Opening Statement



Sunday, 31 May 2020

My Covid-19 Diary 6: Escape From Toronto!


We're high tailing it out of Toronto! Fast! The CN tower receding in our rear view mirror. Escaping to our summer digs. In South Eastern Ontario. Land o' Lakes. A good 3 and a half hour drive, far away from the big city madness.

Yup! It's official! Ontario Premier Doug Ford surprised us all. Come May 16th, "Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season ...",  allowing, "... access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract."

Hooray! That's us! Janet and I! We have a 40 foot trailer, with a sunroom and deck. 3 kayaks. And a yearly lease on a small plot of land. With 12 maples, on the shore of Lake Mississaganon. 

Think retiree el cheapo chic. Only affordable because we're so far from ahem ... civilization. 

We always spend our spring and summers here. Until Thanksgiving in the fall. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, seems like this year too.



Seriously! I need to fucking get out of the city! 

El pronto! As far away from as humanly possible. 

Before Premier Ford changes his mind.

Quite frankly, I doubt he did the right thing. The pandemic is hardly over, in Toronto, at least. An extra month of quarantine could've made a big difference. Stopped it from dragging on and on. Through a second and third wave. 

But once again, the economy comes first. The omens and tell tale signs are everywhere. Our strict, safety measures in Ontario have been slowly but surely starting to unravel. Fall apart. For some time now.

Hear the dog whistles? They're everywhere!



Remember earlier? When our Douglas, after warning everybody not to go to the cottage, sneaked off there himself? Or when he warned us against Mother's Day gatherings, then got caught doing just that? 

Or how about when Mayor John Tory got caught without his PPE's? Shaking hands with the huge crowd of Covid-iots? Mingling about in the sun at Trinity Bellwoods park?

Or did you notice the Toronto Police idly standing by? Not wearing their masks or gloves. Not social distancing either.

Sure. Like good Canadians, everybody has long since apologized for their indiscretions! But the word is out, eh! Loud and clear. 

Beware! Our "leaders" are saying one thing. But doing something else. And before we know it, everything starts to fall apart.



Gatherings of 5 people or less? This weekend, saw the largest crowd in Toronto yet. Regretfully, for a cause very close to my heart. A protest march, with which I would normally quite heartily support. 

Yup! Thousands marched through the streets! Protesting against discrimination. In solidarity with our indigenous bothers and sisters. With POC. Demanding a thorough and transparent SIU investigation into the suspicious death a young, mentally distressed, black woman. 

Regretfully, as a senior, I sat this one out. There's just no way I'm marching in a huge crowd. Yelling and working up a big sweat. Not social distancing properly.

Right now, it's a definite health risk. Watch for the Covid-19 numbers to spike.

Nope. I'll let my keyboard speak out for me instead. Here and on twitter. 

And so it goes and on and on and on ....

Here we now are. Far off in the woods. As far away as we can possibly get. 

Alone except for the bears ... The coyotes ... racoons ... rabbits ... and snakes. The huge clouds of mosquitos ... black flies ... caterpillars ... insects and bugs of every sort ....



Hmmmm ... Well, I still feel a lot safer here! 

Much moreso than on our last supply run in the city, getting ready to leave. 

Janet and I shopped 2 more Costco outlets, hoping to avoid the zombie apocalypse, as reported a couple of blogs ago, at Costco Vaughan

Social distancing? Ha!

The angry line-up didn't want to let the first responders to enter the store ahead of them. Much yelling and shouting. Almost a fist fight too. Total chaos ensued, as we were asked to keep 6 feet apart. Impossible while trying to make our way through the impossibly tight and narrow checkout lanes. 

Get this: at Canadian Tire, we were greeted by an old white guy screaming racist insults. It was a decidedly multicultural line up. We're all politely and patiently waiting to get in. He's stupidly yelling at everybody to go back home where you come from, to supposedly stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Screw that! We have a blended family. I bet both sides have been here in Canada a lot longer than his! Divisive shit. He's just trying to pick a fight.

Sad. Very sad. Everything spinning out of control. 

Or think of a tinder box. On a short fuse. Just waiting to explode. 

Add lotsa sparks .... Kaboom!




Hiding from the bears ...

Out here in Land o' Lakes, we've been asked not to shop at the local stores. We're quite happy to oblige. 

We'll make frequent supply runs back and forth to the city instead. Much moreso than in years past. Do it all summer long. 

A small price to pay! 

It's back to nature time! Our "Great Escape from Toronto"! 

After two and a half months in isolation, it's time to get the hell out! As far away as we can! Before we blow a gasket.

Whew! 

Back at our trailer, I quickly load up my bong. Enjoy a toke ... or two ... or three ... or four. With my feet up on the front porch, just communing with nature... 

Sure there's plenty of yard work. Gardening and home repairs too. We gotta get the place ready for summer. But it feels so healthy to be outdoors again. Doing some  physical work. Blowing off steam.

The hordes of bugs? Like the coronavirus back in Toronto, they are everywhere. But easy to spot! A well known and most predictable foe. The discomfort of bug netting? Of always remembering to shut the windows? And doors? In comparison, it's a small sacrifice to make!



Afterwards, I grab my lifejacket and paddle. Roll a big fat joint. Head off for some real social distancing in my kayak, out on the lake. 

Miles from nowhere, with nobody but nobody in sight, I paddle upstream. Under clear blue skies and the bright sunlight, I lay back. Fire up my doob. Drift idly back to camp, atop the gentle current. The swirling eddies. All alone but for the cry of the loon. 

Goodbye Toronto! Hello Summer 2020!


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