‘Measures not restrictions’

Our Premier came out of hiding yesterday for an unprecedented showing of just how much of a fucking moron he is.

To the surprise of no one with a brain, the Premier stood in front of national television cameras (47 minutes late) to gaslight Canada into believing he’s taking adequate measures to control the spread of COVID in our province. Which, I would like to add, is still the province with the most positive, presently active cases in the country. The provinces ranking second and third for most active cases have three times, and double the population of our province, respectively.

Refusing to call them restrictions, because they’re not, the new ‘measures’ he’s ‘putting into place’ are effective Friday. The funny but not so funny story is, they’ve already been mandated at the municipal levels since July. And yet here we are.

Effective Friday both my city and the other major city in this province have a mask mandate for all indoor public spaces. Both my city and the other major city in this province mandated that at the municipal level in July.

Effective Friday social gatherings are no longer allowed… except in restaurants, pubs, bars, movie theatres, casinos, water parks, and the mall. A thinly veiled effort to keep people in public, spending money. You’re not allowed to meet your family at home, but if you want to go out for dinner, have-atter. Oh, and you might as well make a night of it and stop at the waterpark some good clean fun before you go home.

Effective Friday stores are required to operate at 25 percent capacity. Because nothing screams ‘I’m trying to help you keep your lights on’ like ‘I’m going to limit the customers you can see in a day, so just make them buy more when they’re in your store’.

Effective Friday hotels are required to only see guests by appointment only. I’m honestly not sure what planet he’s living on but I’m pretty sure the hotel industry has been operating with reservations since the beginning of time.

Also, to go with the ‘appointment only’ measure… all hair, nail, waxing salons, barbers, etc… are required to operate by appointment only. Because, you know, they haven’t been. Up until now you’ve been able to casually walk into any salon in this city and ask for a four hour colour, cut and perm appointment and they sat you right down to get started.

Churches are no longer allowed to operate at 30 percent capacity, they’re required to operate at 1/3 capacity and there are zero exceptions to this.

Oh and fitness classes are cancelled until further notice. If you want to workout, you cannot go to a class, you’re going to have to go into the gym and share the weight and cardio equipment with every other Tom, Dick and Harry who refuses to wipe down equipment like the gym was meant to be used for.

Perhaps his biggest measure of the announcement, the one he’s most proud of, effective Friday all concert venues and conference centres are closed, indefinitely. Because, you know, concerts and conferences have been going on as though it’s business and normal and that needs to be stopped. Concerts can absolutely not happen any longer.

The economic and mental health impacts of staying at home are far too restrictive for the people of this province to be able to live freely. People need to be able to go out and infect each other if they so please. The premier hopes, though, that with these measures, he’ll slow the earth-shattering depletion of our health care system minute by minute.

Oh, and if you’re someone like me who suffers from anxiety and being in public right now, just stay home, he says. The mental health implications of stay-at-home measures are far more important than the mental health implications of the deadly virus currently running rampant (un)checked throughout the province.

He finished by once again reminding us that if we just all ‘work together’ and do the right thing, the spread of COVID will slow. He’s been spewing that line since September when he had 700 cases. Perhaps he just doesn’t watch the news and isn’t aware of the 15,000 presently positive cases (and climbing by the thousands daily).

It seems like we’re in for a world of further hurt in this province with this moron at the helm. What’s really sad is that the way our law is written in this province, the chief medical officer has absolute power to overwrite his ‘measures’ and actually put restrictions in place to slow the spread. She won’t though.

My biggest takeaway… if you want to see someone who doesn’t live in your home, just go to the casino. Or maybe the mall. Actually, the mall is a really good idea because then you’re inclined to also shop local, right? Right?

Lucky us

Nov 23, 2020 – Empty Aisles all over again

We officially have the highest positive COVID case count in Canada. We also have the second highest percentage of infections per capita in Canada.

We also have a premier that hasn’t made a public appearance since November 9th. I wonder if he really believed the words he was saying when he said that ‘People will do the right thing for everyone’, or if he was just spewing his regular bullshit. I reckon he was just spewing his regular bullshit. Either way he’s been in hiding. Maybe he was getting plastic surgery and needed to recover. Maybe he lacks the necessary leadership skills required to see the general public through a pandemic. Maybe he just doesn’t care that hospitals are at 135% capacity and he has been at home playing animal farm because he gets paid whether or not he shows up for work.

