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


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Just got my second dose today which is Moderna. First dose is Pfizer which the batch is allocated to the 12 to 17 age group depending on how many bookings they get. I could try tomorrow and get a Pfizer shot, but I would rather get it done since I would rather not risk a no-show appointment and not gamble on a walk-in. Since they only have so much supply on-hand to accommodate.

In other news, Pfizer is already working on a booster shot to address the COVID-19 variants. Working on submitting the data before mass distribution to ensure effectiveness against the new threat. 

https://globalnews.ca/news/8014256/pfizer-booster-covid-delta-variant/

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No specifics from prime minister on when travel restrictions with U.S. could lift

"We are not there yet" - Trudeau.  Trudeau still hasn't defined where "there" is, so I don't think it's going to be 13 days from now at 0001 on Thursday, July 22.  It doesn't have to be July 22 he fact that Trudeau can't articulate a well thought out plan with defined steps, parameters and projected dates even at this belated point in time astounds me.  It isn't like the federal government hasn't had the last 16 months to work on it and they have absolutely nothing to show for it other than saying "We are not there yet" like Trudeau's a broken record.

I had my first shot of Moderna today.  Woohoo.  28 days to go if we're going to do it properly and have another round of Moderna on the manufacturer's specified administration directions.

Parents called this evening.  They just wanted to let me know they're hitting the road in about a week once they hit two weeks from their second vaccine and taking a driving trip through Quebec because Quebec has indoor dining.  Seriously.  They don't want to do a driving vacation through Ontario until indoor dining is available here because if you're away from home and it rains, where are you going to eat?  Good question.  In the car?  Back in the hotel room?  Under an awning?  Patio table with umbrella?  I guess that's incentive enough to boot it down the 401 fast to get to Montreal in time for dinner since pulling off the highway to go to the Swiss Chalet in Belleville's off the table.

Then it turned into how great things are here, what a good job Trudeau's doing, blah blah blah blah.  That's because they're retired seniors living in their own home.  Everything's been retooled around catering to that demographic so of course things aren't bad.  In fact, Trudeau's getting ready to send them another pair of $500  COVID-19 cheques in September.  Of course, anyone of working age in an essential services job's been screwed on all sides nine ways from Sunday for the last year and a half and counting and blown a few prime years of their life doing nothing except going to work (Got COVID-19 on the job?  Screw you!) and then home again (Stay home!  Flatten the curve!) with no end in sight.  But that doesn't affect them so they don't see any reason why I should be upset about the circumstances I find myself in.

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23 hours ago, GTAmissions1 said:

Just got my second dose today which is Moderna. First dose is Pfizer which the batch is allocated to the 12 to 17 age group depending on how many bookings they get. I could try tomorrow and get a Pfizer shot, but I would rather get it done since I would rather not risk a no-show appointment and not gamble on a walk-in. Since they only have so much supply on-hand to accommodate.

In other news, Pfizer is already working on a booster shot to address the COVID-19 variants. Working on submitting the data before mass distribution to ensure effectiveness against the new threat. 

https://globalnews.ca/news/8014256/pfizer-booster-covid-delta-variant/

As of now I have my 2nd booked on the 15th, exactly 4 weeks after the 1st. I really hope they'll have Pfizer available to give out, since not all countries agree on mixing & matching different vaccines. America for one doesn't agree "except in exceptional cases" (how would one prove that?). Such inconsistency could make the logistics of international travel a dumpster fire waiting to happen. I also tried to get on a waitlist at a pharmacy so that Pfizer would be guaranteed, but haven't heard back yet.

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On 6/10/2021 at 10:20 PM, tomsbuspage said:

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.

My wife and I got our second shots tonight, Moderna this time, exactly one month after receiving our first Pfizer shots.  In addition, I've been selected for a survey to measure the side effects of the vaccine after both the first and second doses.

