In a more optimistic moment, I succumbed to sentiment—I’ve been doing a lot of that lately—and ordered graduation regalia meant to conform to that I wore to my Ph.D. graduation five years ago (figure 1).
Fig. 1. Photograph by author, March 26, 2021.
And today, since I am home anyway, anticipating side effects from the second shot of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 that have yet to seriously materialize, I put together the resulting assemblage and took a photograph (figure 1).
It does not, in all particulars, conform to my recollection. But first, I suspect the database the vendor I ordered this from might have more faithful information recorded than my dim recollection or, perhaps, to a Saybrook University standard more faithful to its history than what has transpired since its absorption into The Chicago School Educational Services; and second, I’m not sure how much it really matters.
If I ever find my way back into academia, there are ceremonial occasions where this regalia could be appropriate.
There is a new blog post entitled, “Medical apartheid and COVID-19 vaccinations.”
I did receive the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine today. My symptoms have, overall, been milder than with the first shot. But I’ve been a bit light-headed, headachy in a way that makes me glad I decided to stay home, with the sort of medicine that in Pennsylvania one needs a card for.
I previously said I’d worn the second mask my mother made for me to the first shot. This was incorrect; it was actually the first. So today, I pulled the second mask out of sequence to wear it for the second shot. (At the end of each day, I boil the mask I’ve worn that day, so there’s really no risk to doing this.)
It will be harder to tell which was the third mask when it comes time for a “booster” for variants that are further enabled by vaccine hesitancy and resistance. From the third mask on, my mother went to a Scot/Irish plaid fabric which I find attractive, but where I can remember which of the first two (brown) masks is which, I’ve completely lost track of which plaid mask is which, except for the last, which is of a significantly different design. I’ve also had to set two masks aside, one because it tended to rest on the tip of my nose rather than covering the bridge as needed, and the other because it seemed just a tad too small. It’s entirely conceivable that one of the latter masks was the third.
The notifications I’m receiving from the Allegheny Health Department suggest to me that we’re having another surge of COVID-19 cases in the county. My vaccination will supposedly not be fully effective for two weeks, that is, until April 9. (Yes, of course, I’ve marked the date.)
April Dembosky, “It’s not Tuskegee. Current medical racism fuels Black Americans’ vaccine hesitancy,” Los Angeles Times, March 25, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-03-25/current-medical-racism-not-tuskegee-expls-vaccine-hesitancy-among-black-americans
Fig. 2. Amazon Logistics email, image via the Intercept, March 25, 2021, fair use.
I keep TravelJohn products in my car because as an Uber/Lyft driver, it’s often hard to stop at a restroom. The downside is that I need to find a trash can about five minutes after use, when they are safe to dispose; these bags do not seal on top.
I can believe that Amazon doesn't permit bathroom breaks because I've watched fellow teachers in the building deny students bathroom breaks or bodily autonomy to prioritize productivity and production for years.
— Ms. Phan 🗽 (@MsPhanLearns) March 26, 2021
I’m sorry that Jeff Bezos, the Jean-Luc Picard-wannabe, can’t imagine that he’s this inhumane. But he is. And such inhumanity is pretty much standard operating procedure for low-wage work under capitalism now.
Ken Klippenstein, “Documents Show Amazon Is Aware Drivers Pee in Bottles and Even Defecate En Route, Despite Company Denial,” Intercept, March 25, 2021, https://theintercept.com/2021/03/25/amazon-drivers-pee-bottles-union/
Matt Stieb, “Amazon Called Out for Denying Workers Go to Bathroom in Bottles,” New York, March 25, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/03/amazon-called-out-for-denying-that-workers-pee-in-bottles.html
TFW you're concerned that student debt cancellation will unfairly benefit rich kids but love to tax folks who can't afford to live close to work. https://t.co/J237vsEgO1
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) March 26, 2021
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine,” March 16, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html↩
- Melissa Healy, “California’s coronavirus strain looks increasingly dangerous: ‘The devil is already here,’” Los Angeles Times, February 23, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-02-23/california-homegrown-coronavirus-strain-looks-increasingly-transmissible-and-dangerous; Christopher Rowland, Emily Rauhala, and Miriam Berger, “Drug companies defend vaccine monopolies in face of global outcry,” Washington Post, March 20, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/03/20/covid-vaccine-global-shortages/; Benjamin Wallace-Wells, “The Vaccine Resisters,” New Yorker, March 5, 2021, https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-populism/the-vaccine-resisters↩
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated,” March 23, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html↩
- Ken Klippenstein, “Documents Show Amazon Is Aware Drivers Pee in Bottles and Even Defecate En Route, Despite Company Denial,” Intercept, March 25, 2021, https://theintercept.com/2021/03/25/amazon-drivers-pee-bottles-union/↩
- Franklin Foer, “Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan,” Atlantic, November 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/11/what-jeff-bezos-wants/598363/↩
- Matt Stieb, “Amazon Called Out for Denying Workers Go to Bathroom in Bottles,” New York, March 25, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/03/amazon-called-out-for-denying-that-workers-pee-in-bottles.html↩
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And It’s a Nightmare,” New Republic, January 16, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/156202/silicon-valley-economy-here-its-nightmare; Michael Sainato, “‘I’m not a robot’: Amazon workers condemn unsafe, grueling conditions at warehouse,” Guardian, February 5, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/05/amazon-workers-protest-unsafe-grueling-conditions-warehouse; Alexander Sammon, “Prop 22 Is Here, and It’s Already Worse Than Expected,” American Prospect, January 15, 2021, https://prospect.org/labor/prop-22-is-here-already-worse-than-expected-california-gig-workers/; Alex Seitz-Wald, “Amazon is everything wrong with our new economy,” Salon, July 30, 2013, https://www.salon.com/test/2013/07/30/amazon_is_everything_wrong_with_our_new_economy/; Alana Semuels, “As employers push efficiency, the daily grind wears down workers,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2013, https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-harsh-work-20130407-story.html; Alana Semuels, “How the relationship between employers and workers changed,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2013, https://www.latimes.com/business/la-xpm-2013-apr-07-la-fi-mo-harsh-work-history-20130405-story.html; Alana Semuels, “Tougher workplace makes home life worse too,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2013, https://www.latimes.com/business/la-xpm-2013-apr-07-la-fi-mo-harsh-work-history-20130405-story.html; Faiz Siddiqui and Andrew Van Dam, “As Uber avoided paying into unemployment, the federal government helped thousands of its drivers weather the pandemic,” Washington Post, March 16, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/03/16/uber-lyft-unemployment-benefits/; Spencer Soper, “Inside Amazon’s Warehouse,” Lehigh Valley Morning Call, September 18, 2011, https://www.mcall.com/business/mc-xpm-2011-09-18-mc-allentown-amazon-complaints-20110917-story.html; Matt Stieb, “Amazon Called Out for Denying Workers Go to Bathroom in Bottles,” New York, March 25, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/03/amazon-called-out-for-denying-that-workers-pee-in-bottles.html; Lindsay Wise, “Report: Temp jobs at all-time high in U.S.,” McClatchy, September 2, 2014, https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/economy/article24772543.html↩