Keep it up, Washington

Keep it up, Washington

When facing down a pandemic caused by a frightening virus, humility is key, especially when you're a blogger without any trace of scientific or medical background. But we're all allowed to discuss the pandemic, right?

I think things are looking up in Washington. According to Bloomberg, Washington has administered enough vaccines to cover 44.5% of the population. 50.5% have had 1+ dose, and 37.9% are fully vaccinated. I've read that demand for vaccines is slowing, but people are still getting them.

The case numbers appear to be falling. Or have at least plateaued.

Washington's population is about 7,615,000. With 50.5% having had at least one dose, that's about 3,807,500 people who have some protection. My guess is the majority of those people will get their second doses. According to Worldometers, Washington has had about 420,000 identified cases. That's obviously a flawed number. Let's say 500,000 might have had COVID. Some % of those people will get vaccinated.

With vaccinations and immunity through infection, it's probably safe to say 4,000,000 people in Washington have some protection. The virus has about 3,600,000 potential targets, and every day that number is getting smaller.

Again, humility is key. Will a variant get around the vaccines and immunity through infection? How long will immunity last? Still, I think the state is doing pretty well. If we get 40,000 jabs a day, that'll be close to another 2,000,000 jabs by 1 July.

It's going to be a very interesting year for data scientists and epidemiologists. States with much lower vaccine rates are (thankfully) also seeing their cases fall. One hopes their most vulnerable are vaccinated. If so, I can imagine states with high vaccine rates and low vaccine rates looking about the same on 1 July. They'll have arrived at that point through very different means. What will the implications of that be? Everyone across the spectrum will be able to say they were right. I can live with that.

It's interesting to go back and re-read books. I'm reading Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier. I found Ford Madox Ford through Hemingway. Dang, what a name! I don't think it's his real one, but who cares.

The Good Soldier is one of those books that anyone who pretends to care about books is supposed to have read and appreciate. I remember appreciating the book, but at the time I was probably happier that I could say I'd read it and talk about how Graham Greene praised it. Well, I recently finished The Good Soldier, which as you know, is one of Graham Greene's favorites...I sure underlined the hell out of it.

I'm underlining the hell out of it anew. Terrible habit. I almost gave up on the book this time around. I wasn't sure I wanted to read about Florence, Leonora, and Edward again. But then I started focusing on the unreliability of the narrator. I first read it at least 25 years ago; I'm sure I thought about the unreliability of the narrator then, but I doubt I considered all the possibilities. I've also been marveling at the author's imagination. He's created a world, but it's as if you're viewing it while standing in a canoe.

The Good Soldier
Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier.

I doubt I'll read this again. This beat up copy is going to find its way to a free library or Goodwill. I apologize for all the underlines. I've inked it up so badly that I should probably just chuck it.

Here are a few photos I took on my walk to the Fred Hutch vaccination site. I'm at about Dose 2 + 9 days. Haven't gone full zombie yet. Fingers crossed.

My favorite Seattle street. Seattle, 5 May 2021.
Lake Union, Seattle, 5 May 2021.
Fred Hutch Seattle
Fred Hutch, Seattle, 5 May 2021. Wow, that is one beautiful campus and a massive operation. Glad I finally got a look at that place.
Post-vaxx Chow Hall Eats - Potatoes, beans, and carrots. Always dreaming of cowboy food. They might scoff at the carrots. I don't give this stuff a lot of thought.

Still here? Want your mind blown? Read this article about Voyager 1 in BGR. (I don't anything about BGR's work.) 14+ billion miles from Earth. Interstellar. Still communicating with Earth. Unbelievable.