The Mellow Playlist

Sharing one of my playlists that I keep for when I’m waiting for things. Whether it a waiting room, an airport lobby, in traffic, it really doesn’t matter. If you need some chill options to listen to, I highly recommend. Links are to the YouTube videos so that you can hear the song.

  1. Arkells – Quitting You – https://youtu.be/DeXCTpdWggk
  2. The Chainsmokers and Coldplay – Something just like this – https://youtu.be/_tNU6dpjIyM
  3. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Home – https://youtu.be/DHEOF_rcND8
  4. Arkells – My heart’s always yours – https://youtu.be/VexuUr4pN-Q (The ultimate love song in my mind)
  5. Tracy Chapman – Fast Car – https://youtu.be/IJ8i49EqgYI
  6. Rusted Root – Send me on my way – https://youtu.be/IGMabBGydC0 (This one is biiiiiiiiig mood)
  7. Mumford and Sons – I will Wait – https://youtu.be/rGKfrgqWcv0
  8. Billy Joel – Piano Man – https://youtu.be/gxEPV4kolz0 (This is one of my favourite songs of all time. If I ever get married, this is the wedding song. It absolutely does not fit for a wedding song, but that’s okay, it fits for my personality)
  9. Justin Timberlake ft Chris Stapleton – Say Something – https://youtu.be/8MPbR6Cbwi4
  10. Blue Rodeo – Hasn’t Hit Me Yet – https://youtu.be/oMt0skVPC0o
  11. Eagle Eye Cherry – Save Tonight – https://youtu.be/Nntd2fgMUYw
  12. Fleetwood Mac – Dreams – https://youtu.be/5oWyMakvQew
  13. Macklemore ft Kesha – Good old days – https://youtu.be/1yYV9-KoSUM
  14. The Lumineers – Stubborn Love – https://youtu.be/UJWk_KNbDHo
  15. Chris Stapleton – Broken Halos – https://youtu.be/sI0TeFf6uD8 (Actually, I highly recommend any and every song by Chris Stapleton. The man is a legend. And he’s amazing live. If you ever get a chance to see him live, I highly, highly, highly recommend)

Highly recommend all of these songs. If you’ve not heard one, do give it a listen.

Travelling during a pandemic

Greetings from Toronto.

When I came back from my Vancouver trip, I promised myself that I was going to make an effort to travel the latter half of this year. The original plan was Toronto in October, Ottawa in November and Montreal in December. This plan skipped September because I had someone important I wanted to come and see me in September and I need to leave the window as wide open as possible for them to come. Anyways, the plan was October, November and December.

Now that I’m here, I don’t think I’m going to do November and December.

Travelling right now is hard.

As careful as I’m trying to be, people are not nice when they learn that I’ve travelled from Alberta. I’m looked at, and treated, like I’m a pariah. I’ve been trying to hide that, but it’s difficult because you have to show proof of vaccination here, so everywhere I go, they learn it anyways.

It was pouring rain in Toronto today. I wandered into a mall to see if I could find somewhere that was selling umbrellas and I was not fifty feet in a mall when a man stopped me and asked me why I was so warm. When I asked him what he was talking about, he said ‘You’re sweating’. I said ‘No, I’m not, it’s pouring rain outside’. His response was to tell me that I looked ill and I shouldn’t be out in public. Again, it was pouring rain and I didn’t have an umbrella. I told him ‘Thanks for being an asshole’ and walked away. The whole situation was very off-putting. I ended up just leaving the mall and continuing to wander around in the rain without an umbrella.

I don’t know.

I’ve always reverted back to Vancouver because I have two best friends that live there. I can stay at their houses, I can drive their cars. I can do as I please.