Rumour has it he’ll make a public appearance today. People are saying restrictions are coming. I will believe that when I see it…

In the mean time, people are panic buying already. I went to the grocery store right before it closed last night, thinking if there was any sort of a chance any restrictions did come today, I wanted my Pepsi and a couple of staples before the restrictions were announced and people went crazy. I was met with empty aisles all over the place.

More COVID, le sigh.

The only time I’ve left my house in the past several weeks is to just drive. I don’t get out of my car. I don’t really do anything other than drive… to see sights that aren’t my house, even if it’s just ten minutes.

The truth is, my anxiety is keeping me from doing much of anything these days. One of my guilty pleasures in life is Pepsi (it’s 100% better than Coke so don’t even try to argue with me on that one) and I can’t even get up the nerve to walk into a gas station to get some. I won’t go into the grocery store, and since you have to order $35 dollars worth of stuff on Instacart before they can process your order, I’ve been going without until it’s time to get groceries.

Yeah, I know… no Pepsi. Boo-freaking-who, what a horrible problem.

Honestly, stay at home isn’t awful. And it hasn’t been awful. The problem is the fear.

The government in this province has just decided that if they ask people nicely to stay home then restrictions aren’t necessary. As such, we’re the only province in the country without a mask-mandate. We’re also consistently breaking our COVID positivity rates each day. Tonight on the news they said that there have been more confirmed cases of COVID in the past three days in this province then there were in the first three months after the pandemic was officially declared by the WHO.

I mean… I guess we’re winning at something right? Testing positive?

I’m too anxious to go anywhere. I’m too anxious to do anything.

Every time our Premier opens his mouth I’m reminded of the saying ‘it’s better to have someone think you’re an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt in their mind’. He’s an idiot. He is. He won’t mandate masks, the simplest, easiest fucking thing to do during this pandemic, because he believes it infringes on people’s basic human rights to live freely. While the rest of the country is in various stages of lockdowns and closures to try and slow the spread and not put such a strain on their health care system, he’s advocating for the laying off of 11,000 health care workers and to putting portable buildings in hospital parking lots for overflow. Some hospitals in this province are at 135 percent capacity and his response is ‘They went into health care to help people, so now’s the time for them to step up’.

No. You fucking moron. No.

You wouldn’t tell everyone to set fire to their homes because firefighters go into fire fighting to put out fires.

We’re consistently pushing over 1,000 cases per day, and that’s with the ‘voluntary measures’ they trust the public will follow. They have so many positive cases at the moment that they cannot even contact-trace. They’ve said they’re going to hire 400 people to do contact tracing to get a better hold on where spread is coming. Because, you know, he did promise ‘JOBS, JOBS, JOBS’ when he was running for election. At least he’s holding true to one of his fucking promises.

I can live without manicures and hair cuts. I can live without window shopping. I can live without the gym. I can even live without seeing family at Christmas. But, we’ve reached a 6.9 percent infection rate. Why do we have a play a game of how many people can we infect?

I’m worried people are letting their guards down with all of this news about a vaccine. The truth is, while a vaccine may come in early 2020, it’ll be months and months before regular folk are able to get it. Health care workers will get it first, as they should. Seniors and high-risk professions will get it next. Then politicians. Then, you know the most privileged of society. It could be July or August before the majority of the population is able to get it. Hearing a press release that a vaccine is coming doesn’t mean that we get to let our guards down now.

The bottom line is that I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere soon.

Hopefully in three years when the next election rolls around people will remember how thousands of health care workers, and specifically emergency room doctors, begged and pleaded with the government to put some restrictions in place that would stop people from getting sick and the government turned to the television and said ‘People have a right to live freely and get sick if they so choose’ and ‘That’s why you went into health care so stop complaining’. Okay, I’m paraphrasing on that ‘get sick if they so choose’ part, but it pretty much was a giant kick in the teeth to anyone who’s a health care worker in this province.

If you can’t tell, this stuff makes me really angry.

Doctors are saying they’re nearing a point where they’re going to have to choose which people to save and where to divert their resources because they’re stretch so thin. The government is like ‘Meh. I don’t have it so I don’t care’ and the general public is just like ‘Meh. Let’s go to a party’.

