Play Jaja Ding Dong

The 2021 Eurovision Finals are this Saturday, in Rotterdam. They’re being held in front of a live unmasked “test audience” of 3500 people. Last year we had colluded with friends of ours to get tickets to one of the semi-finals, had booked a place to stay and were all looking forward to the trip. I don’t have to tell you how that plan turned out.

Are these your plans?

Our best laid plans, yes.

Oh well, never mind.

Will Farrel (who I can’t say I’m generally a huge fan of) made a mockumentary to tide fans over. A bunch of prior year performers made cameos. That’s the origin of the the post title, by the way – and that character in the film is going to be delivering Iceland’s scores on Saturday.

Speaking of Iceland… their entry last year – Think About Things by Daði Freyr – was a favorite to win (Russia’s entry was another fan favorite). They’re back this year, and it seemed cruel and unusual that the band had to pull out of performing live when one of their member tested COVID positive. (Performers who would have been in last year were allowed to return, but had to come with a new song.)

At any rate, we watched the first and second semi-finals over the past few nights. Saturday we’ll likely have a couple friends over, order food, and watch the finals.

It’s another bit of normal, and I’m very happy to have it.

In less up-beat news, the India COVID variant I mentioned has done what things that grow exponentially do – it’s grown exponentially. Cases of that variant have grown 160% in the last week. That growth is against the backdrop of overall case counts declining – so it’s easy to miss, or ignore, when looking at the case charts.

The government has made repeated statements that most of those affected are eligible for vaccination but haven’t signed up to be vaccinated. Even assuming this is true, it neither solves the problem nor undoes the inexplicable delay to restrict travel from India as their COVID wave grew. In the hope of preserving the mid-June date for of relaxing remaining restrictions, second vaccinations for over 50s have been accelerated, and vaccination appointments have been opened for everyone 34 and older. In hotspot areas, vaccinations are being offered to everyone over 18. It’s a race, and the virus has a couple week lead, and unlike the immunity given by vaccination, the virus grows fast.

While on the topic of health – and bad news – Dawnise learned that a high school friend of hers has been diagnosed with cancer. Like too many Americans, she’s un or under-insured and has setup a go-fund-me to try to cover her potentially infinite care costs. The longer I spend living in countries with actual health care systems the less I can pretend to understand or rationalize this clearly broken state of affairs.

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