Opening Statement



Monday, 27 April 2020

My COVID-19 Diary 4: Costco + The Zombie Apocalypse!



Suddenly, I awake in a cold sweat. From nightmares of dodging zombies, COVID-19 style. And they're everywhere! On top of me! Eating away at my brain!

It's my first major COVID-19 anxiety attack! My heart beating like crazy. A zillion pressing questions and nagging doubts racing through my head. As the nasty reality of the pandemic hits home. Leaving us trapped. The walls crashing in. 

Sadly, it isn't just a bad dream. Far from it!

A sad realization: We are living the zombie apocalypse! Here and now!

I know. I'm no Rick. And Janet's not Michonne. 

But even our weekly grocery and supply run to Costco Vaughan has become a very disturbing exercise in dodging the walking dead. Lots of folks are just pure, plumb dead from the neck up!



Get this -Late last night Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua of Vaughan announced on Twitter that 7 employees at our local Costco store have caught the virus! [Links below]

When did they get infected? Over two weeks ago! But we're only being told now! Trump style via Twitter!

Sadly, Costco Vaughan is our main source of food and supplies, located just north of us in Toronto, at Highway 7 and Weston Rd. Maybe 5 km from home.

Good Lord! So many of us have been going there; my family, most everyone in our building, throughout the pandemic, little knowing ....

Sure we saw lots of hoarding going on. And angry, surly crowds. But I'd figured Costco was probably doing a good job of following the proper health and safety procedures. And sticking to them. Relatively speaking. Compared to most of the stores near us.

Of course, what's relative mean anymore? What's the new normal

With social distancing? Gloves?? Masks??? PPE's?!?!

It seems pretty clearcut, no? Keep 2 metres/ 6 feet apart. And wear them!

Try telling that to a zombie! The walking-soon-to-be-dead!

Beware: They are everywhere!



In retrospect, I recall that all the staff at Costco Vaughan didn't wear PPE's. They'd stand around and mingle in clusters at the desk, on the floor. Plus God only knows what conditions were really like in the warehouse, staffroom and office. We still don't!

Check out the York Region Public Health Alert below. They're still "reaffirming" to Costco management that staff shouldn't be working while they are sick! Plus reviewing and reinforcing the "proper infection and control measures and social distancing" procedures they should've had in place too.  

Yiiikes!

Janet and I saw that the customer line-up's sometimes got bottlenecked, kinda unruly and tight packed. Who knew what else was going on? 

Costco was our best choice, from what we've seen, during our rare outings around here. 

So I figured, well, everybody's still trying to figure out the new rules of survival. Put them in practice, on short notice, as we go along. Let's be patient.

Hell. Further up Weston Road, Longo's groceries, unlike Costco, was constantly in the news. Closing and reopening. As more and more staff were getting infected. 

Absolutely no way I'm going there!



So I briefly let my guard down. Risked trusting the powers that be. Hoping against hope that they were looking out for us, during the crisis, as the death toll continues to grow.

Duh. I should've known better. It's one thing to talk the talk. 

But walking the walk? How widespread is that? Not very much it seems.

We'd planned to go shopping today. But now? Where? Who to trust???

Not Costco! Or Mayor Bevilacqua of Vaughan. Nor for that matter the York Region Public Health ..... 

Forget that BS! We still don't know what's really been going on in the store. Not from any of them! 

So instead, Janet and I decided to just take a nice stroll through the Humber ravine. It's right across the street. We'd get outside for a change. Enjoy the fresh spring air. Maybe even tire ourselves out a bit. Shake the blues. Calm down. Get a better sleep.

The trail wasn't busy though there were a fair number of walkers, runners and bicyclists. But only about two thirds wore masks and gloves. And practiced social distancing. 

The other third were madly weaving and racing about us, way too close; huffing, puffing and peddling up a mad COVID-19 sweat. The bikers and runners for the most part, without any masks or gloves. 




We had to step aside behind a bush dodging one well dressed but bedraggled zombie, as he stumbled by in a daze, moaning. Madly coughing and hacking away. A total horror show!

