Quadruple the COVID

COVID cases around here have quadrupled in the past seven days.

Quadrupled.

Thanksgiving was just too important to skip. It was just too important that people couldn’t stay home. They had to get together. They had to celebrate together.

Well, I hope it was worth it. Quadruple the cases and snow on the ground, below freezing temperatures making it hard for people to be outside… I can do the math here and it’s not looking good for us. I hope that everyone who just had to get together for Thanksgiving enjoyed themselves because from the looks of things, Christmas is going to fucking suck because of it.

And, if anyone is following trends, we quadrupled cases in seven days thanks in large part due to Thanksgiving dinner gatherings. There’s no ‘Black Friday’ in Canada. Canadians don’t cram into shopping malls just hours after eating to buy everything in eyesight. I don’t want to sound like a downer, but if I’m being realistic, I highly doubt every retail outlet, store and shopping mall in the United States would have to close and stay closed on Black Friday. November is likely going to be a very dark and sucky month.

Okay, rant over.

Well… shit

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

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

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

Enough, I say. Enough.

#Rant

Trump’s answer to what is happening in his country is to send in the military and the national guard? What… are you going to round up several million people and lock them in jail cells to spread corona virus to one another? I don’t understand…

And then he says: “One Beautiful Law!”

What the fuck does that even mean?

Listening to this man talk drives me bonkers. Can someone tell him to stay inside? What the United States needs right now is competent leadership and that ain’t it…

Racism is ruining us

Watching the video of George Floyd being murdered in broad daylight, by police officers, made me sick to my stomach.

I cried.

Watching the video of Amy Cooper borderline strangling her dog as she weaponized Christian Cooper’s race during a 911 call that she worked herself into a literal frenzy as a means to blatantly lie to dispatchers because she was asked to put her dog on a leash really pissed me off. She knew exactly what she was doing when she made that fucking phone call. What she was hoping for in making that call? I don’t know. But she knew the moment the words ‘African American Male’ came from her mouth, the law was ‘on her side’ so to speak.

That is white privilege.

That is deeply rooted, systemic racism that exists and is rampant in our society today.

What happened to George Floyd could have very well happened to Christian Cooper all because he was out watching birds and he wanted a woman to put her dog on a leash.

Lately, I find myself getting more and more angry with the human race. We’ve become so accustomed to hearing stories like Ahmaud Arbery being murdered while out for a jog because, and I cannot make this shit up, ‘he looked like a thief’, that people are becoming immune to caring. They’re becoming immune to giving a damn.

Breonna Taylor was an EMT who was shot eight times in her own fucking apartment by police officers. She was at home. At home. Home is supposed to be where you’re supposed to be safe.

So much has happened this year. So much has happened this week alone that it’s becoming so easy for people to just let this information go in one ear and out the other. And it’s easy for people to quickly forget. Because next week, there’ll be another story. There’ll be another Stephon Clark, Botham Jean and Trayvon Martin next week, next month, next…

It sounds fucking awful when I say it, but it’s true.

I’m a Caucasian female who is fully aware of the privileges that the colour of my skin has awarded me in this life. I’m also fucking sick of this culture built around racism. I’m fucking sick of white people teaching white people to fear anyone of a different race. I’m sick of white people teaching white people that anyone who is not a white person is not worthy of basic human decency.

Stephon Clark was not holding a weapon, he was holding a cell phone when he was gunned down by police in his grandmother’s back yard. George Floyd was not resisting arrest, he was not holding a weapon he did nothing to warrant four police officers pinning him to the ground. Trayvon Martin’s crime? There wasn’t one.

I know that people don’t like it when I complain about Donald Trump but I need to add in a point here that the fish stinks from the head. The United States of America has had deeply rooted issues with racism for decades, I am aware of this. But Donald Trump, he emboldens racists. He gives them platforms for which to believe their behaviour is acceptable, just and moral, when it is not.

Last month we watched hundreds of people storm the capitol building of various states across the United States protesting stay at home orders that were established to keep those very people protesting safe and healthy. Did they do it with signs and sit-ins in a peaceful protest? No, the brought their assault rifles and bullet proof armour putting each of their own lives, and the lives of every essential work at risk. Donald Trump touted them as very fine people who wanted to go back to work.

This month people are protesting the murder of a man in broad daylight by a police officer and Donald Trump is touting them as ‘thugs’ and threatening to send in the National Guard. I’m not excusing the behaviour that is going on in Minneapolis right now. I’m not saying that burning buildings is correct. But I am saying that I understand it. And I am saying they’re not thugs. Justice is not on their side. Justice is not on the side of an unarmed black man who was not resisting arrest and just needed the fucking police to not be crushing his wind pipe.

The underlying difference between these two months and the protests ensuing? The demographic of protestors.

