This is good. People need to figure out for themselves how to "re-enter" the normal world. Doing something you haven't done in 14 months - just for a bit - will make you feel more comfortable doing it a bit more. If you're vaccinated, getting used to normal again is healthy.
So much of this depends on where you live and what you've been comfortable with up to now. I've seen two completely different worlds on this up close - East TN and NYC. And yet, in both cases, people established their own comfort levels apart from true 2019-level normal.
Don't worry about sunk costs and prior arguments about what was safe before vaccines, or about what others will think. But venture out a bit more. Dip the toe in the water. Officials need to lift the requirements (which even NYC is about to do) and let people adjust on their own.
The virus is endemic. That's ok. Why? Because the vaccines are amazing. They protect you and they protect everybody around you. 12-15s are about to be approved for vaccines too!…
Those videos of people crying tears of joy at Disneyland? Don't laugh at them. You'll be crying tears of joy when you step back into Waffle House! Or Huddle House if that's just too much.
I mean, you can savor your Gus's Fried Chicken in person, and wash down your fried okra with a cold beer.
Return to Red Bridges for tasty Carolina BBQ and eat in person! It's still there!
The theater is opening again to larger and larger capacity. It's ok! Go to a smaller show first to get comfortable.

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More from @AstorAaron

3 May
True "herd immunity" where the virus literally disappears is impossible. Israel still has a trickle of cases each day. But an endemic virus where most people are vaccinated is very different than a pandemic where most people are vulnerable to at least moderate illness.
I think we will see major regional variation going forward. It will start to reflect vaccination rates, but it will still be subject to seasonal changes. So low-vax areas in the South won't get many cases until summer when people congregate indoors in the AC. Like last July.
Whether those regional flare-ups will affect local hospital resources remains to be seen. My guess is that even vax hesitant areas will end up ok on that front bc the most vulnerable will be the most likely to vaccinate, though there will definitely be more unnecessary deaths.
Read 4 tweets
1 May
I've been wrestling with this question for a while now: How much does it really matter at this point if so many adults choose not to vaccinate? I look at this on three levels:
1) How it affects me and my family
2) How it affects "return to normal"
3) Concern for others generally
On 1), I have three children too young to be vaccinated. But at ages 6 and 7, they are, thankfully, unlikely to develop any symptomatic disease or spread the virus to others. I'd be more concerned if they were over 10. But at their age, probably not much to worry about.
Since the rest of my family is fully vaccinated, I don't feel as personally uncomfortable with unvaccinated people around. Future variants could change this calculus. On the other hand, I will vaccinate them as soon as that option is available. For now, we should be okay.
Read 15 tweets
21 Apr
Geography of India: There are 28 states and 8 "union territories" in the country. The most populous, in descending order, are:
Utter Pradesh: 199.8 Mil.
Maharashtra: 112.4M
Bihar: 104.1M
West Bengal: 91.3M
Madhya Pradesh: 72.6M
Tamil Nadu: 72.1M
Rajasthan: 68.5M
Per 2011 census
This is the covid status in each state/territory. But those smallish case jumps in the very large states mean massive increases in raw numbers.
Test positivity data in each state/territory shows how bad it is getting everywhere in India as testing only covers a fraction of total cases.
Read 5 tweets
20 Apr
Medical marijuana is still not legal in Tennessee because the people in the state legislature do not represent the people and there is no mechanism under our 1870 state constitution to circumvent it with a popular referendum.
There are definitely cases where popular referenda get out of control and start to make ordinary representative governance impossible. But TN has the opposite problem. Our legislature is broken. It spends its time debating useless garbage and embarrassing the state every session.
The 1870 state constitution gave most power to the legislature as a reaction to Parson Brownlow during Reconstruction. Legislative districts are uncompetitive and gerrymandered. And the few statewide elected officials we have possess little authority.
Read 5 tweets
20 Apr
"Forgotten NY" is one of my favorite sites. Apparently the President of NYU built a "Hall of Fame for Great Americans" in 1901. It's in the neighborhood of "University Heights" in the Bronx, which was the former site of NYU.…
It was apparently the first "Hall of Fame" of any kind.
Bronx Community College is now on the site.
Read 5 tweets
19 Apr
We argue all the time if Fauci's "keep on masking" comments encourage vax-hesitant people to refuse vaccination. But the TN survey shows that that's not really a factor at all. It's concern about vaccine safety. Those concerns CAN be addressed.…
"Not having to wear masks" is a low factor for all vax-hesitant groups.
The most important factor is: "There is medically assured safety."
Read 4 tweets

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