My wife got a call from her Dad yesterday, and he's inviting our family to visit him and his wife at their home at the lake in two weeks, once our second vaccines have fully kicked in.  In addition, they're inviting my wife's brother and his family as well, so there will be the two grandparents, my brother-in-law, his wife, their two girls, my wife, our three children, and I in the house, for a total of eleven people.  They are also on their way to Scarborough to visit his 89-year-old mother, who's been in near-total lockdown in her retirement home since COVID began nearly sixteen months ago.  These are the same in-laws who were terrified of the coronavirus last year and didn't want us even to visit them outside because our children were attending school in person.  What a difference the vaccines make! ^_^

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On 7/9/2021 at 1:37 PM, PCC Guy said:

They're open.  They've been open for quite some time.  That is, in the United States, and the sky hasn't fallen.

Once again, the border is driving me up the wall.  With respect to the border, I'm beginning to think Trudeau has walked himself into a corner.  All the major media outlets ranging from CBC through to the Toronto Sun and everything in between has run occasional articles about how it's clear there is no plan since last fall and it's become painfully clear with the last few announcements they've made about the border, there is still no plan.  The conservative media has been calling for the border to reopen for some time now, but now even the Toronto Star is calling time on it:  Keeping out fully vaccinated visitors may be politically smart, but it goes against science (altternate link) and Globe and Mail slammed them in that article, has a poll saying the majority of Canadians want the border reopened by the fall, and has another article which has a great quote in it:

Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said Canada’s successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign means there is no longer a sound rationale for current border restrictions or for blocking fully vaccinated foreigners. He said a blueprint to reopen is overdue.

“We need this plan today – not after an election. And it needs to be based on medical science, not political science.”

Ouch.  Consider who said that too.  If that isn't biting, I don't know what is.  Trudeau has boxed himself in pretty badly.  He has no plan for the border and he clearly overestimated how long broad political support for keeping it closed was going to last, and it's eroding faster and faster, and he has 10 calendar days to come up with something.

Local trolley museums?  You mean HCRR?  They never really closed to members.  One of my American friends who uses social media (And has been trolling Trudeau about the border on several platforms!) has been telling me about all the joyride "testing" they'rve been doing over the last 16 months there.  I keep asking if there's at least a clipboard for logging results or any sign of test and measurement equipment for performance verification, anything to indicate it's serious testing rather than playtime for the usual suspects and the answer's always been "not from what I can see".  There's nothing wrong with doing that in and of itself but when it gets taken to excess, when other people are frozen out/crapped on/ignored until it's time to pass around the hat and pay the bill on it, that's where I draw the line.

18 hours ago, tomsbuspage said:

My wife got a call from her Dad yesterday, and he's inviting our family to visit him and his wife at their home at the lake in two weeks, once our second vaccines have fully kicked in.  In addition, they're inviting my wife's brother and his family as well, so there will be the two grandparents, my brother-in-law, his wife, their two girls, my wife, our three children, and I in the house, for a total of eleven people.  They are also on their way to Scarborough to visit his 89-year-old mother, who's been in near-total lockdown in her retirement home since COVID began nearly sixteen months ago.  These are the same in-laws who were terrified of the coronavirus last year and didn't want us even to visit them outside because our children were attending school in person.  What a difference the vaccines make! ^_^

Yeah.  Just yeah.  There were some really nasty things said back in 2020 about how I could be contaminated, don't visit etc. from some of my relatives.  I gradually stopped talking to them because I got fed up with hearing it.  Sure, don't vist, don't visit outside, but you go on keep on taking advantage of the services my employer provides that kept going to work every day to ensure stays running.  It hasn't come up yet and I don't think it will until vaccine dose 2 + two more weeks, or about six weeks or so from now in my case.  Whenever it doesthough, I'm ready.  As soon as someone gets in touch to dump the first family obligation on me, I'm going to do my best Dr. Tam "even the best vaccines are not 100% effective so even if you are fully vaccinated, nothing changes" and remind them that even though they're vaccinated and even though I'm vaccinated, the risk of contamination is not completely eliminated and shut. it. down.

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4 minutes ago, Wayside Observer said:

Local trolley museums?  You mean HCRR?  They never really closed to members.

