October 3, 2020

Sometimes, I write these posts in the morning… sometimes, at the last minute… a few times, the day before. I get the impression I’m going to have to back off trying to be too current, because the news changes almost as fast as I can type… and by the time you’re reading this, it could be largely out of date. In any event, I’m writing this earlier in the day and it might be longer than usual to make up for the fact that I won’t have much time tomorrow… so let’s pack two day’s worth of thoughts into one…

First thing… on this side of the 49th… Ontario increased its C19 death numbers significantly… 111 deaths in two days… but no, it’s not so dire. The vast majority of those were re-classifications from deaths earlier in the year.

South of the border… in the news, and changing by the minute, is the remarkable irony of the White House event which was intended to be the grand introduction of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee… but could turn out to be the very reason why Judge Amy Coney Barrett doesn’t ascend to the Supreme Court… that being that there may not be sufficient votes in person to achieve confirmation… because too many Republican senators will be sick and/or quarantining.

I’ve never been to a White House event, but I can only imagine it’s the sort of get-together that involves exotic teas and tiered platters with egg and cucumber sandwiches (no crust, of course), yummy pastries, scones, whipped butter, jam… you get the idea. The poshest of the posh. Side-note, that really made me hungry – any recommendations for local fancy tea places?

Anyway, that particular event will not go down in history for the fine food that was served, nor for the fine China upon which it was presented. Instead, it will be forever known as the Covid-19 Super-Spreader event that changed the course of American history.

It’s only been a few days, but now we’re getting a very accurate account of how fast this virus spreads when it’s in our midst and not taken seriously. Those Republicans, scoffing at the notion of wearing a mask — lest they be ridiculed by their Fearless Leader – may have screwed themselves out of contention. Their reckless, holier-than-thou attitude was evidenced at the “debate” where the entire Trump entourage, having entered the seating area all wearing masks as required, dramatically and contemptuously removed them in unison, with appropriate contemptible smirks to go along with their heroic acts of independence and freedom.

At the White House ceremony, same thing… most guests arrived in masks, but many removed them. There are hundreds of pictures and videos showing what went on. If you zoom up really, really close, like 150,000,000x, you can see the C19 virus balls flying all around, out of this mouth, into that nostril, and so on.

At this very moment, around noon, here’s the known infection roster:

Hope Hicks
Donald Trump
Melania Trump
Senator Mike Lee
Senator Thom Tillis
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel
Advisor Kellyanne Conway
Advisor Chris Christie
Campaign manager Bill Stepien
Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins
3 White House reporters
Conflicting numbers re White House staffers… one or more

Another senator that wasn’t there, Ron Johnson, has also tested positive.

AG William Barr, who was there too — and was recorded having a long, close conversation with Kellyanne Conway — hasn’t tested positive and is refusing to quarantine. By the time he tests positive, we’ll have a good idea who he’s likely infected as well.

And, for what it’s worth, NBC correspondent Garrett Haake tweeted this: “Tillis and Lee are both on Judiciary. I stuck my head into their hearing midweek and basically none of the senators were masked. The staffers around the edge of the large conference room were.”

Obviously, all of the senators in that meeting should be isolating for two weeks… but we all know that’s not happening. Add to that… Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is demanding all senators show up by Monday, Oct. 19th so things can move along. He needs them in person to have the required quorum.

Good luck, Mitch… and, might I add… I remember very well a different Monday, Oct. 19th… back in 1987. That was Black Monday, when the stock market crashed and burned and sent the financial world into a tailspin.

The only thing that might crash and burn this Oct. 19th is Mitch McConnell’s dream of installing a new Supreme Court Justice. As you may recall, Mitch McConnell was the one responsible for blocking Obama from installing a new Justice seven months before the end of his term, saying, at the time, “One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, 'Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.'" Notwithstanding the remarkable and blatant hypocrisy with respect to what’s going on now, you know what… Karma’s a bitch, Mitch.

