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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - How are you coping with this?


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13 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

With 10 months of learning, gaining experience, with tools being added to the box like rapid testing that theoretically could have been used to resume something more akin to a normal life, with vaccines starting to be administered, somehow none of it matters?  Painful and expensive lessons that were learned are being ignored.  The tools, the rapid tests, they're not being used because for whatever reason, Trudeau has gotten out every excuse to prolong the crisis instead of getting out every tool and tactic to manage around it and get on with life.  Even with vaccines starting up, he hasn't sketched out what the endgame looks like, the we're here, normal's there, this is how we get from here to there and incrementally resume typical activities as vaccines roll out and the ability to test and manage improves.  Instead, he seems to want to go sideways forever.  Or, backwards even considering that the best that the provincial and federal government can do after almost 10 months of learning but ignoring the lessons, acquiring but not using tools, and having months and months over the summer and fall to make plans but not come up with anything, all they've got after all that is a return to Stage 1, ca. March, 2020?  I consider this and the mishandling of events leading up to it an abysmal failure.

And, does anyone even really believe that this lockdown's going to be for "only" 28 days?

I highly doubt it will be only 28 days. Especially how Justin Trudeau is pushing his so called "great reset." On top of his logic "budgets balance themselves." I mean considering how his government racked up almost $400 billion dollars of debt and the finance minister saying "we can afford it at record low interest rates."

Not everyone can afford to live this new normal long-term. Especially if someone has to rely on unemployment or other benefits to replace lost income. 

6 hours ago, Loud-Invero said:

Welp, I was suppose to take my G1 exit (G2 entry) test on the 15th of Jan., but thanks to the sudden deceleration of a lockdown by the Ford gov., my test is now de facto cancelled. I've been waiting since early September to get this test, since it's already been backed logged from the last province wide lockdown. Thankfully, our Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa Public Health disagree with the duration of the lockdown so MAYBE there is a sliver of hope that they can convince the Ford government to reduce the lockdown from 28 > 14., which would make the lockdown expire at 12:01 AM, January 8th. Maybe then my testing could be saved, avoiding yet another couple of months of delays. I was REALLY looking forward to break free from the hell hole that is OC Transpo, but I guess by cabinet directive, I'll have to endure the risk of public transit for much longer than I have hoped for...

For those wondering outside of Ontario, a G2 class permits me to drive on my own. I currently have a G1 that's a learners permit, meaning I need a G-dependent driver with me when operating a motor vehicle like a car. I can't drive on 400 series highways and always (as mentioned), need a dependent so my car is basically a prop most of week, doing nothing... Can't drive to work, to run errands, etc.

Screenshot 2020-12-23 065836.png

I think Doug Ford has no clue what he is doing. Especially since everyone is going to services such as the barber for a haircut and all the available time slots are booked up until they can no longer take appointments. Even when they can resume, those services will be backed up for a good while until the backlog is cleared up. 

Feel likes everything just changes and you can't plan something without an interruption. 

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The Ontario lockdown went into effect at midnight last night and it appears that the police are doing some pretty heavy handed fishing expeditions because of it.

The context is yesterday, December 25, was the last day of a run of 4:00 PM to midnight shifts for me so by the time I got back to my truck and out of the parking garage it was about 12:15 and I hit the highway for the trip home shortly after and drove through some heavy weather that got progressively worse as the trip dragged on.

I ended up bailing out of the highway because it was getting really bad and completing the rest of the trip home on local roads.  This led me to an intersection of two major streets in town a couple kilometers from home where two police cars had boxed in a car just outside of the intersection on the cross street that I was passing by.  I had a green light so continued on my way.  The police finished up with that person, made a right turn onto the street I was on and pulled me over and boxed me in as well, so they're doing this to everyone they come across.  The reason:  My rear license plate has snow on it.  After 70 km of driving through a snowstorm, the whole back of my truck is covered in crap so no, not surprising, to be expected, normal part of winter in Canada.

The license plate was the excuse.  The questions were all about where I was coming from and where I was going.  Keep in mind, on the actual Christmas Day itself, December 25, Ontario wasn't under lockdown.  That only started at 00;01 today, ie. right at shift change resulting me travelling home from work during lockdown which by the time this took place had been in effect for about an hour and twenty minutes.  Also keep in mind, I was dressed head to to in construction gear from this equipment decommissioning and demolition project at work that's deliberately being done after hours and on holidays to avoid disrupting the place's normal operation.  Then it turned into license and registration, but strangely not the insurance, which is fine.  Oh and my car documents?  They're in a binder from work with the company logo on the front so yeah, by the time that got dug out after we talked about my employment, yeah, the binder I kept after throwing out the manual for this system that was replaced something like 11 years ago totally agreed with who I stated my employer was.  So yeah, I just want to finish the drive home and go to bed because I'm tired and then start my days off.