That's true, but I'm not a member so I haven't been able to make it up there... though not for a lack of trying. I did try to arrange a "covid friendly" photoshoot of the CLRVs bound for the states this time last year and got shut down. I am hoping, then, that they reopen before the border does, because seeing those particular units at Halton is going to be a pretty unique photo opportunity.

Exporail has been open to the public since February, from what I've gathered, too. The sky hasn't fallen there, either. Quelle surprise.

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29 minutes ago, PCC Guy said:

That's true, but I'm not a member so I haven't been able to make it up there... though not for a lack of trying. I did try to arrange a "covid friendly" photoshoot of the CLRVs bound for the states this time last year and got shut down. I am hoping, then, that they reopen before the border does, because seeing those particular units at Halton is going to be a pretty unique photo opportunity.

Holy crow it would be hard work to do a non-COVID-19 photo shoot of a frigging streetcar.  Unless you have the world's shortest focal length lens, you're going to be more than 6 feet away from it and whoever is operating it.  More like about 60 feet away to take a nicely composed picture with a normal length (50mm lens for 35mm, 80mm for medium formate etc.) lens.  You'd be outdoors, make it COVID-19 friendly by not doing any in the carhouse shots, wear a flipping mask outside in the wide open sunshine and fresh air if it makes the GEEZER population feel better.  So the usual suspects can all crowd together to run CLRVs around  for "testing" and post pictures of it on the internet but you can't photograph one from 50+ feet away.  Yes, that makes total sense.

It's HCRR's loss though, by flat out shutting you down, they missed out on a perfectly good opportunity to shake you down for money.

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Football has turned into an interesting subject.  With Ontario moving to Stage 3 on Friday, everyone got majorly excited since Doug Ford now says that's going to be allowed starting this weekend, right?

Wrong.  Just because Doug Ford isn't standing in the way anymore doesn't mean other people aren't so a couple of coaches and I had the unfortunate duty of pouring buckets of cold water all over everyone.  The city of Toronto and everywhere else that's been following Toronto's lead on this banned field rentals until after September 6 so right off the top, there's nowhere to actually get a field to legally play on for many teams until partway through September.  The league considered a compressed season pushed to the end of the summer and a fall season but rejected both.  A compressed season in late July/August is out of the question anyways because of the field availibilty ban that still stands and a fall season was rejected back in April when this was being considered because if sports reopen, getting fields is going to be tough competing with every other sport that needs them, getting referees and playsers is going to be tough due to the schedule conflict with university sports.

Unless a couple of teams can get enough players together and do the odd exhibition game in the fall, there isn't going to be any football until 2022.  The only thing that's seriously likely this year is teams running unofficial practices in public parks etc. and maybe, if we're seriously lucky, a couple of exhibition games sometime after September 6.  From what I've heard, the league's kept the insurance policy live so that's not an issue but coughing up $1,000 for a city of Toronto field rental's going to be financially painful assuming a time slot on a weekend can be gotten.  The other thing that's going to be really painful is getting teams going again after a two year break.  Nobody knows how many players are going to come back.  The guy who's staying with me is, I am, I know for sure three others are, two more are likely, beyond that, who knows.   Spring 2022 is going to be gruesome seeing how many teams fold over lack of players.  A lot of people worry it's going to be ugly.

The guy who's staying with me right now, his immigration consultant got in touch a few days ago and told him not to leave Canada under any circumstances because he won't be able to get back in and it'll flush everything he's done over the last couple of years down the toilet if he leaves.  I can tell that's added up over the last year and a half and he's hurting not being able to see any of his family.

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Minor changes in the works as Canada-U.S. border restrictions set to renew  (alternate link)

You have got to be kidding me.

With any kind of an official announcement still to come, all I can do is hope that this leak is a trial balloon to gauge public opinion before extending it yet again - and that the shit hits the fan tomorrow.

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1 hour ago, Wayside Observer said:

Minor changes in the works as Canada-U.S. border restrictions set to renew  (alternate link)

You have got to be kidding me.

