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March 16, 2021

As I’ve said before, instead of “Do unto others…”, I much prefer the subtle but distinctly different: “Don’t do unto others… as you’d have them not do to you.” In other words, don’t impose your crap on others… unless you’d be happy with them doing the same.

So… for those who keep screaming about their human rights with respect to masks, perhaps it’d be easier to shift in your mind the mask to something like a big cigar. A huge cigar, just to make it a little more offensive… one of those gigantic Cohibas that Fidel Castro used to smoke.

Now, imagine you, flaunting your anti-mask awesomeness, sitting in Starbucks, glaring at anyone that gets close to you, let alone tries to address your masklessness. Now imagine me… I wander in with my gargantuan cigar, puffing away, and sit down right next to you. You start screaming at me to get the hell away from you. In fact, obviously, the entire coffee shop, customers and baristas alike, are all yelling at me… “WTF do you think you’re doing!”, “Get the hell out of here!”, “Hey, that’s Cuban, there’s an embargo, I’m going to have you arrested for treason!”

First of all, this is Canada… so Cuban cigars are available everywhere… and let’s at least agree on something: That’s hardly the issue.

The issue is, I’m invading your space (and everyone else’s) with this foul stench that you find indescribably awful, toxic and unhealthy. Fair enough, many people can’t stand cigar smoke, and why should I have the right to exhale it all over you. In fact, there are laws protecting your rights specifically because it’s known that not only is it unpleasant for many people, but it’s also a health hazard. Appropriately, it’s banned in public spaces and it’s banned in private places to, to the extent that the owner of said private space is entitled to make their own rules.

We all agree that in my own private space, I can do whatever I want. I can sit on my deck and smoke cigars all day long, and nobody can do anything about it… nor should they able to… and nobody should care, either. It’s my business and it’s not hurting you and it’s not being imposed upon you. And if I invite you over, you’re free to stay… and perhaps enjoy your own cigar… or you’re free to leave. Can we please agree that you’re not entitled to tell me to put out my $40 cigar? My house, my rules. Starbucks’ house, Starbucks’ rules. SkyTrain’s house, SkyTrain’s rules too.

There’s a remarkable 11-minute video of a woman on the SkyTrain who refuses to wear a mask and refuses to leave the train. A policeman, very calmly and politely tries to explain this to her, repeatedly… certainly with more patience than I would… but, even so, it escalates to her assaulting the officer and getting arrested.

I am certainly at the point where I understand the fact that someone who, these days, is still refusing to wear a mask… is someone who will never wear one. So… it’s pretty simple. You stay away from me, and I’ll stay away from you. I don’t have the right to tell you to put on a mask, you say… well, in my home, I do. In my place of business, I do. And I have the right to tell you to go away if you don’t want to play by my rules.
This is a pretty good comparison. The difference is that we can all see and smell cigar smoke… so it’s blatantly obvious when it’s headed in your direction. Not so with tiny virus balls, but the fact we can’t see them doesn’t mean they might not be there…and you have the right to be protected from it. It might help people to understand the concept that a mask requirement is a bit like a no-smoking sign. Just like you can’t expect to smoke somewhere, because you may be breathing something dangerous on people… these days, for now, you might be doing exactly that and not know it. Doesn’t everyone else also have the right to be just as protected as you are?

I think so… and I’m not just blowing smoke here.

21 Likes, 1 Shares

January 20, 2021

I remember exactly how I felt four years ago, watching Donald Trump’s inauguration, and listening to his speech. A sense of foreboding. Disbelief. Fear of the unknown. That this guy is going to guide the U.S. to some dark places, and he may well take Canada and much of the rest of the world with him. Barack Obama was probably having similar thoughts when he penned his outgoing letter to Trump. In it, he wrote, “… we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.”

In Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, there is a song called “Goodbye Blue Sky” – and if you watch the video of the song (taken from the movie), it conveys it well… you only need to watch the first 30 seconds… where things go from sunny and happy and hopeful… to darkness. The symbolism is not subtle; it’s blunt, like a sledgehammer to the gut. Trump did indeed take many things in the wrong direction, but at least he didn’t take the planet down with him. He left his country in tatters, from which it’ll certainly rebuild… and now, at least, it can begin. There was a big sigh of relief when noon EST came and went. It’s done.

