2459: March 2020

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 06:10, 6 May 2021 by (talk) (Explanation: Depends on the country/product, so I might be misrepresenting some situations. But I'm also highlighting India's case (without naming it) of recent government panic leading to a rush on what jabs are currently available.)
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March 2020
"I've traveled here from the year 2020 to bring you this vaccine!"
Title text: "I've traveled here from the year 2020 to bring you this vaccine!"


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a TIME TRAVELING VACCINE. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This calendar shows 15 calendars and Cueball next to them. The first three months on the calendar are January, February and March 2020. It would be expected that the months would increase in order, but the calendar month stays at March until the final panel of the comic, indicating that Cueball is "stuck" in March 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States in March 2020 and Cueball (and Randall) may feel that he is unable to move on with life.

In the penultimate 2 panels, Cueball is shown getting his two doses of the vaccine, with Ponytail and Hairy administering the vaccines. In the final panel, the calendar has switched to the current month, May 2021, showing that Cueball can now resume life after getting vaccinated.

The title text refers to films in which someone travels to the future, as the date has "jumped" from March 2020 to May 2021. COVID vaccines started to be developed, manufactured and trialled in 2020, but mass rollouts only ramped up significantly starting early in 2021 and are mostly still not universally available to all adult age-groups; or, if they are, this may be straining supply capacity.

Interestingly, there are only 15 panels, so if the 'normal' months increased in sync, it would "only" be March 2021, not May 2021.


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[12 panels showing Cueball standing next to a calendar]
Calendar: January 2020
Calendar: February 2020
Calendar: March 2020
Calendar: March 2020
Calendar: March 2020
Calendar: March 2020
Calendar: March 2020
Calendar: March 2020
Calendar: March 2020
Calendar: March 2020
Calendar: March 2020
Calendar: March 2020
[Cueball wearing a mask being vaccinated by a masked Ponytail, next to a calendar to his left]
Calendar: March 2020
[Cueball wearing a mask being vaccinated by a masked Hairy, next to a calendar to his left]
Calendar: March 2020
[Cueball stands next to a calendar]
Calendar: May 2021

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Depending upon the local vaccine-tied gap between the two jabs, the span of time across those frames could easily be 12 weeks (1 actual month of stasis plus almost 2 more, that are not illustrated) or 8 weeks (1+1ish months between, then you may assume another unillustrated extra buffer after the second before 'normallity resumes'), making the resumed month correct after all. (Also, March being 31 days long, recycling it in a 'perpetual calendar' way would shift the month-boundaries over by ¿9? days, which might factor in. Although that'd make it hard to make it so the end of the final March ends exactly a day before the continuation-May is supposed to start for all, without some other finagling.) 05:23, 6 May 2021 (UTC)

In the US, the two multi-dose vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, require 3 weeks and 4 weeks, respectively, between doses. Unsure of the reason for why there seems to be a "time jump". 06:23, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
I think the only reason there is only 15 calendars in stead of 17 is because he could then make a 3x5 grid. (A 4x4grid would also be one too little). And also I think it could have made much more sense to put on all 17 months, to avoid this confusion. But I do not think he has made 15 for any time reason. If he had done this in April, and made a 4x4 grid it would have been nicer, but then there would have been a standing Cueball in the first panel of the last row. But the last month would have been April which would fit with a year plus 4 months. But having the calendars months shift through the top row works great, which would not work in 4x4 grid. And since time stood still for Randall during those 14 months, then having 12 or 14 or 10 panels doesn't really matter. The important message is that time was at a standstill until May 2021. (He also needed 14 days after the last vaccine to be fully vaccinated). In Denmark where the AstraZeneca vaccine was taken out of use, after many had only the first shot, the second shot will be with another vaccine, and will be administrated 12 weeks after the first AztraZeneca vaccine. I know, I'm one of those that will have my second dose this way, in a few weeks time. --Kynde (talk) 09:36, 6 May 2021 (UTC)

Anyone else noticed all calendars seem to be empty, even the May 2021 one? -- Tobias 09:53, 6 May 2021 (UTC)

"Fifteen" days to slow the spread? More like 416+ (Yes, I'm counting...) Wilh3lm (talk) 10:16, 6 May 2021 (UTC)

Should the calendars be seen to represent Cueball's social life / social engagements? If so, pre-pandemic he had nothing going on. During pandemic, he (and everyone else essentially) had nothing going on. After full vaccination, he still apparently has nothing going on... Or, do the calendars merely represent time passing, and Cueball's life "froze" in March 2020, and only just resumed its normal flow following his second vaccination, making May 2021 his first "return to normal time flow" month?

There are not enough calendars. It feels like it has been March 2020 for about 10 years, so there should be about 40 more rows.

Not sure that MacGuffin is the best analogy to use in the explanation. As I understand it, a MacGuffin is just a symbolic item, with no function except as a goal. Whereas the vaccine has a clear function in controlling the pandemic and (in this case) allowing time to progress. 18:36, 6 May 2021 (UTC)

He's not saying that it's a MacGuffin in this case, but it's often a MacGuffin in the movie trope that the line is patterned off. Barmar (talk) 19:41, 6 May 2021 (UTC)