Wednesday Things

Good Morning World,

Here’s a mish mash of thoughts for the day.

Equality will not happen in this world until we, as a collective society, agree that inequality is our present reality and has been for a long time. If you’re marching, if you’re writing letters, if you’re making phone calls, if you’re having awkward conversations, keep going. It’s a worthwhile battle to fight. And in the end, we should all want to be better. Also, we should all treat each other fairly and equally. Be an ally. Keep the fight going. Make change.

I reckon that there are some wealthy elites who will be knocked down a few pegs in the coming months/years. With the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell by the FBI, there are likely a lot of very powerful people who are scrambling to cover their tracks and hide their heinous crimes and friendship with Geoffrey Epstein right now. The skeletons were hidden so long as she was in hiding… now that she’s in custody, I could be years of unfolding the horror and indecency that Epstein and his powerful friends thrust on the world. Human trafficking, sex trafficking, sexual assault of underaged victims, oh the list is a lengthy one and I bet the public doesn’t even know the half of it. You know shit’s going to go down when even the Royal Family of one of the oldest monarchies on earth is doing damage control.

Canadian actor and extremely talented Broadway star, Nick Cordero, has passed away from complications brought on by Corona Virus. At just 41 years old, he leaves behind a wife and a son (who turned one and learned to walk whilst he was in the hospital). Over the past three months that he was in hospital, he’s suffered from strokes, been in a coma, had his leg amputated, dealt with serious blood clots and, at one point in time he was even going to be put on the transplant list. 41 years old and this virus left him in hospital for three months fighting for his life until he eventually succumbed to it. His wife is now a widow and his son will never know, or remember, his dad. It’s something I say a lot to everyone in my life, but if you’re not wearing a mask… please put one on. You really do not know who you could infect with this virus. Whomever it was that infected Nick Cordero… well it lead to his death. Even if you’re healthy, even if you ‘don’t go around that many people’, please just put on a damn mask. Don’t be responsible for someone else contracting a deadly virus… because honestly, you don’t know whether or not it’ll kill them. Corona Virus is not gone. Nor is this ‘the second wave’… we’re still in the first wave, ladies and gentlemen.

Alright, it’s pouring rain and I’ve got to make myself some breakfast before my next meeting. Working from home is convenient in that sense.

Make smart choices today. And also, have a good day.

That’s all for now.

Two totally different worlds

The company that I work for has secondary offices in Texas. While our primary office, and most of the employees work here in Canada, there are quite a few who work in Dallas.

The company as a whole has been working from home since March 9th. That’s everyone. Those here in Canada and those down in Texas. While Canada’s cases of COVID has been serious, it’s not nearly been as bad as what the United States has seen and what Texas alone has seen.

So we’re all working from home and will likely be until September or later. While there are less than 1,000 active cases in this province right now, everyone is still being hyper-vigilant about COVID. You don’t go anywhere without a mask. Large events aren’t happening. People, for the most part, are trying to keep the spread at bay.

Texas, on the other hand, we keep hearing stories about how there’s been a surge in cases lately and that the state may have to do some form of ‘shut down’ once again due to the public health risk of so many people being out and spreading the virus.

For reference, there are presently 65,000 more COVID cases in Texas than there are in all of Canada.

So this morning we’re on a call with the Dallas team and one of them asks ‘So how was your Canada day? What did ya’ll do?’

Each of us responded with different variations of ‘absolutely nothing’ because we’re still very much not in the public event planning stage here in Canada.

Anyways, she says ‘I’m so excited for the fourth!’

‘Oh yeah?’ I asked.

‘My girlfriends and I are renting a house down in Galveston and we’re going to have a giant party on the beach. It’s going to be four straight days of barbecues and bar-hopping.’ She laughs.

‘You’re not worried about Corona Virus?’ My boss asked, cautiously.

‘Nah. That’s not that big of a deal.’ She said.

‘It is a big deal’, my boss said. ‘Please be safe and social distance with your friends!’

