Just when you thought it was safe to poke your head outside without a mask the Omicron version of Covid arrives. If you set the wayback machine to earlier this year you’ll recall that Delta was the fourth significant iteration of the Covid virus. I know you’ll be just thrilled to know that Omicron is the lucky 13th variant so far. Only significant variants are given names so who knows how many insignificant variants we’ve missed.
The World Health Organization announced in May 2021 that the variants would be designated with “simple, easy to say labels” after consulting a wide group of experts in “nomenclature, virus taxonomy, researchers and national authorities”. Obviously not consulted were the American people who were a little gun shy after the 30-storm 2020 hurricane season where the Greek alphabet was pressed into service after the primary list of names was depleted.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that people were often confused because the Greek letters often sounded the same (Theta, Eta, Zeta), had confusing or unknown pronunciations (Xi) or unfortunate political associations (Xi again). Further, the American people also expected the Greek alphabet to run in order from A to Z which caused confusion due to Zeta being only the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet. Of course, some of the confusion could have come from the population being overwhelmed with thirty storms and the arrival of Covid in the same year.
I don’t care what they call it anymore, just give me the shot. I’ve had three and I’ll be first in line for the fourth. I think more people would agree to get vaccinated if the TV news didn’t always show a person getting a mile long needle in the arm with every story on vaccine hesitancy. Florida has solved the entire problem by pretending Covid doesn’t exist. The whole state could be infected and we’d never know since our state government no longer reports any detailed statistics.
Our new Surgeon General, Joseph Lapado, believes that vaccines are overrated, doesn’t believe masks prevent the spread of Covid and thinks hydroxychloroquine should be used to prevent and treat Covid (where have I heard that before…). He believes herd immunity will kick in but has not provided a date. He was apparently chosen because Nicki Minja wasn’t available.
Enough about Covid, let’s get to the really important stuff like supply channel shortages. Who knew we’d all be living a master class in logistics and distribution. Usually those topics put even the most determined of us into a deep slumber but this fall, it seems that everyone is paying attention to the port schedules in LA and Long Beach.
Small and medium sized retailers are playing container plinko, wondering if it’s time for their containers to be unloaded from the ship, placed behind a truck and brought to their warehouses so that customers can actually buy things. I can’t even order a new laser light vacuum head for my Dyson. I’m on the unending waiting list for news of product arrival. (For some new vacuums, Dyson makes a floor brush with a laser light that shows where the dust is on your floor. If you are the least bit compulsive, you might want to skip this product—not that you can get it anyhow.)
If you’re planning to make those little cream cheese cookies for the Holidays this year, stock up on cream cheese now. It’s on allocation at my local Publix. Also in tight supply are chicken wings. Sadly, poultry producers have not yet figured out how to get chickens to grow more than two wings per bird—which explains the supply shortage. The fact that we’re in the middle of the NFL season explains the demand side. Here in Florida, I'm torn between Brady and the Buccaneers or Belichick and the Patriots. If they play each other in the Super Bowl I may need Xanax.
I’m off to make some Christmas cookies. I know I’ll regret this later, but I’m on it while butter and sugar are still available.