Also dodged a few hellbent bikers weaving to and fro. Plus lots of runners, sweat in their eyes, brushing up waaaay too close. 

Can most people even visualize what 2 metres/ 6 feet means?  

Well two thirds did. But the rest?

Nope! Scary. Scary. Scary. A new dawn of the dead.

A nice walk outside is much needed, but something we can avoid.

Going out for groceries and supplies? We've cut that down to once every week or two. And most of the delivery services we've tried, basically suck.

After all is said and done, our politicos don't always walk the talk! Neither do the boards of health. Nor our local businesses. No matter what they say!

Sadly, even a lot of everyday folk, once they leave the safety of home!

Think the pandemic is going away any time soon?

Dream on ....

And beware the walking dead! Lest we become one too!

David C



NEWS LINKS:

On Costco Vaughan: Includes The Mayor's News Tweet @ City

York Region Public Health Instructions Re: Costco Vaughan @ YRPH

COMMENTS:

Thursday, 23 April 2020

My COVID-19 Diary 3: Spring Fever!



The daze drag on and on and on and ....

Janet and I have been stuck here in our Toronto digs for 6 weeks now. At first it was for 2 weeks of quarantine after we arrived back in Canada. Then followed another month of self isolation. With no end in sight. Not anytime soon. 

So far, we've survived the COVID-19 pandemic, if not the spring fever. Oh, to be back outdoors again, at the lake, as summer slowly but surely approaches.

Janet is our TV Queen, comfortably esconded for the duration of the quarantine, on the living room couch. We cuddle. Snooze. As the TV drones on and on and on, about the Coronavirus pandemic. In between endless shows and movies. Frequently punctuated by long chats with everybody and their mother, on the telephone.

It's more difficult for Janet. She's our social director. A real social butterfly. She loves getting dressed up to go out and about the city with the girlfriends, doing her Toronto thing. I can tell it bothers her greatly to just be stuck at home. One endless day after another, in ad nauseam, god only knows for how much longer.

As for me? I can take it or leave it. When we are on the road, I'm quite happy to be outside everyday. Endlessly wiling away my daze in the water, on the beach. But back here in Toronto, I'm quite happy to just stay at home, doing our own thing.

For a change of scenery, I'll retreat to the easy chair in my man cave. With my music, books, laptop and tokes. 

Yup! Mr. Grouchy needs some time out! Especially when the walls start closing in. And it all gets too much to bear.

But so far, we're still weathering the crisis amazingly well. Are thankful for any small diversion. As the weather outside gets warmer and spring fever sets in.

Luckily, it doesn't seem like that we caught the Coronavirus on our travels, but really -who knows?!? I'd like to be tested. 



At one time or another, I've checked off any number of the symptoms on the list. Janet too. 

A headache? Cough? Runny nose? All sorts of aches and pains?

Uh huh. You too?

It's crazy. Paranoia sets in. In my darker moments, I get neurotic. With a fatalistic tinge. 

Me? Die?? Now?!? OMG!!!

Then the panic attack passes and I'm fine.

Mostly, I quite enjoy relaxing at home. Just lounging about in my track suit. Or PJ's. With nothing but nothing we have to do. After the better part of a busy winter spent on the high road to Japan, Florida and Cuba. 

Suppose I'm an all or nothing sorta guy. Bottom line? Better safe than sorry! 

At most, we go out once every week or so, for groceries and supplies. Hit maybe one or two stores. Or we order online. Then sit around waiting for the delivery. Other times, our family will drop stuff off outside our door and we can all wave.

Afterwards everything has to be wiped down. Set aside a bit. Doesn't really matter though! it's not like we are going anywhere.

Safety first? Let's see -wait 24 hours for paper or cloth products. Up to 3 days for plastic and metal. 

Even opening the mail is an arduous task. 

I just need to remember to be here now. Relax. And go with the flow. 

Welcome to the new normal! It'll be okay. Like it or not, there isn't much any of us can do!