With any kind of an official announcement still to come, all I can do is hope that this leak is a trial balloon to gauge public opinion before extending it yet again - and that the shit hits the fan tomorrow.

Considering they had 16 months to figure out something. Especially with the controversy regarding the World Health Organization saying "vaccines shouldn't be mixed with the two doses." Before they backtracked on their wording with some regions mixing two different vaccines because of the limited supply with some products.

They say there is an end to the pandemic. You would think there would be an end game plan, but instead they somehow must have either forgotten or deferred it. 

51 minutes ago, PCC Guy said:

Toronto board of trade calls for vaccine passports for non-essential activities

Man, all the good ideas are coming out of the woodwork now. Imagine popping into an electronics store or something and needing paperwork before you come in. This is beyond the pale.

Especially some businesses are short-staffed too with some employees putting in their resignation notice. Some regions outlaw providing "proof of vaccination" because of privacy concerns sharing private health data. I mean who wants to carry two pieces of paper to prove they received both doses or having to retrieve it electronically every single time. If a regular of the business, most would just give up checking the same person every single day.

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1 hour ago, PCC Guy said:

Toronto board of trade calls for vaccine passports for non-essential activities

Man, all the good ideas are coming out of the woodwork now. Imagine popping into an electronics store or something and needing paperwork before you come in. This is beyond the pale.

It's also not necessary.  Seriously.  Look at the vaccine rollout - it's past the point where 50% of the eligible people in Toronto have been fully vaccinated and far more are on their way in between first and second dose so it's going to be the vast majority who are vaccinated by the end of the summer.  All a vaccine passport is going to prove is that you've got the same thing pretty much everyone else has.  It would have made sense to have some sort of thing when fully vaccinated people were rare, but now with that being the majority, there's very little need.  Think about it, if you're looking at two people over the age of 12 walking in the door of a store right now, one of them's probably fully vaccinated and the other's probably partially vaccinated.  Is that vaccine passport really needed given that?

Honestly, this abysmal statistical analysis on part of the Toronto Board of Trade really makes me question if the extent of their mathematics skills runs to determining how much Bay St. can get away with fleecing Canadians, or if it's the sort of analysis that leads to the position that all the country's ills would be cured if they'd just do one more tax cut for big businesses and rich people since all the previous ones didn't work?

1 hour ago, GTAmissions1 said:

Considering they had 16 months to figure out something. Especially with the controversy regarding the World Health Organization saying "vaccines shouldn't be mixed with the two doses." Before they backtracked on their wording with some regions mixing two different vaccines because of the limited supply with some products.

They say there is an end to the pandemic. You would think there would be an end game plan, but instead they somehow must have either forgotten or deferred it.

Yeah, Trudeau hasn't done his homework on the border so he wants a 30 day extension on the assignment.  Again.  This isn't about following the science anymore.  The science has been clear for months and this has shifted further and further into the realm of pure, crass politics every 30 days as the vaccination counts go up, the case counts go down, the hospitalizations go down, the death rate goes down.  There should absolutely be an endgame plan.  Realistically, that should've been mapped out once vaccines started arriving but there hasn't been a plan to wind down the pandemic, any aspect of it, out of the federal government.  It's either rank incompetence and they truly can't get their act together to plot a way out of it even though we're clearly in the final stages of it due to the vaccine rolloout and the clear effects that's been having to the point that Dr. Tam sounds like a broken record divorced from reality whenever she puts on the "Even the best vaccines are not 100% effective" routine, or Trudeau is playing some really disgusting politics with keeping it going at phenomenal cost in every way possible to ride out the popularity boost from handling it to regaining a majority government in that election he's itching to hold.

As for Dr. Tam's "Even the best vaccines are not 100%" certain, show me something that is.  Off the top of my head, I can think of two things that are.  One of them's taxes.  The other is death - and it was like that before COVID-19 came along, so shove it!

One thing we learned back in April is that politicians can be forced to move if enough angry people vent on them that it puts the fear of being voted out into them as we saw with Doug Ford climbing down on the worst of the garbage he trotted out on April 16.  That needs to start happening and it needs to start punishing people in the polls, then we'll see some movement.

