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


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On 6/4/2021 at 11:38 AM, TechSpotlight said:

Honestly, though, besides that it is really difficult to learn online.  Not sure why, but I believe it's because of the lack of teacher support/help/motivation.

On 6/4/2021 at 12:24 PM, green_line_26 said:

I feel more bad for my younger sister though, elementary schoolers love to run around and yell at other kids and sitting at home staring into a laptop is not engaging for them at all.

Agreed.  My younger daughter is in Grade 1 and does so much better in the classroom than she does on a laptop, possibly because she can get teacher/educational assistant support, peer pressure from other hard workers, and the lack of competing distractions, such as doing just about anything else on her laptop.  She loves art and music class, math is a crap shoot, and she does almost nothing in English or French.  During those two classes, she complains about being bored and then proceeds to watch YouTube videos or plays on any of a number of apps available to her.

Another issue is having to rely on our internet connection for hours on end.  Our router is often overwhelmed by having three or four computers livestreaming at once, and frequently drops the wifi connection--usually mine.  My kids never have network outages when they're using a pencil and paper while sitting at their desks in a classroom.

I was really hoping that Premier Ford would allow schools to reopen in some cities, but I guess he thinks the best way to protect essential workers in the GTHA is to condemn elementary school children in Ottawa, Kenora, North Bay, and Sarnia to online learning for the rest of the school year, even though his own Chief Medical Officer has told him multiple times that in-school transmission is very rare. :(

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On 6/4/2021 at 11:38 AM, TechSpotlight said:

Mind you, doing online tests and stuff is relatively easy since *technically* you can just have your notes open and/or use online resources while you do the test.  Honestly, though, besides that it is really difficult to learn online.  Not sure why, but I believe it's because of the lack of teacher support/help/motivation.

I never thought of that, that it turns everything into an open book test.  Yuck.  I hated those because the teachers would increase the difficulty of the exam and then grade it that much more strictly.  Have they been doing that with the remote learning tests or have they kept it more or less the same?  Unfortunately, the bottom line is that anybody in school right now is getting a compromised education.  Some of that couldn't be avoided, some of it could, but in Ontario at least, there's been nothing said about how they're going to clean that mess up.  I really feel for you guys.

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9 minutes ago, Wayside Observer said:

I never thought of that, that it turns everything into an open book test.  Yuck.  I hated those because the teachers would increase the difficulty of the exam and then grade it that much more strictly.  Have they been doing that with the remote learning tests or have they kept it more or less the same?  Unfortunately, the bottom line is that anybody in school right now is getting a compromised education.  Some of that couldn't be avoided, some of it could, but in Ontario at least, there's been nothing said about how they're going to clean that mess up.  I really feel for you guys.

I never noticed the tests were any harder, although I'm sure it was probably different for everyone.

Compromised education is damn right.  During the first lockdown in March, I was taking Grade 11 level Physics.  By the time we went into lockdown, we only covered maybe about 1/3 of the course.  However, some idiots at the Calgary Board of Education decided that in order to get through the school year, that teachers must slow the course down and perhaps not cover a few topics in order to make it all fit. HORRIBLE DECISION.  By the time I finished grade 11 physics and started grade 12 physics, I was totally not prepared due to me not learning some things I perhaps should have known.  Along with that, due to the online learning, the stuff I did end up getting taught, I really didnt have a full understanding of the material.  I dropped out of Grade 12 physics after a month and a grade of about 37%.

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Oh for crying out loud.  I'm recovering from a really nasty round of shiftwork that finished up just after midnight last night.  I slept in, had a nice slow morning for what was left of it, had some lunch, then took a nice, long, cool shower and that's when I discovered that my parents called and left a voicemail while I was in the shower.

The thrust of the voicemail:  Have I been vaccinated yet?

Honest to peter.  Did I not explain this to them four days ago when they called last that I'm on shiftwork and I'm not going to get vaccinated until I'm off of it in case I get laid out for a day or two after?