Some daze, I can't even be bothered looking outside the window anymore. 

Oh look -a car driving by! So and so is walking their dog! A noisy tin can is bashed about by the wind in the empty courtyard below. Then silence descends again. 

Spring fever? This is not the Toronto we love and know so well, come April every year. 

Mostly, it's just very dull and boring. Zzzzzzz.

With death silently lurking undercover amongst the city shadows. Spread by a friendly handshake. A sudden, unguarded cough. Uh, no thank you!

All things considered, why risk it? I'm quite happy inside. Feel safest when it's just Janet and me. Together alone.

Our granddaughter Hana is happy. She's 3 years old now. At home with mommy and daddy. All the time! Bet not much office work gets done. But they're happy too.

My mum's in a nursing home. My sister is a nurse. She keeps a close eye on her for us. Still, we worry a lot about both of them. So far, they've been fine. Though right now, it's the nursing and long term care homes that are getting hit the worst, here in Canada.



it's been a very cool spring. When the nice weather arrives, we can at least sit out on our 4th floor balcony. Have an outdoor toke. Enjoy the breeze.

Life in a high rise condo is pretty easy and carefree. Not much work. But it sure would be nice to have a backyard, at times like this!

With so much time on our hands, there's a lot of time for spring cleaning inside our place. Going through every closet, shelf, nook and cranny. Purging stacks of now useless files, from before we retired. Finally ending up in the garbage, their final resting place, where they belong.

To spice things up, we'll get dinner delivered once a week, usually on Saturday night. This week we were hankering for some good old-fashioned junk food. 

We decided on KFC's stay-at-home special. They royally fucked it up. And it cost way more than we thought. Or quite frankly, would want to pay for that crap. 

Get this -it cost almost $50 for 8 pieces. That included 2 sides which were supposed to be included, but were not.

Thankfully, the "Skip The Dishes" delivery service was quick, convenient and they pretty much followed the proper safety procedures. That only cost $5, the best part of the "deal". 

Nope! We won't be ordering KFC again. Beware. it's total BS. Despite what the advertisements say, like so many places, they simply just don't have their act together!



And so, back to the stress free safety and seclusion of my man cave. Listening to my favourite tunes. Lots of British invasion of late. The Beatles. The Stones. The Who. The Them. The Troggs. The Yardbirds. And The Kinks.

I've started pulling out the jazz again too; Miles Davis. Bud Powell. Monk. And Lena Horne too! 

No new stuff. As of late, I like my oldies. Very reassuring, tried and true.

I'll create playlists and mixes. Can do so for hours, late into the night. 

Or I just read. Daniel DeFoe's "Journal of the Plague" is currently on my Kindle. I finished Camus' "The Plague". Both are about the Bubonic Plague, not the COVID-19 virus. But the similarities are amazingly. In the reactions. The way it plays out. Truly, there's nothing new under the sun. Both books are definitely very timely -well worth a gander.

Or I write on my laptop. You might've noticed that I'm a lot more active on my blog. Been adding lots and lots of updates to my Teacher Free Speech and Oh Cannabis News and Views blogs. Am even starting a second edition of Teacher Free Speech, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold.

I won't repeat the latest news stories here. Except to say, that we are very relieved our government isn't planning to reopen the Canadian/US border anytime soon. It's been very worrisome, even depressing to watch as the American COVID-19 Zombie Apocalypse spirals out of control, just south of our border. 



Compared to up here -it's sheer madness and chaos. Don't get me wrong -Like many Canadians, we too have friends and family living stateside. We usually go there a fair bit. Of course, we are very worried about our southern neighbours. But also ourselves. It's a real horror show throughout the US and just way too close for comfort!

Sadly, April 420 was a bust this year. So much for puff, puff, pass! I just sat around and got high at home. Like the day before. Or the day after. Or for that matter, most daze. Only without the homies and all my good buds, here in the flesh. 

This year 420 lasts all month. But who knows? In our household, it'll last a lot longer then that too!

