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


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There it is.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/09/who-scrambles-to-clarify-comments-on-asymptomatic-coronavirus-spread-much-is-still-unknown.html

The way this entire crisis has been handled is truly shameful. Is it so much to ask that our officials have their story straight, instead of saying something they'll end up walking back later on? First we were told that the virus could live on contaminated surfaces for several days, then we were told that's not true. First we were told we should shut down for several weeks to give us time to beef up our health care and learn things about the virus, now some people are saying we should stay shut down until a vaccine that may never come. Asymptomatic transmission is a problem, then it's not a problem, then it actually is a problem. First we were told that we should not see anyone, go anywhere, or do anything for any reason whatsoever because we might transmit the virus to someone who might transmit the virus to someone who might transmit the virus to someone who might transmit the virus to someone who could die; now we are seeing it's actually okay to do so, as long as your motivation behind doing so is righteous rage. Because this virus is intelligent, and will walk right on by if it sees that you are out there for a good cause. But there is no righteous rage about famines, more abuse, every other disease on the face of the planet going untreated, each of these things being a direct consequence of lockdowns.

I'm exhausted. This entire year has been like a step-by-step guide on how not to handle a crisis on every conceivable level.

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57 minutes ago, captaintrolley said:

I am exhausted too.  And this virus is intelligent. Because it can be disabled easily with bleach, soap and water, etc, it's strength is in numbers. (Easily transmitted and highly contagious).

Not intelligent in the way that I meant though - if the cards are right, the virus will transmit whether the person is protesting for an important cause or just hanging out with their friends. The consequences of that transmission, if any, will, all else being equal, be the same.

Which is why the about-face from the pro-lockdown crowd in light of these protests is staggering to me. Which is it? Do the lives of those vulnerable to COVID matter, or is it okay to discard them as long as we feel our reasons for doing so are just?

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1 hour ago, PCC Guy said:

Not intelligent in the way that I meant though - if the cards are right, the virus will transmit whether the person is protesting for an important cause or just hanging out with their friends. The consequences of that transmission, if any, will, all else being equal, be the same.

Which is why the about-face from the pro-lockdown crowd in light of these protests is staggering to me. Which is it? Do the lives of those vulnerable to COVID matter, or is it okay to discard them as long as we feel our reasons for doing so are just?

Virus don't care, it just wants to transmit. That's the goal, doesn't matter who, what, where when or why.

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5 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

There it is.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/09/who-scrambles-to-clarify-comments-on-asymptomatic-coronavirus-spread-much-is-still-unknown.html

The way this entire crisis has been handled is truly shameful. Is it so much to ask that our officials have their story straight, instead of saying something they'll end up walking back later on? First we were told that the virus could live on contaminated surfaces for several days, then we were told that's not true. First we were told we should shut down for several weeks to give us time to beef up our health care and learn things about the virus, now some people are saying we should stay shut down until a vaccine that may never come. Asymptomatic transmission is a problem, then it's not a problem, then it actually is a problem. First we were told that we should not see anyone, go anywhere, or do anything for any reason whatsoever because we might transmit the virus to someone who might transmit the virus to someone who might transmit the virus to someone who might transmit the virus to someone who could die; now we are seeing it's actually okay to do so, as long as your motivation behind doing so is righteous rage. Because this virus is intelligent, and will walk right on by if it sees that you are out there for a good cause. But there is no righteous rage about famines, more abuse, every other disease on the face of the planet going untreated, each of these things being a direct consequence of lockdowns.

I'm exhausted. This entire year has been like a step-by-step guide on how not to handle a crisis on every conceivable level.

It’s a novel virus.

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Sure, but what happened to 'we don't know' or 'we don't have enough data to say one way or the other' as responses? Bad information is much worse than no information.

And if they were planning on keeping the lockdown going this long, they should've absolutely been clear about that, too. When this started, we were given no indications this would run anywhere close to the amount of time that it has: the internet was filled with articles like this stating that the full shut downs were only necessary for a few weeks, and thereafter we would be able to reopen, but vigilantly. And then there were all kinds of social justice online posts like this one, which indicated that people would be able to start socializing again within as little as 2 weeks' time.

If they didn't want people to be upset by the moving of the goalposts, there should have been no goalposts in the first place.