The point of this trip, and of November and December were to go places I haven’t spent time. Because I worked in sports for so long, I have contacts basically across North America, and, I guess, the world. I was going to ‘exploit’ those acquaintances/friendships for someone to take me sightseeing. My friend that I was coming to see here, she was like ‘Yeah, it’ll be amazing, I’ll take you here —– and here —- and here —-‘. So far we went to the hockey hall of fame. Which, was great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s been a bit of a let down. And I’m realizing that its my own let down because she’s not one of my best friends. You know, my friends in Vancouver, I know they’d dedicate time for me when I visit, and I for some reason expected that here, even though we’re not nearly close to that same level of friendship. I don’t have a reason to be disappointed in her, though I want to be. It’s dumb.

But, if this is what I got in Toronto, I’m realizing I can’t expect much more from my friends/acquaintances in Ottawa and Montreal. So, perhaps I should wait to travel to these cities until I can bring someone with me?

I don’t know. Perhaps I should stick to Alberta until COVID is over. Which, at this rate, could be never. I’m definitely rethinking Ottawa and Montreal, though. Maybe I’ll just stay in my own city in November, and just rent a nice hotel room or something.

I shouldn’t be disappointed. But I am.

In other, completely unrelated news, someone reached out to me on LinkedIn and asked if I’d be willing to interview for a job at their company. So, I have a job interview next Friday. I asked him if he wanted my resume and he said no. Who knows, maybe this could be a new job for me?

Adventures await

When I really stop to think about it, the times when I’m most happy is when I’m exploring. No plans are necessary, I am just happy to go.

I love day trips, I love weekend trips, I love vacations, I just love leaving. The act of going somewhere, of leaving and knowing that I’ll be headed for somewhere I haven’t seen yet, or have seen and am excited to see again, that’s what makes me most happy in this world.

Being among the skyscrapers in a city where I couldn’t ever explore everything fills me with a sense of wonder and a desire to walk more, see more, and do more. Being among the trees, deep in the mountains, fills me with a sense of admiration for our world and how the most beautiful things on earth aren’t man-made. Being at the beach fills me with a sense of calm, listening to the waves crash the shore, watching the tides roll in and out and feeling like the universe is far greater then I could ever imagine.

I love it all. I love the great plains, the arctic tundra, the dense forests and biggest of cities. I’m lucky enough to have seen a lot of it, but there’s still so much more to see. I love ghost towns, oh ghost towns are so cool. Exploring is what fulfills me. Seeing how the other half lives – whether that’s 14 million people in a city, or the family of big horn sheep that taunt people are Radium Hot springs, it’s fascinating.

Speaking of big horn sheep, Radium Hot Springs is a tiny town in the interior of British Columbia, Canada. Probably 100 years ago, the Hot Springs were discovered in the mountains and the tiny town was built around the hot springs, and eventually the local ski areas. The big horn sheep that are native to the area, instead of moving, basically said ‘Fuck you, humans. We were here first’. Anyways, they basically control the town. There are hundreds, if not thousands of them. There’s more big horn sheep in the town then there are people. They hold up traffic, they swim in the pool, they block the entrance to the grocery store when they’re bored. They just can’t be bothered to care about the humans around trying to live their lives. It’s quite an awesome little town to see because humans have failed so miserably at ‘controlling’ the area and are at the complete behest of these adorable, and scary, sheep.

Big Horn Sheep just living their best lives.

Being somewhere other than home, it makes me feel alive.

Here’s to hoping there’s more adventures in my future, sooner rather than later. Maybe even someone to come with me.

Things I don’t like

  • The feeling of pink erasers
  • Washing dishes
  • When people start a sentence with “Don’t get mad, but…”
  • The fact that avocado is so damn expensive
  • Cold, dark winters
  • Anything that’s crooked. (There’s an outlet in my bathroom that’s on the wall crooked and it drives me bonkers every time I look at it)
  • People who don’t know how to navigate traffic circles. THERE’S A SYSTEM FOR A REASON, RACHEL.
  • When regular people leave their hair curly and it looks damn good, and I leave my hair curly and it just looks like I didn’t brush my hair
  • Why do razors cost so much money?
  • When you’re trying to talk to someone and they’re on their phone. “Okay, Rachel, I can see this conversation means a lot to you so I’m just going to go”
  • WHEN PEOPLE “REPLY ALL” TO EMAILS.
  • No, wait, when people don’t BCC emails and then people reply all
  • People who don’t understand personal space
  • When I say that I’m going to write blog posts about important topics like sad-fishing and pretty privilege and then three months goes buy and I’m making a list of things that annoy me and I realize that I never wrote those posts
  • Using nicknames in public that shouldn’t be used in public. I used to work in an office that had a married couple that the boss specifically situated on opposite ends of the office to keep away from one another. Anyway, she referred to her husband as ‘Sugar Dick’, in work settings. It’s really not cool to call your husband ‘Sugar Dick’ in a work email. Had I been her manager, I would’ve shut that shit down real fast. You can call your husband whatever you want at home, but at work, his name is Mike. Just Mike.