These daze, I prefer getting high on edibles. Had about an ounce of leftover sift, I'd been stashing away. So I cooked up a great, big tray of very potent and mind expanding brownies. 

Yummy. Yummy. Yummy.



Also, am smoking the last of the Catatonic in my Shatterizer. Along with a few jeebs of this and that. Very nice, while I'm waiting for the brownies to kick in!

I tried going the legal route again. Janet was worried that we were almost out of CBD's, so I placed a medical cannabis order with Aleafia Emblem; a bottle of 20 gm capsules and an 1000 mg oral spray.  

The selection was very limited compared to what we were use to in Florida. Or for that matter at Toronto's unregulated High 5 Green Market. Was far too expensive too, especially with the tax and delivery charges

Plus we had to wait a whole week for it to arrive in the mail. Compared to a few hours home delivery via Weedmaps. So much for that.

Canada's licensed producers seem to be getting a bit wiser. Emblem has lowered some of their weed prices to $4 a gram. So I tried a few grams of Nebula. Tiny, dried out buds. Kinda icky. But citrusy and smooth. A pleasant enough, if not very light buzz. Sadly, with a much lower THC count than I'm used to. 

Otherwise? Am firing up some leftover Pink Kush and Tom Cruise. Both still got a nice kick. Mostly been smoking them in my Pax vaporizer. Better for the old lungs these daze ....

And so, I lie back in my easy chair. Sufficiently stoned, nay fortified, against all that ails. With spring fever on hold for now. Still trying to go outside as little with possible, and succeeding quite well.

As I take a toke, it feels like I'm floating in my kayak. I'm out on Lake Mississaganon once again. Moving too and fro with the ebb and flow of the gentle current. The  eddies. Drifting through time and space.

I wanted to head back to the lake, as early as possible this year. Get a good head start. But now that looks less and less likely with each passing day. 

In my mind's eye though, I'm still dreaming of happier daze ahead.

Be Well!

David C



COMMENTS:

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

More Teacher Free Speech Spring 2020 News + Views!

 LaTEr aDDiTiOns R In LargE TypEsEt! mY Acronym Guide IS @ hErE! MuCh, mUch morE to coMe ..... REadeRs gUiDe 2 TeaCHer fREE sPEech NeWs Y vIeWs @ HERE!  LiVe tWEEts @ davidchiarelli 


OH CANADA

Wet'suwe'ten Solidarity Campaigns were rising up everywhere across Canada earlier this year. Now with the COVID-19 crisis, most everybody is staying safely at home. Not fighting the good fight to help stop the oil pipeline anymore. As a result, the indigenous resistance movement has been all but abandoned and left hanging @ RPM

Essential Services: Clearly, the pandemic shows just how essential Canada's unsung, everyday, labour workforce really are. Yup! The lowly grocery clerk, care giver, and pretty much anyone in the service industry are a lot more important than most of us might've thought. But they are paid very little. And their working conditions are just plain awful. Now, the push is on to permanently improve these, as a part of the new normal @ Globe

In the Meantime, please know your Canadian work rights and protections, such as they are, during the crisis @ PSAC


Minimum Basic Income: Trudeau nixes increasing calls that the Covid-19 CERB [Canadian Emergency Response Benefit] be used to create a minimum basic income plan for needy Canadians, after the crisis is over. Unemployed workers can currently apply for $2000 a month relief for 16 weeks. That's less than the average rent in Toronto. Nonetheless, it provides some much needed relief. With Justin's assurances, the greedy Bay Street suits at the National Post are now breathing a sigh of relief too @ NP

Needy Pipelines + Mines: Many Canadians are wondering why oil pipelines and gold mines have been declared an essential service by the Trudeau government, during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Wet'suwet'en too. But I bet the Bay Street boys aren't very surprised @ Huff

Big Oil has asked the Trudeau government to suspend Canada's environmental laws and climate policy to ... get this ... help them out during the Covid-19 crisis. Boo hoo hoo! Jeez! It must be so hard being an oil tycoon these daze! So Canada can't afford a minimum basic income, eh? Well, let's see how many billions of $$$ in "aid" our oil oligarchs get. More CoC