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3 minutes ago, PCC Guy said:

Sure, but what happened to 'we don't know' or 'we don't have enough data to say one way or the other' as responses? Bad information is much worse than no information.

And if they were planning on keeping the lockdown going this long, they should've absolutely been clear about that, too. When this started, we were given no indications this would run anywhere close to the amount of time that it has: the internet was filled with articles like this stating that the full shut downs were only necessary for a few weeks, and thereafter we would be able to reopen, but vigilantly. And then there were all kinds of social justice online posts like this one, which indicated that people would be able to start socializing again within as little as 2 weeks' time.

If they didn't want people to be upset by the moving of the goalposts, there should have been no goalposts in the first place.

Doctor’s have to balance giving out information promptly with being correct. Sometimes you can’t be 100%. It’s why they commonly use the phrase “there is evidence/is no evidence). They are not able to say things for certain and things change. 

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On June 9, 2020 at 7:43 PM, 2044 said:

Doctor’s have to balance giving out information promptly with being correct. Sometimes you can’t be 100%. It’s why they commonly use the phrase “there is evidence/is no evidence). They are not able to say things for certain and things change. 

To be fair, any good expert in any subject will freely admit to not being 100% sure most of the time and freely admit to not knowing everything and acknowledge that things change over time including our understanding of any given subject.  Beware of anybody that claims to know absolutely everything and claims to be 100% right 100% of the time.  But, looking back from the benefit of mid-June to mid-March when this went crazy, I honestly think we've been mis-sold and misled many ways by those in charge.

On June 9, 2020 at 7:35 PM, PCC Guy said:

Sure, but what happened to 'we don't know' or 'we don't have enough data to say one way or the other' as responses? Bad information is much worse than no information.

And this is exactly it.  Donald Rumsfeld got raked over the coals badly for this at the time with his "Knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns" speech after 9/11 but it's right even if it was poorly phrased.  There's the information that we have which we know to be true.  There's also information we know that we don't have but we know we need to find out more about.  Then lastly, there's the questions we don't even know we should be asking.

My issues specifically with respect to COVID-19 is that we have seen very little candid transparency from everyone in charge about this sort of thing and the internal government modelling.  Remember how long it took before Doug Ford finally broke down and released the Ontario government's modelling?  Remember how it was even longer for the federal government and Trudeau dug his heels in hard at his daily press conferences?  And they're still not being upfront about many things.  Almost three months on, every major media outlet in Ontario is publishing articles about how Doug Ford won't even name the people involved at the disease management round table.  Nobody has been willing or able to explain how the original threshold of less than 200 new cases per day was arrived at or why it's since been discarded as a metric for determining when to reopen.  Federally, there's much missing information about the border being closed but I'll put that under the moving and undefined goalposts.

Quote

And if they were planning on keeping the lockdown going this long, they should've absolutely been clear about that, too. When this started, we were given no indications this would run anywhere close to the amount of time that it has: the internet was filled with articles like this stating that the full shut downs were only necessary for a few weeks, and thereafter we would be able to reopen, but vigilantly. And then there were all kinds of social justice online posts like this one, which indicated that people would be able to start socializing again within as little as 2 weeks' time.

If they didn't want people to be upset by the moving of the goalposts, there should have been no goalposts in the first place.

This is where I truly believe we were mis-sold back in March.  Close for two weeks, break the back of the worst of it, then reopen with precautions in place to make things safer.  Then it got extended by two weeks.  Fine, understandable if the first two weeks was a bit short to break its back, but then it got extended again.  And again.  And again.  And again, and does anybody believe these politicians anymore when they extend this by another two weeks that it's going to be only two weeks?  I don't.  I guess since they've managed to do a pretty good job of shredding their credibility on that anyways, that's why Doug Ford decided to renew the state of emergency for a whole month instead of the customary two weeks last time around.  I'm disappointed that nobody in the media questioned why the Ontario government felt it necessary to extend it by a month now, now that the worst of the crisis is well over, vs. extending it for half as long while the crisis was at its worst.

With respect to the federal government, since most things have been delegated to the provinces outside of the federal financial aid programs, the big one is closing the Canada/US border.  For 30 days.  Then another 30 days.  Then another 30 days.  Then in the news yesterday sources say late July.  Excuse me.  Sources say?  As in an anonymous leak to the press?  This should be coming from a government representative with real facts and information and not an anonymous tipoff in a brown envelope without a return address or call from a phone booth on the other side of town or message from a throwaway email address.

