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


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More public transit funding from the Ontario government to starve off possible service reductions. $150 million in additional funding to be exact even though I don't think it would be enough. They would most likely be providing "safe restart funding" for at least another year or two depending on how much both the provincial and federal governments will provide of course.

I don't think the demand will come back for at least another few years to regular levels. Especially when organizations are trying to figure out how to shift existing resources to in-demand areas or reduce certain areas. 

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-giving-cities-another-150m-to-cover-public-transit-losses-due-to-covid-19-1.5328713

11 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

Pawn shops can be a good source of reasonably priced tools and equipment if you can check out what you're thinking of buying and make sure it's still in decent condition, and not some piece of clapped out junk that someone hocked to get a bit of cash back out of vs. throwing it in the garbage.

Passed by one that's in one of the grey stay at home zones a couple of days ago that I've bought stuff from before and saw something in the window that I needed plus the open sign was on.  Park the truck.  Walk over.  Get hit with the obligitory astounding COVID-19 stupidity.

Start talking to the guy I've dealt with in the past and it turns out the open sign was on because they're open if you're doing anything involving loans.  That's ok because that's a financial service and that's allowed and there's no problem.  But if you want to buy something on the shelves, they can't do that because COVID-19 will kill everybody.

We had a good laugh about the Walmart exemption where they'll happily sell you a new iPad, a big screen TV, a camping stove and a kid's bicycle and whatever else in store no problem because they've got groceries at the other end of the building which makes all the other retail lines suddenly A-OK.

So we were talking about applying the same principle to that little shop, if it's ok to be open for "financial services" because they do loans, wouldn't that legitimize the other lines of business a la Walmart?  Their thoughts initially were yes, in principal, except they didn't want to do that because they know that Ontario's been reluctant to gang up on Walmart and Costco etc. with Doug Ford being on TV a while ago saying it's preposterous to start deciding what they can and can't sell and so on, but small businesses that are deemed to have stepped out of line have been steamrollered so they're erring on side of caution.  Fair enough.

So what happened?  Well, with the way we're so far down the road of different rules for different people, groups, entities, and specific boutique exemptions to everything, we decided cash and item could change hands.  Then we spent the rest of the evening shooting the breeze in the parking lot as the sun went down and the streetlights came on as the darkness at the end of day set in until it was closing time.  I've never seen the plaza's parking lot so empty.  My truck and the two cars that belonged to the guys working at the pawn shop.  According to them, it's been like that for almost a year now with the other businesses either mandated to be completely closed and/or gone out of business and this plaza that's got a small parking lot where it always used to be hard getting a space in the past has been a ghost town since March last year.

I was just talking to a friend earlier today and it is interesting that the local mall says "maximum capacity is 3,500 people." Plus announcements over the PA saying "health checks are required at the entrance."

Except, no one is even bothering to monitor the few dozen people in the mall or even the entrances. All that is required is mask usage when mall security does their roving inspections. Yet I can't even get a haircut even if there is a barrier and special training before reopening along with the additional time to disinfect and clean before the next client. Of course that is budgeted in their schedule. 

You would think the mall would lead by example. I guess they are just simply trying to accommodate the businesses inside to ensure the lease payments can be made and not terminated early. Talking to one fast food place and they said "if we don't get enough business, there is no point in being open without the demand."

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Mom passed on at 1530hrs today. Rest In Peace Catharina Dejong Feb. 26. 1919 - Jan. 30, 2021.

My great aunt passed this pass week, and after talking around, it turns out she was located at a home where there was an outbreak of COVID-19. I suspect that she passed due to the virus. I don’t think

I got word a day or two ago that my 90-year-old Great Uncle who lives in London now has COVID-19 and is in severe condition.  I really hate to say this but he is probably not going to live much longer

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52 minutes ago, GTAmissions1 said:

More public transit funding from the Ontario government to starve off possible service reductions. $150 million in additional funding to be exact even though I don't think it would be enough. They would most likely be providing "safe restart funding" for at least another year or two depending on how much both the provincial and federal governments will provide of course.

I don't think the demand will come back for at least another few years to regular levels. Especially when organizations are trying to figure out how to shift existing resources to in-demand areas or reduce certain areas. 

