Testing and Vaccination for COVID-19

One of my child appeared lethargic, has runny nose and cough one fine mid-Q1 2021 Saturday morning. I felt chest pains at about the same time. These are not a happy sensation to have as we near the wider distribution of a vaccine for this pandemic that has killed half a million people in the United States of America so far. So I made appointments to get tested.

Before going, my child asked me if it was painful. I told her I think it is. This assessment is based on every single image of a nasal swap I have seen on TV evening news. Every reporting of this shows the insertion of a swab up into a person’s nose until only a small length of it, long enough for the administrator of the test to hold between their thumb and index finger, remain outside. A particularly alarming observation from the perspective of an Asian man, is that this happens even on very large white noses. I say that with no intention of offense at people with large, or white, nose. It’s just that what seems uncomfortable to insert into the nostrils of a large nose must be horrifically painful for our smaller Asian noses.

So, after much deliberation, we went and got swabbed. Perhaps it is due to the media reporting, but the parking lot where we got our swab test in Stanford, CA was nearly empty. The single patron driving up behind us was very impatient and honked for no obvious reasons. Other than that, the swab test was very very easy. There is no pain. My child, who has even smaller and smaller nose than I, for now knock on wood, enjoyed it more than I. I think adult nose hairs make the swabbing very very itchy where as children who do not have nose hair experience less tickling. The depth of insertion into my nose was at most an inch and half. There was ample length of swab’s stick outside. My experience of the swab test definitely differ from those shown in TV reporting. IMHO, what’s seen outside on TV is what I got on the inside.

And we’re negative.

Honestly though, living in California is a little nerve racking during the pandemic. We have been blasted with daily news report of physical attacks and robbery of Asian people by attackers of a variety of non-Asian profiles. Older victims may die. Businesses may close down after an attack. Police chiefs or mayors may make a speech.

But recently, a new trend has emerged. Immediately after multiple reportings of different race and country-of-ancestral origin based attacks in several locales (SF/Oakland/LA/other cities), the news will then proceed to announce the opening of a mass vaccination site. On two separate occasions, I built up a determination to brave the crowds and bring my older parents to these vaccination sites for the shot. On both occasions I ultimately decided not to take them there fearing physical assult in the cities where violent crimes against Asians were just reported. (Side note: my parents are over 65 but their insurance Kaiser Permanente does not have sufficient supply of vaccines to administer to patients over 65 as the state of California recommends. This is why we have to resort to mass vaccination sites. They are eager to get the vaccine because they enjoy their health, and they help out at home shopping and caring for younger children.)

I do not want to disparage news reporters and their teams for making the news during this harrowing time. They brave the onslaught of covid viruses to bring us informative news. I live in San Mateo county, and have personally experienced physical attack by a vagrant in a public library in the center of a city here. I was holding my young child and she swung bags of stuff at my head. She yelled that refrain “go back to where you came from!” common in our culture prior to Biden administration. Above all else, her attacking me was in genuine anger. I do not see many situations where the person is that angry. I was able to deflect the blows with my forearm and back up away from her. The librarian helped me to hail the police who walked over from their HQ next door to arrest her. The police officer noted that I might have rammed my child into the wall as I backed away from her while charging her. I still had a foot or so of room, but I did not notice this danger until it was pointed out to me. Thankfully, we were not reported in the news as we were not severely injured like those Asians in the more recent news reports.

Sadly, the reality of our lives is that, well into the Biden administration taking power, we are still afraid to access these public healthcare resources due to the abundant manifestations of physical violence against Asians in the cities where mass vaccination sites are opening.

The good new is, after several months of living in fear of the virus, and in fear of the process of vaccination, living with all these uncertainties, we did manage to get them their first shot with San Mateo County based mass vaccination site mid-Q1 2021. We did make the appointment at 4:30am in the morning for the first slot of that day, but we did not hesitate in fear of physical violence.

Today, I am thankful for things to be going well near me. I am thankful that the wider rollout of vaccination growing the community immunity. I am thankful that we are headed towards a safer and more cohesive society. I hope we can quickly make this a better world where people do not need to fear illness and physical violence.

Has Trek been had?

Just saw a rumor about Star Wars building a film about ancient stories in its universe. The rumor hinted “like Ben-Hur”

This is a very strategic move. Trek verse has experienced resurgence in blockbuster movies and many TV series. But the one thing that Trek really can’t do is to go back to pre-technology pre-space-faring ages. The stories would simply not work for a sci-fi show.

But if Disney-Marvel move is directed at Trek, then one would have to also think that maybe Star Wars, mythology and all, is not able to match the story telling of modern sci-fi franchise.

I certainly feel that way, and I’m not biased at all. Mandolorian is all thrill with droplets of Disney year-jerkers. I feel an innate connection to the stories, but I don’t feel any serious innovation. Not really new stories, not really new myths and nothing really anything absolute. It’s just another small story buried inside big stories, like Star Wars Rogue One. Touching to an end.

Trek is on shaky grounds… But the recent jump to future in Discovery, and the jump to artificial substrate in Picard, these explore new topics that people have not really seriously thought about.

But Trek can never go back to ancient times and tell a serious story without being elements of future to that past. Star War is uniquely positioned to tell stories like that. I guess the pre crawl “a long long time ago…” should have given this development away a long long time ago.😎

2020 Mulan

A most definite and absolutely solid FamX1.

Absolutely a must watch. This story is beautifully updated to possibly provide role model for little girls, and their “allies”, that it’s okay to support the growth and prosperity of the society that we are already in, sex and race discrimination and all, that even while advancing it we can, yes we can, advance our minority selves in great leaps and bounds not imaginable prior to our effort.

The Chinese subtitle is a great script, however the spoken Chinese does not match the script at all. Kinda sad, the written words “sounds” so much better, more poetic, more respectable, and basically just more normal Chinese. The FamX1 is based on the subtitle.

I’ve never did really liked Liu Yufei, the actress now portraying Mulan, before this film. In the past she’s acted in many many Chinese action movies. I don’t know why, honestly, this American bred actress ought to be like just right to my liking, but unfortunately in the past she’s targeted her Asian fans much more than American audience. In this film, she has mature quite a bit. Also her appearance is more balanced towards masculinity. This is so much better than all the previous characters. I just can’t explain it. Jet Li is so old that I had to rewind after seeing the post scroll credit him as emperor. But these older actors look so authentic! Absolutely mesmerizing to watch.

Honestly, at some moment, you just have to ignore all the stupid anti-Chinese shit in America! Yes, it is possible that the story completely covers up centuries Chinese military atrocities, up to and including this century. Yes, the movie may have caused some people pain and suffering to make. Yes, it had to be especially adapted to show in PRC. Whatever. This enduring story is about the spirit of an individual Chinese person who fought insurmountable enemies all the while overcame traditional stigma in the pursuit of what she believes to be most noble: loyalty, bravery and truth. Anyone who stands in the way of this story might as well be the invading mongols of Mulan’s century, doomed to be decimated by the righteous and civilized, doomed to be demonized by future filmmakers for eternally.