Day 309 – Vaccines: it’s complicated

Who’d be a politician? Not me.

There are very few decisions that you will ever make that will make the people happy. Some of the people, sure. But not all of them.
When you do the wrong thing, they’ll jump all over you and when you do the right thing, they won’t acknowledge it because it should have been done sooner, or later, or in a different way.

And when you add Covid to the situation, then it becomes an even messier boiling pot of piss. Lockdown, don’t lockdown, lockdown but sooner, lockdown but more lightly, lockdown but let the pubs serve scotch eggs; close the borders but leave them open; protect the teachers but don’t close the schools.

And once you’ve messed all that up, you can get onto the vaccine issue.

Now, without saying that they are perfect in any way, I think that the UK government seems to have done rather well on the vaccine stuff. They ordered early and have thankfully avoided the complete mess that the EU has made of the whole thing:

The latest figures from Our World in Data reveal that just 2.1% of the EU population has received a vaccine, compared with 10.8% for the UK. The goal to vaccinate at least 70% of the EU’s population by this summer is wildly off – at the current pace, the bloc as a whole would reach only 15% by the end of September.

But guess who’s fault that EU mess is?

Well, apparently it’s the UK’s, because they ordered the vaccine that the EU wanted, but they had their ducks in a row and they ordered it earlier. It’s like the lazy guy who only woke up at 10:58 blaming you for grabbing the last Sausage and Egg McMuffin.

But no, let’s ignore our own ugly shortfalls and find another scapegoat. Deflecting the blame is such a politician thing.

Happily, Boris is having none of it:

While the finger pointing on the continent continued, Prime Minister Boris Johnson avoided being drawn on any potential impact of the dispute on UK vaccine supplies.

The UK has made money available for other countries to get vaccines, too. But read the papers and the pixels and all you see is criticism. And I think that’s a little unfair in this situation.

Because apparently, the UK is one of those “hoarding” vaccine:

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday urged wealthy countries not to hoard surplus COVID-19 vaccine supplies, adding his voice to calls for global production to be shared more equally.

But we in SA could also have had a successful programme in place, were it not for the fact that we only started negotiating with vaccine suppliers on January 6th. And were it not for the fact that at least some of the R500 billion war chest to deal with Covid hadn’t made its way into the pockets of corrupt government officials and towards failed SOEs.

But no, let’s ignore our own ugly shortfalls and find another scapegoat. Deflecting the blame is such a politician thing.

Meanwhile:

Britain said on Sunday (Jan 10) it has helped raise US$1 billion from global donors towards the drive to help “vulnerable countries” access coronavirus vaccines, by match-funding contributions.

The UK said, in addition, it has committed 548 million pounds to the Covax Advance Market Commitment (AMC), after matching with 1 pound every US$4 pledged by other donors.

I mean, it’s not bad, is it? You can’t really say that they’re not helping out. And sure, one could argue that they are a rich country and so on, but one could also find plenty of space for that sort of money within the UK, especially given the pandemic.

And yes, many countries (including the UK and those in the EU) have ordered more vaccines than they need, simply because they didn’t know which vaccines would work and which wouldn’t. And sure, they’re lucky to be able to hedge their bets in that way, but you can rest assured that any spares (and hopefully those orders all come through and there will be spares) will be redistributed through Covax. Just like Cyril wanted.

That’s… er… the same Covax that the SA government missed the deadline to pay and join, by the way.

There’s good news too, though. Maybe SA can take up Tanzania’s share of vaccines, because Tanzania’s president is still relying on the dual therapy of [checks notes] steam inhalation and God:

“We will also continue to take health precautions including the use of steam inhalation,” he said.

“You inhale while you pray to God, you pray while farming maize, potatoes, so that you can eat well and corona fails to enter your body. They will scare you a lot, my fellow Tanzanians, but you should stand firm.”

And, to be fair, that approach does seem to working, given that they haven’t had any cases of Covid since last July.