Silver Lining: As Canadian industry grinds to a near halt, during the pandemic, the dangerous carbon dioxide emissions have been drastically cut too. Canada's economic recovery provides an excellent opportunity to permanently crack down on them, on a constructive, go forward basis @ Global

$0 Oil: With oil prices in historic negative pricing territory, Canada's production of crude oil is shutting down. It'll have long term effects. Hey! What a great time to  implement a green plan! And halt the GasLink pipeline! But ... but ... how come there's so very little in the news about that?!? @ OP 



Senior Service: Nearly half of Canada's COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes. Sadly, years of health cuts and poor planning, including in Ontario, have left our highly vulnerable seniors in the virus' crosshairs @ Global

Military Alert: The Covid-19 crisis is so bad in Ontario's neglected long term care homes, that the Canadian Armed Forces are called in to stop the virus' deadly spread @ CTV

Re-Imagine: The CCPA [Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives] proposes some progressive measures to fix long term care in Canada, from the lessons hopefully being learned during the Covid-19 pandemic @ CCPA

Silver Lining: People Vs Cars: Some downtown Toronto streets are now closed off for cyclists and pedestrians only, to better facilitate safe social distancing. Thought we'd lost the ahem ... "War against Cars" on our overcrowded streets? This has been a long time coming. But it's finally here, ironically, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic @ TStar

Angus Reid: Polling shows that most Canadians support a careful, measured return to the new normal, once it is safe. To date, we largely trust and support the efforts and measures taken by our leaders and healthcare workers, despite some understandable concerns, that can wait for now. Check out the numbers @ CTV



One in Ten: That's how many Canadians believe one of the numerous coronavirus conspiracy theories making the rounds, usually involving 5G or the pharmaceutical industry. See "Edubeat" below for a rebuttal. Read more @ CBC

"Australia Vs Canada" or "A Tale of 2 Countries". Canadian travellers were simply advised to self isolate, rather than being required to do so, early in the pandemic. Was that a serious mistake, further escalating the public health crisis that followed? Consider @ Globe

Can't Happen Here?!?: The Canadian media rushes to play down a white terror rampage that left at least 13 dead in Nova Scotia @ Now

Early Bird Catches The ... Virus?!? So much for listening to the medical experts! Doug Ford's Ontario starts to reopen for business early. The province still can't trace where 2/3rd of the case's originate. The numbers are bouncing up and down like a ping pong ball. Testing lags miserably. But here we go @ City @ TStar @ NOCTV 

IN THE NEWS



How George Floyd Died in Police Custody: Minnesota police brutally kill a 36 year black man accused of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit bill. It's all caught on camera. America explodes @ Youtube

Weaponized Racism: US President Donald Trump seems way in over his head, trying to turn the incident to his own political advantage, as riots and demonstrations erupt across the nation. Lots and lots of pent up rage. Blood. Destruction. And no justice, no peace @ CNN



"Sux 2 Die" But "Don't Tread On Me"? Protests are popping up across the US. Folks are suddenly being encouraged to not self isolate or follow the health experts' safety advice during the pandemic. Sure, staying at home is tough. It's creating economic hardship, and sometimes even calls into question our basic civil rights. Everybody is biting at the bit to resume life as we knew it. However, the precautions are saving lives. Flattening the COVID-19 curve. The brainless protest antics aren't unlike a zombie apocalypse. Except that on Walking Dead, nobody is fighting for their right to be killed by the virus. Or to spread it to others. To wit @ MSN

Perfect Storm: The GOP governors of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi are creating a southern coalition of sorts. They're teaming up to re-open the economy before the Covid-19 curve has been flattened, or sufficient testing is done. Healthcare in these states is badly underfunded. The rate of obesity, diabetes and other illness is very high. Medical experts worry that all the pre-requisites are now in place for a very deadly Covid-19 crisis, in the daze ahead @ Politico @ WP