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8 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

It's also not necessary.  Seriously.  Look at the vaccine rollout - it's past the point where 50% of the eligible people in Toronto have been fully vaccinated and far more are on their way in between first and second dose so it's going to be the vast majority who are vaccinated by the end of the summer.  All a vaccine passport is going to prove is that you've got the same thing pretty much everyone else has.  It would have made sense to have some sort of thing when fully vaccinated people were rare, but now with that being the majority, there's very little need.  Think about it, if you're looking at two people over the age of 12 walking in the door of a store right now, one of them's probably fully vaccinated and the other's probably partially vaccinated.  Is that vaccine passport really needed given that?

You're absolutely right. The level of vaccination coverage in this country is already absolutely staggering, we are in a much better position with vaccination than the majority of countries, some of which may never, ever, reach our levels, and we're out here, like a toddler throwing a tantrum that we only got 99 presents for our birthday instead of 100.

Then, of course, it's also a nightmarish proposition from the perspective of a retail worker who'd probably be expected, by these out of touch clowns, to enforce this rule. If you ask the customer for proof, they'll throw a tantrum and you'll get written up for making the customer upset, and if you don't ask for proof, and management does a random spot check and finds that the person has no documents, they'll write you up for letting them into the store without documents. They can fuck allllllll the way off with this. Have retail workers not dealt with enough?

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15 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

You're absolutely right. The level of vaccination coverage in this country is already absolutely staggering, we are in a much better position with vaccination than the majority of countries, some of which may never, ever, reach our levels, and we're out here, like a toddler throwing a tantrum that we only got 99 presents for our birthday instead of 100.

I had coffee with a friend of mine the other night and we were talking about that part and the conclusion that we came to is this:  With Canadian vaccine distribution having caught up from behind and the majority of eligible people fully vaccinated and that majority growing daily, the situation ends up eventually flipping.  Instead of being everyone's problem, it becomes a problem for the unvaccinated which for the most part is the hesitant and the stragglers.  At what point do we decide it's no longer everyone's problem but their problem?

I hasten to add that for people that can't be vaccinated on legitimate grounds, it's truly unfortunate but COVID-19 is going to be a problem for them no matter what.  It doesn't matter whether we change tack from it being a whole population problem to an unvaccinated population problem position on it, the people who cannot be vaccinated are stuck regardless and I haven't seen anything said about how that's going to be approached.  Fortunately, in Canada, even if we catch up second shots to the first shot level and go no further, the small portion of unvaccinated people remaining are actually going to be fairly well protected due to being surrounded by such an overwhelming proportion of vaccinated people vs. other places where vaccine penetration rates are not as good as here.

This brings up another issue - the moving goalposts for the percentages.  I really worry that we're getting into "the enemy of good enough is perfection" territory.  Setting a high goal to reach is one thing but if it's set so high as to be unattainable is pointless.  I think the politicians, particularly Trudeau, are getting dangerously close to the point where people see a stratospheric goal, decide it'll never be reached, and then start throwing in the towel and this is exactly what we do not want to happen.

One more random thought, this time about the article about the border I posted in the Toronto Star that suggested minor adjustments but another extension on July 21.  None of the other media outlets I follow for articles about the border have covered it at all, not even in a short "the Toronto Star reports that..." type article.  Nobody else has touched it at all over a day later which is interesting.  It would be interesting to know the reasons why nobody else has gone near that story.  Star's sources wrong?  Nobody else can verify their claims?  Nobody wants to quote the competition?  Strange.  Seven calendar days to go, five business days to go including today and the 21st, so we'll see what happens soon.

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CBC: Fully vaccinated Americans could be allowed into Canada by mid-August, Trudeau says

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Canada is getting ready to welcome the world again, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quietly indicated late Thursday as his office disclosed a target of mid-August for when the border might reopen for fully vaccinated Americans.