Biden’s inaugural speech was the polar opposite of what was spoken four years ago; he preached unity, understanding, dignity, tolerance, respect. He faced-up to the challenges ahead. He alluded to the mess he inherits. We shall see. Talk is cheap, and his actions will speak louder than his words… but in my opinion, he offers for the U.S. something that’s been sorely lacking for the last four years… leadership.

I’d never intended to write so much about Donald Trump, but I started writing this blog exclusively because of the pandemic, and what became glaringly obvious very quickly was his brutal mishandling of it… and, along with that, his brutal mishanding of so much else.

I was asked this morning… come on, name at least a few good things Trump did in power. Sure, there are a few… he didn’t start any wars, and the middle east is on a potential path to a more lasting peace. Those who support his policies would argue that the reshaping of the federal judiciary is an achievement. Same with his tax reform. Space Force sounds like a joke, but it actually isn’t. But ultimately, whatever could be called a positive achievement is far overshadowed by the negative. There’s one other achievement, and it’s hard to label it positive or negative; his raging divisiveness served to rip off a huge, ratty band-aid that had been hiding a wound that’s been festering in the country since its inception… the deep, ugly gash of inequality. A lot of issues have been brought to light, and a lot of people (myself among them) are now far more familiar with systemic issues that have been plaguing American society for years. Decades. Centuries.

By now, you’re probably pretty sick and tired of hearing about Trump. It was engaging before he was elected, interesting early-on in his presidency… but grew tiring, repetitive and frustrating as time went on. Four years was more than enough. Four hundred thousand Covid deaths (not all – but certainly a significant amount, his fault). While we’re keeping score… 22,000 lies… about 15 per day of his presidency. 150 rounds of golf (one every 10 days). 127 days at Mar-a-Lago. Two impeachments. Two popular-vote losses. I can’t attach a number to the lawsuits that await him, but they will deservedly hound him for the rest of his life. It’s sad that his brainless followers will be the ones footing the legal bills, but the thought that he and perhaps some family members may be facing prison time… there are some sleepless nights ahead. I’m sure Mar-a-Lago has 24-hour room service; one burnt-to-a-crisp steak with ketchup coming right up, sir.

I’m looking forward to writing about other things. Trump mattered when he could actually do something: Mandate a federal mask policy. Set an example. Say something meaningful to his 70 million Twitter followers. He didn’t do any of that, and now he can’t. Now he’s just a two-time loser… silenced, and facing an unknown future… but now his problems (and lack of ability in solving them) are largely his issue; not his country’s, not this country’s… and, certainly… not mine. Moving on.

48 Likes, 4 Shares

December 30, 2020

Completely unrelated to everything… just a random thought.

While stereotypes often exist for a reason – there’s usually some fundamental tiny grain of truth to them and/or some origin that can be pointed to – I don’t really understand this “Karen” meme.

The name Karen has now come to imply the proto-typical entitled white woman with an attitude… the “I’d like to speak to the manager” Karen or the call-the-cops-on-someone-Black-for-no-reason Karen or, more recently, Coronavirus Karen who proudly won’t wear a mask in public, is anti-vaxx, and might even cough on you if you get too close.

With respect to the Karens (and Karins) I’ve known throughout my life (I counted 9), all of them have been (and continue to be) kind, caring, empathic and thoughtful people. Like, exceptionally so. Statistically, at least one of those nine should be this stereotypical “Karen”… but no, not in my case. On the flip side, I know exactly 4 people with a different same name who are all, coincidentally, awful people – for their own, individual reasons. That’s also statistically off the charts.

This got me thinking, and I went off hunting for the origins of this whole Karen thing… but there’s no real answer; only speculation. It might be from a bit comedian Dane Cook did in 2005. It might be from a scene in “Mean Girls”. It might be from some Reddit thread where a guy continually complained about his ex-wife Karen, to the extent entire new SubReddits were created for the specific content.

Just like attaching “-gate” to something implies scandal… locally, we’ve had Bingogate, Ferrygate, Robogate, Tunagate… Chrétien had his Shawinigate… the world has created hundreds of -gates over the years… all spawned after Nixon’s Watergate scandal… now we have lots of different Karens.

There was an actual hurricane named Karen in 2019. There was an actual woman in Australia named Karen recorded trying to tear down her neighbour’s Aboriginal Flag. Other than that, it’s just a label:

Permit Karen who called police on her Black neighbours installing a patio.

Whitefish Karen, arrested after intentionally coughing on people after being told to wear a mask.