"The Battle Lines Are Drawn" or "Divided We Fall": Tensions grow as the Republican led states square off with the Democrat lead ones, over whether to quickly re-start the economy, or continue to exercise more caution @ Globe

TV Doctors: Dr. Oz? Dr. Phil? Dr. Pinsky? No! They're not real medical MD's. But Fox keeps promoting them as COVID-19 experts in a fake news campaign. To convince it's viewers, with their absurd claims, that the COVID-19 pandemic isn't real @ CNN Dr. Fauci's fact check @ CNN



Herd Mentality: Fox "News" host Steve Hilton wants the Covid-19 restrictions ended asap, because the virus is "only terrible for a small group of people". So let's just expose everybody to the virus and develop herd immunity, without a vaccine. While just trying to isolate the most vulnerable among us, during a potentially very deadly pandemic that we little understand. 

Which is okay, as long as it's not you who die?!? Or your child, partner, parents or grandparents?!? 


Sadly, it seems money is more important than America's basic sense of humanity. Forget that everybody life is tightly interconnected nowadays. Or that the stealthy killer virus is often symptomatic. Creeps about unseen. And so it goes and on and on and on, as the herd mentality continues to thrive, via Fox News @ MM 

If one has half a brain, it's definitely best to also consider the sounder medical arguments against herd immunity and COVID-19 @ HL and from other countries also toying with it @ CT @ G @ IT @ CNN



Right wing Watch: Organizers with close ties to the Trump administration, gun groups and the GOP have been organizing protest against social distancing on social media, and targeting them against possible swing states, prior to the fall US election @ BF @ CJR @ M WP

A Deadly Spectre: There's a lot more leaking out about this diabolical coalition of US conservative groups. They've got connections to the Trump White House. Are secretly behind many of the lockdown protests erupting across the US, with their focus on the Democrat led swing states. 



The goal? Sheer political gain; to try overthrow the various state stay-at-home orders. Creating instability and havoc, as the fall election approaches. Expect a lot more deadly treachery ahead, with the US still firmly in the grip of the escalating, coronavirus pandemic. How sad @ NYT

Florida: A pandemic! Then wildfires closing highways! Burning homes! That's God punishing you for voting Trump. Ha. Just kidding ... @  WC

Polling shows that 2/3rd of Americans actually support social distancing. However, the fairly small and scattered protests continue to make headlines and mislead. Talk about complete chaos, just south of our border! @ UST



Bleached Trump: This spring, the president has been promoting quick, miracle cures, much like a snake oil salesman, during his daily White House Covid-19 briefs. Now, he's even outdone himself, in suggesting that bleach disinfectants can cure the coronavirus. Health experts and the chemical manufacturers quickly issue warnings, as there's a spike in calls to America's poison control centres. 

It's about as irresponsible as one can get! Everyday Americans are taught to listen to and respect the president. Who'd have ever guessed that one would someday try to shove a mad mix of deadly toxins and sheer stupidity, down their throats. We live in very strange times indeed @ NYT @ WP



Noam Chomsky Speaks: A timely video and transcript of Noam on the Covid-19 strikes, Trump, Biden and the NeoLiberal assault @ GZ

Wacky World Of QAnon: Hang on -it gets crazier! Many Trump followers actually believe that a satanic pedophiliac cabal is trying to take over the world. And that Der Donald is secretly playing a super smart 3D chess game to defeat them. Which invariably explains every bizarre thing he does. Including downplaying the virus and claiming it's a hoax. Or his deadly miracle cures.