1:30 AM in the middle of a bad snow storm in between the two statuary holidays of Christmas and Boxing Day.  This is not people travelling for Christmas gatherings they're not supposed to be having since that would've all been done and over with well before that time of night.  Most people are off work on those holidays.  Most people are in bed that time of night.  Most people would look out the window at the weather and scratch discretionary travel and stay home, in bed, where it's warm unless they have a really, really, really compelling reason to take their vehicle out on the road in the middle of the night in between two statuary holidays in truly foul weather.  The handful of people who were out there in that crap at that time of night last night were people like me who had no choice because of employment reasons where management sets your schedule and you show up and work where and when they tell you to start and finish up and go home when you reach the specified end time and the next person on shift comes in to take over or other unavoidable circumstances.

All that finished up and the two police got back into their cars and drove off together.  No further action since it was painfully obvious that I was going home from work.  It almost got to the point where I was ready to get out the essential services travel authorization letter that management issued me back in March.  They didn't go separate ways, they went together to find the next hapless sod that couldn't avoid being on the road in the middle of a blinding snowstorm in the middle of the night to box in their car and start the interrogation and intimidation routine again.  I talked to one of my friends about it on the phone this afternoon and he agrees with my assessment that this is a COVID-19 lockdown fishing expedition and he pointed out to me that the way it was being carried out from having seen how the previous person they stopped had been boxed in and how they did the same to me and drove off together to continue operating that way, that this was probably an assigned detail with a procedure for how it's to be carried out attached, ie. deliberate and nothing to do with any road slush on my license plate or whatever stated excuse given to the other person they had pulled over when I rolled through the intersection on the cross street.

So beware that there appears to be a heavy intimidation campaign on to keep people scared into staying home.  And, frankly, harassing shift workers who have to travel through shitty weather in the middle of the night to get to and from work is going to do SFA to stop COVID-19.  This has gone too far.  As soon as the next round of elections take place, politicians need to be shown the door so that the rest of them clue in and put the brakes on the BS.

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UPDATE:  I just got off the phone with the guy who's taken over the afternoon shift from me now that I'm on days off and told him to reprint the essential services travel designation letter from March if he doesn't have a copy with him before he leaves tonight in case he gets caught up in any bullshit on the way home when he finishes at midnight.  I also asked him to pass it along to the person on midnights too, but it might be too late since she could encounter garbage while she's on her way into work tonight.

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Phew, I'm so relieved that we've learned lessons from the dark days of the spring and are now reacting in a measured, reasonable, humane, and fair way to the threat currently before us!

...oh :(

I do wonder how effective all of this will be though. We are, thankfully, far removed from the days when we thought sitting on a park bench could throw you in the hospital. I see more people out and about than ever before, and not all of them due to work related things. The horse has left the barn.

I will say though that the one area where I greatly benefit from all of this is the the fact that our store has closed to the public. Sure, it never should've gotten to the point it did, but the amount of stupid customers that we dealt with day in and day out was really getting too much for me. Lots of people on the internet are mad about this, saying our store is essential and this is going to create inconveniences for them. Funny, apparently we're not essential enough to treat with a shred of human decency and respect, though. :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, PCC Guy said:

We are, thankfully, far removed from the days when we thought sitting on a park bench could throw you in the hospital.

Not in Edmonton. Everything is still roped off 'due to covid' and the need to physical distance. I get that part, but let one person sit down at least. Tired Lives Matter.

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I went to the mall today because I needed something from the drug store. Instead to find out that it is closed on weekends and only open from 9 AM until 4:30 PM on weekdays. Which was only posted today instead of before the holidays. Except Shoppers Drug Mart didn't post that info on their website. If I knew, I would have visited a different location versus going to the mall. Noting a security guard is posted at the entrance and you would need to provide a reason for the visit to the mall.

Interesting that during the first wave of lockdowns in March, they didn't have anyone posted other than advising to use the designated entrance. I guess since only the essential stores were open and there was no curbside pickup. The thing though is that Shoppers Drug Mart was only open from 9:30 AM until 2:30 PM Monday to Saturday. Sunday it is closed. 

To top it all off: The contagious strain from United Kingdom has shown in Ontario with two positive cases for that specific strain. With no travel history or high risk contacts, this strain already made it to Canada. 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/confirmed-cases-of-new-covid-19-variant-in-canada-are-unsurprising-experts-say-1.5245376

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37 minutes ago, GTAmissions1 said:

To top it all off: The contagious strain from United Kingdom has shown in Ontario with two positive cases for that specific strain. With no travel history or high risk contacts, this strain already made it to Canada. 