Finally, on top of all of that, there are conflicting messages coming out of the White House and Walter Reed hospital… Trump is good, Trump is not so good, Trump is breathing fine, Trump is on oxygen, he’ll be going home soon, the next 48 hours are critical, he’s responding well, we’re not sure how well he’s responding. You can throw this paragraph away, because it’s entirely meaningless, other than to punctuate with some clarity one of two possibilities… nobody really knows what’s going on… or they don’t really want us to know.

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September 26, 2020

No numbers till Monday… though it’s worth sadly noting that by this time tomorrow, the world will have seen its one millionth C19 death. We have a long way to go with fixing things.

You know… “Fixing things” used to mean something positive… like, you have something, it broke, you fixed it… and now it’s good again.

The word’s more sinister implications… well, you have disgraced and disbarred former attorney Michael Cohen… Trump’s “fixer”… who fixed things like campaign finance violations, tax fraud and bank fraud. Evidently, like cheap scotch tape, his illegal fixes were temporary, and fell apart when put to the test.

I have a particularly fond memory playing poker. A friend went to the washroom, and in the 60 seconds he was gone, we “fixed” the deck. By the end of the hand, he’d put every penny he had into the pot, and lost it all on the last card. He couldn’t believe it, and we couldn’t stop laughing at the emotional rollercoaster we put him through. All in good fun; he was incredibly relieved to hear it was all a set-up, and he hadn’t actually lost his entire net worth. I suspect most fixed poker hands don’t end so well.

When it comes to elections, history has seen plenty of fixes… and some are so blatant, they’re ridiculous.

The Liberian general election of 1927 is a good example. There were 15,000 registered voters. One candidate received 9,000 votes – pretty reasonable. The other candidate received 243,000 (that’s not a typo).

It’s interesting to note that until relatively recently, like the mid-19th century, when you voted, you made your vote public. The British colony of Victoria, ie Australia, adopted a secret voting system in 1856… where a generic paper ballot was produced by an independent third party. Before that, each campaign would produce their own ballot, on a piece of paper with their own colour. To vote, you’d drop your selected coloured ballot… into a glass bowl. Surrounding those glass bowls would be party operatives or even the candidates themselves… persuading, bribing and even threatening the voters. It took guts to vote because, as you might expect, it was frequently a violent undertaking.

Fortunately, neither the American nor Canadian upcoming elections will be people publicly dropping red of blue pieces of paper into large glass bowls, for all to see. That would be crazy.

Unfortunately, what will ultimately happen may be another sort of crazy. I’m not too worried about up here; we haven’t had a disputed election ever, and the closest thing to a scandal was that Conservative robo-call nonsense orchestrated by some junior staffer in 2011.

But south of the border… fasten your seatbelt. I don’t think any of us, in person, have ever seen what’s about to happen… and it’s already started. The president is already calling it crooked, and has made it clear he won’t accept the result if he loses.

Disputing the security of mail-in ballots, watching the USPS dismantle the infrastructure needed for a fair election, seeing how a top official in Philadelphia explained that up to 100,000 mail-in ballots might be invalidated due to a technicality (Pennsylvania is one of those key states that could, on its own, decide the election)… it’s all just beginning.

Just like a slow-moving train-wreck, it seems everyone is watching with morbid curiousity, unable to do anything to stop it. No matter what, it’ll be a big mess to clean up. Let’s just hope we can one day… fix it.

 

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September 12, 2020

September 11th has been a relevant date in my life for a lot longer than 19 years… a sentiment you’ll hear from every Chilean.

Yesterday, you heard my 2001 version… and I was just a little kid, but here’s the 1973 version… events which have some relevance to today.

A bit of history…

In 1964, Eduardo Frei was elected president of Chile. He was the head of the Christian Democratic Party (CDP), pretty comparable to today’s Canadian Liberals. He held power until the 1970 election, where it was expected that the CDP, who’d been running South America’s best economy, would be re-elected. Unfortunately for them… well, recall our provincial election of 1996 where Glen Clark and the NDP, with only 30-something percent of the popular vote, won the election — because the Reform Party managed to snag enough votes away from the Liberals to tilt things in that direction — the same thing happened in Chile, a split of the centrist/right-wing vote… except the beneficiary and winner of all that wasn’t a moderate/leftist NDP… it was a full-on Marxist socialist by the name of Salvador Allende.