My boss said it in a very concerned, but very professional manner. He wasn’t trying to lecture here, but more just trying to state the obvious. Well, she didn’t like that. Her response?

‘I ain’t going to let no imaginary disease ruin my 4th of July. We only get one 4th every year and I’m going to make the best of it’.

I was trying to hide my face at this point so that I didn’t say anything condescending. I honestly wanted to. People on the video call kind of… looked away. She was like ‘Hey, if I get sick I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. And if it’s my time to go, I guess it’s my time to go. Nothing is going to ruin my fourth of July.’

I just…

Wow.

I can’t.

How do you have discussions with her? How do you explain to her that it’s not just herself whom she’s putting in harms way?

You can’t.

You really can’t.

We’re living in two completely different worlds.

Our office is avoiding the human race, and each other, at all costs. Seven people have been diagnosed and they’ve all shared some very scary stories about what they refer to as the worst sickness they’ve ever experienced. And this girl? Her response is ‘If I get it, oh well!’

Paid sick leave, right?

Oh my.

Our countries might be right next door to one another but we’re living in two completely different worlds.

Still feels like Monday

As of 9:00 this morning a total of seven people from my office have tested positive Corona Virus. This morning the building staff said that two of the security staff have tested positive. I’m speculating here but that’s likely how they got it? I mean… it’s not like any of the people from my office have been near one another. They all popped into the office at different points in time and their paths never crossed (we literally have a calendar dedicated to when someone needs to go to the office so we can ensure we’re not getting too many people there at once), but all of them had to pass the security desk/check in to get to the elevator to go to our office.

Anyone who’s been to the office in the past two weeks now has to go get a test as a precautionary measure. Glad I’m not one of those people who’s been to the office. Funny thing was, I was supposed to go for a tour because no one is/was around. I ended up making an excuse to cancel the tour because I had anxiety about going right downtown the city.

Stay safe, sane and healthy and be careful who you go near. Wash your hands and be diligent in looking after your health. You really don’t know who has or hasn’t caught this.

Canadian Corona Update

The daily provincial update for Corona Virus was a big one for our corner of the world today. For the first time since March 6th, there were no new confirmed cases of Corona Virus in our region.

Businesses have been slowly reopening, kids have been slowly heading back to class and there seems to be a little more pep to everyone’s step. The Cancer Clinic has started booking appointments again, which is great for my mom. All of her appointments got suspended in March.

While I’m still weary about getting too close to others, it feels like others really don’t give a damn. Like they believe this virus is behind us. Social distancing seems virtually non-existent and the mask/no mask ratio is pathetic. I’m also in the process of moving to a part of the country that was a lot harder hit by Corona Virus then where I’ve been presently residing.

I am hopeful that the worst is behind us, cautious that the worst is in front of us and hoping that if wave two does strike, people won’t be as slow to react as they were this first time.

86% of people who tested positive in British Columbia have now recovered. I don’t recall how many are still in hospital, but I don’t think the number is too high. Also, we received my Uncle’s death certificate so things can officially proceed forward with paying his bills, taxes and debts and the subsequent distribution of his estate.

If you’re going to a protest, make sure you wear a mask. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay sane.

Very opinionated post about politics

I watched an interview earlier in which Jared Kushner dubbed President Trump’s response to the Corona Virus Pandemic hitting the United States as a tremendous success.

Stepping aside from the fact that he needs to kiss his father-in-law’s ass as a means to remain in good standing with the family, and to quite literally have any job at this point in time, ignoring the silver spoon and ignoring the sheer idiocy of what is Fox News, I can’t help but think of the 61,000 families who’ve lost a loved one, be it a family member or friend, over the past two months. I can’t help but think of how utterly cold and offensive a statement like Kushner’s must seem. When he steps in front of that camera and peddles this complete and utter bullshit to the American public, it must feel as though he’s kicking 61,000 families while they’re already down. I would suggest a correlation between Kushner’s statements and spitting on the graves of those Americans lost, but honestly… 61,000 people have died in two months and he’s celebrating when these people haven’t even been properly laid to rest.

