04 September 2021

That's where my sense of doom went

 I'm not real happy about the election.  If this was a fairytale, everybody in the incumbent government who stayed in Cabinet rather than resign over approving new fossil carbon infrastructure would be last seen gnawing the dry bones of their children in a vast expanse of desolation.

They are, however, also the people who took obtaining vaccines seriously and who are trying, against substantial provincial incompetence, to get people vaccinated more and faster.

There are those failures in public life where you leave it, and never talk to anybody again. (Merely starting the Great War, as observe the later life of Mr. Hohenzollern.)

There are (supposedly) the kind of failures in public life where you apologize to the Empress;  we're already well past the point where Dougie's corpse ought to be discovered at the feet, or at least before the plinth, of the Queen's Park statue of Queen Victoria.

If you look at the Ontario COVID dashboard, for awhile there the "estimated percentage caused by Delta" was 100%.  Which is kinda expected; Delta displaces the other known variants.  It's such a problem precisely because it spreads better.

It helps to know that the testing for variants is minimal; Ontario tests for two (2) mutations, and classifies variants on that basis.  Right now, if it has neither the N501Y mutation nor the E484K mutation it's presumed to be Delta.

The current "estimated percentage caused by Delta" number is 99.5.  It was 99.6 yesterday.

There's been that daily tenth-of-a-percent tick down for a few days now.

My (rather numb) sense of doom looks at this and says "if something is displacing Delta, Ontario is not doing enough testing to be able to tell what it is."

If it's a Beta descendant (it could be; having N501Y would get it off the Delta list, and that was and is a marker for Beta (as well as Alpha and Gamma)), one is reminded that Beta was the one you could almost be glad Delta out-competed it because Beta was the one looking like it was headed at vaccine escape.

And here we are at 75% vaccinated, no mandatory vaccination, and lots of virus circulation. Pretty much precisely the environment to produce selection pressure for vaccine escape.

If that's what we've got happening, some historian is going to have coin a novel term for the magnitude of the failure.


JReynolds said...

a novel term for the magnitude of the failure

I've seen "fucktangular" used for a bad situation getting worse. I didn't coin the word, though.

University students are moving back to my mother's neighbourhood. They are partying, as expected. Plus kids are about to go back to school here in ON. I have the feeling that COVID is going to go into a real uptick in 7 days time.

Graydon said...


Fucktangular does have some emotive heft but I don't know as it's going to be regarded as consistent with the gravity and dignity of the Muse of History.

I am trying to hope that the uptick doesn't happen as badly as it might. Given that we're already seeing the front edge of one in the averages, though, I don't find that easy to accomplish.

Kathmandu said...

P.1 or C.37 might fall into that 'not testing as Delta' category?

On the subject of suitable terms...in an epic display of corruption, the Philippine government once spent TWICE the going rate to buy a nuclear power plant. They sited this plant, as best I can recall, right near an active volcano, also right near three different geologic fault lines, and right across the bay from their capital city. The international nuclear-advisory agency at the time called it "a unique decision" because that sounds more diplomatic than "Nobody else, in the history of the world, has ever been quite that stupid".

arborman said...

I think the British term 'omnishambles' seems to capture a lot of the context. Clusterfuck is perhaps a bit too comic for widespread adoption.

Graydon said...

"Omnishambles" -- so far as I know, anyway; it's got nuance -- does cover the situation, but it doesn't, to my mind, cover the "those holding the civil power are against any exercise of the civil power to civil ends, and indeed seem completely incapable of recognizing that civil ends exist, they're not even _against_ civil ends, they're purely and entirely and utterly oblivious" part.

Which even from an utterly aristocratic viewpoint seems decidedly odd.