Re-Learning the Obvious

In my first year of college, I was taught a painful lesson about writing. If you want to be successful in making a point with a limited number of words, you need to define your point very specifically and narrowly, so that you can do it justice with limited resources.

We always have limited resources, whether it’s time, or the reader’s attention span, or the supply of a vaccine.

The opposite of focus is the broad generalization, which is typically neither accurate nor meaningful, but is the kind of thing in which most politicians seem to specialize. Broad goals are also less likely to be met.

The need for focus is brought home again in an analysis of COVID vaccination rates in the US. Simply stated, the states that have rushed to make a larger percentage of their population eligible for vaccination have been less effective in actually delivering the shots.

The metric for success is the number of vaccinations delivered per 100,000 population. The states that have done the best are places like Connecticut, Hawai’i and New Mexico. Those lagging getting vaccinations done are Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and Missouri.

The outlier or exception in this discussion is West Virginia. However, they started with a slow pace of vaccination and made sure they had sufficient supply before opening vaccinations up to all adults.

Places like Missouri announced that people were eligible and then had to cancel appointments for shots due to not having sufficient vaccine. Florida was accused of skewing distribution of the vaccine to favor smaller, wealthy enclaves.



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