When President Trump ‘celebrates’ how low he’s keeping the death toll, it must make 61,000+ families feel as though the lives of their family members and friends who’ve passed are expendable to a government who’s leader promised he would stand up for the underdog. Celebrating a death toll, under any circumstances, showcases a serious character flaw that we all knew existed, but many refuse to acknowledge.

When President Trump spews complete nonsense from the podium day after day after day, only to turn around and claim he was being ‘sarcastic to see how news reporters would spin it’, it must make millions of people shake there heads and wonder why the fuck this idiot thinks right now is the appropriate time for sarcasm, under any circumstance. I know that’s how I feel.

Listen, I’m not American. I’m an outsider looking in and I’m looking in because I know that what happens in the United States is going to have a very real and lasting effect on my country. We’re not without problems in Canada. And yes, things suck right now. We are not immune to issues by any means. But it also sucks everywhere. It just seems like the USA is competing for a gold medal in the who can suck the absolute most Olympics. Or who can convey they have the coldest hearts.

Because there are as many people now out of work in the United States as there are people who live in Canada. And that hits me. As someone who knows the extreme lows that come with unemployment, that hits me really hard. I feel for these people who are struggling. People struggling to find the balance between remaining healthy/alive and feeding their families.

When Mitch McConnell says that he refuses to bail out blue states, I can’t help but think that this isn’t the time for a political pissing match or a dick measuring contest. (Vulgar, yeah, I know) When the Governor of Georgia waits until April to announce that he’s only just learned people can be asymptomatic carriers of this virus, infecting dozens or more without even knowing it, only to less than a month later say ‘Fuck it, social distancing is too hard’, I can’t help but think that it must really suck to be in Georgia and coming to the realization that they really don’t care if you live or die.

And when I hear about these tests, these ‘beautiful tests’ as Donald Trump touts them, the tests that are for everyone, the tests that Mike Pence needs to clarify were distributed but not processed, I can’t help but think what the fucking point is in having tests distributed if they can’t fucking be processed.

Literally, when Donald Trump gets out of office, he’s going to write a tell all book (and by write, I mean dictate because the man can’t speak so he definitely cannot write) about how he fucked over the United States of American. He’s going to sit on his golden throne on the top of Trump Tower and laugh about how many lives he ruined and how he’s going to go down in history for just how ‘beautiful’ of a job he’s done.

Side note – I don’t think he knows any other adjectives beyond ‘beautiful’. Beautiful tests, beautiful phone calls with the Ukrainian government, beautiful letters from North Korean dictators… oh don’t get me started with North Korean dictators…

For everyone who’s lost a loved one, a friend, a colleague, a neighbour, a stranger who you appreciated, I am sorry. I cannot imaging the pain you’re going through at this time. For everyone who is struggling, who doesn’t know how they’re going to make it through this, I am sorry. We will get through this together, whilst keeping a safe distance. And for the doctors, nursese, health care workers, and anyone on the front lines or working essential work right now to keep us all going through this, thank you. I cannot explain how much you mean to me, and though I don’t want to speak for a collective, how much you mean to all of us. You’re heroes. Full stop.

End rant. For now.

A glimmer of hope

Well I woke up to a nice surprise this morning. I was officially approved for EI and actually had money in my bank account when I woke up today. As someone who’s had roughly $50-$100 to my name for the past six plus months, seeing money in my bank account is a huge sigh of relief that I’m very thankful for at this point in time.

I also woke up to a second surprise this morning. The engineering firm that I was interviewing with in early late February/early March has decided that, though they’re not back at their office yet, they want to move ahead with recruitment as a measure to have someone hired to start when they do return to their offices. They’ve asked if I can do a video interview next week. I presumed that they were either going to forget about me, or cancel the posting because businesses have to be very careful with their spending in this present economy and hiring a new employee is a large investment. They still want to talk to me though… two months later… so they haven’t forgotten about me yet.

Two good things happened in one day.

I almost don’t know how to contain myself.