Why does being black make you a thug? Why does being black make you become someone that the world should fear? Why are people teaching that the colour of your skin determines your value in this world? And why are there so many fucking people avoiding the subject?

My heart breaks for George Floyd’s family. My heart breaks for the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Stephon Clark, and every innocent life that has been lost due to deep, systemic racism rooted in a society that values your life based on the colour of your skin.

We shouldn’t be this society. We should be so much better than this. We need to educate one another and instill better values in one another. We cannot continue to tolerate this as a society. No one race is superior to another.

This is unrelated to what’s going on in the United States right now, but there’s been a sharp spike in hate crimes against people of Asian descent here in Canada in recent months. When I say a sharp spike, I mean it’s one of the top stories on the news each and every night. Property vandalized, people bullied, assaulted or worse, racial slurs popping up what feels like everywhere. It’s alarming. It’s alarming because it’s such a slippery slope. We sat at the dinner table tonight and my mom naively said ‘that’ll never happen here because we’re not American’, to which I replied ‘Racism is racism, regardless of the scale to which it’s being executed, and you should be careful what you say because it’s a very slippery slope from someone assaulting a 91 year old Vietnamese man out for a walk around the block, to what the United States is presently dealing with’.

Dinner was abruptly ended.

Am I sorry for what I said to her? No.

Difficult discussions need to be had. People need to realize that sweeping generalizations are crushing our society and sending us into a deeper spiral of racism, vitriol, hatred and violence.

I’m angry at the news lately. I’m angry because of the people causing the news lately. I’m angry that a woman damn well knows that if she works herself into a frenzy on the phone with 911 and uses the term ‘African American Man’ then the law will be on her side.

I’m just angry with it all.

I haven’t wanted to talk about it because I don’t want to argue with people. But at the same time, part of me feels as though discussions are more important than sweeping it aside and waiting for the next occurrence to happen. Because lately, it seems like it’s day by day, sometimes hour by hour, that these things are coming to light.

And I’m so fucking thankful that people are filming these incidents now.

As hard as it is to watch, I think that’s important for our world to see just how bad it’s gotten, just how low we are. I think it’s important for it to be on record, for the footage to be right in front of our eyes.

As much as I know so many people will just let it go in one ear and out the other, I really hope that these types of videos serve as a wake-up call.

When people suck.

Why do people have to fight when someone passes away? Why can’t they just get along, remember the person in the way which they deserve and fulfill their final wishes? Why does it always have to be about money?

‘Well I bet you’re happy about the giant pay day you’re about to come into!’ Someone who knows my parents says to me today and laughs while they execute the ‘making it rain’ gesture with their hands. Mature, I know.

Why kind of a heartless person says/does stuff like this?

No. I’m not excited. I’d rather still have my uncle around and I’m damn fucking sure that my parents and all of my brothers would say the same thing. His estate could be worth $10 or 10 billion dollars, it doesn’t fucking matter. No amount of money is worth the loss to our family and the fact that all of my Uncles, Aunts and Cousins are fighting with one another.

No one ever asks to lose a loved one. This money isn’t something we’re celebrating. The estate won’t even be settled for at least two years. But hey, apparently people think we’re laughing all the way to the bank… Why do people always make it about money?

We still haven’t even been issued a death certificate due to backup because of COVID-19.

Grocery store math

I had to buy razor blades. I’ve needed razor blades for a while but I have been putting it off because I find them to be so dang expensive that I hate buying them.

Anyone else think that razor blades cost way more than they should? Just me?

So, tonight I made a run for the grocery store just ten minutes before it was to close in hopes that would make for less people in the store. (Totally viable strategy by the way)

The hygiene aisle. Oh, the hygiene aisle is a bad place to be.

This is going to sound very whiny of me, but I’ll just put it out there… shit marketed towards women is ALWAYS more expensive than the counterpart marketing towards women. It just is. That’s actually another reason why I hate buying razor blades.

You can buy a totally bomb razor from the men’s side of the aisle for $10. Four refill cartridges cost between $10-15. You can buy an average razor on the women’s side of the aisle for anywhere from $16-22. If you want a good razor, it’s likely going to cost $25 or more. And cartridges for those… oh the cartridges…

I went to the grocery store to buy refill cartridges for my razor. I already have the razor. I don’t need a new razor. How many more times can I say razor in the same paragraph? Stop me, please… I’m in a sarcastic asshole kind of mood and I could probably go all night.

Four refill cartridges for my razor at the grocery store were priced at $25.99 (and that is on sale, they are regular $28.99… three dollars off… whoop-dee-do). Five refill cartridges plus the razor, the value pack, was priced at $22.99. (three dollars less… whoop-dee-do)

Wait a minute.

I can buy four cartridges for $25.99, or I can buy five cartridges and the razor for $22.99?

