July 31, 2020

I keep threatening to write very little sometimes… but this time I mean it. I’m on South Pender Island for the long weekend, and while I’ll endeavour to post numbers and charts at 5pm, the usual content will be lacking.

Neat thing about these Gulf Islands… their history is quite unique. Between 1964 and 1977, as many as 125,00 Vietnam War draft-dodgers made their way to Canada… and many of them, having quietly slipped away in the middle of the night, literally under the radar, made their way to Salt Spring, Mayne, Galiano and Pender islands.

Jimmy Carter pardoned them all in 1977, but half of them chose to stay, having established lives here. It makes for an interesting crowd. After 1977, they could once again appear on the radar, but the simple island living was too good to give up. Sitting here right now, soaking it all in… the view, the nature, the trees, the water… I totally get it.

And… not great numbers across the country today. If we continue to have days like this… 50 new cases in B.C… I may just stay here.

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July 30, 2020

Ages ago, there used to a fiddler who’d stand outside the west entrance of the racetrack, sawing away at his instrument… the open violin case in front of him, ready to catch the loose change offered by fortune-seeking horseplayers. Because that’s how Karma works, right? You magnanimously throw a dime at a beggar, and you’re sure to hit the Trifecta for $780.

A lot of people must have thought that way, because the guy did ok. He was always there on the way in, and he was certainly there on the way out, to catch the loose change… or hopefully, bills… of the actual few winners who managed to cash in on that last race. As per every racetrack or casino in the world, the trick isn’t winning; the trick is leaving the place with your winnings still in your pocket. And when you manage to do that, you’re usually feeling pretty generous.

I’d wondered what the guy did with all that change… did he go home and meticulously roll it? Show up at the bank with bags of change? Did he just spend it, and make people wait at the cashier lineup while he carefully counted it out? It turns out the answer was much simpler.

One day, I happened to be standing at the bottom of the entrance ramp just moments before the last race of the day… and down the ramp came fiddler guy, holding his case wide open.

At the betting windows, all of the mutuel clerks (ie. tellers) saw him coming, and all of them instantly slammed their [Closed] shingles in front of their windows. Well, all but one unlucky teller who’d been busy, looking down… and didn’t notice his impending arrival. The guy made a bee-line, straight to her, and, just as she looked up, he dumped the entire contents of the violin case… probably more than $20 worth of quarters, dimes, nickels… but mostly pennies… on the counter and floor and everywhere else.

“All of it to win on number 6!”, he screamed at her.

“I told you not to do that!”, she screamed back.

Number 6 didn’t win, which might mean the guy wasn’t too good at picking horses. But you can’t really tell with a sample size of one. However, what he also wasn’t good at was… playing the fiddle. And that sample set was a lot bigger. Back in those days, racing was 5 days a week, from mid-April to mid-October. Let’s do the math… 24 weeks x 5 days = 120 days, and he was out there at least 8 hours a day… so close to 1,000 hours a season. And for at least 10 years, there’s 10,000 hours… that magic number that Malcolm Gladwell claims in his bestseller “Outliers” is the number of hours needed to master anything. Ironically, he mentions music – specifically violins – as a good example. Anyone can pick up a violin/fiddle (they’re the exact same musical instrument, by the way…) and master it by just putting in the hours.

Well, horseshit. If you, having never picked up the instrument, walked into a music store and just tried it, gingerly sliding the bow across the strings, making some sort of squeaky sound… that’s what that guy sounded like. Always. It never changed. He never improved. More than ten thousand “wasted” hours.

Which just proves the point, it’s not all about the hours. I’m not sure what the right number is, but that’s not even the point. The point is – quality time versus quantity time. Quantity means nothing if the quality isn’t there, and I’d venture to guess that 100 quality hours of practice beats out 10,000 hours of doing it wrong.

We can forgive Gladwell, because his sample set of musicians were from an actual music academy. That’s not a random sample set, and it certainly doesn’t include some degenerate gambler/Charlie Daniels look-alike.