Okay, I’m done ranting now.

If anyone knows how to talk some sense into the human race, please let me know. Also, and this is so dumb, if anyone knows how to get Pepsi without going into a store, without needing the $35 order minimum, please share your wisdom with me.

Okay, one more thing.

I realize my ability to stay home comes from a place of privilege. I realize that a lot of people in this world work jobs that don’t allow them to stay at home. I just also know that we have had large subsidies to help people get through this pandemic in Canada and that the option is there for more, if the government were to decide to enact on it. The federal government offered $2,000 per person per month. The provincial government offered $1,000 on top of that. They imposed rent freezes. They imposed regulations stopped any landlord from being able to evict someone from a rental property during lockdown. The banks postponed mortgage payments and credit card payments for clients. I guess, I just… I think if they really wanted to look out for everyone, if they really wanted to act like the elected leadership they are, they’d do more than tell health care workers they’re complaining and it’s not that bad.

Also, I didn’t start this job I’m at now until the end of May (just a few days before June) so I went through three months of lockdown using these government subsidies to get by. So I’m well aware of what it’s like.

Okay, I’m really done now.

Sorry for all of the complaining.

Rant, rant, rant

A physician was on the news tonight to say that the time to act for a circuit breaker lockdown as a measure to slow the spread of corona virus is now. He went on to say that we cannot expect, nor even hope for, people to do the right thing for the greater good. He said that if the past few months have taught us anything, people aren’t going to do what’s right for everyone, they’re going to live for themselves.

I agree with him.

We’ve had more than 700 cases a day for weeks now, lately earning 900 – 1,100 a day.

It’s clear that people don’t give a rats ass about this pandemic.

Point proven if you watch YouTube. People are using positive tests for COVID as clickbait to get views. One family, known on YouTube as 8 Passengers, celebrated the father getting COVID by having him purposefully infect all of their children. Not only that but they sent their children to school after the father was diagnosed, before they were, forcing an unknown number of children from their kid’s schools into isolation and laughing about having done that in their video.

People are inherently selfish.

They don’t seem to care about anyone but themselves.

Can you imagine being a health care worker right now? Working your ass off every single day to try and keep people alive to hear that people are bragging on YouTube about how many people they exposed themselves too? Watching the government say that restrictions infringe on people’s rights to live freely? More like restrictions infringe on people’s rights to infect others freely.

More than 400 health care workers signed a single letter to our provincial government asking him for some restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. The government’s response was to make last call for alcohol in bars at 11 o clock, make sure places of worship can only operate at 1/3 capacity. Meanwhile, the premier himself happens to be in isolation because he couldn’t even follow his own guidelines and social distance.

But people will do better.

People will do better, right? Right?

Stupid vacuum

The Dyson Vacuum in this house has stopped working. The Dyson Vacuum that belongs to the landlord, I feel the need to add.

I’m sitting here worried that I’ve broken an $800 vacuum.

I’ve read the support center of the Dyson website. I’ve watched at least a dozen YouTube videos of people explaining how to fix it. I’ve taken it apart and put it back together. It’s still not working.

I feel so defeated when it comes to things like this. I just cannot fix it. I don’t know how. Despite trying to tell myself that I can do anything I put my mind to, I really cannot.

I’m aware this is a first world problem. I guess life is good if all I’m worried about is a stupid vacuum.

Well… shit

Yesterday, in this province, we broke the record for positive cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic. Today we broke yesterday’s record.

I would like it stated, for the record, that I am NOT for this ‘well if we all catch it then we’ll be good’ mentality. As someone who lives with an autoimmune condition, I really would prefer to not ‘risk it’ and hope for the best. Maybe that’s just me, though…

Healthy people need to realize that they’re harming everyone if they have a nonchalant attitude about this. Cancer patients are being told they can’t have their treatments because it’s too much of a risk. Surgeries, necessary surgeries are being postponed because it’s not safe. People who need to rely on the health care system are being told that they can’t because selfish people need to throw wedding receptions and retirement parties.

Enough, I say. Enough.