I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

It seems like a no-brainer to me. Buy the one with five cartridges. Five cartridges is three dollars less so the obvious move is to throw out my current razor and let it sit in the landfill for the next 400 years. Yeah, that’s overdramatic, I know. But it’s the truth.

Truth is men’s razors are often better anyway.

Truth: most products geared towards men are cheaper. It’s actually a practice that’s been coined in economics as the pink tax. Example:

Women’s 74g deodorant for $5.97 at Walmart
Men’s 85g deodorant for $5.27 at Walmart

The price difference is small. So small that people don’t often notice it. But the truth is, over a year… hell, even over a lifetime these differences add up.

These deodorants are priced at Walmart in the nearest town. They’re made by the same brand, likely in the same manufacturing plant (though that’s just speculation) and one is marketing towards Women and one is marketed towards men. The difference in prices varies more when you look at differing brands. As a whole, men’s deodorant is much cheaper.

Why does the women’s deodorant cost more? These products serve one purpose and it’s the same purpose for men and women.

I’m just ranting right now. The moral of this whole story is that razors are expensive and if you want to go to the store when it’s emptiest, pick ten minutes before closing.

Okay, bye.

This is not a holiday

I need to rant. This might be all over the place but I just want it said. It’s okay to be upset, or angry or mad about what’s going on in the world. It’s also okay to not care, if you don’t want to.

I’ve seen this meme floating around the internet (as of late) that says ‘If you don’t use this time to teach yourself something new, you didn’t lack time you lacked discipline’. I cannot even begin to explain how frustrating I find this mentality.

This is a pandemic. This is not a holiday. This isn’t ‘free time’ so to speak. This is ‘stay the fuck home so that you save your’s and each other’s lives in the process’ time. This isn’t fun. And it’s not supposed to be.

You can drag me all you want. You can tell me that I’m looking at this from a negative perspective, but the truth is, I’m looking at this from a realistic perspective. This is a traumatic experience for a lot of people, if not for everyone.

To the lucky few who are able to work from home, you’re now navigating a whole new territory that involves learning how live/work in the same place. An environment without the help of your coworkers, or office technology, or any of the office luxuries you’ve grown accustomed to over the years. And, while you’re plugging away on that laptop, quite literally flying by the seat of your pants to try and maintain some form of functionality amid the chaos, there’s news stories saying work won’t resume until fall, there’s kids or partners or dogs in the background making a lot of noise and a world that just won’t seem to give you a break. And to the doctors and nurses, health care workers and hospital staff, care aids and everyone who is helping on the front line and working essential jobs (at grocery stores, etc..) there is no breaks. There’s no days off. There’s no reprieve from the painful struggle that is trying to keep the general public healthy.

To the unlucky rest, there’s no work. And there’s no way to find work. Postings for a cashier position in a grocery store in a small town in Northern BC are attracting 3,100 resumes/applications. I can’t even imagine how much higher the competition is to be a cashier in a metropolitan area. People want to work. They want to provide for themselves and their family members and they can’t. They’re at home worried about how their bills are going to be paid, how long the food in the cupboard will last and whether or not a guardian angel is going to drop dinner from the sky. And, while they’re worrying about money, mortgages and the basic necessities of survival, there’s news stories saying that they could be off work until the fall, or even early next year, and kids or partners or dogs in the background making a lot of noise and a world that just won’t seem to give a break.

To the really unlucky folk, work might have been the only time during the day that they had to escape their toxic home environment. It might have just been the only time they had away from their abusers. Now, not only are they being thrown into a stressful home environment that already existed for that much longer each day, but there’s the added financial and economic stresses of life adding to tensions in the household. And, while they’re worrying about how to make it through the day without having their body, mind or soul quite literally beat up on, there’s news stories saying that they could be stuck at home until the fall, or even later, trying their best to tip toe around the abuse and limit the things that might set off abusers.

And let’s not forget about the kids in this. The kids we’re trying to keep from being kids, because it’s their second-nature to hang out with their friends and ride their bikes or play basketball. These kids who’ve had their lives turned upside down who may, or may not, understand what’s going on right now.

EVERYONE has been impacted in this.

This is not the power hour. People don’t need to be made to feel guilty for staying in their pajamas, or sleeping in, or binge watching Netflix rather than cleaning their house. What we need to make each other feel less alone for the very real fear, frustration and panic we’re all facing. Every situation might be different but we need to show each other compassion and appreciation for the very basic struggle it takes to just be a functioning human at this point in time.

Do what you have to do to make yourself feel better. Do what you have to do to give yourself some grace. And encourage other’s to do that as well.

If you’re someone who wants to teach yourself something new, great. Teach yourself something new. Learn that stuff, whatever it is. Go hard! But also, recognize this is your means of coping. This is not how everyone copes and you do not have the right to make someone else feel bad if they’re not doing the same as you.