To better know your enemy, we sometimes need to climb inside their head. You'll find the Q Patriot Hub conspiracy theory site @ QAnon A backgrounder @ Wiki Also check out Qanon's wacky Covid-19 conspiracy theory @ Con

MAGA Virus: The first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is now spreading through the Trump swing states. Der Donald's most obstinant MAGA deniers and his anti-Covid-19 protesters could be in for quite a surprise. That might seriously hurt his fall re-election chances. Or will it? @ G @ Pol

Masters of War: Aren't enough people dying already?!?  The US military industrial complex is sneakily eyeing billions of extra dollars, which they want added to the next coronavirus aid bill. Oh Oh! Seems the Covid-19 crisis has resulted in added costs and delays, for their new weapon systems. Beware @ Hill



"Very Special Forces" or "Foreign Affairs": Seems a madcap mercenary army was posed to capture and overthrow Venezuelan President Madura, at the US's behest. Sadly, there's even a Canadian connection. Reads like a real comedy of errors. Think Bay of Pigs. Scary. Scary @ PI @ ADN @ Ind @ GZ

Reclaiming Populism: Trump's a populist. Doug Ford too. Sooo ..... Why are our populist leader's always some dopey conman from the right?!? Will the North America political landscape soon shift? Creating the prerequisites for a revitalized, multiracial, populist leader to arise from the left instead? And would that really be progress? Or just more of the same old shit? Different smell? More @ PR



Environmental Attack: American industry is busily  working under cover of the Covid-19 pandemic to strip away environmental protections and safeguards like never before @ CJR

World Hunger Crisis: While the Covid-19 pandemic steals the news headlines, a much more deadly, global food shortage is looming, throughout the developing world. But nobody's coughing up the $$$ for that. No way @ NYT

EDUBEAT:

ETFO: Ontario's public elementary teacher follow OECTA in ratifying a new 3 year contract deal with the Ford government. It comes after a long, terse standoff. Our Dougie seems to have backed off his deep education cuts, for now. Unlike OECTA, ETFO releases the vote results: 97% of teachers voted yes. So too 94% of their education workers. We await further details, but it sounds quite a lot like what OECTA settled for too @ ETFO

OSSTF: Ontario's public secondary school teachers ratify their new contract, but not everybody is a happy camper. Did the union capitulate to the Ford government? Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? Out of fear? Gratitude? Sacrifice? Or for "stability"? The deal remains shrouded in public secrecy. As with OECTA, the voting numbers aren't released. More @ OSSTF @ CBC @ R+F 



Partnership Table: People For Education are calling upon the Ford government to convene an Ontario partnership table. It would carefully consider the way forward with online learning, and for the reopening of our schools. It would include teachers, educators and school workers, as well. Only makes sense. Perhaps too much sense. Still hasn't been tried. Duh @ OSH

Should Everyone Get An "A"? That's what a lot of school boards are thinking, in both Canada and the US. Sure classes were disrupted for the students, through no fault of their own, but does that mean any objective academic standards should go out the door? Just so everybody feels good? How will that effect post secondary education? And the knowledge, skill and training levels of our workforce in the year's ahead? Lotsa mushy thinking is sadly being peddled as informed thought @ NYT

Stop Asian Hate: The L.A. based AAPI is real concerned about the level of hate crimes against Asians and Pacific Islanders during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their incident reporting forms and procedures provide an excellent example of how we might better deal with this very real and pressing issue @ APC3



Home Safety: Sadly, staying at home isn't the safest place to be, if you are trapped inside with an abuser, during the coronavirus pandemic @ CLC

Everyday COVID-19 Safety Tips: Yiiikes! It's soooo easy to get paranoid, obsessive and uptight! Is the virus on your clothes? Shoes? Hair? The mail? More @ NYT

Secondary Effects: Sure, most Covid-19 patients survive the ordeal. But the effects can still, like heart disease, reduce your life expectancy, by at least ten years NP

COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories: Is 5G to blame? A bioweapon? A garlic cure? Or some other nefarious Chinese plot? Here are the Top 10 most popular Covid-19 conspiracy theories or myths. Plus why they are just plain wrong; a trail of deceit @ NGT



Biological Warfare 101: The indigenous "depopulation" of North America began through simple exposure to the germ carrying European settlers. Millions died as they were exposed to small pox, measles, typhus, fever, flu, syphilis, bubonic plague and the mumps for the first time. Want a conspiracy theory? Evidence suggest that the British colonists might've contributed to the pandemic by purposely handing out infected blankets to the unsuspecting aborigines. So who's a "savage" now?!? @ VT @ History