On the subject of vaccines, I bet my parents are going to be up at the crack of dawn on Monday to pound the refresh button on the vaccine booking website the second the over 70 crowd is eligible to move up their second shots.  There was an article in the Globe and Mail yesterday about that and one of my friends sent me a text message saying that Doug Ford has got to be seriously courting the baby boomer vote with the provincial election less than a year away.  The article was about how essential workers are getting screwed yet again because the province has decided that second shots are getting moved up only for the >70 crowd.  Essential workers strike out again despite all the experts agreeing that they need their second shots due to the risks posed by the variants in the crowded workplaces and we know from the previous go round that the crowded workplace risks are real and not an acdemic exercise in theory.

There were two other articles in the Globe and Mail that I read that were interesting.  One was an op-ed saying they need to get moving on reopening the Canada-US border.  The other was more general that travel should resume for fully vaccinated people.  The last two articles were pretty damning of the federal government for not having any plans on either especially given how that would be an incentive for people to get vaccinated.  The Globe and Mail is nobody's idea of a fringe element or fluff piece publication so those are credible editorials.  Bottom line, whether Trudeau likes it or not and whether it's convenient to his political agenda or not, the pressure is starting to build on both sides of the border to get on with something.

Unfortunately, the Globe and Mail's site is locked down really tightly that I can't find any way to post article links that are useable.  I can extract the full text and post that if anybody's interested.

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6 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

Bottom line, whether Trudeau likes it or not and whether it's convenient to his political agenda or not, the pressure is starting to build on both sides of the border to get on with something.

Not to worry, they'll just dig their heels in further.

https://toronto.citynews.ca/2021/06/03/covid-19-hotel-quarantine-fines/

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17 minutes ago, 81-717 said:

UGH. Trudeau and whoever else is responsible should be locked up in one of those "hotels" for a few days themselves to get a dose of their own medicine.

This should be coming up in a couple of weeks when Trudeau and entourage return home from the G7 junket in Cornwall.  It's going to be very interesting to see who the rules apply to and who they don't.

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4 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

This should be coming up in a couple of weeks when Trudeau and entourage return home from the G7 junket in Cornwall.  It's going to be very interesting to see who the rules apply to and who they don't.

I doubt anyone on this trip will face time at all in the Hilton Prison for Travellers.  Trudeau et al will deem the trip essential and avoid going into quarantine.  "Rules for thee but not for me!" <_<

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Actually, apparently he will be quarantining:

https://globalnews.ca/news/7921633/covid-hotel-quarantine-justin-trudeau/

The big question is, will he pay for it out of pocket or will we be on the hook for it? Hey, if someone else wanted to bankroll my stay at one of these things I wouldn't bitch nearly as much about them.<_<:(

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7 minutes ago, PCC Guy said:

Actually, apparently he will be quarantining:

https://globalnews.ca/news/7921633/covid-hotel-quarantine-justin-trudeau/

The big question is, will he pay for it out of pocket or will we be on the hook for it? Hey, if someone else wanted to bankroll my stay at one of these things I wouldn't bitch nearly as much about them.<_<:(

I think you answered your own question

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19 minutes ago, PCC Guy said:

"A hotel in Ottawa is currently being prepared for him and Trudeau — and the delegation travelling with him — will remain there until his PCR test comes back negative, sources in his office said."

This sounds to me as if he and his team will be staying in a hotel without any other travellers, which reduces the risk of them coming down with COVID.  If he really wanted to show he's serious about these restricitions, they'd stay in one of hotels near Pearson with all of the other international travellers and see what they have to endure for three days after arriving.

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Toronto Sun: Epidemiologist says school closures about keeping parents home

So this health expert is fine with using children as pawns to keep their parents at home.  He's obviously one of many who wants to crush COVID regardless of the cost to society at large.  I just hope he's happy with all the therapy our children are going to need once this disaster is all over.

Oh, by the way, online therapy was as successful with my girls as online schooling was--not at all.

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1 hour ago, tomsbuspage said:

Toronto Sun: Epidemiologist says school closures about keeping parents home

So this health expert is fine with using children as pawns to keep their parents at home.  He's obviously one of many who wants to crush COVID regardless of the cost to society at large.  I just hope he's happy with all the therapy our children are going to need once this disaster is all over.

