What's Going On: Mother's Day 2021

Children's vaccine timelines, Musk on SNL, & late takes on The Crown

This is a biweekly-ish round-up of new scientific research, links, and more.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

I’ve been MIA for a month now, thanks to my fresh “fully vaccinated” status. That means I’ve been catching up on non-essential medical and other appointments that I didn’t feel comfortable tackling over the past year.

This issue will be a bit shorter than the last couple, because I’m realizing I need to pare this newsletter down a bit to make my “biweekly-ish” publication goal feasible. As is the case with most new publications, I have to find the happy medium between what I’d like to accomplish and what I can actually accomplish with a toddler and full access to the outside world again.

(As part of my own Mother’s Day presents, I’ve been gifted a few hours to catch up on my own reading, writing, and random to-do list items that are difficult to do with a toddler underfoot.)

“New research shows….”

Speaking of toddlers, there is good news on the vaccine front as children aged 12 and up will soon have access to a Covid vaccine via emergency use authorization. By September, it is expected that children aged 2 and above (!) may be given that same access. This, of course, is excellent news as parents continue to worry about schools reopening in the same manner as they did in the Before Times.

Toddler H, and others below age 2, will have to wait a bit longer for their vaccine, as ages 6 months to 2 years will be the last to receive vaccination authorization. Additionally, discussion is ongoing about whether fully vaccinated adults will require boosters by this summer/fall.

Finally, on the Covid news front, the CDC has finally admitted that Covid is an airborne virus. This, of course, has been discussed and expected for a year now, but the admission confirms what research has already been showing about activities such as dining in restaurants. Even when spaced 6 feet apart, interior ventilation can transport virus particles from one side of the restaurant to the other, infecting maskless diners in the path of the air flow. One specific study released back in December indicated that two diners were infected by a Covid-positive person 21 feet away with whom they were in the same room as for just five minutes.

This remains relevant this summer as fully vaccinated people make their way to indoor dining with the unvaccinated masses, as the vaccine does not necessarily fully protect against all Covid variants (although, importantly, it does seem to protect from most variants and it still protects from hospitalization and death).

What your Very Online friends are talking about

I don’t know if the fact that I’m unaware of what’s happening online says more about me being back out in the real world or about everyone online being back out in the real world.

Regardless, everyone has been talking about Elon Musk on SNL.

The Elon Musk conversation is a bit self-explanatory: he’s a billionaire hosting SNL—why? And why did SNL think that was a good idea? Especially given his Covid takes over the past year.

If you’re not Very Online, however, you may not also be aware that Musk has a bit of a cult following on Twitter and Reddit, where “fanboys” will swoop in to comment on any perceived slight against their “everyman billionaire.” Musk himself is also known for tweeting questionable takes and taking questionable action on global issues.

Overall, however, the episode did not have as much negative feedback (*so far: I’m writing this less than 24 hours after the episode) as anticipated. I wonder, of course, if that’s because everyone is back out of the house in the real world again.

What I’m reading

So frankly I’m not reading very much these days, but I am watching The Crown, finally. I needed something low commitment that I wouldn’t necessarily want to binge. Since it’s based on real life, I figured I couldn’t get too terribly sucked in.

Well it turns out I don’t know nearly as much about the royal family as I thought I did. Not that I’m some superfan by any means, but it’s impossible to escape the media coverage (especially if you’re Very Online with the Harry/Meghan situation unfolding).

If you need something solid to watch and, for whatever reason, haven’t gotten around to it yet, I recommend throwing it on to learn things like:

Among other surprising Wikipedia rabbit holes each episode sends me down. Again, none of this may be new to any of you, but if you’re only a casual royalty watcher like me (and perhaps younger than Gen X, like me), there may be enough to catch you off guard.

Thanks again for joining me this week; follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@mallierydzik) for more commentary.