This should surprise no one. That strain was identified in the UK in September. Pretty much this entire saga has been nothing but humanity trying to play catch up long after any chance of meaningful action has evaporated.

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21 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Phew, I'm so relieved that we've learned lessons from the dark days of the spring and are now reacting in a measured, reasonable, humane, and fair way to the threat currently before us!

...oh :(

I do wonder how effective all of this will be though. We are, thankfully, far removed from the days when we thought sitting on a park bench could throw you in the hospital. I see more people out and about than ever before, and not all of them due to work related things. The horse has left the barn.

The reversion to a March, 2020 approach to the problem as if nothing's been learned and no tools have been acquired in the meantime was totally disappointing when the announcement came down.  After that trip home from work with what happened to me after I saw it happen to someone else and saw them head off to do it again to the next hapless sod that would probably rather be at home in a warm bed but had absolutely no choice about being out on the road in the middle of the night on a holiday in a snowstorm instead, I'm angry.  Any support however skeptical from me about how we're all going to save the world again one foregone haircut at a time just went up in smoke completely.

19 hours ago, Doppelkupplung said:

@Wayside Observer I hear rumors during the first lockdown back in April that the OPP was conducting random stops on on and off ramps to see where people were going...not sure how true this is. This was closer to my side of town, so the western side of H'tario on the QEW. 

I heard rumours about that sort of thing too but never encountered it and don't know anybody who did.  Back in the spring, if anything, the OPP should've been on the QEW given the driving I saw going on then.  Certainly there would be grounds for asking people where they're going that made them feel compelled to drive there at speeds in excess of 160 km/hr after pulling them over for that.

The trip home from work overnight Christmas/Boxing Day was the first time I've been stopped and questioned for being out.  I never had that happen back in the spring.  It's just the most recent example of things getting beyond ugly with the latest lockdown.  One of my friends and his wife pushed back a trip to her parents' place from Christmas Day to Boxing Day because of the same weather that ended up making a mess out of my drive home, which shifted their visit from the last day of pre-lockdown to the first day it was in effect.  They hid their car in the garage at her parents' place so it couldn't be seen to be reported or have the plates run to see if it belonged there.

One of my other friends invited me and one other person for a small Christmas gathering sometime next week and this was all planned well before this lockdown.  The date was chosen after Christmas specifically because of our respective work schedules.  We're having to do similar things with our vehicles to avoid any potential busybodies.  Also, the friend who invited the two of us over heard that police and bylaw enforcement would be driving around looking to see if there's an unusual number of cars in driveways or parked on the streets and running license plates to see if they belong in the area to bust private gatherings like this.  This one was already planned before the lockdown was announced and the food was already bought as well so we're going ahead.  If anything, hearing about what happened on the way home from work has only egged on the other two and drawn the enough is enough line in the sand for me.  So all three of us are in agreement and more resolved than ever:  We will be having our planned prime rib dinner as scheduled and that is that.

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We did it.

Operation Prime Rib last night was a success.

The other guest parked in my friend's garage and the door was closed so nobody could see his car.  The drive over was uneventful, if surprisingly busy with a lot more cars on the road than I expected.  I hid my truck in a parking lot a short walk away.  I cut across the lawn, behind a large pine tree, then ducked in the door quickly which had been left unlocked once I texted to say I was walking over.  The curtains were drawn tight.  We ate, we laughed, we caught up, we had a nice evening.

The other guest had to leave pretty early.  It was dark out though.  The lights in the garage were switched off, the car started, the door was opened, he drove out and off on his way, the door was lowered again.  I stayed for a while longer, one to spread out the departures, and because my friend and I wanted to work on some stuff before I headed out.  Once we finished up with that, we had a second cup of coffee and I got ready to go.

I put my boots on and zipped up my winter jacket and the hall light was switched off while I slipped out the door.  I quietly snuck around the pine tree again, cut across the rest of the lawn, then headed down the sidewalk back to where the truck was parked.  It was still there, sitting with the other vehicles in the parking lot, waiting in the quiet of the night for their owners to come back.  I carefully walked across the frozen parking lot almost slipping a couple of times, unlocked it, put the care package of dinner leftovers that I had been sent home with on the passenger seat.

I pushed the key down into the ignition switch and turned it over.  The big V8 roared to life and the headlights came on.  It's the sort of disturbance that punctures the stillness and darkness of the night in a parking lot where even under normal circumstances nothing should've been going on, never mind with the lockdown.  It's the sort of thing that sticks out like a sore thumb that busybodies might call into the authorities.  I let the truck warm up for a few moments, shifted it into drive, and eased it across the layer of ice on top of the pavement out onto the open road and began the trip home going over in my mind what I'd say if I got stopped again.  The whole trip was driven carefully with one eye constantly checking for signs of police cars parked off the road and for flashing lights in the rear view mirror but the trip was uneventful.