Whew.

Sometimes it just feels real good to get things off your chest.

Female Anatomy/Biology

There’s a lot of misinformation coming out of quite a few US States right now surrounding a particular topic started in Texas recently. I’m not here to start arguments, or fights, I just want to clarify a couple of points for people who might not know better.

First, let’s throw out a few thoughts about periods.

  • Suggesting that a woman has a period once per month is a generalized statistic. Birth control pills are structured to give a woman a period once per month. If you’re not on birth control, the natural function of your body could give you a period once every 20 days, or it could even give you a period once every 40 days or 50 days. When it comes to biology it really depends on the woman and how her body works. It is definitely not the case that every female gets a period once per month.
  • If you are not on birth control, it is extremely hard to predict when your period will come. If you’re stressed, your diet changes, you’re taking some sort of medication, you’re sick, etc…, it can all play an impact in your period being late. Females around the world can probably all agree that it’s not uncommon for a period to be late.
  • If you are on some form of birth control pill, it’s still not an exact science to predict when your period will start. Some women have periods that last 5-7 days. Some women have periods that last two days. If you finish your progresterone/estrogen combo after 21 days and your period is only two days, that can come at any point in the next seven days.
  • If you have an implant, it might be possible that you don’t have a period at all.

Okay, now lets talk about this “You have 6 weeks to make a decision from the time you have sex”.

Talking about another generalized statistic here, a woman has only a certain window in the month in which she actually can get pregnant. It’s not possible to get pregnant when your body is not ovulating.