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-giving-cities-another-150m-to-cover-public-transit-losses-due-to-covid-19-1.5328713

I was just talking to a friend earlier today and it is interesting that the local mall says "maximum capacity is 3,500 people." Plus announcements over the PA saying "health checks are required at the entrance."

Except, no one is even bothering to monitor the few dozen people in the mall or even the entrances. All that is required is mask usage when mall security does their roving inspections. Yet I can't even get a haircut even if there is a barrier and special training before reopening along with the additional time to disinfect and clean before the next client. Of course that is budgeted in their schedule. 

You would think the mall would lead by example. I guess they are just simply trying to accommodate the businesses inside to ensure the lease payments can be made and not terminated early. Talking to one fast food place and they said "if we don't get enough business, there is no point in being open without the demand."

I went to my local mall to go to my  bank branch, which is  of course right at one of the “checkpoints”  the mall security guard looked so bored to be there  sitting at the table. and simply asked me  I answered no to those questions on the sign... 

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Friend of mine hasn't swam in a year and says she is borderline suicidal. I have a feeling the pools here won't open until sometime in July. I am praying that she stays strong. I am not doing so hot myself.  I don't sleep well as it is, but without swimming everything has just gotten worse. I can barely move right now. Need. Water. Might have to gather the pool squad and find a lake somewhere...

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I'm also struggling. Basically all I do is work and I'm really finding myself starting to hit a brick wall. The situation might get marginally more agreeable as the weather improves and I can go do photography again, but I'm losing hope of anything substantial changing for a really long time. I hope you and your friend can get to the pools sooner than later.

There was a story out of Slovakia about a bus driver in Bratislava who was smoking outside of his bus between trips. Some police officers inspected him as there's supposed to be a stay at home order, and because he was smoking, he didn't have his mask on (Slovakia has an outdoor mask ordinance), so they took him away and didn't even give him a chance to lock up his bus. One day, they will write a book on how not to handle the corona crisis and it will just be Slovakia in it. Outside of the vaccine distribution process, which is surprisingly competent for a failed state, they've made every single incorrect decision they possibly could've made. Every single measure they've taken was either too late, or complete nonsense. Unless there's a substantial uproar about just what is going on in this place, I think it's safe to say I can kiss my plan to ever move there goodbye. Horrible, watching the future you've been trying to build for yourself for so long go up in flames.

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1 hour ago, captaintrolley said:

Friend of mine hasn't swam in a year and says she is borderline suicidal. I have a feeling the pools here won't open until sometime in July. I am praying that she stays strong. I am not doing so hot myself.  I don't sleep well as it is, but without swimming everything has just gotten worse. I can barely move right now. Need. Water. Might have to gather the pool squad and find a lake somewhere...

That’s just heartbreaking, there’s a bigger pandemic coming, a mental health one...

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1 hour ago, captaintrolley said:

Friend of mine hasn't swam in a year and says she is borderline suicidal. I have a feeling the pools here won't open until sometime in July. I am praying that she stays strong. I am not doing so hot myself.  I don't sleep well as it is, but without swimming everything has just gotten worse. I can barely move right now. Need. Water. Might have to gather the pool squad and find a lake somewhere...

Well I'm not going to tell you to go jump in a lake... but I will say that an impromptu socially distanced social meeting that just happened to be near a lake may be a good idea for your squad's mental well-being. And you know, in the name of safety I'd recommend wearing swimwear just in case someone were to accidentally sidestep into the water, wouldn't want to be weighted down with wet regular clothes if you all had to go in and make sure they're okay.

Hang in there, will be praying for your friend too, and you :)

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14 hours ago, captaintrolley said:

Friend of mine hasn't swam in a year and says she is borderline suicidal. I have a feeling the pools here won't open until sometime in July. I am praying that she stays strong. I am not doing so hot myself.  I don't sleep well as it is, but without swimming everything has just gotten worse. I can barely move right now. Need. Water. Might have to gather the pool squad and find a lake somewhere...

That's going to be a very cold dip in the lake this early in the spring.  Unfortunately this is what it might come to though if pools don't open up in the summer.  It's been illegal pond hockey because everything normal's been scratched.  It's been illegal football at the local parks or hop a fence at the high school.  It's been illegal everything keep watching over your shoulder and hope nobody in a uniform shows up so far, so it's entirely possible it's going to be illegal swimming at the lake or river once things warm up.

