Is naming anti-vaxxers who die of Covid a moral strategy for promoting vaccination?
No, says Elizabeth Bruenig in this month’s Atlantic. Yes, counters University of Cape Town professor Nicoli Nattrass.
The “Death Shaming” controversy is on big time. It’s on because Delta is mowing down those who flaunt it, and it’s on because the madness that denies vaccine science can just as readily deny the anti-vaxxer’s obits.
The week following Labor Day is always a chaotic one for the travel industry and African tourism in particular, and this one was no exception! Does that mean that the pandemic is over and everyone’s packing their bags?
Not exactly, but … close. The Delta variant is a game changer. Problem is that we really don’t know how much of game changer yet. And while uncertainty is often travel’s greatest nemesis, it just doesn’t seem to be the case, today. I really sense that the educated – especially veteran travelers – believe they understand more about the pandemic than they don’t, nudging uncertainty only a tad into the spotlight.
Nine-Eleven is a bookmark for me as I’m sure for many others. Whether it deserves the attention Americans are giving to it is a hot question in Africa, where there are effectively nine-elevens quite often. The surprise hurt, loss and lasting grief from a strangers’ act to individuals and communities occurs at the same or greater scale all over the developing world with a frequency many Americans deny.
Yes, I’ve found a connection between the Serengeti and right-wing propaganda. Didn’t expect it would be so easy, but the take-home is that somebody out there – governments or dictators or god incarnate – needs to control social media. The wild west of information dissemination is destroying truth and I worry it may never be restored.
Today marks the extended “Labor Day” weekend holiday in the United States, Thursday-Monday. America’s ‘May Day’ is officially Monday but everyone takes the whole long weekend off.
Vacations end, schools reopen, the fall sports season begins, the culture season with operas and symphonies begin in the great cities… Well, not now. Covid continues to wreck havoc on America; only about half the country is fully vaccinated. Some vaccine is going to waste. How could this be?
Chinua Achebe, author of “Things Fall Apart,” was a greater seer than any of his characters: Today Africans across the continent are filled with worry, nervous with a sense of helplessness. Across the continent it feels like things are falling apart.
“The Americans wanted revenge over the 2001 September 11 attack on the Pentagon Building,” Nigeria’s largest newspaper, The Sun, says today in its lead editorial. “What they now have is a defeat.”
African tourism has tanked. A decline was predicted off the promising numbers of June but nothing like we’re seeing, now. The nosedive is exactly inversely proportional to the rates of virus spread, which both in the west Africa are much higher than had been predicted.
It means that travelers who had paid deposits and possibly even full payments are bailing. Since travel insurance no longer covers itinerary impacts from covid, these represent difficult decisions from a lot of angry travelers.
Africa is breaking as covid cases surge.
Data collection and compilation varies so dramatically one country to another. Moreover collection and compilation has improved equally dramatically since the start of the pandemic, so each country’s numbers may be inflated by their improved collections. Suffice it to say that not a single African country reports the situation improving and many are sounding the alarm.
Many of you have sent me a copy of last weekend’s NYTimes article, “Who Needs a Whirlwind Trip When You Can Take It Slow?” Thanks. But no thanks.
A lot of people need, enjoy and prosper with a whirlwind trip, including me. Among the others: those who aren’t super rich, those who don’t get unlimited time off, those who are exceptionally curious, those who are savvy enough to know that four days is usually no better than two and those who recognize that at the current moment “slow travel” is about the biggest come-on I’ve seen in my half century in this industry.
I can think of two reasons this might make any sense.
“U.S. abandoning Afghans sends terrible message” is the headline in South Africa’s BusinessLive. The Daily Maverick calls it an “unmitigated disaster.” Kenya’s Standard: “U.S. Government has let down Afghanistan.”
None argue that America should stay. The criticism is entirely for abandoning the tens maybe hundreds of thousands of Afghans who live in mortal danger because of their American connections. And for the stupidity of having extended the original mission:
“The purpose of armies is war, not peace,” writes BusinessDay this morning in Johannesburg. “The failure of military intervention [in Afghanistan] shows the time has come to disband Nato and US bases around the world.”
It took a Democrat to be so fooled. Either Biden knows a lot we don’t or he was totally snowed by his reach for the future and didn’t realize what has happened would.
If the former he’s guilty of not telling. More likely the latter because one of Democrats’ greatest failings is their blind faith in what’s right. You’ve got to work to make things right.
Travelers are growing weary of Delta and I’m not referring to the airline. What exactly is your risk, especially if you’re contemplating a far-away journey?
Voluntary travel is rarely determined by facts, alone: It’s how you “feel” about the trip. But the more you’ve invested the more you need to understand the facts. If you cleared your calendar, made a deposit, bought airline tickets – well, then, go a little bit further than just how you might feel after watching the evening news.
So which would you choose as the best protection against Covid? (1) Surrounding yourself with a portable plexiglass outfit; or (2) getting the shot? The quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings proposes the former.
Vaccine hesitancy is worldwide and you might be surprised that the U.S.’ vaccine hesitancy rate is actually relatively low worldwide. African hesitancy is relatively low too, Mideast (excluding Israel) is the highest, Asian hesitancy (excluding China) is moderate, South American hesitancy (excluding Ecuador) is on the high side and European hesitancy is just a little bit greater than America’s.
Think of anything positive Covid has done to the tourism industry?
Maybe the ridiculously long prepay period for a tourism product will now shrink to something fairer. Maybe there will even be more tourism products, like your individually booked hotel room, that you only pay for after you’ve used it.
Here’s why I think this might happen:
It took a pandemic that killed millions of people, but the developed world seems ready to manufacture a malaria vaccine that works.
The Covid pandemic clearly demonstrates that Africa will never vaccinate enough of its people against Covid-19 (or any other disease) until manufacturing takes place there. It also made clear that if a disease is allowed to flourish in Africa, it will forever be present globally.
The scientific triumph and economic success of Pfizer’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccine juxtaposed on the battle Africa is losing with Covid because it can’t get the vaccine has finally shamed enough western powers to loosen international patents and in other ways underwrite the serious acceleration of both a Covid and a malaria vaccine for manufacture in Africa. We could have the malaria vaccine within a few years.