Thursday, May 13, 2021

Odds & ends

  • COVID-19 updates:  
    • My province (Ontario) has halted first-dose use of the AstraZeneca vaccine (which is, of course, the vaccine both dh & I got -- after being urged to take the first vaccine available to us), because of the clotting issue. Also cited: the fact that only a limited number of new AZ doses are scheduled to arrive soon, versus a ton of Pfizer on its way. Any AZ leftover/received will likely be used for second doses. (Ontario is not alone:  there are now 7 Canadian provinces that have suspended use of AZ.) 
      • Now there is some question as to whether we'll be getting AZ for our second shots in mid/late July, or one of the MRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna). (There won't be enough AZ for all of us who had first shots with it to get second shots within the current Canadian standard 16 week/four month time frame.) There's a study coming out of the UK soon on mixing vaccines that's supposed to help the authorities decide what to do. 
      • I have no fears of a second AZ dose (the risk factor is supposedly much less with the second dose than the first, for whatever reason), and if they tell me that mixing is safe, I'll be happy to get a Pfizer or Moderna shot -- I am thankful for whatever I can get to become fully vaccinated. But quite frankly, I can't help but feel like a bit of a lab rat. :p  
    • After reaching a pandemic high of 4,800+ new cases in a single day in mid-April, both our daily new case levels and the 7-day rolling average have dropped below 3,000 (on a couple of days recently, new daily cases have been in the low 2,000s). Those are still pretty high numbers, though, and hospital ICUs are still at capacity. 
    • The stay-at-home order that went into effect in early/mid-April was due to expire next week, on May 20th -- just before our Victoria Day long weekend -- and rumours that it would be extended another two weeks, to June 2nd, were confirmed this morning. Which of course will not please the anti-lockdown crowd, but the evidence is clear that long weekends/holidays have fuelled big spikes in case numbers and contributed to the second and third waves we've experienced. I'm happy to keep things locked down until the numbers get a whole lot lower. 
  • Jody Day was the guest on the podcast "A Certain Age" -- on the day after Mother's Day, no less!   Links to the podcast and a transcript here
  • Journalist Jill Filipovic (who is childfree) recently mused on Twitter
I would really love to read more essays and op/eds from women (and men, too) who regret having children as early as they did, regret having as many as they did, or regret having children at all. There's not much about motherhood that remains publicly unexplored, but that does.
In her Substack newsletter, Filipovic admits "Perhaps I am naive, but I was surprised by the level of vitriol and blowback." (I wasn't.)  Her entire essay on the subject of maternal regret, the decision whether to have children (or not -- and if so, when) and why these subjects are so taboo, titled "The Things We Don't Discuss," is worth a read. 
Try to tell someone you don’t like Mother’s Day and the response that elicits can be pretty harsh — especially for those who feel sad on and around Mother’s Day because they weren’t able to become mothers as they had hoped. That’s almost guaranteed to inspire a harsh response that lacks any sense of compassion. 
If you don’t like Mother’s Day because your mother has passed on or because you lost a child, you’re likely to get a little more sympathy, but there’s still not an open invitation to share freely.

(And this:)  

Does another woman’s pain about Mother’s Day actually take away anyone’s joy or ability to celebrate in a way that suits them? Can there not exist the nuance that a woman can feel grief around Mother’s Day and still support and encourage mothers? 
And do we really need to be so miserly about how we celebrate this holiday? Is it really necessary to insist that women who struggle with this day just sit down, smile, and shut up?
    • Rebecca Solnit had a similar essay in the Guardian, expressing her "conflicted feelings" about Mother's Day.  "The holiday feels coercive, as though it tells us what to feel and what our experience was, and it leaves out those who don’t fit its template."  Yes to all that!  

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