And if the current vaccination rate remains on its upward trajectory, fully vaccinated travellers from around the world could begin arriving by early September, Trudeau said during a COVID-19 status update with Canada's premiers.

One question on my mind is what the re-entry requirements will be for fully-vaccinated Canadians returning from the US after day trips or short visits.  Currently, the rules require returning Canadians to upload both their proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test, taken in the US less than 72 hours before arrival, into the ArriveCAN app or website--BTW, I have neither a smartphone nor a data plan, so I'd need to take my wife's iPad and find a wifi hotspot to upload the documents.

Also, what if the trip is less that 72 hours?  I frequently travel to Ogdensburg, Watertown or Syracuse and return to Ottawa the same day.  I know I'm not alone, as 1.8 million Canadians and 688,000 Americans made same-day trips across the border in July 2019, according to Statistics Canada.  What is the plan for those kind of travellers?  I'm very much miss visiting New York's North Country region, but nothing has been said about further easing the re-entry requirements when the border finally does reopen.

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Global News: Canada will allow fully vaccinated American leisure travellers as of Aug. 9

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As of Aug. 9, American travellers who are fully vaccinated will be able to come to Canada for discretionary travel without needing to quarantine upon arrival, and the government-approved hotel quarantine program will also be axed on that date.

Fully vaccinated travellers from other places in the world will be allowed to enter as of Sept. 7.

American travellers and those other countries will have to submit their proof of vaccination through the ArriveCan app — the same rule in place for returning Canadian travellers since last month.

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21 hours ago, tomsbuspage said:

CBC: Fully vaccinated Americans could be allowed into Canada by mid-August, Trudeau says

One question on my mind is what the re-entry requirements will be for fully-vaccinated Canadians returning from the US after day trips or short visits.  Currently, the rules require returning Canadians to upload both their proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test, taken in the US less than 72 hours before arrival, into the ArriveCAN app or website--BTW, I have neither a smartphone nor a data plan, so I'd need to take my wife's iPad and find a wifi hotspot to upload the documents.

Also, what if the trip is less that 72 hours?  I frequently travel to Ogdensburg, Watertown or Syracuse and return to Ottawa the same day.  I know I'm not alone, as 1.8 million Canadians and 688,000 Americans made same-day trips across the border in July 2019, according to Statistics Canada.  What is the plan for those kind of travellers?  I'm very much miss visiting New York's North Country region, but nothing has been said about further easing the re-entry requirements when the border finally does reopen.

I just finished up a long phone call with one of my American friends a little bit ago and that's one of the things we talked about.  What we think it comes down to is that they are still strongly discouraging travel and by making convenient day or short duration trips impractical, they're going to be keeping travel down even though it's not as impossible as before.  This means tomorrow or the day after once the initial happiness is over and all the travel/tourism/hospitality groups look at the details and see how strongly this still discourages travel, they're going to be seriously disappointed that this is something but it falls well short of the silver bullet they need.  This issue is mentioned in this National Post article Canada to allow fully vaccinated U.S. tourists to enter starting Aug. 9 in 'preliminary' step to open border (alternate link) and it's a good article with lots of informative fully attributed quotes like this one which speaks to the issue of short trips:

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Business Council of Canada both said in press releases the new border measures were encouraging.  “However, we are concerned that the costly and cumbersome procedures that remain for fully vaccinated travellers will discourage short visits, including many business trips,” Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Perrin Beatty said in a press release. He added other outstanding issues include the ArriveCAN app, which he called a “poor substitute for a secure system of interoperable digital health credentials.”

Also, as of right now, the US border is still closed to fully vaccinated Canadians so it's not like any of us can plan any kind of trip yet.  That was another thing we talked about on the phone for a long time and what my friend and I figure happened - and it does not look good for either government when you dig into how the last week played out - is:

Tuesday last week - the Toronto Star ran that scoop story that there were going to be minor changes to the border on July 21 but another continuation of 30 day closure but nobody else touched that story.  In the absence of any other information, it looks like the border is going to remain closed since the Toronto Star reported that on Tuesday, through Wednesday and Thursday.  It really looks like Trudeau is hell bent on keeping this going.

