Good afternoon, readers.
I’m moving to the opposite side of the country in a few days after 12 years on the East Coast. I plan to come back to New York one day—but I don’t know when. I’ve booked a one-way ticket to Southern California and am going to stay with my parents and little sister for a few months because, why not?
You see, my lease is expiring at the end of the month and I was faced with the decision of whether or not I stay or go. It’s a decision thousands of people in the concrete jungle, and other urban centers, have had to make. I’m sure there’s no shortage of readers who have had to make similar choices.
I love New York. I’ve lived here in Brooklyn for four and a half years. I fully plan on coming back (I’m even leaving half my stuff here so I don’t just lay around in California indefinitely). But I don’t know when. And part of me is filled with dread of taking a cross-country flight to an area that hasn’t exactly been the best about masking and social distancing, especially since my parents are at high-risk of COVID. I plan on self-isolating for two weeks at an Airbnb before I see them.
I’m leaving behind my friends and colleagues (many of whom I haven’t seen in months to begin with) on the most abrupt terms. I feel selfish in a sense because I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m not sick. I still have a job. Millions of Americans can’t say the same of themselves or their loved ones. But I still feel robbed by not having the opportunity to say goodbye in person to so many people in my life.
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we take far too much for granted and brush aside fundamental problems in our health care system. Last week, we wrote about the World Health Organization (WHO) director-general’s plea to “prevent vaccine nationalism.”
At the end of the day, a vaccine—an effective vaccine—will be the only way to emerge from this crisis which has plagued our lives for so many months. I had a fascinating talk with the leaders of Covaxx, one of the companies developing a COVID vaccine, on why they think they may have a leg up on the dozens of other firms in the space.
“I think our vaccine candidate is one of the best. We have a platform that we know how to scale,” says Mei Mei Hu. “You have to actually be able to manufacture it. Doubling a recipe doesn’t always work, so it’s much easier to have a proven platform that you know how to scale.” More on that here.
Read on for the day’s news, and see you again next week (from California).