Economically speaking, things for Chile did not go so well under Allende, and on 9/11, 1973, a CIA-backed coup, supported by the Chilean army, navy and police force… took over the country. Allende committed suicide in the midst of the presidential palace being bombed and overrun by the military. The constitution was suspended. The Republic of Chile, formerly a model democracy, was instantly transformed into a military dictatorship.

All of this was initially supported by the CDP, who expected once things settled down – perhaps a few months — there’d be a general election and things would get back to normal, right? Wrong.

One of military leaders, General Augusto Pinochet, decided he liked the view from the throne. Suddenly, he wasn’t General Pinochet… he was President Pinochet, and there he remained until 1990… and left only after he agreed to hold a plebiscite to let the people decide whether he should be allowed to stick around or not. They voted him out, but not before he embedded all sorts of immunity clauses into the new constitution to prevent new governments from coming after him for his numerous crimes, accumulated over his 17-year reign of terror. What’s the relevance here?

It’s a scenario that’s played out numerous times over history; a country is slipping backwards, the military steps in to restore order, ostensibly as a stop-gap measure until things settle down, and the country can go back to being what it’s supposed to be… except that fascist military dictatorships don’t just appear out of thin air. And, more importantly, they don't go away easily either.

Something for our neighbours to the south to consider, in the days ahead, and relating to what I wrote about yesterday… it’s far easier to break things than it is to fix them. It takes one day to break them. It takes decades to fix them. Given that Donald Trump contested an election he won, we can certainly expect, no matter what happens, that he won’t leave quietly. He’s already laying the groundwork for that.

Like Boris Yeltsin, standing on a tank… or George W. Bush, standing on a pile of rubble – the WTC remnants on 9/11 – at some point, Donald Trump will stand up… my guess would be on the newly-renovated White House Rose Garden… or maybe the hood of his Cadillac… and demand, “Who’s with me??”

And the correct answer should be…. <crickets>

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August 19, 2020

When I was a little kid, we took a family trip to Britannia Beach and did the tour of the mine… which I highly recommend. Every aspect of that Britannia Mine is impressive. These days the museum has been re-done (they did extensive upgrades just before the 2010 Olympics)… and there is plenty to see and do.

One thing you could do back then (and still can today) is pan for gold.

They had a little fake river set up, and you’d take your pan and sift through the sand, and maybe find something. Indeed, you’d always find something because it was a tourist trap and they wanted you to leave happy… so for $5, you’d probably walk away with 50 cents worth of gold flakes that they’d salted the sand with.

For what it’s worth, panning for gold is a very Zen thing to do. Whenever I find myself on the banks of a river, I wish I had a pan with me. I really should throw one in the car, just in case. I’m unlikely to ever actually find anything, but… you know, it’s the journey, not the destination.

So… those many years ago, once I’d finished panning, the guy in charge fished out the few specks of gold I’d found and put them in a little clear plastic vial… full of water, and my little gold.

My father – the mining engineer – always had with him a couple of little gold nuggets that he had taped inside his wallet. Just something cool to carry around. One of them was perhaps half the size of a penny, and he took it out and put it in the vial. “There, that looks better”, he said.

The guy running the panning station was pretty amused, and they had a good laugh and talked gold for a bit… and, as they were talking, a busload of Japanese tourists showed up. They began looking around, and one came over to see what we were up to. The guy explained the whole panning-for-gold thing… and then my dad showed him the vial.

This tourist looked at the vial with great astonishment, and yelled out something in Japanese… which brought over more people, all of them looking at the vial with excitement. And then… they all wanted to pan for gold. There was only space (and pans) for maybe 10 people, but now there was a whole line up. My dad (and, for sure, the guy running it) were greatly amused.

So many metaphors and sayings you could attach to this little story. Certainly, the first one that comes to mind is… not everything that glitters is gold. The irony, of course, is that in this case, it literally was gold… but still, not the gold you’d expect. Pay attention to where the gold comes from. Pay attention to what you’re being shown. Be careful what you believe. I’m pretty sure none of those Japanese tourists walked away with anything close to what I had in my little vial. I wonder how many of them felt hoodwinked.