Friday last week - word comes out that Canada is going to reopen the border to fully vaccinated Americans sometime in August.  When I said in my previous post about how people need to lose their shit on Trudeau to get movement out of him the way we did out of Doug Ford after the April 16 announcement of over the top restrictions, this appears to be what happened between Tuesday and Friday last week.

Today - the details of reopening to fully vaccinated Americans are announced but there's nothing about the US reopening to fully vaccinated Canadians.  There's another quote from that National Post article that bears repeating:

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told reporters he spoke to the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas last Friday and outlined Canada’s plans to change the border rules.  “He indicated to me at this time they had not yet made a decision. They anticipated current measures will likely be rolled over on July 21. They are obviously considering additional measures and data,” Blair said. “But at the present time, they have not indicated a plan to make any changes in their current border restrictions that are in place.”

The lack of reciprocity from the United States is somewhat understandable, even though it is indicative of another problem, when you look at the timing.  Bill Blair called up the DHS secretary on Friday to notify them of the changes to our border policy the same day it was announced that fully vaccinated Americans were going to be admitted to Canada in August.  That's a timing problem - the Americans got short noticed by our government and didn't have anything ready to go.  That's the other problem - neither side had anything ready to go.  The absence of making any plans over the last 16 months just came back to bite but nobody's really saying much about how irresponsibly the Canada-US border has been handled by both sides.  Next quote:

Blair said Canada would continue working closely with the U.S., and he is “confident that as the situation continues to improve in their country, that we’ll be able to maintain a reasonable balance in the measures.”

This is flat out BS.  The fact that the border measures weren't adjusted bilaterally and the Americans got completely short-noticed and it's lead to this lopsided mess means nobody was working closely with anyone else on anything.  My friend and I were talking about this, we think sometime in the next little while, there'll be a US plan to admit fully vaccinated Canadians and that nothing's been announced about that due to the absence of any plans in the works followed by the short notice, they're either probably scrambling to come up with something or going to let the border restrictions lapse end of day on Wednesday.

Then there's the issue of the damn vaccination goal posts that keep walking around.  We hit that magical 75% first shot + 20% fully vaccinated weeks ago and then found out afterward that's for domestic restritions only, which is not what Trudeau said about it earlier, and then it got moved to 75% fully vaccinated, and then to 80% fully vaccinated a couple of days after.  Right now, according to the CBC Vaccine Tracker, we're sitting at 69.7% first shot and 50.4% fully vaccinated of the overall population here and 79.7% first shot and 57.5% fully vaccinated out of the eligible population.  So we're above the 75% first shot by any metric and close to 80% first shot for those eligible but well below 75 or 80% fully vaccinated by either eligible or full population.  Granted, the vaccine rollout is going to continue to move along especially with the catch-up on second shots over the next three weeks between now and August 9, but the goal posts suddenly shifted down to some extent since  the political pressure became untenable over the last week.

There is only one thing that can be concluded from this dog's breakfast of a total shambles that's been going on with Canada's border policy is this:

The only science going on has been political science.

And that's total bullshit.

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Wait... what?

Testing Requirements

  • Allow Canadian citizens and permanent residents travelling to the U.S. for less than 72 hours to do their pre-entry test in Canada.

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2021/07/easing-border-measures-for-fully-vaccinated-travellers-entering-canada---permitting-discretionary-travel-for-citizens-and-permanent-residents-of-th.html

Even if you subscribe to the idea that it is necessary to test fully vaccinated people, what does this achieve? I suppose it is good, in a way, since this eliminates the possibility of you being stranded on a day trip (though it remains an annoying ass expense), but still... what?

 

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1 hour ago, Wayside Observer said:

Today - the details of reopening to fully vaccinated Americans are announced but there's nothing about the US reopening to fully vaccinated Canadians.  There's another quote from that National Post article that bears repeating:

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told reporters he spoke to the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas last Friday and outlined Canada’s plans to change the border rules.  “He indicated to me at this time they had not yet made a decision. They anticipated current measures will likely be rolled over on July 21. They are obviously considering additional measures and data,” Blair said. “But at the present time, they have not indicated a plan to make any changes in their current border restrictions that are in place.”