The more ‘Productive things you can do from home’ lists and videos I view, the more I think people really don’t understand the concept of productivity guilt. There’s a big difference between choosing to be productive yourself and choosing to make other’s feel bad for not doing what you do. Nobody needs to be made to feel guilty because of how they’re acting, or reacting, to the present state of the world.

Some people cope by sleeping in. Some people cope by not getting dressed. Some people copy by eating four pieces of cheesecake in one sitting and they do not need to be made to feel ashamed for any amount of weight that might be put on because they’re not going to the gym right now. Home workouts aren’t for everyone. The very long winded point that I am trying to make right now is that everyone copes differently.

However you’re handling this pandemic, this social isolation, this extremely unstable time in history, give yourself grace. Give others grace. Check in on people. See how they’re holding up.If you need to cry, cry. Cry with each other. Be vulnerable. Or don’t. Just remember that we might all be going through this together, but we all deserve the right to cope/handle this how we want.

The warning label says what?

For adults only. Do not use if you are: pregnant, nursing or are of childbearing age.

So…

This product is for adult men and menopausal/post-menopausal women? That’s a very bold statement to make ‘of childbearing age’.

For a product that seems to predominantly be marketed towards women (pink packaging, silhouette of a ‘beautiful woman’ on the label) this seems like a huge catch that really ought to be a lager disclaimer on the container.

Note – I’m not saying that men can’t, or don’t, purchase goods in pink packaging. I’m just suggesting that, due to the label being pink and having a woman on it, their target audience might be women.

It’s so damn important to read the labels before you purchase a product.

I am trying to decide if I can take this and it’ll be harmless, or if I should return it to the store because I’ll be risking a heart attack (or infertility?) if I do not. Being of child-bearing age for another 15-20 years, this might not be a good product for me?

Misleading marketing at its finest. And I fell for it. Hook, line and sinker.

Breaking down the language of job postings

Don’t mine me today, I’m just ranting.

They say ‘Urgently Hiring‘ but what they really mean is ‘we’ll get to you when we get to you‘. I’m completely and utterly convinced that ‘Urgently hiring’ is a ploy to collect more resumes and faster.

Under type of employment they say ‘Full time, part time, contract’ and what this ALWAYS means is that it’s a contract position. More and more companies are leaning towards contracting employees because they don’t have to guarantee their hours, they don’t have to give them a benefits package and they don’t have to guarantee them a position tomorrow, if they don’t want to.

‘Bilingualism would be considered an asset’ means that you shouldn’t bother applying for this position if you’re not bilingual. Gone are the days when marginal understanding of a second language was enough to help. If you’re not fluent, written and speaking, in a foreign language – brownie points if it’s in French or Chinese or sign language – you’re really not going to be considered.

When they say ‘We are an equal opportunity employer’ that means they prefer men, but they’re not allowed to say that they prefer men. Thus, the questionnaire at the end of every job application has appeared where you’re required to answer if you’re male or female, consider yourself to be of a minority, and whether or not you have a disability. This information is none of the potential employers business whatsoever, but they’re required to meet a quota… so, you know, they can’t meet that quota if they don’t have this information before they even bother to consider/call potential candidates.

When they say ‘must be a fit individual who meets the aesthetic requirements of representing our brand’ what they really mean is ‘if you’re not skinny and beautiful, we don’t want your resume’. Honestly, I’m not even sure how companies can get away with having this on their job descriptions… but, hey, it’s 2020 and I’m reminded of just how closed minded the world still is about beauty standards.

When they ask ‘Do you have a diving license?’ what they really mean is ‘do you have a driver’s license?’ See, this one is just them trying to throw you off. What it actually shows is that no one proof-reads their content before it’s published. Which is not the best look for a company. But… you can decide if it’s worth it or not.

When they say they’re looking for someone to ‘develop and execute social and influencer engagement strategies’ what they really want is for you to find local ‘Insta Famous’ folk to pretend to use their products. It should be a giant red flag if a company solely wants to use influencer marketing to build its brand. A real marketing strategy has a development plan that executes all levels of marketing, not just Instagram.

When they say people of all education and skill backgrounds will be considered, what they’re really saying is ‘If you don’t have a Master’s Degree, you’re not welcome to sit at our table. Because you know, it’s 2020 and that Master’s Degree means everything.

When they say ‘Thank you for your application, after careful consideration of your information we will be moving forward with candidates we believe better match the skill set that we are looking for this position’ largely what they really mean is that they haven’t even looked at your application. Yeah… I don’t think a lot of them care about the fact that you can now see on both Indeed and LinkedIn which companies even bothered to download/open your application. I get a lot of these ‘after careful consideration of your application’ emails from companies who haven’t even bothered to acknowledge my application exists. They didn’t read it. They didn’t glance at it. They didn’t even download it. I just got filed in the ‘No’ pile, immediately.