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News post – Catch-23 No. 1161 The long and the short of it

First of all, if you’ve already had COVID and you’ve been trying to avoid hearing anything about ‘long COVID‘ for the sake of your sanity, then I’m sorry on both accounts.

One of the issues I have with our current (disastrous?) ‘let it rip’ policy on COVID-19 in Australia is that no-one is talking about long COVID. If just about everyone is going to catch COVID, then the ramifications of even a small percentage of people ending up with long COVID is unprecedented.

Great, more unprecedented.

By the looks of it, the long version behaves like an autoimmune disease, kind of a combo of chronic fatigue and lupus or fibromyalgia.

Our previously ableist society might learn what it’s like to live with a chronic illness.

Let it rip, we did.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1160 Not that kind of RAT

Bagel, like everyone else, is on the hunt for those elusive RAT tests, which would make it ‘rapid antigen test tests’. English is hard.

Yes, that’s how much paper money is in a standard Monopoly set. We’re not allowed to play Monopoly in our house any more. There was an incident, involving my mother not being able to pay her rent to me and being kicked out onto the street in front of the orange properties. What can I say? There are no friends in Monopoly.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1159 A truism

I saw this tweet during the week, and it rung true for me. Yes, the writer was talking about a two-cat household, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

It was tempting to park this idea and find some untrodden ground about the Omicron numbers, or Djokovic’s vaccination and visa status. I decided against it because we’re all so meme-literate now that most of the good gags are used up in the first 24 hours.

COVID has made even the joke market into a cut-throat competition.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1158 Final Round

It feels like we’re living through a deadly trilogy of years, and the entire world is weary from the battles in Parts 1 and 2. We came out of 2020 a bit hopeful that ‘things would get better’ in 2021. As you saw, 2021 had other plans. So when another new year finally arrived, we all reacted with quiet trepidation, waiting for the big reveal.

So… happy new year?

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1157 Recap

The idea for this comic strip started with the ‘clips shows’ that sitcoms used to run near the end of the season. The characters would reminisce about the events of the past year, and you could make another whole episode while only shooting a couple of minutes extra footage.

When I started thinking about which comic strips I’d like to re-use, I realised that Jaffa, much like me, would like to get 2021, with its endless lockdowns and misery, over with as soon as possible.

Chin up, I’m sure 2022 is the year we all get back to normal. Does anyone remember thinking that about 2021? That was probably just a fluke.

Mat

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Catch-23 No. 1156 Best life

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make a comic strip this week as one of our dogs, Jersey, crossed the rainbow bridge a few days ago.

Trying to think of something funny to make into a comic strip seemed impossible, and taking my grief and dousing four panels with it seemed wrong as well, too visceral. So rather than making a comic strip about Jersey’s passing, I instead chose to make one about how she lived her life.

With us, she lived her best life. Grateful for every treat, every belly rub, every snoozle in the sunshine.

She will be missed, but she knew full well how beloved she was, and vice versa.

If you feel moved to do something with this news, please consider making a donation in Jersey’s name to Beagle Rescue Victoria. This is the rescue group that brought us together with Jersey, and they work tirelessly to connect other families with their Jerseys.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1155 Trolling

Two events this week, could they be related? Peter Dutton somehow won the court case against a private citizen for a mean tweet. And now we have this proposed Federal anti-troll law (not to be confused with the Troll dolls).

So who is the law really for? I doubt it’s for you and me. It’s not to protect us from the angry Karens and Kevins who chuck around death threats like paper planes. It’s almost like it’s just there to increase the authoritarian reach of our beloved Federal Government, so that they can come after the people who say things they don’t like.

It’s OK, though – I’ve got it figured out. I’ll just claim that my religion is poking fun at politicians, then I’ll be well protected.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1154 Mining

I was thinking about doing a comic strip around cryptocurrency, either focusing on the get-rich-quick coin scams, or the massive amount of energy that it takes to mine a single bitcoin (current estimates are about 1,544 kWh, or how much power used in a day by 53 U.S. households).

As usual, once I started doing some reading to fine-tune the idea, the comic strip went off into a different, and sillier, direction.

Will we use a Minecraft pickaxe in the future to mine cryptocurrencies in Facebook’s Metaverse?

Mat

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Catch-23 No. 1153 Out of office

I’m back from having a couple of weeks off. While I was away, I had an out-of-office autoreply set up on my work email and thought it might fit into a comic strip when I got back.

Now that we’re all really, really out of lockdown, maybe for good, I hope you get to do all the things that you’ve been dreaming of.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1152 So Meta

Facebook, Inc. is now called ‘Meta’, but the Facebook site is still called Facebook. I’m not confused, you’re confused.

They went with Meta because the goal is to make the Metaverse, a global virtual reality world. Think ‘Ready Player One’, but run by Facebook.

I used to think that a big virtual reality universe is what humanity wanted, but the last 2 years have given me pause. There was a time when video calls seemed impossible, a Jetsons-style fantasy. Then Skype and FaceTime happened and we got a taste of this future.

Then COVID-19 happened and most of us spent the last two years glued to Zoom. Now, nobody wants to spend one more second in a video meeting.

Will it be the same with the infinite possibilities of a virtual reality universe? Will the idea of it be better than the (no pun intended) reality? If the Metaverse has some sort of ‘killer app’ like Minecraft or Fortnight, that might be a game changer.

Mat