This all came to mind while banging away at the piano, on a difficult piece I’ve been working on for… well, not yet 10,000 hours, but it’ll likely take that long. Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp minor has probably had far more talented musicians bang away at it for far less time… yielding far better results. Nevertheless, I’m enjoying it… and maybe that fiddler enjoyed his fiddling too.

And these days, this pandemic is going to keep us pretty isolated for a while. Lots of time to put in the hours… you can draw, write, sculpt, paint, cook, plug away at the piano/violin/clarinet/trumpet/harp/whatever… just be sure you’re enjoying it, and not just putting in the hours.

Quality… not quantity.

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July 29, 2020

I’ve written a lot about “the big picture”. I pride myself on what I consider to be my ability to see things from a bigger perspective, and guide my life accordingly. Life is lived in incrementally small steps, but you need to at least be heading in some version of a “right direction”, knowing full-well that the course-correcting along the way will make that path anything but straight.

This is a lesson… a concept… that I try to teach my kids continually. Think big picture. Put yourselves in someone else’s shoes. Look at it from their point of view. Look at it from all points of view. Consider the implications not just for the immediate future, but medium and long-term as well. Add that into your mix before you make decisions… etc etc.

I have countless examples – from myself, from people I know, from the world… but the following example came up in conversation last night, so that’s the one you’re going to get. It was from when my son Oscar was in grade 5.

It was Sports Day of that school year, so he was 10 years old. One of the last events of the day was a race for the entire grade… 800m… a couple of laps around the track.

The race started off with everyone at the starting line, all at once, but it became evident pretty quickly who the standout athletes were, who the average kids were, and who was really going to struggle.

Oscar is not an elite athlete, but he was holding his own… somewhere in the top third, in a group behind the future track stars.

But at some point, he looked back and saw one of his friends a little further behind. So he slowed down till he was even with him, and they ran together for a bit. And then he noticed another friend, even further back… so he eased off the gas pedal and slowed down to match that friend for a while. That happened yet again… and then, one final time, with a friend who was struggling all alone at the very back.

So Oscar dialed it all the way back, and ended up walking it in, tied for dead last. That friend was huffing and puffing. Oscar had barely broken a sweat.

I went up to him after the race… and I wouldn’t say I was mad, but I was pondering how to ask the obvious question without sounding angry.

“Hey… so… do you really think that’s the right way to run a race?”

“Who cares, dad. Nobody cares. Nobody’s going to remember who won that race. And anyway, I just felt bad for my friend.”

Hmm. Yeah, true… grade 5 Sports Day. Nobody, except perhaps those elite top-3 athletes at the front – will remember who won. Nobody will care, not even those three because one day they’ll go on to real high-school track meets, where it really counts… and possibly college scholarships. Today, this? Irrelevant.

I had some version of “you might not be expected to win, but at least try your best” or “all that’s asked for is an honest effort” or “you can’t just phone it in when you feel like it”… I don’t really recall, because I didn’t actually say anything other than… “Huh. Yeah… ok. Well done.”

Yet, big picture… those friends, especially that last one, might remember it. Oscar remembers it, but when it came up last night, he remembered it as no big deal.

This whole post is a bit of a counterpoint to yesterday’s, where, in response, some people said things like “keep an open mind”.

There is “big-picture thinking”, and there is “open mind”… but I also do draw the line at “doctors”, quoted by no less than The President, saying things like… there’s already a cure, but it’s being hidden from us… and that alien DNA is being used in medical treatments… and that some medical conditions are the result of people having sex with demons.

In the grand scheme of things, most certainly keep an open mind and be open to possibilities. As per my Sports Day example, sometimes we’re too narrowly focused on what’s typically expected, maybe because it’s all too familiar… and it prevents us from seeing the big picture. Keep in mind… no matter what nudges you into that way of thinking… the big picture always has a lot to offer. And so does common sense.