  • It is EXTREMELY difficult to track when your body is ovulating. For women who are actively trying to get pregnant, it takes a lot of work to track the ovulation cycle. And, for women who aren’t trying to get pregnant, I can’t speak for all women, but I have a hunch the majority of us just don’t pay attention.
  • Pregnancy occurs in the days leading up to ovulation, and the day of ovulation. If you’re not tracking that, then… you have no idea. Why would you? You’re not trying to get pregnant.
  • Now, let’s use the generalized statistic that a woman’s period comes once every 30 days. Technically, an estimation would be that she is ovulating anywhere in the period of 10-16 days before her next period. So if she’s guessing that her period is coming October 1st, the ovulation cycle could be anywhere between the 15th and 20th of the month September
  • Let’s say, for example, that a woman had sex on the 15th of September. If there was a possibility of getting pregnant from the sex had (her partner finished inside of her), it’s not immediate. Implantation needs to happen. That can take a whole week. That can take a day, that can take three days. It all depends on the woman.
  • So, let’s say, for example’s sake, a woman had sex on the 15th, and implantation occurred the following week. She’s now at three weeks post period. It can take another full week before a woman has enough HCG in her body for an at-home pregnancy test to tell her she’s pregnant. HCG has to build up in the body for a pregnancy to be detected. At this point in time, a woman is a full four weeks past her previous period. Her next period could be coming any day, or if she’s stressed it could be coming in another two weeks. There’s no way to know for certain because the body doesn’t work on a calendar cycle.
  • If she waits two weeks for her next period to show up, which is a very reasonable window, women can attest, then she’s already reached a point in which the Texas law declares her at ‘6 weeks’ and terminating the pregnancy is no longer allowed. But she, in fact, hasn’t even learned she’s pregnant yet.
  • Now let’s say she’s worried about the sex that was had two weeks prior. Let’s say, for many of the women that this happens to, the sex was unwanted, and she’s scared. She could take a pregnancy test when her period doesn’t show up on the October 1st. If the test does show that she’s pregnant, she needs to get to a doctor to get it confirmed. I don’t know about you, but here in the part of the world that I live, there is zero circumstances in which someone could call a doctor and get an appointment on that day. In many parts of the world it’s 3 days – 1 week before you can get an appointment. In many parts of the world, it could be longer than a week before you can get to a clinic to get your pregnancy confirmed by a doctor. For example’s sake, let’s say it takes a week. By Texas law standard, a woman is now ‘5 weeks along’.
  • If the doctor is able to confirm the pregnancy at 5 weeks along, and a woman is wishing to terminate her pregnancy they don’t just let you go and do it that day. In a lot of cases, in a lot of parts of the world, if you’re going to terminate a pregnancy, you have to take part in a counselling session, you have to get a referral to book an appointment have arrangements made with the clinic that can help you with termination. Can this come together in the next 5 days? Maybe? It could be hella hard, though.
  • Under the best, most optimal circumstances for the woman I’ve explained here, there is a very unlikely chance she can get the clinic to squeeze her in during the next five days. At which point, if they cannot, under Texas law, a woman is then considered ‘6 weeks along’ and you are not allowed to terminate past six weeks.
  • Now, imagine this is someone who’s underage. Let’s say it’s a 16 year old girl. These barriers to getting medical treatments are harder. She might not drive, she might need a ride to the doctor to get the pregnancy confirmed to get a referral to the clinic for termination. That could take more time, pushing her past the six week window.
  • Now, imagine a woman is in an abusive relationship and she doesn’t get a lot of opportunity to get away from her partner very often. This could be almost impossible for her to get to a clinic before the six week window has passed.

There are a lot of factors at play here that have to perfectly align, for lack of better terminology, for a woman to be able to terminate a pregnancy prior to 6 weeks, by Texas standard.

If other states start implementing laws similar to Texas, it’s going to be harder and harder for women to get the medical treatments they need.

In Texas specifically, in 2014 only 43 percent of women lived in a county in which clinics that provide pregnancy termination were accessible to them, and that’s only gotten even harder to find since that time. So women who are needing to terminate a pregnancy (for any reason, because it’s really not our fucking business) in Texas are having to travel hundreds of miles to get to a clinic where they can get the medication/procedure.

Under the very best of circumstances for a woman, it’s exceptionally difficult to determine you’re pregnant and have appointments and clinics align for your termination to fall under the 6 week window that the governor says ‘GIVES LOTS OF TIME’ as though he knows anything a about a woman’s body.

Now, specific to the Texas law, there have been ZERO exceptions put into this law banning termination after 6 weeks. Not for rape, incest, lethal anomaly, age, or anything of the sort. So to clarify, if a thirteen year old is raped and gets pregnant, there is no exceptions, the state is expecting her to carry her rapist’s baby to term at 13 years old.

Well, if anyone thinks that sounds like an extreme case, it’s really not. Stuff like that happens a lot in our world. It might not be plastered online all of the time, but it happens, a lot.

Imagine if a 13 year old was raped by her father and got pregnant. Texas law is expecting her to carry her pregnancy to term, unless she can get the parental consent, from the man who raped her, to get her pregnancy terminated.

Now, remember that a lot of doctors don’t do ultrasounds until at least 8 weeks pregnant, many don’t even until 12. What if it a 12 weeks along, or 16 weeks alone, a doctor finds an issue with the baby that they know will result in the baby being a still-birth. Under Texas law right now, that woman is required to carry that baby for another 6-7 months, knowing that when it is born, it will die. Can you imagine the psychological impact of carrying a child for 6-7 months knowing it will die? There are a lot of reasons why this can happen, and though we don’t hear about them often, stillbirths happen in the USA every day. A woman’s mental health might never recover from that.