Yes, it’s election season down south, and there will be a lot of glittery golden messages being thrown around. They’ll look and sound so big and shiny and impressive. My American friends… and I realize the vast majority of people reading this are actually Canadian, but to those it reaches… like those Japanese tourists who probably didn’t go back to try a second time…don’t get hoodwinked. Once was enough.

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By |2020-10-08T01:09:45-07:00August 19th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, Politics, Sports & Gaming, Space & Astronomy|Tags: , , , , |12 Comments

August 18, 2020

Here’s an interesting coincidence… the adult human body has 206 bones; the earth has 206 sovereign nations. If you were to map each bone to a country, what would that look like? For example, I imagine all those little wrist bones might relate to all those little South Pacific Island Nations. Few people really know what’s there or what they’re called or what function they serve… but they’re a very relevant part of the bigger picture.

But let’s worry about what’s more important; the entire human body doesn’t work well without a solid, healthy backbone. You could say the same about the geo-political stability and general health of the entire planet.

There are 33 vertebrae in the human body, so we hopefully have 33 solid countries inhabiting this planet which, to some extent, the rest need to be able to rely upon… because the whole thing falls apart, or, at least, is in great pain… when those 33 are out of alignment.

There is no dispute what 33 bones make up the human backbone, and while there would be discussion as to what countries round out the bottom of the list, the top of that 33 would be pretty straightforward; all of North America, most of Europe, some of South America… the big players in Asia, perhaps a few in Africa… etc.

Indisputably, the U.S. would be near the top. There was a time in the late 1940s where, without a doubt, they were number one. They’re still top 5, probably top 3… but here’s the thing; they’re presently in pain. Like with a fractured vertebra, and the discomfort that causes. A pain we’re all feeling.

Back problems have treatment, but it’s not always straightforward. You can go visit your local friendly physiatrist or chiropractor or rheumatologist or whatever it might take. There’s a specialist out there who’s very familiar with what’s causing your back pain, and she’ll do what she can to fix it.

But, here’s the thing… if you’ve been visiting the same medical specialist for almost 4 years, and your pain not only hasn’t gotten any better, but it’s gotten notably worse… well, perhaps it’s time to move on. Even though you were told by others that this specialist was terrific, tremendous, the best ever… it may be that you need to reach your own conclusions. Your health and well-being depend on it. And, as per above, the whole world’s as well.

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By |2020-10-08T01:09:45-07:00August 18th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, Philosophy, Art & Literature|Tags: , , , , |9 Comments

August 12, 2020

If you followed WWF professional wrestling in the 80s, perhaps you remember the masked wrestler “Kamala” – ostensibly a fearsome Ugandan warrior. In reality, he was an American athlete/performer by the name of James Harris. And right around the time Joe Biden was deciding on Kamala Harris as his VP running mate, James “Kamala” Harris passed away, aged 70, of COVID-19. It’s one of those weird coincidences that mean nothing… but still make you say, “Huh.”

I have a suggestion for Biden/Harris. They need a catchy campaign slogan, and it should be this: MAAA – for two reasons.

First of all, "MAAA!!!" is the scream little kids yell out when they’re lost, looking for a parent… like the little kid who, when he was 6 years old, accompanied his parents to buy a new washer/dryer and decided to wander out of the store and walk around the block, not realizing that they were on Kingsway somewhere, and blocks around there are tri-angled and non-conforming, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can easily get lost… but fortunately, while the little kid was standing outside screaming "MAAA!!!", a kind stranger asked him what’s wrong and guided him back to the store where he composed himself and approached his parents who were just finishing up buying a new washer and dryer.

And the U.S. seems kind of lost these days, and needs someone to guide them back to where they belong. Like half the country is screaming "MAAA!!!"

The second reason is that it stands for what I think makes a lot of sense: Make America America Again. MAAA.

It’s my personal opinion that our neighbour to the south wasn’t so badly broken that it needed fixing to be “Great” again, but boy, did that slogan ever take off. I’ve never heard a good answer to the question though, from the people that support that sentiment… what exact Greatness are you hoping to recapture? When was America “Great” to the extent it’s not “Great” now? And frankly, however you define it, it seems to be a lot less Great today than it ever was.