This is where I disagree slightly about the goalposts.  Everyone including myself is getting angry with the constantly shifting goalposts.  Moving them as the situation improves or not is reasonable since we don't know in advance exactly how it's going to play out, but keeping the terms of reference under wraps or constantly redefining them every time a previously stated deadline starts to get close is downright infuriating though, especially with the lack of definitions on how to move the goalposts is determined.  The federal border closure has never had any defined goalposts though.  That's equally infuriating.  It's just closed for 30 days until the do another 30 day extension on top of extension on top of extension.  That leak yesterday saying the closure's going to be extended to late July would tend to agree with another 30 days tacked on to carry it from June 21 to July 21, if you are willing to believe they're going to honestly wind it down by July 21.  There's an article on CBC now that's mostly about people who've been badly disrupted by this but they finally get to some real, hard meat and potatoes near the bottom about how absolutely nothing's defined about this so it's an endlessly arbitrarily shifting undefined "later" that gets pushed off 30 days at a time with no end in sight in sight without any defined these are the thresholds and conditions that need to be met on both sides of the border, this is approximately when we think it'll be based on current projections, this is how it will be managed when it arrives.

Second, the premise is kind of puzzling.  How many people does Trudeau think are going to travel north?  How many people does he think are going to travel south?  Most people wouldn't be travelling right now anyways.  Does Trudeau think sick people are going to be travelling?  Does Trudeau think people are going to be reckless if or when they do travel?  How does Trudeau account for the difference between travel within Canada vs. travel outside of Canada?  Does he really think that people will be travelling to coronavirus hotspots in the US on purpose and deliberately engage in risky behaviour, therefore needing to keep the border closed, vs. the same people travelling within Canada and our own coronavirus hotspots here and behaviour here?

On June 9, 2020 at 1:21 PM, PCC Guy said:

There it is.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/09/who-scrambles-to-clarify-comments-on-asymptomatic-coronavirus-spread-much-is-still-unknown.html

The way this entire crisis has been handled is truly shameful. Is it so much to ask that our officials have their story straight, instead of saying something they'll end up walking back later on? First we were told that the virus could live on contaminated surfaces for several days, then we were told that's not true. First we were told we should shut down for several weeks to give us time to beef up our health care and learn things about the virus, now some people are saying we should stay shut down until a vaccine that may never come. Asymptomatic transmission is a problem, then it's not a problem, then it actually is a problem. First we were told that we should not see anyone, go anywhere, or do anything for any reason whatsoever because we might transmit the virus to someone who might transmit the virus to someone who might transmit the virus to someone who might transmit the virus to someone who could die; now we are seeing it's actually okay to do so, as long as your motivation behind doing so is righteous rage. Because this virus is intelligent, and will walk right on by if it sees that you are out there for a good cause. But there is no righteous rage about famines, more abuse, every other disease on the face of the planet going untreated, each of these things being a direct consequence of lockdowns.

I'm exhausted. This entire year has been like a step-by-step guide on how not to handle a crisis on every conceivable level.

So yes, asymptomatic transmission may or may not be a problem depending on the day of week.  Personally, I suspect that yes, asymptomatic transmission is most likely possible but not that big of a problem.  If it was, it would be clearly borne out in the statistical information well visibly above the statistical noise floor and there'd be no room for debate debate around it.  Absent that, yes, I'm sure it exists, but it's clearly not a huge problem.

Then you get the advice about cottages.  Do as I say, not as I do Trudeau and Ford telling everyone not to go to their cottages because the rural health systems can't handle it and yet off they went on Easter Weekend.  And the same advice something like three weeks ago for Victoria Day.  Now?  Not only is it ok to go to your cottage, but if you don't have one of your own, don't worry - you can rent one!  This is actually a very attractive proposition right now because the weather's getting nice, a few days up at a cottage would be a fantastic break from the same four walls, and most cottage areas in the province are in Stage 2 reopening right now!  Rent a cottage, kick back and relax on the dock, fire up the grill, and hop into town and get your hair cut since that's actually possible!  Nowhere has it been explained how this suddenly became OK over the last three weeks apart from words about how all these short term rentals including condos, cottages, bed and breakfasts were allowed to start up again because the people who own them are taking a financial beating right now from the carrying costs but no revenue.  So this isn't anything to do with any health concerns except for the financial health of rich people who own investment properties, and ZERO to do with COVID-19.