One of my friends who lives a couple of km away from me texted while I was driving  and we ended up grabbing a coffee and shooting the breeze in a Tim Hortons parking lot not far from our houses once I got back in town.  We compared notes on how absurd things have gotten, wondering how we all went to sleep one night and somehow woke up in East Germany the next morning because this is what they told us it was like there when we were kids and how things were better here.  From having seen the Berlin Wall come down in 1989 and it being fashionable to own a small piece of it in the early 1990s as a souvenir of the collapse of the iron curtain, I never thought we'd be living it here 30 years later in the 21st century.  Off in the distance from Tim Hortons, we saw the flashing blue and red of police lights reflecting off the buildings up the street, wondering what poor bastard was being put through the wringer for being caught outside of his house after dark.  We finished our coffees and eventually the police lights disappeared.  We decided this was probably a good time for us to head our separate ways and my friend went off in the direction of his house.  Looking at the dashboard gauges, I decided to take my chances and took the truck back out on the road to the cheap gas station and fuelled up at inexpensive late evening prices.  Heading back on that final leg of the trip home with a full fuel tank wondering if I was about to be surrounded by police cars again at any moment, I breathed a sigh of relief when I rolled down the street, saw nothing was out of place, and backed into my driveway.  The only thing I could think while I carried stuff into the house was how this is so wrong.

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2 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

-snip-

...put the care package of dinner leftovers that I had been sent home with on the passenger seat.

-snip-

It's a sad state of affairs when if stopped by the police you might get in more trouble for carrying leftovers from a small social dinner (as in where is that from) than carrying cannabis. (IIRC pot is legal in Canada now)

Glad to hear you had a good time! We all need to have time to socialize in person as humans regardless of what is going on.

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Ugh, I am really starting to get fed up with these shitty 24 hour news stations (for the Toronto area folks, I'm talking about CP24) that play on every tv in public places. We have this garbage on the tv in the break room at work day in and day out and it's a wonder that I manage to keep my lunch down. It's not bad enough that the world is collapsing around us, we also have to be reminded of it and all the ramifications of every piece of bad news (and there is no shortage of this stuff) every second of every day.

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On 12/26/2020 at 10:04 PM, GTAmissions1 said:

I went to the mall today because I needed something from the drug store. Instead to find out that it is closed on weekends and only open from 9 AM until 4:30 PM on weekdays. Which was only posted today instead of before the holidays. Except Shoppers Drug Mart didn't post that info on their website. If I knew, I would have visited a different location versus going to the mall. Noting a security guard is posted at the entrance and you would need to provide a reason for the visit to the mall.

Interesting that during the first wave of lockdowns in March, they didn't have anyone posted other than advising to use the designated entrance. I guess since only the essential stores were open and there was no curbside pickup. The thing though is that Shoppers Drug Mart was only open from 9:30 AM until 2:30 PM Monday to Saturday. Sunday it is closed. 

To top it all off: The contagious strain from United Kingdom has shown in Ontario with two positive cases for that specific strain. With no travel history or high risk contacts, this strain already made it to Canada. 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/confirmed-cases-of-new-covid-19-variant-in-canada-are-unsurprising-experts-say-1.5245376

I had that sane problem too. Carlingwood Mall was closed at 3 PM on boxing day, despite hosting alot of essential stores inside. Gotta love the limited capacity and less hours of operation combo <_< St. laurent Mall is the only mall I've been to that questions your motives to wanting to go inside.

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On 12/29/2020 at 7:15 PM, MVTArider said:

It's a sad state of affairs when if stopped by the police you might get in more trouble for carrying leftovers from a small social dinner (as in where is that from) than carrying cannabis. (IIRC pot is legal in Canada now)

Glad to hear you had a good time! We all need to have time to socialize in person as humans regardless of what is going on.

This state of affairs is something.  Yes, pot's been legal in Canada for a while and it's led to this strange situation where there've been jokes made about how pot's legal, hair cuts are illegal and the hippies have won up here.  I'm glad we went through on having that get together.  Last night, I was talking with someone I haven't heard from in quite a long time and the decline in that person's mental health shook me up pretty badly.  I know everyone's been getting rough around the edges but that conversation left me deeply worried.  We're making plans to do a clandestine get together at some point soon.  Both of us live alone and there's a thin almost useless exemption to that but we're going to do it quietly just to avoid unnecessary scrutiny.  The amount of secondary damage being done to people who've never had COVID-19 and most likely never will is astonishing along with the willingness to accept it no questions asked.  I hope the idiots mandating this are prepared to accept the consequences of that for years to come because that ship has sailed and it can't be avoided now.