What’s clear is that America, once feared and respected around the world… is now ridiculed and pitied. And unless you’re delusional in thinking things are going “Great”, then forget that particular adjective; you probably just want to see an America that used to exist and is, for the moment — like I was, wandering the streets around Kingsway all those years ago — lost. It won’t be as easy to find as I was… my MAAA campaign lasted maybe 30 minutes, during which time I really missed my parents. And at the moment, I’m really missing the America I’ve known most of my life. I’m not the only one.

This will be a lot tougher, but it has to start somewhere. Someone crank out a few million blue hats with that MAAA on them, and get on with it.

#MAAA

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August 7, 2020

I’ve changed some of the data and graphs, to more accurately reflect where we’re at, and to track information that’s now more meaningful. Doesn’t it look good? Tremendous. World leaders are calling me, telling me they’ve never seen anything like it. The colours, the numbers. It’s a beautiful thing.

I’ve removed the growth factor column, because it’s become less relevant as the meteoric exponential growth has tailed off. I’ve left the cases-increase column, because it encapsulates that growth, as well as being directly relatable to what came before it.

I’ve added a “Deaths” column, which is particularly notable in comparison to our neighbours to the south. There is a “Total Deaths” at the very top, and there is a daily number of new deaths reported in the column below it. A blank means zero deaths, and looking at today’s numbers, those at least look really good. Zero in B.C., Ontario and Quebec combined. There were 3 deaths in Alberta and 1 in Saskatchewan today, and that was it, across Canada.

I’ve also changed Deaths / Case to Deaths per 1 million of population… 497 in the U.S., 237 in Canada, 38 in B.C., etc. This more accurately reflects the proliferation of the virus, more apples-to-apples instead of being more about number of tests given. It’s 15,363 in the U.S., 3,137 in Canada, 776 in B.C. and so on. More on that below.

From a Canadian point of view, these are all pretty good. The continuing upward trend here in B.C. is worrying, but we’re being told it was to be expected. I’m not so convinced, and hope the actions we take today will be reflected in those numbers in due course.

Also worth noting… ever since the White House took the number-gathering away from the CDC and decided to do it on their own, the divergence between cases and deaths has grown. I’m not going to accuse the American Government of lying, but I find it suspicious that the numbers of daily new cases (which they control) have shrunk, while the numbers of deaths (which they don’t control) have remained largely unchanged. Like, average deaths over the last week were 1,041 daily… and 1,100 the week before; pretty similar. The number of new daily cases this last week were 55,604, while the week before that, they were 65,373 Ten thousand less daily cases, yet the same number of deaths.

Recall Donald Trump’s musings that maybe too much testing isn’t a good thing, because when you do that, you find too many cases. Whether he’s hiding numbers or testing less, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure though… a few extra coats of paint on the deck of the Titanic probably looked pretty good. Hey, guys, what about this big hole on the side of the ship? Yeah, yeah, but look at the deck! Look at the shiny gloss! Doesn’t it look tremendous? It’s a beautiful thing.

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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 17, 2020

What a beautiful day… I hope you all managed to take advantage of it, and if not… good news… it’s mostly supposed to stick around over the next few days.

That is good news; what’s not so good news, as usual, is what’s going on south of the border. I know I sound like a broken record, but sometimes it’s important. Many news outlets are keeping track of Trump’s lies, as they should… otherwise, you get used to it and normalize it and it becomes par for the course. Accountability is important, even if it’ll ultimately be after the fact. Some things are not an OK part of the new normal.

Yesterday came the news that the White House will be controlling the data. Today comes the news that the White House will block the CDC from testifying on re-opening schools.

Not everyone believes in prayer, but whether you do or not, keep Ruth Bader Ginsburg in your thoughts. She is a fighter, a trooper, a survivor… a legend. And, for the moment, her presence implies a significant tipping point for the Supreme Court.

