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posted by martyb on Tuesday August 24 2021, @11:03AM   Printer-friendly

This spring, as New York City warmed up and the local vaccination rate surged, I met my best friend for our first restaurant meal together in months. As soon as we sat down, she began rifling through her purse. "I have something for you," she told me. From her bag came a rectangle of clear, thick, double-layered plastic—the kind of display pocket that often dangles at the end of a lanyard. My friend had swiped a handful from her office's supply closet. "It's for your vaccine card," she explained. But I already knew.

When I got my first shot, in late February, I sat in the mandatory waiting area, holding my new card in one hand and my wallet in the other, trying to understand why the two objects weren't compatible. I contemplated where I should put this brand-new golden ticket, ultimately sliding the thin piece of too-large card stock into an envelope I found in my tote. I'm going to either lose this or destroy it, I thought to myself.

Indeed, I lost it—at least for a little while. Despite dutifully sliding the card into its new protective pocket after lunch with my friend, I eventually found myself tearing my apartment apart searching for it, for exactly the reasons I had feared: It was the wrong size for the one place where most people keep all their important everyday documents, and of too nebulous a purpose to sit safely in a drawer with my birth certificate and passport. Could it unlock some sort of privileges at the airport? Were restaurants going to check it? Did I need to take it to medical appointments? My card had gotten shuffled into a sandwich baggie filled with extra masks, not to be rediscovered for six weeks.

With all due respect to our country's overworked and undersupported public-health apparatus: This is dumb. The card is dumb, and it's difficult to imagine a series of intentional decisions that could have reasonably led to it as the consensus best pick. Its strangeness had been a bit less important in the past seven months, when evidence of immunity was rarely necessary to do things within America. Now, as Delta-variant cases surge and more municipalities and private businesses begin to require proof of vaccination to patronize places such as restaurants and gyms, the rubber has met the road on this flimsy de facto verification apparatus. It's not the highest-stakes question of this stage of the pandemic, but it's one that's become quite common: How did we end up with these cards?

What size are the COVID-19 vaccine ID cards in other (non-USA) countries?

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  • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by HammeredGlass on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:10PM (7 children)

    by HammeredGlass (12241) on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:10PM (#1170319)

    You sound pretty racist -> []

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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:36PM (5 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:36PM (#1170330)

    My comment didn't single out races, your screen grab that lacks any kind of context captions is exclusively showing something high for Asians in a particular corner of the world.

    I'm going to assume you are saying something about Asians? Racist, but I'll play: (probably self reported) behavior of Asians living in the U.S. Northeast is a completely different thing than the actions of specific governments like China. I am sure there are many other governments around the world that deliberately under-, or simply inaccurately, report their COVID-19 status - China is just the biggest one that immediately comes to mind. Even the U.S. underreports COVID cases, at least from what I can tell from my local schools and their "dashboards" there's a severe disconnect between cases seen first and secondhand and what is being reported. But, overall, the U.S. does still seem to be reporting some significant subset of COVID cases.

    Another consideration is the granularity of reporting, China taken as a whole is going to look pretty COVID free as compared to specific areas of the cities where the outbreaks are happening / extreme shutdown measures are being reported again, even as the NYT map of global COVID shows China "in good shape."

    🌻🌻 []
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @04:52PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @04:52PM (#1170382)

    An image on will settle any dispute!