Why is bedding so ugly? (a rant)

Warning: the following post is my ranting about a problem that comes from a place of privilege. A ‘first world problem’ as the masses would call it. I know I’m a very lucky soul that these seemingly simple problems are problems of mine.

I just want a comforter. Just a warm comforter in a plain colour. Something that will keep me warm through the winter.

I don’t want a duvet because taking the cover off to wash is too annoying for me to tolerate, so I refuse to spend m money on it.

I don’t want a white comforter because I’m a human being and that comforter would not stay white very long.

I don’t want a thin blanket. I need a real comforter. It’s been snowing here for the past week and we’ve had a drop in average daily temperatures by probably 15 degrees. Thin blankets aren’t going to cut it.

I don’t need a ‘bed in a bag’. I’ve already got sheets. I’ve already got pillow cases. I’m a millennial so top sheets are completely lost on someone like me. I don’t want to spend 30 minutes making my bed every morning. These sets available aren’t worth it to me. I don’t need 5 or 9 piece sets… I need one piece. One comforter, that’s it.

I just want a basic, one coloured comforter that will keep me warm through the winter.

Is this too much to ask?

Apparently.

I’ve scoured Amazon, Wal Mart, Superstore, Bed Bath & Beyond, and even Wayfair (even though I have a strong dislike for Wayfair and do not wish to give them my money). I’ve found green and black plaid, red and white plaid, yellow with daisies, city skyline printed, navy with various shades of pink poppies scattered all over it. I found a pink and gold marble pattern, neon green strips, black and red checkers. What ever happened to just… simple?

Long story short, I can’t find a simple, plain comforter. I find stuff like this:

I mean no offense to anyone who finds these examples cute, or they are your style. To me they just look like they’d be a bit of an eye sore in my bedroom. And, for several hundred dollars, it should at least be something that fits my style.

If anyone has any suggestions of where to look for bedding please let me know. I’d prefer online at this point. I am quite sick and I don’t want to go out and about shopping.

Thanks for listening to me rant.

Posting pictures of people you don’t know

Marla (MarlaOnTheMove) and I have been chatting today about the idea of posting photos online that include people you don’t know and also, about posting photos of people you do know that you haven’t asked permission to share. I’ve briefly talked about this subject on my blog in the past and I got a lot crap for my opinions. What I never did, however, was share the story that largely shaped why my opinions are the way that they are.

In 2014 whilst working PR for large event, two coworkers and myself stopped off for a breather in the media scrum room. For anyone who’s not aware, at large events that have groups of journalists come to them, the hosts will often have private rooms for the journalists to meet, talk, eat and relax between speeches or games or whatever is happening that day.

The food in this room on this day was a hot dog, pasta and potato bar. We grabbed some food, sat down in the far corner of the room and I secretly took off the world’s most uncomfortable heels for a few minutes. (I wear heels once in a blue moon, and when I do, I very much regret doing so)

While in the corner, minding our own business at our own table, a journalist that was sitting at a table about forty feet away from us, took a photo of my coworkers and I eating. He was far enough away that we didn’t know this photo was being taken. Not until after the fact.

We were eating hot dogs. It was a gourmet hot dog bar, with different types of meat and probably forty different items for toppings. I don’t make it a regular occurrence to eat hot dogs, but I mean… when in Rome… or when there’s a gourmet hot dog bar, why not right?

So, this journalist took a photo of us eating hot dogs without our knowing about it. This journalist proceeded to post this photo of us eating hot dogs to his Twitter account and make a lewd comment that compared the hot dogs we were eating to a penis.

He took a photo of three women who were minding their own business, eating their lunch in the middle of a busy work day, posted the photo to the internet and made a lewd comment as the caption.

We didn’t find out about the photo until probably close to midnight that night. It was actually our boss who showed us the photo. This journalist, not thinking about the reach that he had with his social media platforms, thought that it was completely appropriate to take our photo without our knowing about it and share it as a means to turn us into a joke.

That is why I don’t eat hot dogs anymore.

But also, this is largely why I have a firm, hard stance on people posting photos of someone they don’t know.

People deserve privacy.

In a world where there’s a camera on every phone (and likely to be a camera on every watch soon enough) finding privacy seems to be a harder feat with each passing day.

