Yeah right

Now that healthcare workers are starting to get the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine (and keep in mind they still need to get the second dose in a few weeks), the debate is over who gets it next. Adding the Moderna vaccine into the mix will help expand the list of people who might get vaccinated next, of course, but the whole process does raise some ethical issues, which doesn’t really concern me because we all did such a great job of sacrificing, social distancing, and wearing masks, right?

Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of people trying to jump the line and get vaccinated ahead of other critical front line workers. Also unsurprisingly, many of these people seem to be, shall we say, rich:

Or they’re members of Congress who have been somewhat less than helpful when it’s come to the nation’s pandemic response:

(And yes, I did just include a tweet from Billy Baldwin.)

Not that anyone cares what I think or do (I write this blog mostly for my own amusement, which is a good thing looking at the number of visitors it gets), but I’m willing to wait. Not because I’m concerned about the vaccines themselves – when it’s available to me, I’ll certainly get it. But because I’m extremely fortunate right now. I’m able to work from home. While I miss going out to eat or to grab a beer with some friends, I’ve gotten used to not being able to do that, and I can keep that up as long as necessary.

So while not surprising, the fact that rich and well-connected assholes are able to get some protection from the scourge that’s upended everyone’s lives over the past year before people who really deserve – and need – to be vaccinated pisses me off more than I can say. So I’ll leave it at that.

Wear a mask. Stay distanced. Get the shot when it’s your turn. Stay vigilant. It’s not like we’ve been asked to isolate in a fallout shelter. Grow the fuck up and try to think of someone other than yourself for once.

The unfortunate commodification of higher education

The return on investment of higher education is under increased scrutiny today. This has led to a narrowed emphasis by colleges and universities on providing marketable skills that lead directly to jobs. Andrew Delbanco, in his 2012 book, College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be, suggests a broader set of qualities for colleges, however, beyond technical and vocational competencies. At the same time, we’ve experienced increasing economic inequality and a coarsening of our political discourse in the United States, so the diminishment of a “college” education as Delbanco describes it has profound implications for democracy.