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July 28, 2020

A lot of discussions these days – the ones where you ultimately have to walk away, or at least agree to disagree because you can’t actually believe what you’re seeing/hearing/reading… end like this:

“Where on earth did you get that idea from?”

“I researched it.”

The “researched it” thing gets thrown around a lot these days, and as per the famous quote from The Princess Bride… “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Unless you compiled a literature review, and wrote (or at least, read) abstracts of the articles you read… and/or collected a random sample of sources and performed an independent analysis of their credibility… and, if not, at least looked into the sources of those articles (authors, publishers and, most importantly, funders) and dug into that… for fallacies, distortions or just plain-old, flat-out lies… you didn’t really research it.

And even if you didn’t do any of that, did you at least think about the source of the article and why the aforementioned list (author, publisher, funder) might have been motivated to distribute it? What about the people who refer or promote the article; what might be their motivations? This wouldn’t be research, but it would be at least a semblance of critical thinking that might serve to possibly justify your opinion with respect to the credibility of your sources.

To be clear, clicking a link to a video or an article from your finely-tuned, curated feed on Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or TikTok or whatever flavor-of-the-day social media platform serves as your de-facto news source – no, that’s not research. In fact, given the way with which that information is making its way to you, it’s perhaps as opposite to research as you can get. It’s spoon-feeding you exactly what you want to hear, because then you’ll click on it and generate some revenue for someone far down the line. And, in doing so, pad your conformity-bias just a little bit more because something new agrees with it… and set you up to click the next related thing.

Digging around the internet is the place to do research these days, but what exactly you’re doing makes all the difference. There’s a lot of good stuff out there; it’s just a question of wading through the crap to find it, and using some methodology to achieve that.

Incidentally, Wikipedia… a relatively good place to find a pretty good summary of anything within the entire body of knowledge of human history — can be easily downloaded. As crazy as it sounds, it’s only 10GB (compressed)… which is 42GB uncompressed, ie plain text… which means all of it, like all of Wikipedia – every single article – fits easily onto a $15 64GB USB thumb drive. You can carry around with you the entire knowledge base of humanity on your keychain, with lots of extra room for pictures and family videos. Not a bad thing to carry around in case you’re shipwrecked in the middle of nowhere with your solar-powered laptop. Or abducted by aliens.

Yeah, aliens… they’re here, living among us. It’s true; I researched it.

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July 27, 2020

When I was a kid, there were like 13 TV channels (instead of today’s 1,300), but most of it was crap and/or not interesting to me. But one thing that was never to be missed… Saturday morning cartoons.

One day, I will write about the revolutionary avant-garde music that accompanied many of those cartoons. Pull up any Tom & Jerry cartoon on YouTube, close your eyes and just listen to it. There should be graduate-level courses taught about it. Even without the cartoon, the sounds tell a story of their own, with an incredible, vast range of musical styles — and noise — all crammed into a few minutes.

Anyway, that’s not what this is about… this is actually about Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

Wile Ethelbert Coyote (yes, really… don’t say you never learn anything reading these…) is an interesting character; both genius and stupid, rolled into one.

Here’s his schtick… he comes up with an idea to catch the roadrunner… some ideas are simple, some are super-complicated. Recall the complicated blueprints… and vast array of parts he orders from ACME. He puts together some very sophisticated contraptions, which of course inevitably fail… but here’s the thing… he never follows up on his initial idea. He gives up and moves on to the next one.

Like, think about it… a rocket-powered helmet for forward thrust, and roller skates… and it almost worked… he almost had the roadrunner… until the bird took a sharp turn, right in front of an enormous wall of rock… which the coyote hit with about 500 g of force.

But he’s a cartoon, and he brushes it off, and moves on to the next idea. Hey coyote… come on, man… it almost worked! Don’t give up on it. You know, like next time, fire up the rockets and roller skates somewhere else, when the roadrunner is on a 20-mile straightaway.