...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here's the story from the American side:

CNN: White House won't commit to reopening northern border, despite announcement from Canada

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7 minutes ago, tomsbuspage said:

...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here's the story from the American side:

CNN: White House won't commit to reopening northern border, despite announcement from Canada

One of the things my American friends and I have talked about over the last few months has been the, "Where is Biden on this?" question.  The Canada-US border has always been a much bigger issue here than in the United States, granted, but Biden has said nothing about it at all.  Trudeau's been the face in front of the cameras leading the keep it closed charge the whole time with usually a followup later on from US Customs and Border Protection saying that another 30 day extension has been agreed to.  We were thinking that either it hasn't come up at all and been off the radar for the time being or that Biden likes the border closed and likes letting Trudeau take the heat for it.

You know, I almost wonder if Biden's in a snit right now from being upstaged by Trudeau who got all the limelight for doing this unilateral announcement after totally short noticing them it was coming.

The next few days are going to be interesting to watch.  The northern states are going to lose their minds about the one way flow of travel dollars.  Chuck Schumer is probably going to lean on Biden again after having written several demand letters to get action on the Canada-US border already.  Biden needs Chuck Schumer's support to pass legislation through the house so a lot of political pressure can be placed on Biden that way.  Interesting times.  At least there's finally some progress out of our government towards resuming normal life but holy crow, what a shambles this has been.  The fact that all these supposed world leaders can't or won't plan around the consequences of the pandemic despite being on top of it with all their respective civil services and are happy to let restrictiongs go sideways while they play cheap politics is disgusting.

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Aw frack! :(

CNN: US extends Covid-19 travel restrictions with Canada and Mexico through August 21

Quote

A DHS spokesperson cited concerns over the dangerous Delta variant and said the agency is in "constant contact with Canadian and Mexican counterparts to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably."

The restrictions go into effect Thursday and remain in effect until August 21, "unless amended or rescinded prior to that time."

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18 hours ago, tomsbuspage said:

Yeah, another long call with one of my American friends last night and we were talking about that.  It definitively settles the whole "Where's Biden on this?" question about the border.  Conveniently hiding behind Trudeau's border announcements letting Ottawa take the flack for it, that's where Biden is.

One of the related things we were talking about were the news articles that came up every month for a while there with rumours that the white house was getting impatient with Canada and the US might unilaterally reopen the border if Canada keeps it closed but how every month, they'd quietly fall in line after the Trudeau announcement extending it another 30 days.  It's clear now that the sources behind the reporting in those articles were completely wrong.

Then there's the whole line in there about "The restrictions go into effect Thursday and remain in effect until August 21, "unless amended or rescinded prior to that time."  We talked about that too last night.  The Americans have given themselves an early out in their statement with that, so it'll be interesting to see if it'll get used.  The other thing is, Canadians can still fly to the United States and that has been possible the whole time.  Someone needs to explain to me how if I go buy an airplane ticket, I can fly to the United States, and everything's perfectly fine, but if I drive to the United States, it's somehow so drastically different that it'll cause the sky to fall.  Or you can accept the theory put forward by the Globe and Mail, the National Post, several American outlets etc. that Biden's keeping the border with Canada closed because he doesn't want to reopen it but not the Mexican one and get blowback for that.  In any case, the only science going on with COVID-19 for months now has been political science.

Anyways, given the current and near term states of the border, the one friend's planning to come up here in late August for the first time in 23 months so there's a practical example of travel dollars going one way out of the northern states right there.  As it stands, shot #2 + two weeks after brings me up pretty close to a potential August 21 reopening but I can't plan around heading south yet without anything firm on the border.  But I think this validates the decision to push my vacation time into the fall and hope things get sorted out by then.  There's a bunch of friends I haven't seen since February, 2020 or longer ago that I'd like to catch up with in person and stuff I want to do down there.

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