470 days of plague

First and most crucially, I got my second vaccination last Friday, and am therefore clear to travel in the EU from Friday week.


Many people had warned me that the second Pfizer dose can really knock you out the second day after you have had it. I am glad to say that I did not notice anything. I had a big work task over the weekend and was able to complete it comfortably by Sunday afternoon.

I note that in my previous post in this series I referred to “Worldcon hassles”. As those who care about these things will already be aware, the entire 2021 Hugo Awards team, including me, resigned on Tuesday 22nd, rapidly followed by the resignation of the 2021 Worldcon Chair on Friday 25th. I’m not going to say much more about it here, except that I very much appreciated a message from one of the Vice-Presidents of BWAWA, the organisation that “owns” this year’s Worldcon, apologizing for the stress that we had experienced. That does make a difference.

But the big news is that the office is now open all week, and I will be in Brussels on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the time being. Two days ago was the first day of the new regime, and I bought a celebratory Vietnamese lunch for the half dozen colleagues who had showed up.


The Belgian numbers keep going in the right direction. I think that in the next week we will have a day with no recorded COVID deaths, for the first time since September. For other countries – notably the UK – it’s not quite as good, and for parts of the developing world it is disastrous. I’ll cling to what I have.

I am pondering how long I’ll keep up these posts. Last year my benchmark was that the numbers should be below those of 15 March 2020, when there were 266 COVID cases in hospital, of which 54 in intensive care, and 6 deaths. The fatality rate is comfortably below 6 per day at the moment, and the hospital numbers, currently 329, should be below 266 by this time next week. The number in ICU is comparatively much higher – 147 – but also falling rapidly. So I reckon I’ll be doing a 480 days of plague entry, but maybe not 490.

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