Yesterday, on the Toronto Star, on CBC, on the National Post, on the Globe and Mail, there were tons of articles about how the lockdown is causing problems.  Opioid abuse way up!  Domestic abuse way up!  Mental health deterioration way up!  Someone profiled on CBC has been waiting months for cancer treatments to resume!  Doctors have been mentioned in articles for weeks now about how people are not visiting emergency rooms when they have heart attacks or other serious health events that normally merit a trip to the hospital ASAP.  This means that people are having non-COVID-19 health emergencies and just sucking it up and dealing for better or worse on their own rather than seeking treatment, and this cannot be good news at all for their long term prospects.  Economic damage way up!  With how it's well known and understood that there's a strong correlation between individuals economic health and their physical and mental health plus the other aspects of the lockdown, the long term impacts of this are going to be a grave and serious gift that keeps on giving for many, many years to come.  This has been discussed somewhat in the media but so far none of the levels of government have acknowledged it yet much less committed to dealing with the aftermath.

So yes, I agree with your last line there:  This has been a step by step guide on how to not handle a crisis at every conceivable level.  The breaking point for me came yesterday and I decided for the next few years, for the foreseeable future as the election cycles run, I'm voting against every incumbent on the ballots.  The whole lot of them from Trudeau to Tory and everyone in between needs to be thrown out.  Let them eat cake.  Cheesecake.  Doug Ford's very own.

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1 hour ago, Wayside Observer said:

Second, the premise is kind of puzzling.  How many people does Trudeau think are going to travel north?  How many people does he think are going to travel south?  Most people wouldn't be travelling right now anyways.  Does Trudeau think sick people are going to be travelling?  Does Trudeau think people are going to be reckless if or when they do travel?  How does Trudeau account for the difference between travel within Canada vs. travel outside of Canada?  Does he really think that people will be travelling to coronavirus hotspots in the US on purpose and deliberately engage in risky behaviour, therefore needing to keep the border closed, vs. the same people travelling within Canada and our own coronavirus hotspots here and behaviour here?

Considering the amount of people who still went ahead and traveled and went on cruises while the pandemic was underway, I would be worried too about people being irresponsible. The US still doesn’t have COVID under control in a way most people would find satisfactory. There’s people, wether through ignorance or selfishness, who would still travel to the US despite that. And I’m not sure I trust that everyone would isolate and monitor for symptoms when they got back, if the reports of the returning snowbirds were any indication.

Essential travel across the border was always maintained. And recently, they’ve broadened that to allow family members to reunite.

It’s also not like Canada is being unique in implementing border restrictions. Other countries that have a better handle over COVID like New Zealand, Australia, and Macau (off the top of my head) still have border restrictions in place.

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I think that countries like Australia, and especially New Zealand have dug themselves into a hole regarding their border closure, though. So there's no active cases in their country: now what? Do they stay locked down for the next however long, not letting anyone in or out? Considering how much of their economy relies on tourism dollars, this doesn't feel entirely thought through. And if we fail to develop a vaccine in the near future, as the WHO (and not just them) warned was a possibility, what then?

Personally, I don't feel hedging your bets on something that is not guaranteed to occur is very sound public policy. I'm not saying to reopen the borders to the US right this instant, but it's going to have to happen, unless we wish to live like hermits.

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One of the other interesting takes on all this is given how everyone's acting about it now, you'd be forgiving for thinking life was a risk free proposition before COVID-19 showed up.

That is not the case.

Life has never been a risk free proposition.

Air travel was never shut down even though planes do crash even if it is rare.  The use of automobiles was never banned because car accidents happen.  Natural gas service was never banned even though houses and businesses have blown to smithereens when it's gone wrong.  Electricity was never banned even though people have gotten fried by accident.  The world doesn't stop every time it starts raining.  Elevators weren't made illegal even though mishaps have happened with those.  And on and on with the examples.  The thing is, regulations are put in place and the risks are managed.

Honestly, the shut everything down forever crowd would be preaching total abstinence for the rest of time if we were talking about STDs instead of COVID-19 rather than going about safe sex.