Quarantine Clich├ęs

Perhaps everyone’s in the same boat as I am, or perhaps I’m the only one who has noticed. Over the past month and a half I’ve noticed a distinct trend in content that has ‘overtaken’ social media. It all seems to be different variations of exactly the same thing. It’s trendy to follow suit. And hey, I get it… we’re all stuck at home and there’s a societal pressure to be as productive as possible during this crazy time.

For today’s productivity, I decided to compile all of the things that EVERYONE seems to be doing so that I can make a promise to myself to not do these things and continue to lounge around eating cookies all day long. Please note, the following includes a lot of sarcasm.

  • Buy a ton of canned beans that I am not now, nor ever, going to actually consume.
  • Join TIK-TOK… because the perfect place for an anonymous internet blogger is on a platform where literally the entire point of the app is to show yourself doing ridiculous things
  • Become a fine-dining chef who can cook absolutely anything with the very limited groceries that are presently on the shelves in grocery stores. If it’s not a four course meal, I will no longer eat it.
  • Turn my Lululemon leggings into face masks because $130 pants are sooooooo 2019 and if you don’t turn your most expensive clothing into face masks you’re not doing it right
  • Tie-dye EVERYTHING… because white and grey clothes were so 2019
  • Start using the term ‘groutfit’ to describe my new choices of outfits… because nice clothes all together were so 2019 and all I’m wearing these days is sweatpants
  • Bake bread, learn to bake sourdough bread (what’s the obsession with sourdough bread, btw?), find the perfect banana bread recipe, or pumpkin bread or apple bread or… what kind of fruits or weird additives can you put into your loaf of bread? I may have celiac disease but dammit I need to learn how to bake bread
  • Read all the books. Every book on your shelf. Every ebook you can get your hands on. Every book that’s ever been published, printed or digitally uploaded.
  • Order anything and everything that I can get my hands on from Amazon. Do I need it? No. Should I buy it? Abso-freaking-lutely. It’s Amazon, it’s convenient. I think that’s what people are saying anyways…
  • Pay RIDICULOUS prices for online workout classes because it’s trendy and I should not be saving my money right now
  • Spend all of my money and ensure that I don’t save a dime. I don’t have things I’m looking forward to. I don’t have things I want down the road, I need to spend it all now because quarantine is foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Anybody else have stress wrinkles coming in hot throughout this quarantine? Just me? PS. If you like or enjoy any of the activities above, please feel free to share some positive stories of these activities. Goodness knows, I could use some more positivity in my life. I may be the most unproductive member of society right now, but I know that doesn’t mean that everyone else is lounging around eating cookies all day.

Unrelated but I’m a little excited today because I came up with a stellar design for a #MillennialLifeCrisis sweatshirt last night and my sister-in-law told me that she’s going to make me a sample with her cricut machine and mail it to me. I hope it turns out alright.

Canadian Corona Diaries

A cashier coughed directly on me yesterday. He said ‘oh do you want your receipt’ stuck out his hand and then coughed all over me. I nearly lost my fucking mind. I was actually crying before I even made it out of the store. It wasn’t one of those ‘I have something in my throat’ coughs, it was one of those deep from the chest lung infection style dry coughs.

SERIOUSLY.

I understand that people need money right now. But in a current-pandemic world, if you have a cough that is that bad, why the fuck are you at work? Why the fuck is your boss letting you work? How am I, a stranger, supposed to know whether or not your cough is just a cough? And even if it is just a cough, it’s one hell of a bad cough, dude. He should not be around people right now. At all.

BEWARE: Scammers are trying to take advantage of the unemployed during this pandemic.

As many of you know, I am an unemployed Canadian citizen who has been applying for jobs on Indeed and LinkedIn for throughout 2020. I was worried that, when shit really hit the proverbial fan with respect to the Corona Virus, there would be scams coming out to take advantage of all of the people who’ve found themselves without work due to this pandemic. And, recent days have taught me that this is a rampant problem at the moment.

I received the above email this morning.

