Fidelity

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen will be traveling with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to Israel on Thursday, for a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu. According to Frederiksen’s own office, the purpose of the trip is for her and Kurz to speak with Netanyahu about the potential for “closer cooperation on COVID-19 and vaccines.” You can read more…

Questionable Authorities

The good news is that Danish schoolchildren up to and including fourth grade can go back to school beginning Monday, and that Denmark is now conducting about 100,000 “quick tests” per day. The bad news is that there isn’t any such thing as good news any more. Here are two articles that were on or…

Variations

Everyone called it the Wuhan virus because that’s where we saw it start. Saying “Wuhan virus” was just shorthand for saying, “that virus that’s spreading like crazy in that city called Wuhan.” That’s what we thought. It’s what we told ourselves. We didn’t know any better. Fortunately there were people who did. People with eyes…

Titular Privilege

The American chattering class has been entertaining itself for the past couple of weeks with Jill Biden’s insistence on being addressed as Doctor Jill Biden. The right has been mocking her for it, the left has been attacking that mockery as sexism. Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an…

Algorithms Amok

I could go to any number of Danish or American articles for this, but let’s take one NPR article as our crash test dummy because it’s the one that caught my eye: Stanford Apologizes After Vaccine Allocation Leaves Out Nearly All Medical Residents, Laurel Wamsley, NPR.org, 18 December It’s a simple story: the leadership of…

Now They Tell Us

The headline is the story: Two years ago Denmark had 900 inpatients during the worst flu epidemic in a long time, but the system didn’t collapse, Signe Stoumann Fosgrau, Berlingske.dk, 18 December Remarkable! Not the information itself, but the fact that we’re first hearing this from the press a full nine months into the pandemic….

(E)quality Control

A few recent and unrelated stories in the Danish and American news are worth considering together: Bodega owner fined for offering free shots to women, Christian Krabbe Barfoed, TV2.dk, 16 December Cornell offers ‘person of color’ exemption for flu vaccine requirement, Benjamin Zeisloft, CampusReform.org, 7 December Tulsi Gabbard introduces bill that ties Title IX protections…

It’s All Good

A specter is haunting Europe. Europe in meltdown as Covid death tolls soar and progress unravels, Emma Reynolds, CNN.com, 11 Dec Europe’s Deadly Second Wave: How Did It Happen Again?, Josh Holder, Matina Stevis-Gridneff and Allison McCann, New York Times, 4 Dec …it’s not the specter of covid, but the specter of broken journalism. From…

The Cost of “Free”

Pretty much everyone knows Aesop’s fable of the ants and the grasshopper: the grasshopper frolics the summer away while the ants work hard to set aside enough provisions to survive the winter. Come autumn, the sick and starving grasshopper begs the ants for food. “You made music all summer,” the ants say, “now dance!” And…

Just the Data, Ma’am

Most Danes are familiar with Statens Serum Institut. It maintains the COVID-19 Dashboard that many of us use to keep track of the pandemic in Denmark. The dashboard looks like this (as of 13:45 on Saturday, 28 November): It’s a lot of data. I’ve gotten to checking it once a day after its 14:00 update…