gray passport on brown board beside red plane toy

DAILY DOSE: The case for vaccine passports; Twitter takes down Marjorie Taylor-Greene.


Study after study reinforces what most of us are aware of thanks to the hysteria surrounding the latest Covid-19 variant. It’s a lot more contagious that its viral siblings though a little less severe. The latest research comes from a lab in Denmark. Per Reuters, “The Omicron coronavirus variant is better at circumventing vaccinated peoples’ immunity than the Delta variant, according to a Danish study published last week, helping explain why Omicron is spreading more rapidly… Investigating nearly 12,000 Danish households in mid-December, the scientists found that Omicron was 2.7 to 3.7 times more infectious than the Delta variant among vaccinated Danes.” So just in case you doubted the previous studies, let this one put any doubt to bed.


Since the beginning of the pandemic, Covid-19 conspiracy theorists and deniers turned positive aspects of Science against it. The latest example ended up getting U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene booted from Twitter for good, at least in terms of her official personal account. Per the Associated Press, “The Georgia Republican’s account was permanently suspended under the “strike” system Twitter launched in March, which uses artificial intelligence to identify posts about the coronavirus that are misleading enough to cause harm to people. Two or three strikes earn a 12-hour account lock. Four strikes prompt a weeklong suspension. Five or more strikes can get someone permanently removed from Twitter.” Greene claimed that her account was suspended after tweeting statistics from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a government database that includes unverified raw data pertaining to vaccine side-effects. The database has been a popular source of truncated statistics for anti-vaxxers.


While mandatory vaccines have been cause for much heated debate, the notion of vaccine passports has been thermonuclear. It blurs the already vague notion of individual freedoms and universal public good. An opinion piece in The Intercept, Judith Levine makes the case just barely in favor of  the passports, though it’s a far cry from advocating them. After examining the positives and not-insignificant negative aspects of it, she grudgingly suggests that it might be the best decision from a pool of not-so-great choices. Levine concludes, “For the moment, the vaccine pass is allowing us to repopulate the third spaces and revitalize the public square, where accidental touch accustoms us to tolerance and minor conflict conditions us for democratic discourse. Technologies encode their makers’ and users’ values. This one must serve the survival of the social.”


In a very conscious effort to end the first installment of the Daily Dose in 2022 on a positive note, we’ re ending with the news that five of the world’s largest nuclear powers have agreed that the notion of mutually assured destruction (MAD) remains pertinent, even in today’s world. According to AFP, “Five global nuclear powers pledged Monday to prevent atomic weapons spreading and to avoid nuclear conflict, in a rare joint statement setting aside rising West-East tensions to reaffirm a goal of a nuke-free world. ‘We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented,’ said permanent UN Security Council members China, France, Russia, the UK and United States, adding: ‘A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.’” Great.

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