Oh, by the way, online therapy was as successful with my girls as online schooling was--not at all.

Remember back to that disastrous press conference that Doug Ford and his minions did on April 16?  That was the same justification they trotted out after the uproar started over closing the playgrounds - take away a destination for kids' parents in order to limit mobility.

I'm going to call it as I see it.

It's gruesome how the age breakdown works out.  Children and youth have been completely thrown under the wheels because it's expedient.  18 and over up to retirement age have been tasked with keeping the civilized world running but had their personal lives cancelled, been back of the line for vaccines until recently, scapegoated and vilified for supposedly spreading COVID-19, particularly in the 18-40 age range.  70+ has been catered to in pretty much every way imaginable throughout the whole thing if they're healthy and living in their own homes.  The elderly in retirement homes got completely fed to the wolves.

Healthy, wealthy retirees living in their own homes got taken care of very handsomely.  The whole world was shut down and laregely remains shut down on their behalf to protect them from COVID-19 due to their health risks associated with it and they got vaccinated promptly in the initial rollout and are getting their second shots promptly as it got moved up to 70+ here yesterday.  The old folks in old folks homes?  Thrown to the wolves.  Who cares, they're out of the way out of sight, out of mind until the military went in to provide assistance and the lid got blown off that.  Working age?  Thrown to the wolves.  Keep working.  Keep going to work.  Getting sick on the job's perfectly fine.  Keep working.  No vaccine.  No fun.  Lots of blame.  Too many 18-40 year olds went to the park on the weekend so this mess is all your fault.  Keep working.  Keep getting sick on the job Monday-Friday but don't you dare enjoy yourself on the weekend.  Under 18?  Thrown to the wolves.  Completely.  No vaccine for 12-18 until recently.  Still no vaccine available for under 12.  School's been completely screwed.  Social development in and outside of school has been completely screwed.

Healthy retirees made out like bandits.  I know politicians always play to the senior vote because the demographic is large in terms of sheer numbers and the voter turnout rates have always been high, which means there's a lot of votes at stake there and consequently a lot of political clout.  That's the only explanation I can think of for how one group's come out leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else while everyone else has been getting creamed left right and centre the last fifteen months and counting.

I sure hope Doug Ford manages to get school and out of school social activities straightened out for September because if this mess continues, pushing two years of blown development for a lot of kids is going to have serious long term implications.  Even as it is, I think there's been some amount of damage done that's going to be permanent now; undoing the last 15 months completely is going to be wishful thinking.  But by alternating between outright using kids as pawns and kicking them down the priority list so completely as to neglect them, this is almost turning into a science experiment to see how resilient children really are and I'm worried that a lot of them might not be resilient enough to fully recover from this.

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My wife and I got our first COVID shots today.  Everything went smoothly at the clinic and we're both feeling fine so far.  I'm looking forward to when fortysomethings can apply for earlier appointments for their second vaccines.

I also found out today that our school board will be ending the school year three days earlier than planned so the students can return their laptops and clean out their desks during the last full week of June.  I've never looked forward to summer vacation so much as I am this year!

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‘It defies logic’: Americans want to know why Canada won’t reopen the border now (alternate link)

Finally, after almost sixteen long months, it sounds like the shit is going to hit the fan really soon.

I've been out of patience with the whole routine about how nothing's ever good enough to resume some vestige of normal life including managing the travel file to get that restarted in a reasonably safe manner.  I'm out of patience with politicians playing cheap games with the pandemic to suit their own purposes because it turned out to be a convenient way to turn around falling popularity ratings in the polls last spring.  Reading that article, especially the people who were quoted, it sounds like that feeling is becoming more widespread south of the border.

It's unfortunate that the Toronto Star only considered the American perspective in that article and completely neglected the fact that the reverse is also true and there's a large community of people in Canada who have been sideswiped badly by how this has been handled.  Then there's the other issues of travel between countries that aren't located right next door as well, plus the issue of the many other ways they've refused to let us have any semblance of normal life back beyond shopping.

