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    Ottawa, ON
  • Interests
    Public Transit (natch!)
    Coin and Paper Money Collecting
    Traffic Lights
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    Classic Rock
    and of course, my wife and children!

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  1. My seven-year-old daughter had a 24-hour gastro bug that has since cleared itself up. However, because she threw up on a school day, the school gave me a take-home COVID test kit and told me to keep both of my girls home from school until the test results came back. In fact, they even made me pick my nine-year-old up from school because the risk to the school was too great for a healthy girl to attend class, even though I didn't drop off my younger daughter. Of course, my sick daughter has long since recovered from her tummy bug. Meanwhile, here's how I feel about waiting for the test results: EDIT: My daughter finally got her test results on Friday (negative), so my girls missed four days of school because of a 24-hour tummy bug.
  2. Sadly, there is a name for people who think that keeping society shut down is the only way to live with COVID: voters. For instance, Premier Ford refused to introduce vaccination passports until a poll showed that 75% of Ontarians favoured them. There's no way that governments are going to ease restrictions as long as voters continue to see COVID as an immediate threat to their health and safety. Unfortunately, voter turnout is highest among senior citizens, which is the group most likely to demand continued COVID restrictions, and also the group most likely to vote Conservative. This coming Sunday, some of my friends and I are going to take our families to a local park with a playground and have a nice (distanced) picnic and get together. I haven't seen these friends in person in a year, only online in the meantime, and we're all feeling starved of face-to-face interaction. We've also been planning this for the last few months and this is the first time that our schedules and the weather have co-operated to allow us to meet outside on a Sunday afternoon. However, one of the mums is terrified of COVID, and so she is demanding that the children wear masks while they play together because each one attends school with vaccinated teachers and twenty other masked children. All of our children are less than ten years old and so cannot be vaccinated. My son is two years old and I haven't even started trying to get him to wear a mask, as I've been hoping and praying that the mask mandates will be lifted before he is required to wear one. The trouble is, I have little faith that the vaccines are preventing transmission, though they are saving lives, and until a real vaccine is developed that actually stops the COVID virus from being transmitted, I don't think the restrictions will be eased in any meaningful way. I just hope that the mask mandate is lifted before my son starts kindergarten in two years, but I have an uneasy feeling that I will be sorely disappointed.
  3. https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1000779/ontario-to-require-proof-of-vaccination-in-select-settings https://news.ontario.ca/en/backgrounder/1000780/new-requirement-for-proof-of-vaccination-in-certain-settings-frequently-asked-questions Call me skeptic, but I don't trust that businesses will accept paper vaccine receipts after 22 October. I've mentioned before that I do not have a smartphone, nor do I want one, and my wife has a smartphone but she does not have a data plan. Neither of us wants to pay the obscene rates that Canada's major wireless carriers offer. The cheapest data plan offered by Bell, Rogers or Telus is $80/month plus HST for 30 GB of data, which is twice what I pay for my flip phone's talk-and-text plan. Yeah, about that temporary measure. American economist Milton Friedman once said "Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program." Remember, income tax was introduced as a temporary measure to pay for the war effort... in 1917.
  4. Former IOC President Jacques Rogge has died at age 79: https://olympics.com/ioc/news/ioc-announces-passing-of-former-ioc-president-jacques-rogge
  5. I got a flyer in the mail the other day for "the very first and last annual, post-COVID, PPE-wearing, socially distanced, free, family-friendly BBQ block party event where we celebrate all the missed holidays and festivals, parties and get togethers at one big outdoor shin-dig." It was being held today at the church across the street from my house, sponsored by local businesses and our city councillor. I told my wife and daughters and they thought it was a great idea, and we invited my mother as well. This morning, I went and picked Mum up, put our toddler in his stroller and we all went over to the party. I should have clued in to the word "distanced". I expected to have to wear a mask except while eating, but when we arrived the event was already at capacity and there was a queue to get onto the church property. We were also told that once on the property, we would need to queue for the free hot dogs. We waited in ninety-degree-plus-humidity heat while Mum complained about her bad back and my kids complained about being bored, and we had to wait outside in the parking lot without any shade at high noon, so after a short time we turned around, went home and ordered Harvey's delivery so we could eat in air-conditioned comfort. Believe me, ordering Uber Eats for six people is expensive, even for fast food!