A man, or group of men, who seem to know nothing about female reproduction, drafted a law that suggests they understand female reproduction better then females. As a result, women no longer get a choice.

Now, let’s talk about the: “If you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t have sex” argument.

Great, this argument is stupid.

Sex is good. People should be able to enjoy sex without wanting to make a child.

Beyond that, though, if you tell women that they shouldn’t have sex, then… what happens if all women just stop having sex with men. I mean, it sounds completely crazy, but so does banning abortions after six weeks. What if all women just stopped having sex with men? Would men be okay with that? I doubt it. Men like sex as much as women do.

You can get pregnant while using birth control.

You can get pregnant while using a condom.

You can get pregnant if you have sex.

The possibility of getting pregnant lessens if you take precautions, but it’s always there.

The “don’t have sex” argument is like saying “Don’t get in a car if you don’t want to get in a car accident”. Is everyone going to stop driving? No. You can minimize risk by taking precautions, but the risk will always remain, no matter how small.

Now let’s talk about birth control.

First off, if you’re underage, I believe in most places you have to have parental consent to get birth control. I know that I did.

Now, in places like Texas, and a lot of “red states” the federal government, under Donald Trump, made it so that companies are able to deny benefits/insurance that pay for birth control on religious grounds. Basically, if you work for a boss who is religious, he/she can say “No, we’re not allowing birth control to be covered in our health plan”. This puts the cost of birth control on women.

Birth control is not cheap. If you’re a stable income family, an adult with legal ability to purchase it, the purchase might be well worth it for you.

If you’re one of the millions upon millions upon millions of Americans who live below the poverty line, a recurring monthly cost for birth control, really adds up in a year, when you don’t have a lot of money to start with.

To those that say “Go to planned parenthood” – there are over 300 million people in the USA. How many of them have access to planned parenthood? Not 300 million.

So, not only are lawmakers making it BEYOND exceptionally difficult for a woman to terminate a pregnancy, they’re also making it as hard as possible for women to be able to prevent pregnancy to start with.

Thus, the only option left is to not have sex. Am I understanding this correctly? How would men feel if women just decided to withhold sex because of these laws? I bet you there would be a fucking uproar. I bet you it would be on television, on the internet, it would probably at the United Nations General assembly.

Imagine a world if women just stopped having sex with men.

Just imagine that.

What are the other options? Before you even have intercourse, men are dictating what birth control options you might have access to. If by chance you don’t have access, or your birth control fails, men who don’t understand female biology or how pregnancy works are dictating that you have to carry a child to term. After you carry a child to term, if it’s lucky enough to survive, the men who made the very laws that forced you to carry to term, aren’t providing you with resources to provide said child a stable home, an education, clean drinking water, access to proper medical treatments and so on and so forth.

To Conclude

There is no separation of church and state in the United States. People are using their religious convictions to control the lives of massive populations.

This is not a pro-life stance. A pro-life government wouldn’t be putting children in cages, or separating them from their parents when they’re seeking refuge in the USA. A pro-life government would understand the psychological impacts of forcing a woman to carry a baby to term that would be stillborn. A pro-life government would look at how many people each year are killed by guns and want to do something about that. A pro-life government would support people affected by the opioid crisis. A pro-life government would suggest that wearing masks is one of the simplest and easy ways people can protect themselves from an airborne virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.

It’s not pro-life, it’s pro-control, and it’s specifically pro-control over women.

I really hope that people see and understand that.

If someone doesn’t want an abortion, and their convictions say they should carry a pregnancy to term no matter the circumstance, then they should do that. They shouldn’t get to control millions of women’s choices based off their convictions, though. That’s not right. That’s not separation of church and state, that’s church controlling state.

That’s all for now.

I’ve been writing this for a while, so if I missed anything or said anything wrong, please let me know.

When someone tells me

When someone tells me to ‘just be happy’, I want to punch them in the face. While I’m sure a lot of them mean well, it’s really not helpful.

When someone tells me to ‘just get over it’, I want to make it an even bigger deal than it has to be. While I’m sure a lot of them mean well, it’s really not helpful.