Kroger Karen, who stood in front of a Black woman’s car to block her from leaving a Detroit grocery store parking lot while she called police to report… that the woman’s child had stood on a shelf to take down an item too high to reach.

San Francisco Karen, who called the police to report a Filipino man stenciling “Black Lives Matter” on a retaining wall… on his own property.

Bunnings Karen, who threatened to sue the hardware store Bunnings for requiring her to wear a mask.

So prolific has the term become, it’s made its way to men as well; Donald Trump has been called the “Karen in Chief” and Elon Musk was labelled “Space Karen” after a stupid Tweet.

Endless Karens.

Back in July, Domino’s in Australia ran a campaign… offering free pizza to all the “nice Karens”. It went OK in Australia, but it faced backlash in New Zealand… where the campaign was pulled and Domino’s had to apologize. The campaign itself got “Karen’d”.

More recently, in October, San Francisco passed an act to prohibit the fabrication of racially-biased emergency reports. It was named the Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies (CAREN) Act.

It looks like the whole Karen thing is here to stay… which is unfortunate, especially for all the people named Karen/Karin/Karyn/Caryn/Caren and whatever other spelling I may have missed. Shoutout to all of you… I’m sure you’re all awesome people.

Well… most of you. Unless you’re an actual Karen.

28 Likes, 1 Shares

December 18, 2020

Louis Armstrong was perhaps the greatest and most innovative trumpet players of all time, so it’s a bit ironic that he’s probably best known as a vocalist, for his timeless rendition of “What a Wonderful World”. Similarly, Wayne Gretzky, perhaps the greatest and most innovative hockey player of all time… might be more remembered for something he said; something that’s been repeated about five hundred million times, in every context imaginable: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been.”

To some extent, that tired, hackneyed phrase has lost all meaning, having now become so ubiquitous and diluted.

But… it has its uses. For example, if you’re Dr. Bonnie Henry, by now you have some vision as to how things work… how the pandemic works, how hospitals work within its confines and, most importantly, how the general public seems to behave.

So… if I had to criticize Dr. Henry for anything, it would be for her failing to skate to where that particular puck was going to be on Halloween. It was becoming evident that things were about to break at the seams, and more should have been done.

On October 31st, B.C. was seeing about 350 new cases a day, and about two deaths a day. Then came the parties and the crowds and the “it’s no big deal, come on man, it’s Halloween!!” excuses.

Around 10 days after the numerous private parties and the overrunning of downtown, there was a sharp rise in daily case counts; they had doubled. But deaths hadn’t gone up, so everything was fine, right?

Ten days after that, there was a sharp rise in daily deaths… to levels we haven’t yet managed to recover from.

This isn’t rocket science, and this isn’t unpredictable… because it’s the exact same pattern we’ve seen several times. Where the puck has been, and, more importantly, where it’s going, has now become glaringly obvious.

From the “this is why we can’t have nice things” point of view, Dr. Henry has imposed measures over the holidays that seem harsh. It’s unfortunate she didn’t impose them before Halloween, because there’s a chance this would be a far more normal holiday season if she had. As it is, these measures are now necessary, but probably not sufficient. Without enforcement to back them up, these orders are merely good suggestions, and many people are planning to ignore them entirely. This has always been an issue of education, and many people simply don’t get it. Accordingly, we will see the consequences of these actions in the next 6 weeks.

If I had to predict it, the sharp rise in infections will all take place starting tonight and lasting till New Year’s Eve. That will start appearing as a rise in daily new cases during the week between Christmas and NYE. The deaths resulting from those new cases will peak heading into the second week of January, but the last of those new cases won’t have “kicked in” until two weeks after NYE… which means those deaths won’t hit the books till the end of the month.

So there you have the prediction… new cases will keep rising till mid-January, and then start to tail off. Daily death numbers will start dropping off in late January. If the question is “When will all this be over..?”, I can’t tell you the end of the end, but the beginning of the end…? February. When things start improving in February, I would expect them to continue to improve to the end. Between vaccines and summer, there won’t be a third wave… just a slow and steady path to the end of this nightmare.

At the end of a long shift, Dr. Bonny just fired the puck into the corner. She’s skating to the bench to catch her breath. In the meantime, for all of us still on the ice… where should we go? To where she shot the puck from? To where the puck is now…?