I’m of the firm belief that just because you can take a picture of someone doesn’t mean that you should. And, if for some reason someone has ended up in a photograph of yours on accident, you do not have permission to share that photo online without asking them first. If you want to blur them out, or crop them out, then go ahead and post the picture. But, if you can clearly identify someone in your photograph and they haven’t provided you permission to post said photo online, then you shouldn’t be posting it.

This counts for people you know, this counts for people you don’t know. This very much counts for EVERYONE under the age of 18. In my personal opinion it’s especially important if someone is under the age of 18 to either not share photographs, or seek permission from them (if they’re old enough to provide it) or their parents if they’re too young to provide permission.

If you don’t have permission to post a photo of the person in your photo then don’t post it. It’s as simple as that.

Do I think that everyone in this world is seeking to go out and take photos of people at vulnerable moments to post them online and turn them into a joke and humiliate them? No.

But, that doesn’t change my stance that people deserve privacy. They deserve the right to wander the bookstore without you taking their photo. They deserve the right to drop their kids off at school without you taking their photo. They deserve the right to privacy, no matter the circumstance or reason that saw them wind up in your photograph. They deserve the right to privacy no matter what you plan on doing with the photo. Even if your account only has ten followers.

I also believe this applies to everyone. Public figure or random nobody. If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are the guests of honour and speakers for a public event, go ahead and take their photo on stage while they’re speaking. They know what happens at these events and they sign up for them, likely signing a contract that agrees to their photo being taken. If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are out for a walk with their son on a quiet trail on a Sunday afternoon and they can’t see you, or even if they can, don’t take their photo. It’s rude. It’s uncalled for.

People deserve the right to privacy in their lives. Walking out of your front door each morning is not a free pass for the world to use or share your likeness anywhere you go. Whether they’re Joe Schmoe from Timbuktu or the most famous person on earth. Whether you know someone or you don’t. Whether they’re in the photo purposefully (on your part or theirs) or they’re in the photo accidentally, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have the right to share it.

If your intentions are innocent and you just think it’s a cool photo that you’d like to share, get permission from the people you do know and crop out the people you don’t. It’s not that hard to figure out.

And, to the people in this world who argue there’s no such thing as privacy in 2020, there can be. If you choose to be a decent human being, there definitely can be. It’s all a matter of choice. Who do you want to be? What kind of legacy do you want to lead?

I’m sure I’ll get harsh critique of these opinions, but that’s okay. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and I get that not everyone thinks the same way as I do. That journalist seemed to think it was a completely okay thing to do to take a photo of us eating hot dogs and post it to Twitter with a lewd comment. Myself, my coworkers, my boss, we all did not.

Let’s talk about Twitter’s ‘Report Tweet’ Function

Through my blogging, personal life and work responsibilities, I have a social media profile on virtually every platform. What I’ve found over the years is that Twitter is largely the platform/home for racists to spew their racism and to recruit people into their racist circles.

I have a few theories as to why. Firstly, I believe racists aren’t going to be as vocally racist on Instagram because they don’t want to put a face to their racism through their photos. Secondly, I think that Donald Trump has given racists more of a voice on Twitter over the past three and somewhat years. Please don’t misunderstand that statement, because I am not saying that the racism started when he became president. I am merely stating that racists got a lot more vocal and a lot more prominent when he became president.

Racism has always been a part of our society. It has just, in recent years, become a lot more prevalent than any other time I can remember in my 31 years of life. I do believe that Donald Trump has played a role in that. I do believe he has emboldened racists to believe that their behaviour is moral, just, acceptable and completely okay.

Why am I talking about this today?

I spent a decent amount of time over the past week reporting tweets for racism and hate speech on Twitter.

This past Monday a horrifying incident happened in a nearby city where a Doctor was bludgeoned to death in an examination room in his own clinic. Within just a few hours of the attack, video footage of the suspect being put into the back of a police car was circulating Twitter. The only characteristic that racist Twitter could take from the video was that the suspect had dark skin.

Racist Twitter went off. I mean they unloaded.

They didn’t know a single fucking thing about the suspect other than he had dark skin and they took that and they ran with that. Reading the comments from racist Twitter made me angry, upset and frustrated that I have to call myself the same species as these people. I don’t really want to repeat too much of what was said because it was so disgusting but it included comments (on the least awful end of the spectrum) like ‘this city has gone to hell since the blacks invaded’ and ‘Trudeau lets in these druggie, criminal gangsters and they murder our doctors. End immigration now.”