When someone tells me ‘it’s not that bad’, I’m reminded that it’s really not possible for them to see things from my perspective. Thus, it’s really not helpful.

When someone tells me to ‘just move on’, I wish that it could be ‘just that easy’. Moving on takes time, it takes processing. It takes growth. It doesn’t just happen with the snap of your fingers.

When someone tells me how to live my life, I try my best to believe that it comes from a good place. But also, healthy boundaries are integral to maintaining my sanity.

When someone tells me that I’m bitchy, I remind them that I am assertive.

When someone tells me that I am aggressive, I remind them that I’m ambitious, not aggressive. Ambition is not a negative trait.

When someone tells me that I’m not good enough, it stings a little to hear the words out loud, but also, they’re absolutely fucking wrong. Another important fact, I don’t live by their standards, I live by my own.

I try my best to see everyone’s perspective in this world. I really do. But it’s a very important distinction to make that, even though I might see their perspective, and I might even understand them in a lot of ways, that doesn’t mean they’re right. That doesn’t mean that their standards define who I am, how I feel, react or choose to live my life.

In case no one has told you today, you get to define yourself. You can to be who you want to be. So be your best self.

COVID Updates – Sept 25th – Alberta

I read COVID updates from Brendan at Blind Injustice regularly, so I thought I’d take the idea, and write one of my own.

Jason Kenney and his band of idiots he calls government dubbed Summer 2021 as the ‘Best Summer Ever’. On July 1st he eliminated all health restrictions and measures in place to try and keep people safe. No masks. No six feet distance. Everything was done. Jason Kenney and his cabinet had decided that COVID no longer existed and that we were going to proceed as though it was all a distant memory.

The province then announced that in August, they would be removing the ability for general public to get tested. There was going to be no isolation if you did test positive, and the province would no longer be tracking cases through the community.

COVID was still very much a reality at this point in time, but no one who worked in any government position was willing to admit that it was. It was like they just… forgot about it.

Jason Kenney then went on holiday for 3+ weeks. The chief medical officer of health stopped making appearances, stopped providing case numbers, stopped answering questions. She just kind of… stopped doing her job.

The new rules, that were to come into effect on August 16th said that the only way you could get a test was if you were travelling and paid to get it done privately, or if you were being admitted to the ICU.

On August 13th, they backtracked on their decision to stop testing. But, they continued forward with their decision to no longer track cases through the community.

Jason Kenney was still on holiday, which he assures us was not timed in conjunction with the announcement of the federal election, and things continued falling apart.

As cases continue to spiral out of control, Jason Kenney stayed hidden. Because, you know, conservatives and accountability… but he eventually resurfaced on September 16th, just four days before the federal election. By this point time, hospitals were already overrun. We’ve been reaching between 1,000-2,000+ cases a day for weeks, and because there’s such a large population of unvaccinated people in this province, when they get Delta Variant, they’re getting VERY, VERY SICK.

COVID NUMBERS

Let’s start with the painstaking truth that the unvaccinated population of this province are getting sick. Really sick. Alberta has one of the lowest rates of vaccination in the country, and one of the highest rates of anti-mask, anti-science, crowds spreading dangerous misinformation about the virus.

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

As of yesterday (a lot of provinces don’t report numbers on weekends), there were a total of 45,042 active (known) cases in Canada. As of yesterday, 20,040 of those active cases are in Alberta. That is 44 percent of all active cases in the country that are in one province.

For context of why this is so bad, Alberta is the fourth most populous province in the country with 4.3 million people. Ontario, a province with 5,747 cases, has 14.5 million people.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

There are currently 1061 people in hospital. There are currently 243 people in the ICU.

243 people is THE MOST amount of people that have ever been in ICU at one time, in this province, since Canada was founded.