I did, in fact, apply for a data entry position on Indeed 48 hours ago. Since receiving this email, I have reported this job posting to Indeed as being fraudulent/misleading and left them a comment that I believe it to be a scam.

If you are unemployed, or have found your job temporarily suspended during this pandemic, it’s important to pay close attention to any communication that you might be getting. Being unemployed can bring on a lot of stress and often times it can be quite easy to see a promising email and not look closely at the details, thinking you need to jump on an opportunity, any opportunity right away.

Please don’t get scammed.

Using my email as an example, here are some things to look for:

  • Who is the email from? In the case of this email, who it’s from is a pretty big giveaway that it’s a scam. The sender’s name is Maggie Susan whilst the email address is MarcThomas055@hotmail.com. The job that I applied for was with what presented itself to be a legitimate Technology Company.
  • Who is the email to? This might seem like a stupid thing to check for, but in the case of this email, it’s not ‘To’ me. I am not ‘iooiioioo@gmail.com’. For privacy reasons, I am not sharing my personal gmail address. But, seeing as this was not addressed to me, and I was clearly BCC’ed, it leads me to believe this was likely sent in a group email to anyone who applied for the position, in their hopes that people would glance over who it was addressed to.
  • Who is the greeting too? A legitimate job prospect, whether with a company that has 3,000 employees or one that has 30 employees, will ALWAYS address the email to your first name. If you applied for a position, they already have your name and information. Any legitimate job seeker will say ‘Hi [Insert First Name Here]’. If they do not, it’s probably because the software they’re using to group send this scam isn’t advanced enough include your first name.
  • Who is it from? Did the sender sign their name? Is the company included? Is their a company signature linking to their website or online portfolios? A legitimate job seeker would NEVER leave their name off the end of an email.
  • Is there a sketchy looking link in the email? Of course there is. Please don’t click it. This is a bait tool to give hackers remote access to your desktop. In the case of this email, what are they asking me to register for? They have my information. If they were actually wanting to hire me, employment contracts need to be signed, and those cannot be done through sketchy links.
  • Do they name their company in their email? If they don’t, why wold a legitimate job seeker leave the name of their company off an email to prospective candidates? Perhaps because it’s not legitimate.
  • Does it make your spidey senses tingle? Because if it seems too good to be true, it is.

If you’ve found yourself without employment during this time, please know that you’re not alone. Please, please, please be diligent in where you respond to your emails. Pay attention to the small details. It might sound stupid when you read it, but A LOT of people fall for scams just like this one. With everyone in a hard enough situation already, I do not want you to get taken advantage further.

Thanks for reading.

A new low for the human race.

Honestly, I should just make an series on this blog to showcase all of the reasons why Influencers are idiots. Because there are a lot of them. There are stories which anger me, there are stories that annoy me and then there are stories that make me wonder how I am the same species as some people.

An ‘Influencer’ (we all know I use that term lightly) and aspiring rapper from Ontario was recently detained at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport due to a stunt he pulled on a plane headed for Jamaica that he hoped would make him go viral.

Approximately 30 minutes from landing in Montego Bay, Jamaica, WestJet Flight 2702 (Toronto to Montego Bay) was rerouted back to Toronto.

Why?

James Potok stood up in the back of the plane to exclaim that he had just gotten back from China and was not feeling well, and that he thought he might have Corona Virus.

Potok’s buddy actually filmed the stunt because they had hopes of releasing the video of his ‘prank’ to his YouTube channel and it would make him an internet sensation.

Being the idiot that he is, Potok thought everyone would laugh it off, he’d sit back down and land in Jamaica for a nice holiday, which he exclaimed was to ‘film his new music video’.

Oh no, no, no.

Infectious disease protocols require that any plane must return to it’s originating city unless there is imminent risk of death to one or more passengers on board. Furthermore, the infected passenger must be quarantined and ALL passengers are subject to medical evaluation upon landing.

Jamaica, an Island Nation, certainly isn’t going to let someone land in their country with an infectious disease that could spread throughout the rest of the tiny country. So, the plane turned around and returned to Toronto. More than 200 people had their holidays delayed, put on hold or cancelled and Potok’s response was ‘I’m an artists… any publicity is good publicity’.