Shopping is the only thing that's being allowed to return in Ontario tomorrow.  Everything else is either going to remain closed or has already been cancelled with no plans of reinstatement.  I should have a football game on Saturday.  I don't.  It isn't coming back.  Neither is the gym.  Nor is the barbershop.  We're still being forced to play the charade that not getting our hair cut is going to somehow save the world when the results of the science experiment over the last year has conclusively proved that there's zero correlation between getting your hair cut or not and COVID-19 case counts.

With mass vaccination well under way, with second shots rolling out rapidly, with case counts dropping rapidly, moving the goal posts and making excuses and playing BS games for purely political purposes is wearing thin and we're probably going to hear from more and more frustrated people who are getting close to the end of their rope.  Two weeks to flatten the curve and then some is over and fast running out of credibility.  Time's up.

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what drives me nuts is phase one allows non essential retail to open..... but shuts out stores in a mall with no street entrances.... we went through this crap last year around this time and then eventually  you  could go in the entire mall with no vaccines in sight at the time........

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16 hours ago, pccstreetcar4549 said:

what drives me nuts is phase one allows non essential retail to open..... but shuts out stores in a mall with no street entrances.... we went through this crap last year around this time and then eventually  you  could go in the entire mall with no vaccines in sight at the time........

I know.  And still not being able to get your hair cut.  There's tons of things out there where it doesn't add up and it's frustrating people to no end.  It's interesting reading the comments at the bottom of newspaper articles etc.  There's been a wholesale change over the last couple of months.  The shut it down, close it, restrict it, ban it, fine everyone huge bucks, blame shaming and all that has been largely replaced with people screaming open it up now.

Speaking of things that don't add up, here's another one following along to the article I put a link to in my previous post about travel.  So we all heard in the previous articles leading up to that one that sometime around the start of July, sources were saying that the first step of Canada's phased approach to restarting travel was going to be to ditch the useless quarantine hotels for fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents.

Leaving aside the obvious question raised by the math not adding up about why fully vaccinated something-other-than-Canadians still have to use the quarantine hotels, the frustration expressed from so many people in that article boiled down to when Patty Hadju did her press conference, that's all she announced.  She confirmed one rumour about step one, that's it.  Nothing more.  Which brings up the same question I've beaten to death for almost a year and a half now:  "...and then?"  Ok, so if this is a multi phase plan, what are the other parts of step 1?  What is step 2?  What is step 3?  What are the projections for implementation dates?  Nothing.

Changes to Canada’s COVID-19 border rules remain a work in progress for children, top doctor says (alternate link)

A work in progress?  Are you serious?  It's becoming clear that our government shut down travel and closed the Canada-US border 16 months ago with no plans to resume at the time they were closed.  It's also becoming clear that over the intervening 14, 15 months or so that the Canadian government didn't even get started on their homework assignment of coming up with a plan to resume them.  It really looks like they only started working on the issue two or three weeks ago based on what's come out in the media.  That would explain why they've had nothing of substance to say in the media other than vague statements about one part of travel restriction policy with respect to quarantine hotels and that it's a "work in progress" on unvaccinated kids.Obviously no contingency planning went into what to do with people who can't be vaccinated when the vaccines started to come on stream based on who they haven't been approved for yet.

It's blatantly obvious with the incomplete step 1 and completely missing steps 2 and 3 etc. of a multistep plan to resume travel that they only started working on this file recently when it turned into a problem instead of using the past 14+ months prudently to make a bunch of tentative plans for different scenarios.  Never mind, you know, actually being reasonable about travel instead of over the top draconian as a purely political play.  Judging by all the commentary I've seen lately, the popularity of that's come and gone.

No wonder the Americans are losing their minds about what's going on in Ottawa.  Someone needs to read Trudeau the riot act while they're all together in England this week.

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Here we go again.  This time it's from the CBC:

So you've had your second dose. What now?

The headline pretty much says it all.  It's another "...and then?" anyone could see coming that they have no answer for once again.  I'll copy and paste the first bit of the article:

The number of fully vaccinated Canadians is slowly rising and all levels of government are under pressure to start outlining which restrictions can be lifted for those who've gotten their second doses — and how they'll be expected to prove it.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has said it will offer some guidance ... eventually. But right now, the provinces are pretty much going their own way, which worries some medical experts who fear that a patchwork of rules could undermine the progress made in containing the pandemic.