I think to myself… we should skate to where the puck is going to be. And I think to myself… there’s an end to this game… hopefully soon. And also, all together now…. I think to myself… what a wonderful world…

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November 25, 2020

At some point soon, Health Canada will announce the availability of a vaccine. Provincial Health Services across the country are already working on the logistics of providing it to you.

If you ask someone today whether they’ll be getting it, the usual answer is “Of course… but not right away… just want to make sure it’s ok.”

Well… by the time it gets to most of us, it’ll almost certainly be ok. More than ok. In fact, it will have been ok from day 1, where some of the first people to have gotten it would have been at higher risk… front-line workers, elderly people… and they will all be just fine. More than fine.

It’s not an irrational concern; vaccines, as we’ve repeatedly heard, take many years to develop. And, even then, sometimes there are problems. How can this one, super-rushed at every step, be guaranteed to be safe? How can we sacrifice so much time without sacrificing quality?

Part of the answer lies in understanding why it usually takes so long.

First of all, as usual, money. Developing a vaccine isn’t cheap, and isn’t always successful. The millions of dollars it takes aren’t always so easy to find. After the initial idea for the vaccine is thought up, it takes money to develop that thought. A grant gets applied for, and that’s usually not successful… something like the good old 80/20 rule plays out… where only 20% of these proposals actually get funded to proceed. Just getting to that point is a grueling and time-consuming process. Where animal testing will be involved, ethics boards also need to sign off.

In this case, there were no grant proposals. A ton of money was found, and quickly. Bill & Melinda Gates have thrown a staggering $420 million dollars into C19 research. Also, a million dollars that went towards the funding of the Moderna vaccine came from… Dolly Parton. From far and wide, the money rolled in… and what usually takes years (if it happens at all)… took minutes.

This allowed multiple, parallel paths of development. Top minds from every angle tackled this problem, and it was found that developing an mRNA (instead of DNA) vaccine would be the right way to approach things. This inherently saved some time because some concerns that usually need to be addressed became non-issues. You don’t need the actual virus. You don’t need to attenuate it… a tricky process of reducing the virulence of a pathogen, enough that it becomes relatively harmless, but not so much that it becomes useless. All of that takes a lot of careful experimentation… and consumes a lot of time. But in this case, all that was needed was the genome sequence of the virus. The risk is far less with respect to human safety. The bigger risk is whether it’ll work at all.

At some point in the research, a vaccine candidate makes an appearance. And normally, there begins a cycle of testing, publishing, approval and requests for further funding… and each iteration requires more people, more testing, more money, more oversight and more approvals. These cycles take time. Finding more people. Finding more money. Sitting around waiting for approvals. But in this case, there were plenty of people and there was plenty of money. Typically, the people who hold the giant stamps of approval are busy… things enter a queue… to the bottom of the pile, and they slowly sift to the top, at which time they get dealt with. This time… straight to the top.

Eventually, after tests are shown to be successful and safe in large populations (tens of thousands of people), a drug company willing to take some risk gets involved… because they start from scratch, and need to duplicate the results to their satisfaction. The production, the testing results, everything. And if they do that successfully, then they can approach the FDA (or whatever other relevant governing body) for approval… after which they can figure out how they’re going to produce and distribute all of that in a way that makes economic sense.

In this case, a lot of that took place in parallel. We will never know how many millions of doses of non-viable vaccine got thrown into the garbage, and by whom… but with so much money available and so much at stake, it was the right way to do things. If this vaccine candidate might actually be the one, make lots, and make it now… and if turns out to not be the one, oh well… some money was wasted, but the risk/reward made it worth it.

There are already millions of doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine in existence. As we speak, millions more are being made… on the assumption that when this all goes in front of the FDA on December 10th, things will go well… so well that it’ll only be days later when wide-spread distribution will begin. Normally, production would have begun only after FDA approval.

Indeed, the right question that was asked months ago was a simple one… “How do we get a vaccine out to the world as quickly as possible?” – and the answer was to cut corners that wouldn’t affect the safety or effectiveness of the end result. And that’s what we’ve gotten.

When you’re so used to something taking that long, it’s natural to view it with suspicion… but here’s a simpler example. Let’s talk about NFL football for a minute… a typical NFL game takes a little over three hours to play. The game clock, though… it’s only an hour… 4 quarters of 15 minutes each. But here’s the thing… inside that one timed hour, the actual time the ball spends moving is… eleven minutes. But… there’s the time between plays, where the clock keeps moving… but the ball is sitting at the line of scrimmage, waiting. There are official replays. There are challenge flags. There are timeouts. There are clock stoppages. There are two-minute warnings. There are commercial breaks. There’s halftime. If you were to compress a typical NFL game by removing all of that, you could watch the entire thing in less than 15 minutes. Do you miss anything of value by doing so, if all you’re really interested in seeing is actual football being played?