13 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

I'm also struggling. Basically all I do is work and I'm really finding myself starting to hit a brick wall. The situation might get marginally more agreeable as the weather improves and I can go do photography again, but I'm losing hope of anything substantial changing for a really long time. I hope you and your friend can get to the pools sooner than later.

I've really been struggling too.  Everyone I know is struggling.  A couple of days ago on one of the warm days I went for coffee with a friend and a long walk before the whole locked down pawn shop escapade.  One of the things we talked about was doing a photo trip once it gets consistently warmer out in a couple of weeks.  Holy crow, the next morning my knees were bothering me.  I texted back and forth with the friend.  Same thing.  Same thing with everyone I know.  Eventually I asked if Ford or Trudeau were going to pay for everyone's physio after months of being government mandated couch potatoes.

I'm beginning to worry again about one of my football friends.  Back in the spring once they announced cancelling the summer season after the league instructed member teams to stop practicing, he started drinking hard and he used to not drink at all.  That's why I started up the small Sunday after football barbecues even though nobody was playing, even though social gatherings got banned to try and get this guy out and doing enjoyable stuff and it helped curtail the drinking quite a bit.  He went back off alcohol completely back in January.  But he won't come out to any of our impromptu football drills.  We had one yesterday and it was great.  I'm surprised after that long walk that I wasn't stiff as a board this morning.  But he's saying he's not ready to start up again and by the time he is, we may be in a third wave lockdown end of March, early April.  If that happens, the summer season's dead.  Again.  And I have no idea what that's going to do to the poor guy.

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They're now parroting the WHO in alberta, new strains, more contagious, booga,  booga...  at least our latest lockdown is much more common sense than ontario or quebec... despite prisoners and homeless getting prioritised ahead of fire/ems

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After so much negative feedback, my area is going back into the red level zone with lighter restrictions effective Monday morning at 12:01 AM. This allows personal care services like hair cutting services to open. Grey lockdown only lasted one week instead of the normal two weeks and then adjusted pending on caseload. 

The chief medical officer for the area got several hundred emails (I would have added one myself) which the reason why it went to lockdown (grey level) is because of the UK variant cases increasing. 

Hopefully the red level zone will last longer than two weeks. Still an uphill battle of confusion and restrictions being changed from time to time. 

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On the topic of the colour coded Ontario system, how come they haven't added a new class to their map? On their interactive map, white is the new "Stay at home order" class, but on their colour coded map graphic, that class doesn't exist. Why don't they have something like this? Usually stay at home orders are issued for only gray areas so I think it should have its own class

Revised_System.png

 

Also, our medical officer for Ottawa, Dr. Vera Etches or as I call her, "Dr. Etch Sketch", wants to place Ottawa in the Red Control Zone from the Orange Restrict Zone because in short, they're detecting higher COVID levels in our waste water. despite these increases in our, ugh... waste water, Ottawa is still only seeing less than 100 new cases daily (Around 60-80) despite these increases in our waste water in the last 2 weeks or so. I honestly think this scare mongering, and I don't know why Etch Sketch is going that route. She's actually one the few city doctors that usually recommends lesser restrictions than what other doctors are doing, especially in the GTA, but now she's scaring us with the typical "3rd wave, more restrictions stuff", which again, is out of character for her. Restrictions should be based on confirmed cases and hospitalizations, not by the crap that's goes into our waste system... THANKFULLY, unlike the last colour coded system Ontario had (before the weird Stage 1-3 crap), if we end being put in the red zone, DriveTest won't be cancelling people's test/examinations. Previously, If you were in a Red or Gray, you we're f*cked. Now, they only cancel examinations if your area is placed into Gray Lockdown or a Stay at Home order is issued.

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The City of Toronto is looking at having some vaccination locations available around the clock. Especially with the demand outpacing supply in terms of providing an adequate window of time between clients along with those that work certain shifts such as nights. 