I had extra food after cooking the other night and I ran some of it over to a friend's place.  His mother invited me in because she had something recorded on her PVR that she wanted to show me.  Technically, since I'd already been to another household and people living alone are allowed to associate with only one other household, me being in the living room for about 20 minutes was illegal.  They and I could've been handed fines if caught.  This is insane.

12 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Ugh, I am really starting to get fed up with these shitty 24 hour news stations (for the Toronto area folks, I'm talking about CP24) that play on every tv in public places. We have this garbage on the tv in the break room at work day in and day out and it's a wonder that I manage to keep my lunch down. It's not bad enough that the world is collapsing around us, we also have to be reminded of it and all the ramifications of every piece of bad news (and there is no shortage of this stuff) every second of every day.

I'm there.  The news doesn't get put on at home.  At work there's a bunch of monitors on the wall with system readouts and status displays plus a couple of utility displays that can be changed to a bunch of different things.  One of them's usually on the TV tuner with CP24/CBC Newsworld/CTV's counterpart up and the other one with another TV channel on it unless it's been given a purpose to display something specific for a project or fault investigation.  Anyhow, lately it's been one of the all news channels and one of the sports channels since one of the other guys at work is a major soccer fan.  One of the first things I do when I get to work is grab the remote control and turn them off.

The sports channel has been infuriating.  The way the shift pattern worked out, the soccer guy had it on because of the time zone difference agreed with his shift for a lot of European games but when I was in, it was showing a lot of college and NFL football which drove me up the wall until I decided to start switching them off because apparently, they've figured out how to play safely meanwhile we're not allowed to.  The whole semi-pro season back in the summer got scratched even though things were totally manageable here then.  The league in Quebec ran.  Then, once practices started up in the fall for winter indoor football, everything got shut down here again and that got cancelled too.  Seeing other people getting to go on with their lives is really pissing me off.

I actually downloaded and read through the Ontario restrictions documents for the red zone back in the fall when this happened and again for the lockdown and the number of fat wallet exemptions in them for various things is disgusting.  Sticking only to the subject of sports, and there are plenty of other areas covered in the paperwork:  Professional teams like NHL, NBA, major league baseball, etc. have an exemption.  "High performance elite athletes and parasports" also have an exemption.  We're not going to hit Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment or any other rich jerk that owns a professional sprots team as a vanity trophy in the wallet and the second one's clearly there so that Canada doesn't send underpracticed athletes to the Olympics and Paralympics this summer.  Junior can't play hockey though.  I can't play football.  Hell, junior can't even go sledding down the nearest hill without getting jumped by the damn cops apparently according to the news.  There's no standard like a double standard, that's for sure.

As for the news channels, I sure as hell don't want to see this either.  When I got into work this morning the CBC got switched off promptly but not before I saw a headline across the bottom of the screen saying that Canada's vaccine rollout lags behind other countries.  This isn't surprising given how they've managed to screw everything up here but dress it up as a phenomenal success because we don't have Donald Trump.

The news the last couple of days has been particularly infuriating with the growing collection of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do politicians that have been caught going on luxurious tropical vacations now that it's winter while telling everyone to stay home and imposing severe penalties if you don't.  Honestly, I thought I went to an overkill extreme subtrifuge to go to that Christmas dinner on Monday but wow, with the prewritten, prephotographed tweets, prefilmed Christmas message, the fake Queen's Park backdrop that didn't block out the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, wow, Rod Phillips has me beat hands down.  And Doug Ford was fine with this until it somehow got leaked to the media and then he put on an Oscar-worthy dramatic performance of outrage once it got exposed.  Then it comes out that the outrage's a total fabrication because Doug Ford knew about it for several weeks before the rest of us did and didn't have anything to say about it until it showed up in the media.  Add another politician from Alberta, add another one from Quebec and the collection seems to grow by the day.  These are only the ones we know of too.  There are probably others we haven't heard about.  Once again:  There's no standard like a double standard, that's for sure.

I have no idea how any of these asshole politicians can go in front of the cameras and tell people to make more sacrifices for longer with all the hypocritical garbage they've been caught pulling now but they're probably shameless enough to do it.  And, unfortunately, they're in control so if anybody doesn't like it or go along with it, they'll just bring the heavy hand of the state down on everyone else while they make sure to legislate more fat wallet exemptions so they, their family, their friends, and their donors can skirt around the restrictions.  It's the mandated indefinite suspension of our lives on health grounds that become flimsier every time a vaccine is administered backed up with the heavy handed enforcement concurrent with all the fat wallet exemptions and double standards that has me seething right now.

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9 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

The news the last couple of days has been particularly infuriating with the growing collection of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do politicians that have been caught going on luxurious tropical vacations now that it's winter while telling everyone to stay home and imposing severe penalties if you don't. 