Similarly, as it turns out, once you remove the bureaucratic delays from the vaccine-development timeline, all you’re left with is the science, and the procedures that drive it. And an end-product that’s as trustable as one that would otherwise have taken years.

After reading all that, you still might be thinking, “Yeah, but still…” and that’s ok. At some point, it’ll reach your comfort level… but for what it’s worth, if nobody wants to go first – sign me up. Having a clear understanding of how this all came about, I would have zero hesitation. If volunteers are needed for the front of the line, I’m there.

November 20, 2020

In hindsight, there was plenty to learn from Donald Trump’s nomination of the first (of his three) Supreme Court Justices. Before Barrett and Kavanaugh, there was Gorsuch.

This was very early into his presidency, and the announcement was to be like no other. Trump wanted a full-on reality-TV moment. Had he had his way, it would’ve been like a Bachelor/Bachelorette-like Rose Ceremony – held in the White House Rose Garden, of course – where Trump would’ve had his three finalists standing there, and with some great drama – heck, perhaps even by handing them a Rose – revealed to the world his choice. One of the other two, Tom Hardiman, was actually on his way to Washington for the “ceremony” until an insider reached out and told him something like, “Dude, bail… this is bullshit.”

Trump still made the best of it. He had Gorsuch and his wife hidden away, in a hallway. Trump made it all about himself, as usual, and after his magnanimous speech, finally had Tom Gorsuch, and his wife, emerge… to the thunderous applause so that he, Trump, could take credit for his awesome selection. “What is going on?”, asked some people. “This is going to be fun!”, said some others.

The astonishing reality show is exactly two months away from cancellation. Many of the actors have already moved on, some trying to distance themselves from the negative reviews, to find new shows. Some are holding on, hoping for a sequel. They will soon be bitterly disappointed. Nobody is picking this up for another 4-year run.

The problem, of course, is that the star of the show doesn’t want to go away, and it’d be funny were it not so tragic. His pathetic attempts of “They love me! They really love me!” aren’t going to take him anywhere.

Yet – and this is where it gets very serious – every single hour that goes by, with this petulant child-actor’s attitude of “If I lose, we all lose”, people are dying. The studio needs to reconfigure for the next 4 seasons, but they can’t, because the soon-to-be-former star won’t hand over the keys. He just makes lame and baseless excuses. How appropriate it was for Giuliani to be holding that almost-final press conference in the parking lot of a Four Seasons. Not the elegant hotel, of course, but the kind of Four Seasons operation the specializes in shoveling manure, exactly what his BFF/client has been doing for four long seasons.

It’s far too late to restore the tarnished image in which Trump has enveloped himself, but like any good show or series, some people just remember the end. The last 10 minutes of the last episode. And here we are, and Trump could actually make a difference. With now literally nothing else left to lose as president, he could at least leave it with a bit of a swan song… and invoke a federal mask policy. It would upset a lot of his core. It would also save tens of thousands of lives. It’s sad – tragic – that he won’t.

Closer to home, we *do* have a new mask policy, and whether you agree with it or not, how about you just do it? We can discuss it next year, whether it was as right as I said or as wrong as you said… because we both agree we’d like to get to next year, and we’d also like everyone around us, especially those we care deeply about, to get there as well. Yes, you might be young and healthy, and maybe this won’t affect you… notwithstanding a recent death here in BC was an otherwise-healthy man in his 30s… he and some co-workers tested positive. The co-workers all had mild symptoms, but the unfortunate victim got it much worse… and the point is, that even if you think you’re immortal, you have friends and family who are older, immunocompromised and/or simply as unlucky as that guy whose friends, family and co-workers still can’t believe it.

Outbreaks can happen anywhere, but the serious ones we hear about are care homes, which of course are populated with the people who are at highest risk… and it’s within those walls that infections can spread like wildfire. Tabor Home, a long-term care facility in Abbotsford had 4 cases (two staff, two residents) two weeks ago. Today, it’s over 100. How did that happen…?