COVID-19 Psych'ed: Here are some helpful, coping strategies for dealing with all the very understandable worry and anxiety, resulting from the global pandemic @ PT



More COVID-19 Timelines

History Repeats: A hundred years ago the Spanish Flu killed hundreds of millions around the world. The quarantine ended early. Very deadly second and third wave attacks of the virus soon followed, in it's wake. Are we making the same mistakes today? @ CBC @ CBC-R

Monitor The Cross Canada Curve with daily updates @ DH

Re-Open Saskatchewan: The prairie province is the first with a plan to restart it's economy. There are 5 steps. The first 2 include dates. If that sounds rather rash, please note that it hasn't been hit as hard by the pandemic, as most of Canada. Read @ CBC

Ontario releases it's 3 stage framework for reopening our province. No dates are provided. That's good, because it means the often buffoonish and inept Ford government will still be relying upon the medical experts to determine that. We still haven't peaked @ Scribd

Latest Toronto COVID-19 Stats: These are pretty interesting as they are broken down by age group, gender, hospital admissions and deaths @ TO 

KULTURE KULT INK



Self Isolation is not as easy as it might seem, as most of us are now finding out ... Insert scream here .... To varying degrees we thrive on human interaction and contact. Maybe we can take it or leave it, that is, until it's suddenly gone! Bottom line? Our friends and significant others are absolutely necessary for our sense of wellbeing and mental health! Read Gillian Sisley Mamamia More on why social isolation can be draining and hurt your mental health @ M

History Repeats Again: There have been lots and lots of pandemics throughout human history. They never end well. Nor do we ever learn from our mistakes. A brief history lesson. Then here we go again, one more time for the books @ History

Important Life Lesson: The Covid-19 pandemic shows us that "everyone looking out for themselves" is at best an illusion. On a go forward basis, it's time to open our eyes. We live in a very interconnected world @ SCMP



After the Pandemic: Here's a ten point plan for extending our collective responsibility to meet everyone's basic needs. Let's dare to think bigger now than we did in the past @ PR

How To Change The World: Think big. Create communities. Be a real leader. Plus there's more! To celebrate Earth Day, UN Environment Program department considers our new possibilities, in a post Covid-19 world. Let's not blow this opportunity for a fresh start @ UNE

Fuck This: Yes! It's true. Lotsa folk are stuck inside and screwing like crazy! But if condoms aren't exactly an essential service where you live, we could be looking at another baby boom too. Hope you really like kids @ Wired



True Social Distancing: Gurdeep Pandher of the Yukon shares his love of bhangra dancing with us. The goal?!? To keep spirits up. And show us how to have a little good natured, isolation fun together during the pandemic. From where???  His cabin in Canada's far, far north. Would you like some Scottish bagpipes with that? Sure! This is Canada eh! And this is about as multicultural as it gets, eh! Enjoy @  Huff

Not Walking The Talk! Everybody is falling over backwards to assure you that safety comes first nowadays  However, Amazon and the Dollarama amongst so many others stand accused of saying one thing and doing something else, at least as far as employee safety goes, during the pandemic. Dollarama @  SOU Amazon Yahoo

Mis/DisInformation: It's everywhere on the open net. We are in great danger of getting jerked around and being mislead. Learn how to recognize and combat it online @ GFCYBER

Digital Spies: Any digital tracking and monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic must respect human rights. That includes our right to privacy, plus our freedom of expression and association @ HRW @ ICIMG



Finding Zen: Perhaps you're reading my mini travel blog series on Santiago de Cuba 2020? Then you'll find writer Eric Demore's first hand account of an emergency visit to a Cuban hospital there very interesting and informative. Ya gotta have heart. Cuba sure does. Zen and Eric too @ Medium

Pet Peeves: Ever wonder how your dog, cat or other pets are holding up? Now that you're at home all day long? Notice anything weird? Don't forget, they're often used to having your home to themselves. Their comfortable, everyday routines suddenly have been thrown off too! More @ Vox


COMMENTS

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!