I am aware that an online booking portal along with a call centre to assist those without online access is being implemented by mid-March in Ontario. To manage the volume of people who want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 along with being done in phases of certain groups of people. 

https://globalnews.ca/news/7681567/coronavirus-toronto-vaccine-rollout-24-7/

 

Final comments:

The next few months will be interesting regarding "herd immunity." Herd immunity means enough people are vaccinated to become resistant to a certain virus or germ. In this case COVID-19. Hard to say the percentage which will impact the rate of infection. Especially since it will take time to build it up to such a level. 

Once this pandemic is over and contained to a sufficient level, it will be interesting if those responsible will be prepared if another one were to occur. Since another pandemic will most likely occur and the only way to best handle is be prepared rather than be proactive and do things that haven't been done before. Such as rear door boarding and requesting businesses close down until further notice. 

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On 3/7/2021 at 3:11 AM, GTAmissions1 said:

The City of Toronto is looking at having some vaccination locations available around the clock. Especially with the demand outpacing supply in terms of providing an adequate window of time between clients along with those that work certain shifts such as nights. 

I am aware that an online booking portal along with a call centre to assist those without online access is being implemented by mid-March in Ontario. To manage the volume of people who want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 along with being done in phases of certain groups of people. 

https://globalnews.ca/news/7681567/coronavirus-toronto-vaccine-rollout-24-7/

 

Final comments:

The next few months will be interesting regarding "herd immunity." Herd immunity means enough people are vaccinated to become resistant to a certain virus or germ. In this case COVID-19. Hard to say the percentage which will impact the rate of infection. Especially since it will take time to build it up to such a level. 

Once this pandemic is over and contained to a sufficient level, it will be interesting if those responsible will be prepared if another one were to occur. Since another pandemic will most likely occur and the only way to best handle is be prepared rather than be proactive and do things that haven't been done before. Such as rear door boarding and requesting businesses close down until further notice. 

Oh we know they’ll be caught with their pants down....... governments don’t change...... 

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Today marks the one year anniversary when the pandemic was declared especially with measures not really undertaken before on such a massive scale such as capacity limits, physical distancing and mask usage. Having to hold out long enough with the necessary measures until a vaccine is created to develop herd immunity. To be honest, it has also given a bit of a learning opportunity regarding how viruses work and drawing on situations such as the Spanish Flu.

Fast forward today: A vaccine is available having to manage the high demand for limited supplies until volumes can increase. Usually, it takes several years to develop especially with the research and development costs involved to build the vaccine. Where as in this situation, it had to be worked at a faster pace with development and testing before introducing to a mass market. 

Even if the majority of the population is vaccinated against COVID-19, it will take a few months before restrictions such as mask usage and close contact is lifted. Pending that the virus doesn't mutate that leads to the vaccine no longer effective against the specific strain. 

I think all of us have suffered one way or other. Being a difficult year. Stay strong everyone.

 

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48 minutes ago, pccstreetcar4549 said:

Speaking of the vaccine I’m not sure I want to get it,1) it was rushed  who knows it’s long term effects 2) notice how just as vaccines are rolling out the media started up with all these variants?  🤔

These vids might help answer some of your questions. I found them to be full of excellent information, and not full of BS like some stuff floating around.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK0C5tFHze8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7xsOsrDmPQ

 

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Sometimes, you can't really win considering government officials are looking at a three week hard lockdown in the Golden Horseshoe area due to cases increasing. Trying to buy enough time before vaccine supply becomes more available to people who want one. 

I can't imagine being the person or the committee who is responsible for making such decisions. Especially Rick Hiller, retired general resigns from the head of the vaccine task force of Ontario. I don't blame him considering with the limited resources and options given. 

https://www.cp24.com/news/director-of-ontario-s-science-table-calls-for-three-week-lockdown-in-golden-horseshoe-as-province-reports-more-than-1-500-new-covid-19-cases-1.5350621

https://globalnews.ca/news/7697612/rick-hillier-leaving-role-head-ontario-covid-19-vaccine-task-force/

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Today marks the one year anniversary when lockdowns started happening with rear door boarding with transit agencies putting up caution tape to block off the front and only allowing rear door boarding. Especially reading about the controversy regarding the lineup at the flagship EB Games in Toronto (Yonge south of Dundas) for people picking up their pre-orders of Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal. 