Mainly because they stopped testing for it then. And as U2 told us, you can’t find what you’re not still looking for*.

Without giving any evidence, Magufuli said vaccines may be part of a foreign plot to steal Africa’s wealth.

“Vaccines are not good. If they were, then the white man would have brought vaccines for HIV/AIDS,” Magufuli said during the opening of a new farm in his western home region.

Sure. And quite possibly a cure for stupid, as well.

 

 

* or some such, anyway

They’re onto us

Aw, crap.

Time to come clean. They’re onto us. To be fair, we had a good run; in fact, I was amazed that we managed to get away with it for so long, but the inevitable end was… well… inevitable.

An admission: My MSc project, allegedly on Multilocus Sequence Typing of Streptococcus agalactiae, was actually just a cover for my research into putting brain-eating nanobots into vaccines.

Oh dear, I seem to have accidentally wiped the name of the website out.

Of course, even if you have a basket full of brain-eating nanobots and several litres of vaccines, you can’t just lob the two together and hope for the best. Our Illuminati Overlords would never allow that. Usually, you’d start a major project like this with some small scale testing, but nanobots are pretty small anyway, so we had to start with large scale testing and then work our way down. First, we began piping beagles into homes via the water reticulation system in Singapore (who could forget the Singapore Mass Beagle Outbreak back in 1999?).
The unqualified (and unexpected) success of that part of the project allowed us to go smaller, and yes, as you’ve probably already guessed, it was our laboratory that was behind all those acorns people discovered in their Starbucks coffee in Florida in 2001.

From there, it was an easy step to putting brain-eating nanobots in vaccines. Well, you would, wouldn’t you? Beagles in your tap water, acorns in your coffee, brain-eating nanobots in your vaccines. It’s the obvious and natural progression of things.

Sadly, we weren’t counting on the amazing detective powers of one particular keyboard warrior fighting against our imposition of a New World Order. He’s got us banged to rights and no mistake. Jim Stone – who has been a constant thorn in our side since I first heard his name earlier this morning – has also told you (often using occasional BOLD TYPE and capital letters) about how Zika virus was dropped from helicopters, how UFOs ABDUCTED flight MH370, how the recent mix-up at the Oscars was due to a Wiccan spell DESIGNED TO ATTACK DONALD TRUMP, that Antarctica is being evacuated (presumably not a hugely lengthy process) so that aliens can land there, and that Nelson Mandela DIED IN PRISON, there was a $250 banknote and COWS HAD (or is it didn’t have?) HORNS in his (Stone’s) other life.

On that last one: yes, really – and it includes the brilliant opening line “When I was a kid I lived in a semi rural area and had a lot of exposure to cows.” (And then the murders began?)

Anyway, I think you can now see that the brain-eating nanobots in vaccines exposé is just one of many blows that Jim has stuck against the clandestine establishment which tells you what to think via popular blogs and the like. It’s just that this one was personal for me because I worked so hard on it. (I had tried to get in on the jet fuel and steel beams experiments, but George Bush only wanted psychologically malleable engineers.)

Anyway, the discovery of the whole brain-eating nanobots in vaccines thing has all come too little, too late. Everyone is already full of vaccines and brain-eating nanobots, just like Singapore was full of beagles 18 years ago, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.
On the plus side, poliomyelitis is now almost a thing of the past and childhood mortality due to infectious diseases has halved over the last 25 years. Still, this has to weighed up against the MASSIVE increase in deaths due to people’s brains being eaten by brain-eating nanobots.
So, you know, some you win, some you lose.

My thanks to Jim for keeping us honest, and my apologies if you or someone you love has been affected by a brain-eating nanobot. Or an acorn in your beverage while holidaying in Miami.

I obviously can’t give you any details about the project that I’ve been assigned to down here in Cape Town, but it’s got nothing to do with putting microchips in Gatsbys. Absolutely nothing.
So much so that you should probably forget that I even mentioned it.

Which I didn’t. Right?