Texas is business as usual

In a non-pandemic world, one of the most prominent aspects of my new job is that I’m supposed to be travelling with the sales team to help them with events, client meetings and all that jazz.

Whilst the majority of the world seems to have halted all in-person events, Texas seems to have… missed the memo? I’m not too sure what’s happening down there. They seem to be going ahead with their in person events and they seem to believe that it’s business as usual.

In a non-pandemic world, there are three major events in Texas in October and November that would require being there for three weeks. Three weeks… in Texas. These event organizers are still going ahead as though nothing is going on. They’re basically hounding my office at this point to get our flight information and registrations verified.

“Why aren’t you coming?”

“We’ve got hotel rooms booked for you.”

“Accommodations are being made. Please let us know when your flights are booked.”

My boss has cancelled all trips, events and in person meetings for the rest of the year. He’s talking about doing the same for the first half of 2021 as well, depending on how the rest of this year unfolds. Texas (and when I say Texas I mean the event organizers of these specific happenings that I am supposed to be at, but I don’t want to say their names because, well… sharing their names would give away the name of my employer and… I don’t want to do that) isn’t happy with him for doing that.

I wonder what it’s going to take before they give up the in-person components. They must be struggling for participants if they’re hounding us to come down there.

Drama in the neighbourhood

I live in a private neighbourhood. It’s nothing like those gated neighbourhoods you see in the USA that have guards at the front or anything, but it’s definitely a secluded neighbourhood. There’s a big sign at the front that says ‘Private Property’ and another that says ‘Residents only beyond this point’.

This place is… as far as Canadian neighbourhoods go, very secure, so to speak. The common areas have cameras in them. Even the mailboxes have a camera pointed at them. I rent this place, so the landlord forwards messages on from the Home Owners Association and the messages lead me to believe that they literally have eyes in the back of their heads. Honestly, nothing happens here without them finding out. They know everything.

The past couple of days there’s one particular house in this neighbourhood that has had vehicles parked at it from California and Nevada. This is obviously curious due to the fact that the Canadian/US border has been closed to non-essential travel since March. Furthermore, travellers coming into the country legally are required to isolate for 14 days upon getting here, and these people definitely have not been quarantined.

Late last night some police cars showed up at their house. I’m not really surprised. With the fact that the HOA knows everything and sees everything around here, I reckon they probably reported these people.

Since I love drama so darn much I decided to sit out on the stoop and listen to all the drama unfolding a few houses down.

Okay, so there’s a few points to note here:

  • As of June 9th immediate family members are allowed into Canada to reunite with their family. This is not for leisurely travel, this is specific to reuniting with your family members that you have not seen due to the pandemic
  • There is a stipulation that if you are coming into the country you are quarantined for a minimum of 14 days upon entry into Canada. It’s a mandate from the federal government
  • If you are visiting immediate family, you are required to be in Canada for a minimum of 14 days before travelling again. This stipulation being place so that, if someone comes to Canada and is sick, they can give themselves the necessary time to hopefully recover before they travel elsewhere and spread the virus there as well

The police showed up to ask these people where they’re from, why they’re here and how long they’re staying. Given that they drove here, and that there’s been a large influx of American tourists using the ‘driving to Alaska’ excuse as a means to skirt the border policy and come to Canada for a holiday, it’s kind of just them doing their due diligence to make sure these people are legally allowed to be here and following the Canadian requirements to limit transmission of the virus.

What I learned from listening to the screaming they were doing at the police officers last night:

  1. One of them called each of the police officers a pussy for caving to government control and wearing a mask
  2. They themselves refused to wear a mask when speaking to (more like yelling at) the police officers and refused to stay several feet back when the police officers asked them to step back because they weren’t willing to wear a mask
  3. They weren’t willing to provide identification to the police officers or acknowledge their relationship to the homeowner
  4. They’re not willing to quarantine for 14 days because, and I quote ‘Your stupid fucking government is far overreaching their rights in telling people to do so’.
  5. They weren’t willing to tell the police how long they intend on being here.

For reference, all they’d really have to do is acknowledge their relationship to the homeowner and provide identification. If they’re here legally, there shouldn’t really be an issue, right? On the other hand, if they told the border guards they were driving to Alaska and have decided to stop off here for a week to shop and eat and holiday then they could be in trouble.

Neither vehicle is parked outside today.

I don’t know if that means that they left, abruptly, or if they’ve just parked their vehicles elsewhere? The vehicles have been parked for a solid week and they’ve been driving around with the homeowner (I’m assuming because the homeowner has local license plates).

Could they be here legally? Totally. Could they be here illegally? Absolutely. I don’t know what’s what with them. They could be visiting immediate family members and just choosing to act hella suspicious as a means to be assholes. That being said, even if they are here legally, they have not quarantined since being in that house and told the police the 14 day quarantine period was stupid and a gross overreach of the government.

Literally, all they had to do was show their identification and acknowledge their relationship to the homeowner. Screaming at police officers on the street at 11:30 at night that the police have no right to question them and need to mind their own damn business… it was a drama filled evening, that’s for sure.

Point of note: no one is singling out Americans here. Canadians are subject to disclosing their reasons for travel when they go from province to province. It’s being done as a measure to try and stop the spread of the virus. I disclosed why I was coming here when I moved here.

Charges laid in intentional spitting incidents (yes, plural)

A man has been arrested and charged with possession of a weapon dangerous to the public after it was reported that he was spitting on people that he rode by on his bike this past weekend.

Multiple people have come forward, three of which have been noted publicly, exclaiming this same man spat on them as he rode past on his bike during the same time frame on Saturday afternoon.

Initial fears right now are further transmission of the COVID. All victims of the spitting incident who have come forward have been tested for COVID, been subject to contact tracing and have to isolate in their homes until their tests have been/are returned.

It’s not being reported whether the spitting man has been tested for COVID. Though it’s speculative, I’m assuming that they have tested him since his arrest, if for no other reason because spitting on people is a public health and safety risk right now.

It’s been widely reported that transmission of this virus occurs from transmission of a person’s liquid droplets – coughing, sneezing, and yes, spitting are included. Spitting on someone in the middle of a pandemic can mean serious illness, a hospital stay or even death if someone is infected.

Social anxiety has been on the rise in vast numbers the past several months with so many people realizing that serious harm can come through germ transmission. What would you do, how would you react if a stranger intentionally spit on you during this pandemic, or, at any point in time pandemic or not?

I know what I’d do and it wouldn’t be polite, or the least bit kind.

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.