Or that catapult that looked so good on paper, but fired you straight into the ground… you know, modify it… put a limiter on it. Put something on it that ejects you at the optimum part of the swing. Fiddle with it. Do something. Don’t abandon it. Don’t just let the roadrunner stand there and laugh at you. Meep meep!

This bothered me more than anything… and if I, a seven-year-old-kid, could come up with the rudimentary mechanics of the scientific process just by watching a silly coyote keep “killing” himself, you’d certainly, these days, expect better from an army of “intelligent” adults who have the entire knowledge base of human achievement at their fingertips.

This is the way science works. This is how it progresses. And experimentation is a key part of it, because you’re rarely right the first time.

As a computer programmer, I can count the number of times something worked straight out of the gate. Exactly twice.

I remember the first time it happened; I had a program I wanted to write… I had it all figured out in my head. I sat down at the computer and banged it all out; it took about 3 hours. And then, I hit the [Build] button for the first time. But instead of the inevitable long list of warnings and show-stopping errors, it was zero warnings and zero errors; all I got was a program ready to run. And I ran it, and it worked perfectly. Any other programmers… please feel free to chime in with your opinions as to how often that happens…

We are, today, living in a huge science experiment, and since we’re immersed in it, it’s important to understand the process. There are mistakes all the time, and we learn from them and we course-correct them. The insanity of the sorts of arguments that say things like, “Dr. X, several months ago, said masks were not necessary. Now the doctor is saying they are. The doctor was clearly wrong back then, so how can we trust anything the doctor says?”

Brix, Fauci, Tam… even Henry. Pick your doctor; that statement applies. All of them have made statements which, at the time, agreed with the science. Then, through experimentation and observation, the science changed. And so did their opinions and corresponding directives. That’s how the process works.

Elon Musk has treated us all with first-row tickets to this process. If you’ve been following SpaceX from the start, you’ll have seen countless attempts at recovering a booster rocket by landing it vertically on a ship. Some blew up. Some missed the ship and fell into the ocean. Some landed and tipped over. But these days, they routinely simply fall from the sky, perfectly vertical, and perfectly hit a bullseye on some ship in the middle of nowhere, and, in gymnastic terms, stick the landing. It’s astonishing. As per a previous article, closely indistinguishable from magic.

But it’s not magic; it’s countless iterations of making mistakes, adjusting, trying it again, over and over and over, till you get it right. A couple of times in my life, I’ve hit that [Build] button and it’s just worked. Several thousand other times, I’ve had to hit that [Build] button several hundred times for a single, simple little program. That’s how the world typically works.

And that’s the world we’re presently in; where scientists are making decisions with the best information they have – at this moment. Certainly in hindsight, it might change. But for the moment, who exactly are you going to trust? A scientist with decades of experience? A former reality-show star? An Instagram influencer who has like, omg, so many followers?

It was always amusing to see the coyote go off a cliff… and hang in the sky until he made the mistake of looking down, realizing where he was… and then have gravity kick in… like, if perhaps he hadn’t noticed, things would’ve been ok. Unfortunately, that’s not how the real world works. The bad things — in that case, gravity — will tug at you as soon as you give them a chance.

I think, collectively, it’s best not to have approached the edge of that cliff in the first place. But if you find yourself there, as is the case for many people these days, be careful who you listen to.

Just like what the roadrunner was so good at doing to the coyote… some of them will send you flying off that cliff. Meep meep!

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July 26, 2020

Sounding a bit like a broken record, but no B.C. numbers today, so it’s just a guess to go with yesterday’s guess… I’ll fix it all tomorrow, and I’m more than a bit curious to see what it’ll look like. Until recently, Mondays were just “more of the same”… a different sort of broken record… but we will see if the troubling new trend has continued over the weekend.

In fact, I just got back from a bike ride, some of which was on the seawall… all the way from Kits beach, around Science World, and to the edge of Stanley Park. As you might expect, very crowded. As you may not be too surprised to learn, not many masks. Not a lot of social distancing. Yeah, I know… I’m yet-again sounding like a broken record.