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Got this email from CoE

The City of Edmonton has planning work underway for reopening a select number of City recreation facilities, with a target date of early July. This will be part of a larger, sequenced approach to re-opening. You should be aware that when you can go back to these facilities, things will look and feel different. Not all facilities will reopen and some services will likely be adjusted.

Our approach to reopening facilities will be announced once a comprehensive feasibility and impact review has been completed.

At this time, recreation facilities are still closed. Outdoor pools will not open this summer.

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Aftermath of the lockdown could be ugly according to the National Post.  The “being mean to seniors” comments by some of the readers are kind of interesting given the implicit “be mean to everyone else” while ignoring all of the valid points about managing/mismanaging this mess that are raised in the article.

Either way, the ship has sailed because there’s no undoing what’s been done since March now which means the best we can hope for is the government not screw up how they handle the aftermath of what they did as well.

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Canada- U.S. border to remain closed to non-essential travel until July 21

Well, did anybody actually believe they were going to commit to winding that down on June 21?  Or July 21 for that matter?  I'm expecting another extension to be dropped sometime during the week of July 13-17.  If they're planning to keep the border closed until September 21 to push the restart date past the summer travel season past the Labour Day long weekend, could they just be honest about it instead of dangling 30 day at a time increments that they clearly have no intention of sticking to.

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On 6/16/2020 at 9:06 AM, Wayside Observer said:

Either way, the ship has sailed because there’s no undoing what’s been done since March now which means the best we can hope for is the government not screw up how they handle the aftermath of what they did as well.

Not trying to coddle the party in power, but man have they had quite a term already. Hasn't even been a year lol

3 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

Canada- U.S. border to remain closed to non-essential travel until July 21

Well, did anybody actually believe they were going to commit to winding that down on June 21?  Or July 21 for that matter?  I'm expecting another extension to be dropped sometime during the week of July 13-17.  If they're planning to keep the border closed until September 21 to push the restart date past the summer travel season past the Labour Day long weekend, could they just be honest about it instead of dangling 30 day at a time increments that they clearly have no intention of sticking to.

They probably will keep pushing it, but at this point given how badly they've handled it, I'm quite happy for the border to stay closed. We're down to like 300 cases a day as a country now, and they're still pumping out over 25k a day. 

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On 6/17/2020 at 1:59 PM, Doppelkupplung said:

Not trying to coddle the party in power, but man have they had quite a term already. Hasn't even been a year lol

They probably will keep pushing it, but at this point given how badly they've handled it, I'm quite happy for the border to stay closed. We're down to like 300 cases a day as a country now, and they're still pumping out over 25k a day. 

That’s a bit disingenuous to not pro rate the figures per capital to account for the population difference.  With a much larger population, the per day infection rate is going to be a larger scalar number for sure.  Actually, in a larger population, with a lower rate of infection rate you can still easily get a larger infection count per day.  Kind of like how the number of positive tests goes up if you increase the number of tests done in a day.  My concerns would be location and infection density of the areas visited; you’re not going to encounter every single diseased person wherever you go whichever side of the border it’s on.

No what is really bothering me and is really bothering several of my friends is how the government is yet again being very cagey with information.  How are these decisions being made?  What criteria are being used?  How long do they really think the closure is going to go on for?  Unfortunately, our media isn’t asking these basic questions and is not holding the government to account on this.

On 6/20/2020 at 7:45 AM, PCC Guy said:

Well, this explains the nontroversy that was Trinity Bellwoodstock...

https://academic.oup.com/jid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/infdis/jiaa334/5856149

So, in light of this new evidence, how soon do you think restrictions on outdoor things like team sports etc are going to be eased, right?
 

I honestly get the impression that there is a certain cross section of demographic that’s enjoying dragging this out for everything it’s worth or is truly absolutely scared shitless and causing some really panicked overreaction.  Like the fish delivery at my parents condo building that was over the top.

Oh, remember a few posts back how I was thinking of cutting my own hair a few weeks ago?  I did it last week out of sheer frustration.  It turned out surprisingly well for a first time attempt at a self-inflicted haircut.  I was expecting bald patches and burn marks and wildly uneven cut depth but it’s actually not too bad at all.  Granted, I was being careful, which meant no music blasting or screaming at the top of my lungs to do that performance art YouTube video, but I still expect that arts grant cheque from Trudeau.  Send me some damn money.  Just about every other special interest group’s been handed money to deal with unexpected coronavirus expenses, why can’t I have any?