Rear door boarding for conventional transit agencies lead to transit being free because there was no way to process tickets, passes or cash. Even if a customer wanted to pay, they were unable to noting that some agencies were keeping track of lost revenues in case upper level governments provided emergency funding. The capacity limit (10 for a regular bus or 15 for articulated) was also a challenge depending on frequency reductions. Until barrier can be implemented for operator safety and the collection of revenue.

 

Fast forward a year later: Mandatory mask usage and capacity limits are still in-place depending on region along with a COVID-19 vaccine available. Being delivered in a phased approach depending on region. 

The capacity limit on-board buses ranges between agencies. Some only allow 50 percent of seated capacity and others allow fully seated capacity with mask usage of course to protect others. 

I will admit, it will take time depending on when herd immunity is achieved (enough people vaccinated against COVID-19). Trying to get rid of COVID-19 permanently can be done, but it would require a lot of work and research to determine a strategy. Noting that some people never show symptoms of the virus which makes it harder to control and isolate such cases. 

An uphill battle. I don't think people can take another lockdown or tighter restrictions again and having to adjust to accommodate such situations. 

 

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Was at the local mall where customers have to use the designated entrances and answer screening questions. Though no one was at the entrance even after waiting a few minutes. Other people simply just going through.

Needing something at Dollarama, they ask customers for their postal code just to ensure that people aren't travelling from grey zone areas such as Toronto and Peel region. Especially since it is an interesting approach which the last time I get asked for a postal code from a retail business was just for a survey claiming "in case they want to build a new location somewhere, we need demographic data."

It is an interesting approach to ask people for a postal code before checking out. Considering the hope is the intention that it is only used for making sure it is local shoppers shopping and not for marketing purposes. 

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The official announcement isn't coming until tomorrow unless it gets moved up, but it's already been leaked in two places that I know of so it's probably out elsewhere too.

Everyone knew there was a league meeting today to decide what to do with the football season this year and I've seen posts from a couple of guys including one of my friends who has learning disabilities and playing football is his main thing.  He took the cancellation last year really hard and started drinking heavily.  Never drank before.  He stopped the drinking back in late December and started looking forward towards this year's season and he wrote up a couple of posts about that two and three hours ago.  I have no idea how he's going to take it when he finds out this one's been cancelled as well.  If word doesn't reach him today, the official announcement tomorrow will.

I hope someone has a serious plan to clean up the mental health mess this is going to leave.  Edit:  to be clear, the mental health mess I'm referring to is all of the fallout due to the pandemic and response to it, not the football cancellation specifically.

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On 3/27/2021 at 3:27 PM, captaintrolley said:

I can relate. Swimming is my main thing.

I know, and I know how much you've been missing it.

I can't find any league announcements but the Sault Star reported it:  NFC Pulls Plug On 2021

The bit at the end about letting player rest their bodies is disingenuous because nobody played last year in 2020 and we've all had a year off to recover from 2019.  But it is also the first acknowledgement I've seen that this second cancellation is going to be the end of the game for a lot of players.  I've been wondering what it means for me.  Let's be honest: anyone old enough to have ridden Gloucesters and trolleybuses by themselves in Toronto is well off into the upper edge tail of the age bell curve for full contact semipro football.  I guess I'm going to have to wait until 2022 to see if I can have at least one more time out.

Now what really bothers me is that I've been essential serviced throughout the whole mess along with a ton of other people and we're all in the same situation.  Keep working.  Keep working.  You're an essential services worker, keep working.  No vaccine for you.  Keep going to work.  Don't do anything fun.  But keep going to work.  Back of the line for a vaccine.  Don't do anything fun.  Keep going to work.  $400 no questions asked tax credit for people going on a long, perilous journey to the kitchen table to flip open a work from home laptop but nothing for you if you are required to go to work at work.  No vaccine.  No fun.  But keep working.

Enough.

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2 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

Let's be honest: anyone old enough to have ridden Gloucesters and trolleybuses by themselves in Toronto is well off into the upper edge tail of the age bell curve for full contact semipro football.  I guess I'm going to have to wait until 2022 to see if I can have at least one more time out.

Once you're over that curve, swimming is a good all body workout. Many people that have aged out of their 'sport' are swimming to keep fit (except now of course - so I am betting there are tons of folk that feel like a stiff knotted up pretzel).

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