At least – Vitamin D. We can all agree on that. Yet another study has emerged, this one from Israel, heaping praise on the benefits of Vitamin D. It will statistically significantly avoid you getting C19 and/or at least make it an easier ride if you do get it. There is correlation between serious cases and Vitamin D deficiency.

On a day like this, if you’re from around here, there is zero excuse. Go outside for 10 or 20 minutes and soak it in… and.. heh, yeah, one more broken record you’ve heard all your life, but it’s a good one: Use sunscreen if you’re going to be in direct sunlight for more than a little bit. The idea is to soak in the sunshine to the point of healing and energizing… not to the point of sunburn.

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July 25, 2020

Forest Gump is a great movie, well-deserving of the Oscars it won… in a year that saw three of the best movies of the 90s all drop at the same time (1994), the other two being Pulp Fiction & The Shawshank Redemption.

Forest Gump is the village idiot who makes good – very good, in fact… as a result of some inherent talent, fortuitous timing and just plain old good luck. The charm of the movie is how innocent and well-meaning he is throughout it all, like he’s an actor just playing a part in his own life’s movie, a life that carries him to loftier and loftier places… and he barely recognizes it.

There’s one particular scene I want to talk about… it’s near the end, when Forest has taken up running, and he’s been running for over three years. Like, literally running… back and forth across the U.S. at least twice, probably close to 20,000 miles.

He’s running from pain and heartbreak… but nobody really knows that… they just start to follow him. Like, clearly… someone with that much passion and dedication; there must be a lot to the story. There isn’t, but that group of followers doesn’t know that, and as time goes on, the group that’s following him, running after him – continues to grow.

Until one day, in the middle of nowhere, Forest’s simple mind just clicks into a different gear. OK, he thinks, I’ve had enough. I’m done. And he stops. And the whole group stops with him, with baited breath and anticipation… “Shh!! He’s gonna say something!!”

Clueless to the moment, and irrelevant in his mind, Forest simply says, “I’m tired. I’m going home.”

And with that, he turns a 180 and starts walking home. And the group that’s been aimlessly following him… now stand around dumbfounded, and one of them yells out, “What are we supposed to do now?”

Indeed, a valid question, when you find yourself rudderless and confused, having realized the ship you’ve been following all this time… also has no compass.

Such is now the emerging dilemma facing a large percentage of the American population who themselves, for over three years, have been following a leader who also has no clue. And so, when that leader did a 180 on certain topics a few days ago, it left a lot of people asking that same question… what about us? Now what?

Yeah, the guy who was feeding you the bullshit about how it’s not serious, how it’s going away, how masks may be evil and, either way, it’s your choice… blahblahblah… how testing is broken because even though we have the best testing in the world, our testing is the best, world leaders are calling me up asking how we do it, they can’t believe our testing, I tell you, it’s a beautiful thing our testing. Experts tell me our testing, they’ve never seen anything like it.

Anyway, as great as the testing is, notwithstanding said leader’s mixed message that perhaps they’re doing too much testing, too good testing, and therefore that’s why there are so many cases… there’s something nobody can argue or justify, and that is the number of deaths. People in the U.S. are dying in record numbers of C19, and there’s no way to avoid telling it how it is. Their leader continually pushed for no masks and ill-timed re-openings, and the emerging results are now laid bare for everyone to consider.

So… it’s caused the fearless leader to backtrack significantly. Perhaps this is worse than I said. Perhaps masks are a good idea.

This is not news to most people, but it’s eye-opening to the sheep who’ve been following him blindly.

“Now what are we supposed to do?”

Well – there’s an answer to that rhetorical question, but I’m as curious as anyone else as to what exactly *will* happen. Stay tuned, I guess.