This, I think, may be the most infuriating thing about all of it. We've seen no end of self righteous finger wagging any time anyone found themselves within a 5 km radius of another human being all year long, we've seen them dredge up dreadful old memes, (Jesus Christ, I hate Twitter) but all Tory could offer about Rod Phillips is that he made a "regrettable mistake"? Where is this compassion for people living in shitty, tiny apartments; for people suffering of loneliness, for people whose livelihoods have evaporated?

And does anyone have any hope that after the pandemic is going to be over, things are going to change on a societal level? Are people going to realize that healthcare isn't a frivolous extra, that 150 extra people in the ICU out of 14 million in the province being enough to set off alarm bells is beyond disgraceful? I dare not hope that anything will change at all.

All of that being said... when I look overseas at what is my happening in my beloved Slovakia, I am somewhat sympathetic, much more so than I was in the summer, to some of the fear and hysteria going around. And even to the necessity of implementing some measures.

Slovakia enjoyed early success during the first lockdown, managing an extremely low death rate with more mild restrictions than much of western Europe employed, but they have all but squandered those gains the second time around, which they can't afford to have done as they already had an abomination of a healthcare system even before the pandemic. In the fall, the solution was proposed to have a two week stay home order while they embarked on a compulsory national testing scheme. The experts warned that this wouldn't achieve anything of value, but they were ignored, and around 3 and a half million people were tested. Then they did another round of mass testing. To the surprise of no one, this failed to make any appreciable difference in the spread of the disease, and achieved nothing except for wasting a lot of precious money. Thus the virus continued to spread, while the hospitals suffered under the ever increasing strain.

I posit that they would have achieved somewhat similar results if they had just shuttered all the hospitals and given their doctors and nurses the pandemic off. Nitra, a city in the west of the country, has seen so much death and decay in their hospitals that they've had to bring in freezer trucks to store the overwhelming number of corpses before they are taken away to be cremated, not at all unlike the sickening scenes that were coming out of Italy in the spring.

It is shameful how the situation has been allowed to get to this point, and frankly I don't know what the correct way forward is. I am, obviously, no fan of lockdowns, and I don't think that they are sustainable or workable for any extended length of time (least of all not 10 months), but the Norwegian/Finnish approach of mild restrictions seems to only be suitable for countries with a functioning health care system which Slovaks can only dream of.

There is already a severe lockdown in place and nothing seems to be taking. The vaccine, by all accounts, should be the silver bullet, when you consider the demographics of the people who overwhelmingly require hospital services, but they have a shortage of vaccines. An official sardonically remarked the other day that people who had misgivings about the vaccine need not be concerned, because they don't even have a vaccine to give them in the first place! And I do not find the idea of tasking citizens with the job of protecting the hospital system to be at all workable or sane, philosophically, but considering the apocalyptic scenes coming out of there now, I do wish people could find it in themselves to temporarily show some restraint and stop crowding buses to go skiing and having massive gatherings (there were church services in the northern region of Orava, already one of the most hard hit regions of the country, on New Year's Eve), even if they only did it in their own self interest. And especially considering that they enjoyed a far more open summer than we did, they were free to do (almost) anything they wanted including travel all across the EU. At this point I don't know what could turn the situation around, though, besides the vaccine. All I know is it makes my stomach turn to see the horrors from Lombardy repeat themselves. I hoped that we had learned from Italy, but clearly we haven't learned a goddamn thing. I can only hope that the astronomical case counts they're seeing now are caused by the UK variant, because if this is regular old COVID doing its work, then it is going to be apocalyptic when the UK strain arrives.

And if I am fortunate enough to travel this year, I might just buy myself a lottery ticket too.

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On 1/2/2021 at 9:12 PM, PCC Guy said:

This, I think, may be the most infuriating thing about all of it. We've seen no end of self righteous finger wagging any time anyone found themselves within a 5 km radius of another human being all year long, we've seen them dredge up dreadful old memes, (Jesus Christ, I hate Twitter) but all Tory could offer about Rod Phillips is that he made a "regrettable mistake"? Where is this compassion for people living in shitty, tiny apartments; for people suffering of loneliness, for people whose livelihoods have evaporated?

And does anyone have any hope that after the pandemic is going to be over, things are going to change on a societal level? Are people going to realize that healthcare isn't a frivolous extra, that 150 extra people in the ICU out of 14 million in the province being enough to set off alarm bells is beyond disgraceful? I dare not hope that anything will change at all.

I know, a regrettable mistake.  An unfortunate decision.  A poor choice.  But hey, that almost three weeks must've been nice until CFRB 1010 caught wind of it and broke the story.  What really grates me is this lame excuse-making drivel is coming out of the mouth of the same John Tory that had city staff throwing the book at kids sliding down hills before the snow melted.  I read the article you linked to and it's a rogue's gallery of misbehaving politicians that have been slapped on the wrist, if that, while directing everyone else to suffer.