There are three important notes to point out here:

  1. More than 200 people were forced to sit on a plane for several hours (as it returned home to Toronto) with someone who’d claimed that he had an infectious disease, a disease that they could very well have caught by just being in proximity to him.
  2. Those people were then subject to medical evaluations, as precautionary measure, after it was learned this was all a hoax, thus delaying their abilities to get on new flights, or rearrange their travel plans. Many people didn’t just miss a day or two of their holiday but there were at least a dozen people on that flight who were headed to Jamaica for a wedding and were not able to get to the wedding because of this.
  3. More than 200 people were stranded in Jamaica, unable to return home to go back to work on time, or back to their lives because the plane that was supposed to drop people off in Jamaica and pick up passengers to fly back to Toronto never got there. Work was missed, and people were in panic mode trying to secure childcare because they thought they were going to be home several days before they were actually all able to get home. They had to spend extra money to stay extra nights in Jamaica because of this, and it could take up to a year for the airline to reimburse them for this, if they get reimbursed at all.

As you can tell from the #VirusBoy and #WuhanClan that are new additions to his Instagram Bio, James Potok clearly shows a great deal of remorse for what he did.

Here’s what he had to say in the airport after returning home, getting medical clearance that he did not, in fact have corona virus, and being detained by Canadian authorities:

Look at the smug written all over his face…

It’s worth noting that Potok is being charged with mischief and breach of recognizance and is due in Ontario Provincial Court on March 9th for the stunt he pulled. But, I really don’t think that he cares.

To take his manipulation even a step further into the territory of shiteous human being, and, in his words ‘to say sorry for all of the hassle [he’s] caused’, he’s now claiming to be giving away $5,000 on his Instagram page. All you have to do is like and follow his account, his friend’s account who was on the flight to shoot the video they hoped would go viral, and to like his post, tag three friends and share the post to your own Instagram.

God, if I were a lawyer right now, that would be cataloged as Exhibits A through Z of why he’s not sorry for what he’s done, shows no remorse and is currently trying to capitalize on the attention he’s received for his careless, dangerous stunt.

I mean, how am I the same species as this person?

Could you imagine believing you were trapped on a plane (a tiny sky tin with recirculating air) with someone who potentially had an infectious disease? As someone who suffers from anxiety, those several hours flying back to Toronto would have been the worst hours of my life. Imagine the people on board with babies, or the elderly people on board who’s immune system’s are, at times, weaker than the rest of us. Imagine the torture of having to fly back to Toronto wondering the whole time, worrying the whole time.

And to the 179 people who commented on his ‘Instagram Giveaway’ tagging their friends, you also need a lesson in basic human decency.

As far as I’m concerned, this smug idiot should have his social media accounts shut down. I’d love it if Instagram just outright deleted his account and if YouTube just deleted his channel. People like this deserve to fade into obscurity somewhere.

Point of Note – When asked if he felt sorry for what happened, Potok proclaimed that his joke was taken out of context and that he was talking about a Chinese Food restaurant and that he had food poisoning. Though it’s on video him saying ‘I think I have Corona Virus’, he’s currently trying to tell the news outlets, and the world through his online platforms, that he never said anything about corona virus.

Given this is basically all online at this point, I can’t wait to, in a month’s time, hear that a judge used his Instagram and YouTube messages against him and that he’s being charged criminally.

And honestly, if I were WestJet, he’d be on a no-fly list for life and I’d go after him to seek damages for all of the reimbursements to other travellers they had to make and are going to have to make, because of his stunt.

This disease has killed more than 500 people worldwide. And all that is to him is a means to get more Instagram followers…

*Additional Note: To the people tired of me ragging Influencers, I’d be happy to share some good stories about Influencers, I just don’t know any. I wholeheartedly believe that people who use their influence for good don’t seek credit/internet fame for what they do. But, if you have a lovely story of an Influencer using their influence for good, please share. I’d love to shine a light on it.