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July 24, 2020

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (rhymes with “peachy”) said a lot of interesting things in his life. You’ve certainly heard some of them, even if you don’t know their origin… things like:

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

“When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you.”

Less commonly known, here are a couple of other quotes:

“Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.”

“Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

Those latter two quotes are pretty relevant these days, in light of the ever-widening wedge between reason and insanity.

Interestingly, Nietzsche also said, “There are no facts, only interpretations.”

Here, Mr. Nietzsche and I may have to agree to disagree. Or perhaps he was thinking super-big-picture when he said that, as in when dealing with topics that don’t actually have factual basis. You can discuss things like the merits of democracies vs. benevolent dictatorships, thinking you have all the “facts”, and therefore your opinion, and only your opinion, is “correct”. I think that’s the sort of thing he had in mind, and with that, I don’t disagree. Philosophical “facts” are meant to be discussed and challenged.

But people who feel strongly about the “facts” that they’re defending will rarely change their minds, even when the facts are indisputable… and, for some reason, the less “factual” those facts really are, the more they’re stuck to those opinions. It’s like being right is a necessary part of their existence, and challenging that opinion is basically challenging that person’s right to exist. Go try have a rational discussion with a moon-landing-denier or flat-earther; I dare you. If someone is convinced that two plus two is anything other than four, you need to understand that mindset before challenging it. And in doing so, you might realize that you’re wasting your time.

Such is the mindset of the anti-vaxx, anti-mask, anti-lockdown crowd that’ll insist that “it’s a hoax”, “vaccines are poison”, “vaccines are crowd control”, “masks cause more damage than they prevent”, “things are going great”, “nothing to worry about” and so on. If you’re going to bother trying to engage in an intelligent conversation with any of that on the other side of it, you’ve been warned. I’m speaking from experience here.

A final quote from our friend Nietzsche:

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well, the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”

Agreed.

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July 23, 2020

You walk into some high-school test. You’ve studied, but maybe not enough… you could’ve studied more. You should’ve. Maybe it’ll be one of those miracle days where the teacher is sick or someone pulls the fire alarm or it’s just postponed for some reason.

Oh well, no such luck… but… well, maybe it’s ok. You didn’t answer all of it, but you got to maybe 70% of the questions… should be ok. And of the questions you answered, you got most of them. Maybe. Yeah, it’ll be ok.

So, later in the week, you get the test back…. and indeed, you answered 70% of the questions. And of the questions you answered, you got about 70% correct…. so, all good… right?

Well, 70% of 70% is 49%. So, no… not so good. Indeed… Epic fail.

That’s the way math works, and that’s the way it’s going to work with three independent variables:

A: what percent of the population needs to be C-19 immune for there to be herd immunity?

B: what percent effective will a vaccine ultimately be?

C: what percent of the population will get vaccinated?

The unfortunate reality is that B x C will likely never exceed A, so this thing is going to stick around for a very long time. The lunacy of the sub-group that makes C anything less than 100% is particularly aggravating. It sincerely makes me wonder… if smallpox hadn’t been eradicated by 1980, would it be celebrating some sort of re-awakening these days, thanks to a bunch of “enlightened” individuals who’d never “poison” their kids with the vaccine…?

“Do you know what’s in a vaccine?”, they’ll ask you… and list off a bunch of poisons… “If it’s so healthy, try drinking it… you’ll probably die.”

Yeah, you know what else is healthy? Broccoli. Try injecting some into your bloodstream… you’ll probably die.

I no longer have any interest in arguing with anti-vaxxers. It makes my thoroughly-well-vaccinated blood boil. And I really wouldn’t care as much, were it not for the fact that their insanity has the potential to affect us all. There are those who wish they could take the vaccine, but for other health reasons, cannot. Those are the people who’d benefit most from herd immunity.

There’s no vaccine yet, but it’s coming. Many groups are making great strides. But if we think our problems are solved when it gets here, not quite.