It's so frustrating.  Once vaccine deliveries commenced in mid-December, even if the pace was slow at first, we all knew people were going to get their first shots and then their second shots and then...?   "...and then?" has been left unanswered yet again.

So yeah, first paragraph, obviously people were going to become fully vaccinated once vaccine deliveries started coming in.  Obviously that number's going to grow over time.  Going sideways on restrictions should never have been an option.  Compare to the United States, UK, Israel, and other places where they've made good progress and clearly defined what's ok and what's not for fully vaccinated people.  Canada, particularly Dr. Tam, have been adamant for months that nothing changes even if you are fully vaccinated.  That position was stale dated as soon as it was announced and it was only going to be a matter of time before people, especially the ones who are fully vaccinated, got fed up.  Anyone with a pulse should've seen this coming.

Second paragraph.  Holy crow.  Again, the federal government hasn't been doing their homework assignments  again if the Public Health Agency of Canada hasn't got anything now and hasn't got a date for delivering any guidance.  If anything, this is even more unacceptable since they had even more time to work on this because they effectively got an extension on that homework assignment because of the slow initial rollout of vaccines at the start with the delivery delays in February and March that gave them another 4-6 weeks to plan out how things are going to work when statistically significant numbers of people become fully vaccinated.

I really want to know why everything about the pandemic response in Canada has geared around maintaining a fully locked down status quo no matter what.

Is it incompetence?  Is it malice?  Is it crass political purposes?  Not that any of those are acceptable.

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I'm not very far at all from beginning to plan a getaway for the early fall. It is still insanely conservative that fully vaccinated travellers need to get tested before boarding the plane and after arriving, but I think that vaccines work, so I anticipate that this will just be a logistical headache (where the fuck am I supposed to find a goddamned testing site in a central European airport?????????) rather than a significant possibility that I'll be out of action for having tested positive. There was a tweet from yesterday that said that apparently we'll have enough doses to fully vaxx 80% of Ontario's population by the end of July, so this feels like a possibility for the first time.

I read the other day that apparently 70% of the spots on Air Canada's July flights to Italy are already booked, so I am hoping that the number of travellers way outpaces their testing capacity and they end up scrapping the whole thing.

...or at least that's what I tell myself, because I'm not sure how many more shifts at work running up and down the whole time like a crazy person I can handle. If "reopening the economy" means that the public is able to hassle workers at big box stores and virtually nothing else, it's not worth it.A

As for the issue of there still not being any guidance for vaccinated people, I'd be a little more sympathetic to that issue if the doomsday scenarios from last year came true and the only people who actually had access to vaccinations were the elderly. In that case, I would agree that making concessions for them would be nothing short of obscene. But with the vaccine much more widespread than I could've imagined in my wildest dreams, yeah, their total lack of preparation is alarming.

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Was reading about how some people plan on continuing to wear masks after COVID-19.

The only province to have an end goal is Quebec hinging on 75 percent of people over 12 years old having both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. During the beginning, it was not recommended to wear a mask to preserve PPE (personal protective equipment) for the frontline health care workers. Of course, they would have to change them out every few hours to ensure full effectiveness and protection from viruses.

The mandatory mask policy came in-effect almost a year ago depending on which region of course. To be honest, I feel bad for those that are told to enforce the requirement especially with how hostile some people become. Even if they are wearing it for a few minutes to do their business. 

I prefer not having to wear a mask longer than necessary considering it has been a challenge for some. 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/mask-wearing-after-covid-19-some-canadians-see-lasting-benefits-1.5466405?cid=sm%3Atrueanthem%3Actvbarrie%3Apost&utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A Trending Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR0RGM64Gimq7BPhfGk1WhMGIcwbPpw5MbFj89Zdq-JwVKtXaukT79AWMFc

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Vaccine passports are crucial to reopening. Why the delay?  (alternate link)

I'm really surprised by this article in the Toronto Star, especially considering a lot of the irresponsible fearmongering pieces they published during 2020.  It's actually a very serious, well researched, well backed up, well written slam on our government's ineptitude with getting moving on life after pandemic.  There's not much that I could say that wouldn't be redundant to what they've already covered so read the article.  Hopefully we'll see more of a push for accountability for the way things have been mishandled or not handled at all.