Hundreds, if not thousands, of comments directed towards insulting, demeaning and devaluing people of colour in our country circulated to the point that it was trending nationally. It was racist and a lot of it was hate speech.

I’ve been in a lot of discussions, arguments and full blown fights with racist twitter over the years. What I’ve learned is that, if someone is being racist on Twitter, you’re not going to change their mind no matter how much logic, kindness and reasoning you provide.

So, seeing these comments and feeling bad for this doctor and his family, I decided to take a different route.

I reported the tweets.

If I saw it and it was racism or direct hate speech against people of colour I reported the tweet. I did so because, and I cannot stress this enough, SOMEONE’S SKIN COLOUR HAS NOT A SINGLE FUCKING THING TO DO WITH WHETHER OR NOT THEY WILL COMMIT A CRIME.

Whew, sorry for yelling. I just needed to get that out.

The day following the attack, after next of kin had been notified, the identity of the Doctor was released to the public. And again, racist twitter went off. This time it wasn’t so much in the form of hate speech, but more in the form of proving themselves to be complete fucking idiots.

The Doctor was a Caucasian man who had immigrated to Canada from South Africa. Racist Twitter, doing what racist twitter does, began making comments like ‘Naw, he’s not from Africa, he’s white’. There was a lot of confusion from racist twitter about how someone from Africa could be white. I’ve long been of the belief that racism stems from lack of intelligence, lack of awareness, lack of education. Feel free to disagree with that belief if you would like, but, hearing people confused because about the fact that all people from Africa aren’t black really hammers that point home for me.

On this day I again took to reporting tweets that were racist and contained hate speech. Why? I know I’m not going to change the opinion of someone who is a racist by reporting their tweets. I just think that perhaps if enough of us reported tweets containing racism and hate speech to Twitter, they’d realize the platform of racism and hate speech they’re cultivating and do something about it.

I know I’m only one person and I know people will disagree with my reporting the tweets or tell me I’m wasting my time, but I have to try.

Well, anyways, fast forward to today. I was given notification from twitter for every single tweet, every single fucking tweet that I reported, that Twitter did not deem them to be racist, harmful or believe that these tweets were promoting hate speech.

To me, this 100% proves my point that Twitter is a platform for racists to be racists, for it to be okay. Racist twitter isn’t just the people making racist tweets, it’s the people who read reported tweets and deem them okay and appropriate and say they do not violate Twitter’s community guidelines.

If racism, hate speech, threats of violence against people of colour don’t violate Twitter’s community guidelines, what does? How bad does something have to get before they actually do something about it? Because whether you’re a keyboard warrior in middle of nowhere Canada raging on people of colour because of one man committing a horrendous and heinous crime, or you’re the President of the United States, I don’t fucking care. You should be held accountable for the things you say. And, it says a lot about the beliefs Twitter stands for when they believe it’s more important to promote hate speech then to denounce hate speech.

I’m so angry as I right this. I can’t even come up with a conclusion to this other than saying that the ‘Report Tweet’ button on Twitter doesn’t do a damn thing. Twitter is a place for racists to be celebrated, apparently.

A man lost his life. Kids lost their father. A woman lost her husband. That’s what matters. Anyone who thinks the colour of the suspect’s skin is important or the birth place of the doctor is important is absolutely in the wrong.

In my opinion

I’m so livid right now.

If you think the small, simple act of wearing a mask in public is infringing upon your rights, or doesn’t do anything, then next time you or someone you love needs to have surgery (which could very well happen soon if you/they contract COVID) then please feel free to go ahead and tell the doctors, nurses and surgical aids they need not wear masks to protect the sterility of the operating room. Because if you truly don’t think masks do anything, why should anyone wear them for your sugery?

Also, if someone knowingly has a COVID 19 diagnosis and willingly and purposefully goes out into public whilst sick, they should be charged with public endangerment. (Yeah I’m talking about the COVIDIOT case from Fire Island) At that point you’re purposefully releasing a biological contagion onto innocent people that could potentially cause them lengthy hospital stays/death. Yeah… that should be a crime.