On Monday, I received a text from my health-care provider, the NYU Langone Health medical centre in New York, with the cheery message: “The Covid-19 vaccine will be here in early 2021. We will contact you as soon as we have info about who can get it when.”

But there was a caveat: since the doctors at NYU Langone Health have no idea when that “info” might arrive, the text also urged me not to contact them, yet...

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