There are more of you out there than you think… that have this virus. Eighty percent of you will never even know it… yet, for a while, you were just as infectious as anyone else… and somewhere along the line… while not wearing a mask and/or being too close to someone else, you passed it along… and so on and so on. Breaking those chains of transmissions is what it’s all about, and far more of us are potential links in that chain… that inevitably end at someone who is unable to fight it off. Once it enters an environment like a care-home, it hits hard.

If you think wearing a mask or not getting together socially or not travelling isn’t to your benefit, think about others… because your irresponsibility could literally kill someone else. Think about them… some elderly resident of a care home… whose life is worth far more than your irresponsible little maskless get-together. The get-together can wait. That elderly resident is also waiting… for a hug from their grand-daughter. Do your part to make sure that eventually happens.

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November 15, 2020

On the evening of March 21st, 2006, the B.C. Ferry Queen of the North departed from Prince Rupert, headed for Port Hardy. There is a tremendous amount of controversy as to what happened that night… books have been written, court cases have been tried, people have been fired, and… policies have been changed.

That night, thanks to the gross negligence of the two people on the bridge of the vessel – the ship’s fourth officer and the Quartermaster (who may have been fighting, or may have been having sex – either way, completely distracted), the ship missed the timing of an important maneuver, hit an underwater ridge of rocks that tore open the hull, and sank. Were it not for the heroic efforts of the Gitka’a’ata people in Hartley Bay, things would’ve been far worse. They took to the water in every boat they had, and rescued everyone they could. Unfortunately, 2 out of the 101 people on board were trapped, and are presumed to have gone down with the ship; their bodies have never been found.

One outcome of this tragedy was the policy change that made it mandatory for all ferry passengers to leave their vehicles during travel, lest the ship should sink and you be trapped.

The unlikeliness of that happening is difficult to overstate. BC Ferries provided more than 160,000 trips last year, moving close to 22 million passengers. Multiply that by 10 or 20 or 50 years, it doesn’t really matter… all you’re doing is changing your chances of dying on a ferry from one in a million to one in a billion or trillion or zillion. Whatever.

This policy does not sit well with many people, and I’m one of them. If I want to sit in the comfort of my car for the journey… maybe I have a crying baby or two, finally asleep in their car seats. Maybe I have a dog who’s cozy in his spot. Maybe I just want to listen to my music, read my book, play on my phone… in peace, in my environment. Maybe I have a broken leg and don’t want to be hobbling all over the place. Over the decades, I’ve had many reasons. More recently, one of those reasons was, of course, this pandemic… and B.C. Ferries, initially, agreed. In fact, they flipped the rule 180 early in this pandemic. Stay in your car. Don’t you DARE come upstairs, unless it’s a dire emergency. Sounds good.

Now, they’ve flipped it back again, at perhaps the worst possible time… and they’re being surprisingly adamant – arguably militant – about it. I really don’t get it. Persistent vigilance of the vehicle decks. Threats of fines or bans.

Since everyone *has* to get out now, it’s very crowded upstairs. The elevators are slow. The staircases are cramped. The cafeteria is full of people eating. The seating area is full of mask-deniers making selfie-videos of themselves showing how awesome they are, flaunting their freedom and laughing at all the people around them who are wearing masks and trying to socially-distance in an impossible environment.

A few things need to change here in B.C.

  1. This ferry policy has to go. In the midst of this pandemic, I don’t think I need to spell it out. If someone from B.C. Ferries can explain to me how staying in my car is more dangerous or puts me more at risk than the potential C19 exposure, I’d like to hear the argument. And I’m speaking for the benefit of others as well. What if I’m contagious and don’t even know it? You’re making me put everyone else at higher risk.
  2. B.C. is the only province not publishing anything C19-related over the weekend. No press release, no numbers, no update, no nothing. Everywhere else, whether they have over 120,000 cases (Quebec) or less than 20 (Nunavut), they’re keeping the information flowing continually, seven days a week.
  3. Mask policy – it’s high time they are made mandatory everywhere here in B.C., period. “Strongly urged” is no longer sufficient. Enough of the “we’re polite and we’ll do the right thing” mantra, and enough of the “people so inclined will ignore the rules anyway”. Just because the province doesn’t feel it can enforce it, it doesn’t mean you and I can’t. I’d welcome the opportunity to tell some mask-denier who taunts me with “Why should I?” with some sort of clout. “Because it’s the law”. “Because it’s an order”. Too much wishy-washy going on here, and the stakes are too high. It’s pretty clear what we’re heading towards, so let’s get ahead of it a bit. If the time for a mandatory mask enforcement is coming anyway (and it certainly is, or, at least, certainly should be), let’s just get on with it now.