Apart from the logistics involved in creating 7+ billion doses and distributing them… comes the issue of who gets them first. It’s an interesting discussion. The first thought is obvious – doctors, front-line medical practitioners, etc. They should certainly be near the top of the list, but those people have PPE and good habits and access to medical care. From a humanitarian point of view, it should be those at highest risk for numerous reasons, and if you think it through, you wind up with an interesting conclusion.

Here’s a list of risk factors… age, overall health, access to good medical care, and liberty to exercise social distancing. Ethnicity is not irrelevant, though socioeconomic factors play into it too… like in the U.S., twice as many Black people are dying from this than white people. That may or may not map to other places around the world, but either way, we can all agree it’d be better to ride this out in a first-world country as opposed to somewhere in the third-world.

Put it all together and what do you get? Somewhere in Mogadishu, there is an aging diabetic Somalian pirate, rotting away in a crowded cesspool of a prison. That guy needs the vaccine more than I do, but he’s unlikely to be offered it anytime soon. He’ll get his shot long after some enlightened local anti-vaxxer scoffs it away. Epic fail.

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July 22, 2020

It doesn’t get much more West-Coast-B.C. than Stanley Park’s Third Beach Tuesday night drum circles. Every version of Vancouverite is usually represented, if not as a participant, certainly as an observer. These things have been going on for years, typically May to September, always on sunny Tuesday nights. But the thing with these sorts of somewhat-organized events is that even when the organizers pull the plug on it, not everyone is convinced. Such was the case last night. The people claiming to speak for the event, back on March 19th, announced the thing is on pause till further notice. Sounds good.

But somehow, the “we’ve had enough of this crap” crowd decided it was time… and out went the word, and a lot of people showed up. Social distancing? Masks? Haha.

On sunny summer Tuesday nights, I often time my evening bike rides to wind up down there. It’s a really cool atmosphere, great energy and all the rest of it. But that was last year, and knowing what that space turns into, I wouldn’t consider it these days… because given the space and the crowd, it’s impossible for it to take place under the existing guidelines. And I don’t just mean participating… because when it’s going on, it’s crowded and difficult to walk (let alone, cycle) by on the seawall. The whole thing spills over wherever it can, just like it did last night; What’s been seen and described from last night is pretty-much exactly what you’d expect… especially some of the related attitudes, which are also very West-Coast-B.C…. “Whatever.”

That “Whatever” attitude partly led to today’s unscheduled news conference, which served up some not-so-great-numbers… and new restrictions.

Dr. Henry made it very clear, but here it is in my words: People need to understand and obey the spirit of the rules, not just the technical “here’s what’s written”. Yes, genius, you can get a group of 12 people to reserve two tables of 6 near each other and then table-hop… ohhh, aren’t you clever, being all technically law-abiding and everything. No, actually… you’re not. I feel bad for the servers in these situations, trying to enforce these regulations among people who are clearly too deserving and entitled to follow along like everyone else.

The whole idea of how many people with whom you’re in close contact has everything to do with exactly that… the risks of contact, and… contact tracing. There comes a point when contact tracing goes from manageable to impossible. This is happening in other parts of the world, where things suddenly and so quickly get out of control, that it’s just impossible to follow every lead.

Come on people, we need the vast majority to cooperate, because if we can’t get this under control now, we all know Vancouver weather… come September… back to school, back to grey skies and rain, back to the cold and indoor spaces. And, at this rate, back to Phase 1 lockdowns. Nobody wants that.

Socially distance. Wear a mask if you can’t socially distance. Follow the one-way arrows when you’re shopping. Wash your hands a lot. Don’t be a dick about any of that just because you feel you’re special or whatever. If you want to try to convince everyone that this is a conspiracy or a giant hoax or a Bill Gates 5G world-dominance control thing, that’s just great… do us all a favour and do it from home. Comfortably tuck yourself behind your computer, and watch all those videos, and comment to your heart’s content… and stay the hell away from the rest of us, who are simply trying to get to the finish line by doing the right thing.

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