  6. CTV Montreal: Quebec to implement vaccine passport due to rising COVID-19 cases, premier says OK, how will this work for non-Quebeckers? I'm certain that the idea sounds great from Quebec City or Montreal, but how will it work in Ottawa-Gatineau, where half the area will require vaccination passports and the other half refuses to provide them? Speaking of Gatineau, I haven't crossed the Ottawa River, not even for a Sunday drive, since the pandemic began because I'm never quite sure what the COVID restrictions are over there on any given day, and also because the first screening question I'm asked is usually "Have you left the province at any time in the last fourteen days?" Looks as if things won't change anytime soon in that regard.
  7. Let's see... A SARS-CoV-2 virus ranges in size from 50 to 200 nm in diameter. A mercury atom has a diameter of about 0.3 nm. N95 masks filter out 95% of particles 300 nm in diameter, and your mask isn't N95. Good luck in there.
  8. CTV News: Ontario unveils back-to-school plan for September. Here's what you need to know The poor kids! I've read that COVID is a generation-defining event, like the Great Depression and the Second World War. It's no wonder that hundreds of thousands of Ontario children are being traumatised by the government's actions, especially the ones too young to be vaccinated. My seven-year-old daughter is nearly compulsive in her distancing, hand-washing and mask-wearing routines, and I only expect things to get worse as the restrictions drag on. And who are the restrictions protecting? Out of more than 89,000 COVID patients under twenty years of age in Ontario, only four have died. Yes, four. I can see the therapists rubbing their hands with glee at the money they are going to earn in the coming years and decades.
  9. Former Global News anchor Peter Trueman dies at 86
  10. I totally agree with you here. I have a science degree and I have been telling my friends for months that just about everything PM Trudeau and Premier Ford have been doing to fight COVID is based on fear, not science. I have been reading the news lately and seeing how British PM Boris Johnson is being excoriated by his opponents for reopening his country even though the number of new COVID cases each day is skyrocketing. Basically, the UK is being held up as an example of what not to do to stop COVID. However, focusing on new cases while ignoring how serious they are (or aren't) feeds the narrative that easing restrictions will lead to oblivion. I have copied some graphs from the Public Health England showing British COVID statistics, comparing new cases, hospital admissions and deaths since February 2020. The first graph shows that nearly 88% of British adults have received one vaccine and more than 69% have received both: The second graph shows the number of new daily cases of COVID in the UK. In April 2020, there were an average of 4800 new cases every day. In January 2021, there were about 60,000 new cases every day. And in July 2021, there were on average about 47,000 new cases every day: The third graph shows hospitalisations. In April 2020, there were an average of 3000 admissions each day. In January 2021, there were about 4000 new admissions every day. And in July 2021, there were on average about 740 new admissions every day: The fourth graph shows deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID test. In April 2020, roughly 1000 people were dying every day of COVID. In January 2021, about 1300 people died each day. And in July 2021? About forty people per day. Source: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ What I am trying to say is that the vaccines are working and most new COVID cases in the UK (and Canada and the heavily-vaccinated US states) are not serious. The number of hospitalisations and deaths is not following the curve of new cases. COVID is here to stay and it is time to move on with life.
  11. Aw frack! CNN: US extends Covid-19 travel restrictions with Canada and Mexico through August 21
  12. Kansas vocalist and violinist Robby Steinhardt died on 17 July at age 71: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/robby-steinhardt-kansas-obit-dead-1198999/
  13. ...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here's the story from the American side: CNN: White House won't commit to reopening northern border, despite announcement from Canada
  14. Global News: Canada will allow fully vaccinated American leisure travellers as of Aug. 9
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