This past week, Dr. Verna Yiu, the president of Alberta Health Services said that the only reason people are able to continue being admitted to the ICU is because people are dying at a rate faster than people are being admitted. Which is alarming on it it’s own. It’s even more alarming when you realize that our ICUs are operating at 184% capacity, with use of “surge beds”. Instead of people being in an ICU room on their own, hospitals are having to put surge beds into rooms to have two and three people in one ICU room.

The military has been called in, and are operating to help the health care system from collapse.

Ontario has said they will accept patients needing to be transferred out of Alberta due to lack of space. They would have to be transferred to Ontario because hospital beds in Western Canada are so scarce, there’s nowhere to send people.

COVID PARTIES

If you haven’t heard the story presently national and international news rounds (no joke, it made Forbes, New York Times, Washington Journal), a small town in Alberta decided that, in an effort to gain ‘herd immunity’ they were going to have a COVID spreader party. As a result, an ‘undisclosed’ amount of Edson residents are now in the ICU, or dead. Link: https://edmonton.citynews.ca/video/2021/09/24/its-just-ignorant-edson-residents-doctor-react-to-covid-party/

Health and governing authorities won’t release how many people got sick, wound up in hospital or died from this party because they don’t want the town to be targeted. But, it’s enough people that they’ve released it’s put a significant strain on COVID hospitalizations.

$100 FOR A VACCINE

Our Premier decided the way he was going to get people to get vaccinated was not through educating them, or by making vaccines more accessible, or by calling out misinformation on the spot. He decided people would get vaccinated for $100.

This, of course was a miraculous failure. $100 isn’t going to convince crowds of people spreading misinformation across the world, that a vaccine is more safe than horse-dose ivermectin from the local feed store.

NOT A VACCINE PASSPORT, VACCINE PASSPORT

Our government has been vehemently against the vaccine passport system since before vaccines were even available. Apparently, our Premier is of the belief that eating at a restaurant is a right, not a privilege, and he doesn’t want to restrict people’s rights to eat at restaurants.

However, with the crippling health care system, struggling economy, and businesses losing their workers left, right and centre to COVID infections and having a hard time staying open, our premier decided he was going to issue a “Restrictions Exemption Program”. This, he promises, is not a vaccine passport. Though it looks like the stoner kids project in school, when they half-ass everything they do.

Under the ‘restrictions exemption program’, businesses were required to either operate at 30 percent capacity, or, ask people for vaccination proof to get in and be able to operate at 100 percent capacity. Under the restriction exemption program unvaccinated individuals are not eligible to eat inside of a restaurant, but instead are given seats on the patio. This, of course, strips the privilege of eating indoors from the people who believe eating indoors is a right, so anti-vaxxers weren’t happy and they took to protesting.

Oh, and churches are exempt from restriction exemption program because COVID obviously can’t spread in churches. At least that’s what religious people believe? Or, perhaps our premier just doesn’t want to piss off people who have good Christian values.

PROOF OF VACCINATION

Instead of providing people with a laminated card, like Manitoba, or a QR code, like British Columbia, Alberta opted for an editable PDF.

I kid you not. Our ‘Proof of Vaccine’ can be attained by going to a website and putting in our name and birthday. The system spits out an editable PDF document in which you can then change everything on the form.

This means, you don’t have to get a vaccine to get a proof of vaccination. It took people roughly 30 minutes to figure this out, before it was plastered across the interwebs. Who knows how many thousands of unvaccinated people have proof of vaccination now.

Essentially, the government undermined the entire system before they even started. Businesses have no way of knowing whether or not someone’s proof of vaccination is legitimate or not.

When asked why they made editable documents the government’s response was that they cannot control how people take advantage of the system and they asked that everyone practice personal responsibility and do the right thing. Because, you know, clicking that “Lock” button on the PDF was too damn hard, and the past 18 months have shown us that personal responsibility means a lot to absolutely NO ONE IN THIS FUCKING PROVINCE.

TRAVEL

Because proof of vaccination in Alberta is so easily editable, and thus has a high probability of being fraudulent, it’s unknown whether or not my proof of vaccination will be valid for travel.

I’m planning to spend Thanksgiving with family, and will need proof of vaccination to get there, so… we’ll see how that goes.