I'm concerned about hospital capacity too.  If it wasn't the pandemic it could just as easily be any other kind of natural disaster or even a large scale industrial accident in any town that's got a chemical plant.  We clearly don't have the headroom in terms of surge capacity to handle anything major.

On 1/2/2021 at 9:12 PM, PCC Guy said:

All of that being said... when I look overseas at what is my happening in my beloved Slovakia, I am somewhat sympathetic, much more so than I was in the summer, to some of the fear and hysteria going around. And even to the necessity of implementing some measures.

Slovakia enjoyed early success during the first lockdown, managing an extremely low death rate with more mild restrictions than much of western Europe employed, but they have all but squandered those gains the second time around, which they can't afford to have done as they already had an abomination of a healthcare system even before the pandemic. In the fall, the solution was proposed to have a two week stay home order while they embarked on a compulsory national testing scheme. The experts warned that this wouldn't achieve anything of value, but they were ignored, and around 3 and a half million people were tested. Then they did another round of mass testing. To the surprise of no one, this failed to make any appreciable difference in the spread of the disease, and achieved nothing except for wasting a lot of precious money. Thus the virus continued to spread, while the hospitals suffered under the ever increasing strain.

Reading between the lines, the expensive mass testing that didn't really result in any changes being made to affect the outcome almost sounds like it was political theatre.  All this money being spent and all this testing being done would pander to the "Do something!" crowd even if the net result is nothing.  Or, when you consider the zero cost of nothing, this is actually worse because no change vs. no change at phenomenal expense leaves the place worse off for having blown scarce money.  I strongly suspect it's going to turn into a "vote for the guy who got all this testing done" campaign for incumbents looking to get re-elected when the time comes, just like we're heading for a "vote for the guy who signed all the free money cheques and bought more vaccines per capita than anybody else because we gave up the industrial capability to make them here" whenever the next federal election's held.

On 1/2/2021 at 9:12 PM, PCC Guy said:

And if I am fortunate enough to travel this year, I might just buy myself a lottery ticket too.

You and me both.

I haven't had this conversation with my parents yet but at some point I'm going to tell them that when travel does become possible again, I have a long list of trolley museum things I'd like to catch up on and friends I want to catch up with and there's going to be a burst of trips as vacation time and finances allow and that I've sacrificed a lot for seniors during this pandemic, the least they can do is take care of my cat for a bit afterwards.  They're retired and they've travelled the world extensively in a manner I can only dream of.  I really don't think it's too much to ask for them to look after my cat when I do a bunch of weekend trips.  Unless they're planning another 10 week jaunt covering a good sized section across the globe to begin the second the all clear's been given.  "We've been housebound for so long and we weren't even sure the zippers on our suitcases would still work..."

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I don't think the lockdown restrictions will be lifted by January 23rd. Especially with the 7 day average in Ontario at almost 3,000 cases daily. Noting that more than 1/3 of long-term care homes are facing outbreaks.

Only 4 days into 2021. I think the worst is yet to come with some people who still went to New Years Eve celebrations. I know friends who recently contracted COVID-19 especially during the holidays. Even when they recover, the long-term effects are unknown. 

The next few weeks of 2021 will be an uphill battle depending on how the trend goes. Almost 10 months since a pandemic was declared. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-ontario-january-4-2021-update-1.5860482?fbclid=IwAR0XQ8STTDDSmFecxPiyJkrPsY_EX_yw_JU0TwlCe_LBSv5mAGfbYP0bRug

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21 hours ago, GTAmissions1 said:

I don't think the lockdown restrictions will be lifted by January 23rd. Especially with the 7 day average in Ontario at almost 3,000 cases daily. Noting that more than 1/3 of long-term care homes are facing outbreaks.

Only 4 days into 2021. I think the worst is yet to come with some people who still went to New Years Eve celebrations. I know friends who recently contracted COVID-19 especially during the holidays. Even when they recover, the long-term effects are unknown. 

The next few weeks of 2021 will be an uphill battle depending on how the trend goes. Almost 10 months since a pandemic was declared. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-ontario-january-4-2021-update-1.5860482?fbclid=IwAR0XQ8STTDDSmFecxPiyJkrPsY_EX_yw_JU0TwlCe_LBSv5mAGfbYP0bRug

Agreed.  The bulge from Christmas to New Year's hasn't finished yet and that will only complete pretty close to January 23rd which pretty much guarantees at least one more 28 day period.  I'm curious if they're only planning in 28 day blocks or if they have an actual plan for something longer but they're only announcing it to the public in 28 day increments much like the "two weeks" business from the first go round.

