planning to leave his family and the reservation. I like the subtle connection and tension between his sister and him. Her films are great portraits of characters from the margin of the society, first Native Americans, then in Nomadland, the tribe of wanderer by choice. It surprised me to learn Chloé was not born American but came from China, for she has made such fine narration that even American filmmakers would have admired.

movie shot

While Songs My Brothers Taught Me was a fine independent movie, when Nomadland won the best picture of Golden Globe Award, I wonder if they have given her too much accolade. I was a little skeptical going into the theatre. Well, it was two hours well spent. The truth is, Nomadland is an excellent movie.

Frances McDormand plays Fern, a widow living out of her van, initially by necessity. But eventually, she was drawn into the tribe of a full time nomad who adopted this life as the true way of living. Chloé films feel very authentic. Here we have some fiercely independent people. They choose to live a lifestyle deviating from the stable and prosperous life desired by mainstream society. We are invited into their life to listen and to observe. While they survived on very little, the story was never patronizing. People support each other mutually. They are at once independent and communal.

The story is a lot more than day to day struggle of money and DIY vehicle repair. It was to live an unconventional life, to find your own way, and to contemplate the meaning of life.

Some scenes have caught my eye. First, the scene of people working inside Amazon’s massive distribution center. Amazon granted Chloé filming access. My guess it is because they recognize her talent and her style to depict situations non-judgmentally. The second interesting shot is a close up of a baby’s tender hand. It can make anybody’s heart melt.

Congratulations to Frances McDormand and Chloé Zhao for the great film and the well deserved recognition.

2021.03.28 comments

 

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