But she is 87 and is now undergoing chemo for a 4th recurrence of cancer, this time pancreatic… having fought off lung and colon over the last 20 years. The reality is she’s unlikely to be around another 4 years, though we can hope. But given her fighting spirit, perhaps we can see her hanging around till the end of the year… or at least, long enough that Trump wouldn’t have the opportunity to replace her with a frightening ultra-conservative.

It’s funny (or perhaps tragic) to listen to some of the fervent Trump supporters screaming things like “This is not a democracy! This is a republic!”

There isn’t enough room nor enough time for me to voice what I’d like to try to explain to some people, and unfortunately, it might go in one ear and out the other. But, to be honest, when I started writing this daily thing exactly 4 months ago (to the day), it was all about the pandemic. It’s shifted to the management of the pandemic, where the vast majority of the world is handling it properly, or at least making an effort to do it as well as they can. We’re all familiar with the glaring exception.

But interestingly enough, with all my Trump bashing, I think I’ve gotten through to a few people. Every time I write about Trump, I hear about it from a few people, including family… not because they disagree, but because they know I’ll be facing a barrage of negative comments.

And for a while…initially, that was true. A few Facebook friends took exception to my continual bashing of their guy, and left. A few others have stuck around, and stuck to their… guns. And I do hear from them.

But there’s also a contingent that perhaps has seen the light; perhaps has managed to differentiate their political leanings from the person who’s supposed to be promoting and leading those ideals. Trump's falling ratings… the only thing he seems to genuinely care about… are indicative of that.

I’m not American and I don’t get a vote. But I have family and friends who live down there, and while I fully support keeping the border closed for now… I miss them; they miss me. Trump’s spokesman yesterday said, “Why would anyone want to go to Canada, anyway?” … and he continued with the usual “this is the greatest country in the world, and Donald Trump, blahblahblah”.

Well, to reply to that rhetorical question, the answer might be “to get the hell away from exponentially growing coronavirus numbers”.

It’s kind of melodramatic to say that the suvivial of the U.S. as we know it depends on it… but history is full of examples of Republics rounding that ugly corner. It all used to be a joke, how Trump might be the last democratically elected president. Ha ha, it’s not so funny now.

From up here, all we can do is watch…enjoy our sunshine and our safe, closed border. And worry. And hope, that down there, they figure it out.

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July 11, 2020

Greetings from Whistler… where… good news! The pandemic is over! We went for a walk last night in the village… lots of strangers hanging out, having a great time… no social distancing needed! No masks! It’s amazing, eh… a short drive up Highway 99 and it’s a whole other world!

If you ever get depressed about Vancouver weather… and I’m guessing today is as good an example as any, because it can’t be too different from Whistler, where it’s pouring rain… you know, when you open up the Weather App and it’s just a long row of rainclouds for the next week… you know what I mean… ugh.

So… what you do… is check out the weather in San Pedro de Atacama… and pretend that’s our forecast. That’s the place I’ve previously mentioned where it never rains. All you’ll see is an endless row of smiling sunshine. Isn’t that great? Once in a while, a little cloud will show up 5 days from now, wrecking that perfect visual streak. Poor silly little cloud; it’s just lost. Soon, mommy and daddy cloud will find it and take it up north, to B.C., where it belongs.

Yeah, of course, you’re fooling yourself. But maybe it makes you feel a little better, albeit briefly.

Indeed, if you like sticking your head in the sand… it doesn’t need to be in the sand of the Chilean Atacama desert… it can be a lot closer… Florida or Georgia or any of the 50 minus 5 states where case counts are increasing daily. Or, apparently, it can be Whistler too.

One thing has become abundantly clear; this pandemic will not end – truly, end – until there is a vaccine.

There’s a whole other discussion that emerges from that; the vaccine will probably only be X% effective. Many people, especially south of the border where health is a political statement, will refuse that vaccine. So let’s say only Y% of the population gets vaccinated. You end up with X times Y percent of people who are immune, and certainly that number will be far less than what’s needed for herd immunity. And so, this damn little virus will persist… much like the ridiculous outbreaks of measles… for which there’s no reason, other than the insanity of anti-vaxxers. It actually does feel like making one stick their head in the sand. At least it's warm, and not raining.

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