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Not enough attention has been paid to understanding viral load, that is what dose of virus induces disease. Low doses of virus may cause milder disease which, as we are finding, could explain why so many people are asymptomatic or mildly ill. They have time to mount an immune response that is effective. The super spreading events all have in common that people would receive large doses of virus.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/asymptomatic-covid-19-1.5629172?fbclid=IwAR1hmmqQ7bcoiSiOD-U5riZcfbyj7SW1fX_j8XwpbxSAEc3U4i_u6BzHdzU This is a bummer...

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20 minutes ago, Jeffrey said:

Is it?

I always thought the idea of immunity passports was aggressively stupid and unjust. Subjecting people to all these horrible restrictions and telling them they're not allowed to be rid of them unless they've successfully cleared the virus seems like a great way to get a lot of people to put themselves in harm's way unnecessarily. The idea should've been thrown out for being batshit insane the moment it was floated.

As for herd immunity potentially not being on the table, well, then we'll learn to live around the virus. We did it for thousands of years with tons of other pathogens and somehow we're still here.

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3 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Is it?

I always thought the idea of immunity passports was aggressively stupid and unjust. Subjecting people to all these horrible restrictions and telling them they're not allowed to be rid of them unless they've successfully cleared the virus seems like a great way to get a lot of people to put themselves in harm's way unnecessarily. The idea should've been thrown out for being batshit insane the moment it was floated.

As for herd immunity potentially not being on the table, well, then we'll learn to live around the virus. We did it for thousands of years with tons of other pathogens and somehow we're still here.

It's a solution that presents its own set of problems for sure.  However, the difference between living around this virus versus everything that came before is that the current crop of politicians that are in charge now weren't then.  Which brings me to some potential good news for you:

European Union reopens to Canadian travellers which means, for the moment, you might be able to visit your family like you were talking about a while ago.  The for the moment part is this:  Canada remains closed to the EU and Trudeau extended the complete closure of Canada until the end of July yesterday.  There was no mention of the EU reopening to Canadians, no mention of reopening to travellers from the EU and no announcement of getting started working on plan to reciprocate at the end of July if not sooner.  Total.  Diplomatic.  Fail.  It's entirely possible the EU decides to say no to Canada in the next few weeks if there's no movement on reciprocity and I wouldn't blame them if it turns into a one way street.

I've been constantly harping on "What's the plan?", "What are the criteria?", "How are the decisions being made?"  Looking at how this went down over the last couple of days with the complete thud and lack of any action or information or anything on the Canada end, I think I got my answer.  There is no plan.  Obviously.  If there was, something would've been said about what it looks like by now.  That also probably means there's no criteria or framework for making decisions to back up navigating through the execution of a plan since there isn't one other than to keep the border and as much of the economy as possible shut down knee-jerk reflexively apparently indefinitely.  Frankly, the whole premise is wrong.  We should be asking, "How do we do a reasonable restart safely and make it work?" instead of "Keep it closed forever".  I'm sick and tired of hearing Trudeau trot out crap about "ongoing conversations with our partners" that apparently have apparently produced no results outside of running up the PMO's long distance bill.  Honestly, at this point, based on decisions not getting made, based on plans not being outlined, based on information not being provided, based on no movement on anything other than maintaining an early-April status quo and vacuous press conferences, I can't really argue with my conservative leaning friends about Trudeau being an intellectual lightweight.  Now, if not several weeks or months ago, might be a good time to come up with some actual substance about how do we go about getting on with as much as possible as safely as possible going forward, instead of stalling and talking platitudes about how great ongoing conversations are.

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22 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

Which brings me to some potential good news for you:

European Union reopens to Canadian travellers which means, for the moment, you might be able to visit your family like you were talking about a while ago.  The for the moment part is this:  Canada remains closed to the EU and Trudeau extended the complete closure of Canada until the end of July yesterday.  There was no mention of the EU reopening to Canadians, no mention of reopening to travellers from the EU and no announcement of getting started working on plan to reciprocate at the end of July if not sooner.  Total.  Diplomatic.  Fail.  It's entirely possible the EU decides to say no to Canada in the next few weeks if there's no movement on reciprocity and I wouldn't blame them if it turns into a one way street.

