Monday, May 31, 2021

Name Dropping

I don't know if it's true (still), but apparently in China a common greeting is "Have you eaten?". In Austria these days it's definitely "Have you been vaccinated?". Whereas at the beginning of the year many people were still sceptical and didn't necessarily want to be among the first to get vaccinated, it soon turned to eagerness and impatience and those who still say they do not intend to get vaccinated are becoming a minority. Once the first question has been answered, the follow up question is not so much "when" and "how" (GP, local vaccination centre, at work,...) but "what did you get?" People who got Astra Zeneca are regarded with a mix of pity (maybe they are teachers who didn't have a choice when it was their turn?) or respect for their bravery in view of the bad PR and the lower percentage of efficiency. Those who got Biontech Pfizer, the crème de la crème, according to popular opinion here, are envied and asked how they ended up getting that (in the case of my parents, because my Dad is in the high risk group and my Mum the primary contact) and those who got Moderna are also considered lucky as logic goes if it's the most expensive vaccine, it must be good and you also don't have to wait any longer for your booster shot than you would with Biontech Pfizer. I have yet to meet anyone in person who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine here, but it definitely would add some spice to the discussion. 
Vaccine name dropping and discussing the ifs, and how-longs of side effects really has become THE smalltalk topic and replaced complaining about the weather even...which definitely is noteworthy as we've just experienced the coldest spring in 34 years!


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