Long term effects?  Too early to tell.  I'm living with the long term effects of nearly getting blown to smithereens and some of the later consequences emerged at the 9 year mark so learning from that experience (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know we're not supposed to be doing that learn from experience thing), it's going to be a long make changes in response to how it goes for a long time after.  Hopefully the lingering effects aren't going to be too severe, if any.

So apparently Quebec is considering a "full lockdown".  I guess what that is, is a warning to the people who have the means to high tail it out to a recreational property outside the province, take off on that vacation somewhere warm, or hide up north or down east along the river in the family chateau in the Laurentians or eastern townships before getting caught up in anything that's going to shut down the little people.

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4 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

Agreed.  The bulge from Christmas to New Year's hasn't finished yet and that will only complete pretty close to January 23rd which pretty much guarantees at least one more 28 day period.  I'm curious if they're only planning in 28 day blocks or if they have an actual plan for something longer but they're only announcing it to the public in 28 day increments much like the "two weeks" business from the first go round.

Long term effects?  Too early to tell.  I'm living with the long term effects of nearly getting blown to smithereens and some of the later consequences emerged at the 9 year mark so learning from that experience (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know we're not supposed to be doing that learn from experience thing), it's going to be a long make changes in response to how it goes for a long time after.  Hopefully the lingering effects aren't going to be too severe, if any.

So apparently Quebec is considering a "full lockdown".  I guess what that is, is a warning to the people who have the means to high tail it out to a recreational property outside the province, take off on that vacation somewhere warm, or hide up north or down east along the river in the family chateau in the Laurentians or eastern townships before getting caught up in anything that's going to shut down the little people.

Reading from a CityNews Toronto Facebook post, this is the case per 100K people.

Ontario: 1,363 cases per 100K

Quebec: 2,546 cases per 100K

Pretty much those that live in Gatineau or have property in the area will try and flock to the Ontario side. Unless they have a spot-check at the bridges which has been done before. Divided between giving enough notice for people and businesses to adjust and those that use it to leave the area.

47 minutes ago, MVTArider said:

If this is legit, wow :(

Here is the article regarding the incident: 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/gatineau-police-new-years-altercation-1.5859782

The perception was that if they were called, they would simply disperse the group. At the same time, the group did get ticketed and two charged. One for assault and obstruction of a peace officer. Having to need backup to assist with the group. Especially with the case rate that Quebec has, pretty much try to deter people from having mass groups of people at any one-time. 

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Between Trudeau and Co.'s short notice right before a three day weekend announcement that all incoming air travellers to Canada have to have a negative PCR (not rapid) test within 72 hours of their flight's departure and still have to quarantine for two weeks after landing even if's negative - which it will be since they won't be allowed to fly into the country if it's positive - leading to a hell of a scramble going on now, we can now add Doug Ford's announcement today for voluntary testing for international arrivals who've already tested negative once before and still have to quarantine for two weeks anyways despite testing negative at least once, if not twice!

What a colossal waste of money, of test materials, of lab capacity, of time to retest incoming international travellers who are going to already be tested negative before flying in who still have to go into quarantine for two weeks anyways.  This is triple redundancy because it looks good politically and plays to the whole stay home routine the people in charge have been saying but not doing going all the way back to Easter. 

Meanwhile there's no move on testing people flying domestically at either end of their trips to keep a lid on spread due to within Canada travel.  If the Ontario government is going to do this, it would make far more sense to test people who are not going to be tested already and have no requirement to quarantine where it might actually catch and divert undetected COVID-19 cases into quarantine that would otherwise go undiscovered until well after arriving in Ontario or flying from one location to another within the province.

I'm sorry but this doesn't even pass the most basic analysis here.

Now it comes out that Doug Ford's thinking about a curfew but he wants to see the numbers first.  Sure, a day or two of seeing the numbers bought enough time to let the Quebec premier go first at his 5:00 PM press conference today and drop the announcement of a lockdown with curfew on everyone there, which clears the way for Doug Ford to follow.  I'm suspecting within the next couple of days, Doug Ford's going to announce that after seeing more numbers, the lockdown's getting extended and a curfew's getting added.  An announcement Friday afternoon to take effect 00:01 Monday maybe?  I really hope I'm wrong.  I really, really, really hope I'm wrong.  Otherwise every essential services shiftworker is going to have a nightmare simply getting to and from work, nevermind getting through the 8 hours of whatever their employer throws at them between the two commutes.

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1 hour ago, Benton Harper said:

The PCR test is not reliable, massive false postivies, but WHY were our borders not shut down in December 2019, and maybe even sooner

Probably because no one knew anything unusual was happening until New Year's Eve.

https://www.who.int/csr/don/05-january-2020-pneumonia-of-unkown-cause-china/en/

That being said, a bit of early panic to kill the pandemic before it became one probably wouldn't have hurt.

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