I did see this, but sadly I'm unable to take advantage as of yet. For one thing, the quarantine coming back is not something I am up for handling, so I'm staying put until that has been cancelled. For another, I don't have enough money for my plane ticket yet... and now my hours at work are being cut, so Lord knows when I'll actually get to go. And yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if the EU walks back on their decision to let Canadians in based on the total lack of reciprocation.

22 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

I've been constantly harping on "What's the plan?", "What are the criteria?", "How are the decisions being made?"  Looking at how this went down over the last couple of days with the complete thud and lack of any action or information or anything on the Canada end, I think I got my answer.  There is no plan.  Obviously.  If there was, something would've been said about what it looks like by now.  That also probably means there's no criteria or framework for making decisions to back up navigating through the execution of a plan since there isn't one other than to keep the border and as much of the economy as possible shut down knee-jerk reflexively apparently indefinitely.  Frankly, the whole premise is wrong.  We should be asking, "How do we do a reasonable restart safely and make it work?" instead of "Keep it closed forever".  I'm sick and tired of hearing Trudeau trot out crap about "ongoing conversations with our partners" that apparently have apparently produced no results outside of running up the PMO's long distance bill.  Honestly, at this point, based on decisions not getting made, based on plans not being outlined, based on information not being provided, based on no movement on anything other than maintaining an early-April status quo and vacuous press conferences, I can't really argue with my conservative leaning friends about Trudeau being an intellectual lightweight.  Now, if not several weeks or months ago, might be a good time to come up with some actual substance about how do we go about getting on with as much as possible as safely as possible going forward, instead of stalling and talking platitudes about how great ongoing conversations are.

Absolutely agreed. There's so much empty, high minded rhetoric being thrown around, and it feels like very few countries out there are actually trying to figure out some way to live around the virus instead of placing their hopes in a vaccine which may never come. This is like racking up an insane gambling debt and expecting to pay it off by winning the lottery.

You might, but it is foolish to behave as though that's a sure thing.

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3 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

I did see this, but sadly I'm unable to take advantage as of yet. For one thing, the quarantine coming back is not something I am up for handling, so I'm staying put until that has been cancelled. For another, I don't have enough money for my plane ticket yet... and now my hours at work are being cut, so Lord knows when I'll actually get to go. And yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if the EU walks back on their decision to let Canadians in based on the total lack of reciprocation.

Absolutely agreed. There's so much empty, high minded rhetoric being thrown around, and it feels like very few countries out there are actually trying to figure out some way to live around the virus instead of placing their hopes in a vaccine which may never come. This is like racking up an insane gambling debt and expecting to pay it off by winning the lottery.

You might, but it is foolish to behave as though that's a sure thing.

That's awful; I thought your hours at work would've gone up as things reopen and people resume doing things and consumer demand picks up.  That's too bad it's gone the other way and it pushes that trip even further out of reach.  The 14 day quarantine upon return is a steep price to pay for doing a careful visit to another location that has COVID-19 under reasonable control.  On the other hand, you could rent a cottage down in the Pointe Pelee, Leamington, Kingsville area in Windsor-Essex where COVID-19 associated with that farm is a huge problem and then come back to the Toronto area with no checks, no self isolation, no problem from somewhere three and a half hours down the 401 where there's a major outbreak.  That's perverse.  At least they're shutting down the farm(s) associated with that outbreak and quarantining appropriately as opposed to closing the whole province or the whole country back down so maybe some people in charge are slowly beginning to develop a sense of scale.  Maybe.

It doesn't look like there's going to be any reciprocity with the European Union in the near future.  The Toronto Star reported today that the quarantine requirements for everyone entering Canada except for truckers, air crews, essential workers, etc. is being extended to the end of the month.  Between that and the border remaining closed to all non-essential travel means nobody from Europe is going to be able to visit until August at least even though they have reopened to us.  There's still been no statement from our government on figuring out a way to make it work with the Europeans and that can't be going over well with them.  More worryingly, nobody has said anything about sitting down with other countries and figuring out a travel safe zone for places that have it under control kind of like the 15 country whitelist the EU came up with.  That would be a good starting point to form a pool of countries forming a safe travel zone to circulate in except there's been no movement on figuring out how to do a reasonable restart of various things on our end.