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Is anyone else's workplace making them wear goggles now too?

I know of quite a few workplaces which are, including mine. Apparently it's a new provincial regulation.

I suspect I will never get the answer to the question of how a pair of loose fitting goggles, no tighter than the glasses I already wear, is supposed to stop an airborne virus from entering my eyes, but there's clearly not been the slightest hint of a thought put into any of the rules put in place over the last year and a half, so this seems about par for the course.

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20 minutes ago, PCC Guy said:

Is anyone else's workplace making them wear goggles now too?

I know of quite a few workplaces which are, including mine. Apparently it's a new provincial regulation.

I suspect I will never get the answer to the question of how a pair of loose fitting goggles, no tighter than the glasses I already wear, is supposed to stop an airborne virus from entering my eyes, but there's clearly not been the slightest hint of a thought put into any of the rules put in place over the last year and a half, so this seems about par for the course.

A friend of mine in retail says "either googles or a face shield with a mask worn." Noting she wears glasses which it can be difficult since prescription glasses are made for the specific person and can't have something interfere. 

Transit operators I also know have also been mandated depending on how the transit agency's management wants to implement such rules. Especially if operating a large vehicle or doing a job task that involves a lot of risk/responsibility for several hours, it is a challenge especially those that have to wear glasses to see. Though it also depends on if the employer is working to accommodate or telling employees to stay home.

I can imagine all the human right complaints that are already filed over this especially those that have to wear glasses or have vision issues. 

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1 hour ago, PCC Guy said:

Is anyone else's workplace making them wear goggles now too?

I know of quite a few workplaces which are, including mine. Apparently it's a new provincial regulation.

I suspect I will never get the answer to the question of how a pair of loose fitting goggles, no tighter than the glasses I already wear, is supposed to stop an airborne virus from entering my eyes, but there's clearly not been the slightest hint of a thought put into any of the rules put in place over the last year and a half, so this seems about par for the course.

Huh?  No.  Not unless there's a surprise waiting for me as soon as I walk in the door on Monday.

I agree, this is bonkers.  It's right up there with us rapid testing employees now.  It's mooted by vaccination so why bother at this stage of the game?  The rapid testing might still have some remaining value among the people that haven't been vaccinated yet but the googles take the cake.  If there ever was any merit to it, it's largely mooted now and more and more irrelevant every day as more people get vaccinated.

7:45 AM Monday morning is coming a lot faster than I'd like.  I'll let everyone know if I walk into a sudden mandate to play dress-up as a chemical plant employee.

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18 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Is anyone else's workplace making them wear goggles now too?

I know of quite a few workplaces which are, including mine. Apparently it's a new provincial regulation.

I think I might have spoken too soon.  I don't recall hearing anything in the news about this being a new regulation and when I looked online a few moments ago, the volume of search results was immense and I couldn't tell what was new, what was old, what was a regulation from the province or what was a recommendation.

So what prompted looking all of a sudden?  I stopped at Tim Hortons while I was doing errands today and the first employee I saw was wearing regular glasses.  Then I noticed the rest of them were wearing safety glasses if they didn't have prescription eyewear.  Oh brother.  You'd think this was a busy workshop with machines going and not a coffee shop.  Protection from flying debris?  Yes.  Protection from COVID-19.  No.  Christ, no wonder one of my college friends who went into HVAC rails on and on about useless Ontario government overregulation.

Vaccines are going out at a truly impressive pace, case loads are dropping here and most other places, and the pandemic handling needs to be throttled down, both the legitimate effective stuff and the irrelevant medical theatre stuff, but all we're seeing is foot-dragging and grasping at straws to keep it going no matter what.

I get the feeling that tomorrow is going to be interesting.

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