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November 7, 2020

There’s that moment in “The Wizard of Oz” where everything goes from black-and-white to colour. It makes quite an impact…and to a great extent, for a lot of people, that’s how it feels today; a four-year journey of black vs. white, right vs. wrong, us vs. them… finally coming to an end. We are once again surrounded with colour. Isn’t it beautiful?

Nearing the end of that movie, Dorothy and her entourage finally come upon The Wizard himself… and pull back the curtain to reveal that he’s no wizard after all… just a fraud, pulling some levers. Far from a wizard… he’s just a failed showman.

But this is where the similarities end. The wizard gracefully exits; he leaves The Scarecrow in charge of Oz, with The Tin Man and The Lion at his side. A very elegant transfer of power. Then he gets into a hot-air balloon, and flies off to live happily ever after.

Our present fraud-wizard-failed-showman won’t be leaving quietly. The hot-air balloon would be a helicopter in this case, but on January 20th, there’s a relatively good chance Trump won’t be on it.

What’s becoming interesting is the method with which the rats are leaving the sinking ship. For four years, they agreed with, acquiesced to, and validated – his narcissistic venomous bullshit. Now they don’t have to. In many cases, these are people with similar personality profiles, so now what? They arguably played along because it served their purpose; stay on his good side or find yourself with a figurative knife in your back, exiled from the kingdom of Trump. That’s no longer the case. In fact, Trump himself has been pissed off for the last few days, wondering why none of those people are Tweeting their support for their soon-to-be fallen leader. The answer is pretty simple; they’re looking out for themselves at the expense of others… a lesson they learned from Trump himself. It’s time to jump ship.

What’s also not black and white is what’s going on here… it’s red… as in cases across the board in Canada… as per below, so… much… red. All rising… sharply. Red alert.

Dr. Bonnie spoke earlier today and imposed new restrictions, in place for two weeks, effective as of 10pm tonight, affecting social gatherings, travel, indoor group exercises and workplaces. And, in that order: don’t, don’t, don’t, and… follow the rules. Let’s see if we can actually stick to that for two weeks.

We are effectively back to late March/early April; it’s Déjà Vu all over again… and we managed to get this under control back then. And, of course, we’ve learned a lot since then… but don’t think that just because of that, and treatment options, and just because we actually have a vaccine around the corner, that we don’t need to take this seriously. We do… because the tornado that can sweep us away to a world of hurt appears quickly and powerfully. Just ask Dorothy. And yes, we all want things to be normal… and we’ll get there eventually… “there’s no place like home”… but unfortunately, just closing your eyes and tapping your feet a few times, and hoping… isn’t going to do it.

HK COVID-19 Daily Report Graph Nov 7, 2020

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October 24, 2020

No local numbers today or tomorrow… so no speculative guesses either. If the last few days are any indication, things are going to get worse before they improve… but in the meantime, why don’t we just enjoy this incredible weather… it’s a beautiful day to be outside, and if you’re wondering where to walk, might I suggest your nearest polling station to go vote, if you haven’t already done so.

Instead of fully-updated numbers and graphs (the partial one is here, if you’re interested), here’s a video of my dog fetching a frisbee… with some spectacular views of blue skies and the ocean thrown in for good measure.

Words: of some value
Picture: a thousand words
This video: priceless

In the midst of “the worst is yet to come”, there’s always some beauty to be found.

(notitle)

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By |2020-10-26T20:17:07-07:00October 24th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, Follower Favourites, Our Dog|Tags: |5 Comments

August 16, 2020

Update…

Today was supposed to be a socially-distanced backyard get-together with some good friends… which went sideways shortly before they arrived, when the dog evidently swallowed a wine cork. We rushed to the vet, but the x-ray couldn’t see anything… and while they were about to prep him for an endoscopy, the friends arrived and started trying to help in crawling around the garden looking for it “just in case”… and found it. Well-chewed but not swallowed. So now we take the pup home with a huge wave of relief… and since today there are no B.C. numbers anyway, let’s forget the numbers and charts till tomorrow. Instead, you get a picture of me and this bestest boi.

 

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By |2020-10-08T01:39:33-07:00August 16th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, Follower Favourites, Our Dog|Tags: , |40 Comments
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