HERE AND NOW, SEPTEMBER 25TH

The hospitals are full. The military is here. People are critically ill and on the verge of needing to be flown across the country to be kept alive. Kids are getting delta at school and the government is pretending it isn’t happening. All elective surgeries in the province for the next month are cancelled. Organ transplants, tumor removals, cancer biopsies, joint replacements, things that people need are being put on hold for undisclosed amounts of time due to the collapse of the health care system.

Proof of vaccination isn’t proof anything at all, because it’s editable. And, tomorrow night, the NHL starts and 18,000 people will pack into one arena for a ‘good ole hockey game’.

COVID AFTER ONE MONTH

If you were around this blog in August you’ll know that I got a breakthrough case of COVID. I actually got the delta variant, specifically. It made it’s way through my office with all of the people who were at one particular meeting.

For me, the anxiety of having it was worse than the actual sickness I deal with. That, I largely attribute to the fact that I am double vaccinated.

I am, to this day, dealing with the after-effects of COVID. I have a chest-infection that just won’t seem to go away. My body is achy all of the time. And, I’m overwhelmingly exhausted most days. I’ve been drinking too much caffeine to overcompensate for the exhaustion, which is leading to headaches.

Basically, I’m adjusting. It’s hard going places because when I start coughing under my mask, it scares people. Some people are nice about it, others are extremely rude. One individual shoved me out of the door of a business out of fear. It’s just hard. I know I’m not contagious, I’ve been assured of that from a doctor. But other people have no way of knowing that. And given everything going on in this province right now, everyone is stressed. Everyone has their guards up. Everyone is worried.

TO CONCLUDE

Our government seems to be under the impression that they are either, 1) not important and the public can govern themselves, or 2) it is more important to pander to people who believe vaccines are poison. Regardless, they seem to be taking a crash course in exactly the worst way to respond to a global pandemic.

I shouldn’t be surprised, really. They seem to be on the wrong side of every issue. They seem to treat the economy as a buzzword, and fail to recognize how everything in society is connected to the economy. You cannot just flip a switch and have everything go back to normal.

What’s the cure for loneliness?

I cannot remember if I’ve asked this before on this blog. I’m just lonely and I cannot shake it. No matter what I try to do. No matter how much I try to distract myself. I’m just abundantly aware how alone I am at all times.

As much as I’m an introvert, it’s just nice sometimes to be able to cheers with someone sitting across the table. As much as I’m an introvert, it’s just nice to watch a stupid movie and hear someone else laughing in unison. As much as I’m an introvert, it’s just nice to have someone show up.

Thursday Thoughts.

Things can be both good and bad at the same time.

Dealing with the bad, in any way that you know how, does not mean that you don’t appreciate the good. Nor does it mean that you don’t recognize the good.

Problems are not a competition. Someone will always have it worse. That being said, just because someone has it worse, does not mean that your problems are invalid. Everyone’s problems are valid. If someone makes recognition of their problems, that does not mean they cannot see good. It just means that the weight of the world is a lot to carry some days.

Privilege is subjective. While I consider myself to be extremely privileged in some ways, there are some ways when I envy others. Whether it’s looks, health, economic status, family status, access, etc, etc, etc… there are plenty of reasons we’re all privileged. There are also reasons why we’re not. And that’s okay. I just want to live in a world where we can recognize our privilege, use it to help others, and have others recognize their own privileges and use them to help.

Looking after your mental health is the best thing you can do for yourself. If your head’s not right, everything else in your life will fall apart.

It’s okay to be sad.

It’s okay to feel like your life is falling apart. Sometimes it is, when you’re on the inside looking out. If other’s can’t see that, you don’t have to explain it to them. You can try, if you think they’ll understand. But, if they don’t, it’s not worth getting angry about. It’s hard for people to see life from someone else’s shoes.

If things aren’t okay, that’s okay.

If things are okay, I’m happy for you. I also hope that it stays that way.

I don’t know where I was going with this. That’s all, I guess.