Actually, two things stuck out to me recently.  There was a Trudeau press conferences a couple of weeks ago when most of the country and more recently Ontario and Quebec with the highest COVID-19 counts in the country were well into Stage II reopening, and he said that "Canada is still in full shutdown mode" which completely clashed with the actual state of the country being firmly into Stage II.  Then there was how he got caught completely flatfooted by the EU reopening to Canada a couple of days ago.  It can't have been a surprise; their governments had to tell our government it was coming, and yet several days later now there's still been no information about how the Canada end is going to manage it besides staying closed even longer as if we're still in the second week of April.  Those two things were very revealing and it hit me yesterday that that's why we've heard nothing about what comes next, how things are going to be done, what the criteria are for the decisions etc. because it looks like this is it.  That's all he's got.  As a country, we can't move forward if that's all the federal government starting right at the very top's got and they're completely blanked no idea what to do next.

South of the border is a mess.  With no firm leadership at the top, it's fallen to the states to handle COVID-19 individually and that's been a YMMV proposition.  The places that took it seriously from the outset are in reasonably good shape now.  The places that didn't are learning a very painful, very tough, very expensive lesson and are starting to take it seriously.  So the epicentre has moved south from NYC to Florida with other states that didn't deal with it out of the gate having their own flareups now.  So that giant daily case number needs to be taken with some interpretation otherwise you end up in a situation where you see a scary number and react badly to it; see what I said above about not shutting down all of Ontario or all of Canada because of a regionalized spike as an example.

My parents love the hype though.  My dad ran down the figures on the phone at me the other night and asked me how my American friends are doing.  Well, none of them have died.  None of them have gotten sick.  One of them told me the other day that his life is carrying on as normal.  He goes to work every day, drives rail crews around to where they need to go, goes home, does his hobby stuff including some trolley museum volunteer work etc. and said that the only thing that's changed for him is that he doesn't sit down to eat in restaurants anymore but gets takeout.  Another, his two retirement jobs went poof but otherwise pretty much the same as the first apart from not working.  They're both in their seventies and have underlying medical issues which places them in prime COVID-19 risk group.  I told them that according to the hype up in Canada about the situation down their way, we shouldn't be talking on the phone because both of you should be dead and buried in a plague pit or something like that.  They laughed.  One of my other US friends is a middle aged essential services working schmuck like me.  Bored.  Depressed.  Burned out.  Fed up.  Work.  Home.  Work.  Home.  Work.  Home.  Work.  Home.  Cancel everything.  Work.  Home.  Pretty much the same deal as here.  I swear, my parents were floored by the fact that nobody I know down there has gotten sick much less died.

The once incident I know of personally, the cleaning lady at one friend's work got COVID-19.  She was off sick for a couple of weeks and the workplace got sanitized.  The only problem that happened was after the cleaning lady went on her medical leave for it, word eventually leaked out and most of the maintenance technologists the friend manages decided to use it as an excuse to take their one shot deal, use it and it's gone, two weeks paid medical leave no questions asked because of the pandemic to play hookey from work for 14 days which left him seriously short staffed for half of May meanwhile because of the delay between the technologists finding out about this and taking their two weeks meant that they were all still off by the time the cleaning lady who actually did have COVID-19 recovered and was back on the job.  So, since there was no backhoe going behind the plant to dig a plague pit to bury all the dead bodies in, if the biggest issue out of the whole thing is a bunch of maintenance technologists playing hookey from work for two weeks while the repair backlog explodes, the reality on the ground is not matching up with the hype at all.

It's time for the people that have gotten worked up into a lather to stop, take a deep breath, take a valium, and calm down.  Then, start thinking up sensible, reasonable approaches to take to things.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very impressed by all the jurisdictions who are only instituting mandatory mask wearing in indoor public places now, nearly 5 months into the pandemic. If it was possible to be any more behind the curve than we are, we'd still be prattling on about how there is no community transmission going on in the country.

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3 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Very impressed by all the jurisdictions who are only instituting mandatory mask wearing in indoor public places now, nearly 5 months into the pandemic. If it was possible to be any more behind the curve than we are, we'd still be prattling on about how there is no community transmission going on in the country.

I wonder where we'd be if we had clamped down on March 10th say, and said mandatory masks in public. 

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