Created: 2020.03.07 | Last updated: 2021.02.02
When my wife and I returned from Costa Rica on March 5th 2020, there had been almost a vacuum of information on COVID-19, now ... it changes daily or hourly.
This page is being updated from time to time as I think I have something useful to add. I'm tempted at times to edit the earlier information, but I've decided to leave it the way it was written and and add to it rather than redact things I wish I had not said.
When my wife and I returned from Costa Rica on March 5th 2020, there had been almost a vacuum of information on COVID-19 while we were down there, the Canadian news we read online suggested - tempest in a teapot. A few people in the airports along the way were wearing masks - but most of them were either obviously poorly fitted or they weren't covering either their nose or their mouth, so even they weren't really taking it seriously.
When we returned to Canada we were asked specifically if we had traveled to China in the past 14 days (no questions about Iran or Italy as we shortly thereafter realized they should have asked.) We were told welcome home and given no information about self quarantine suggestions or anything else about any risks.
A few days later, having listened to the news, we shifted to self quarantine, and we didn't run the traditional 2:30pm church service we run on Sunday the 15th - in part because the others who help run it had a cold. Instead following the 'abundance of precaution' mantra as a prudent path to take with the agreement and blessing of our Lead Pastor Sandy Isfield, later that day all gatherings > 50 (except Casinos) limit was placed, our church decided to shut down everything - any gathering over 2, just to be on the safe side. A week later, Quebec brought in the 'max 2' limit.
We are still healthy. But as I read everything that was happening, I am absolutely amazed that the Trudeau federal government was taking absolutely no steps other than with respect of China travelers. Apparently it took Trudeau's wife being diagnosed with COVID-19 for him to take any real action. Now admittedly, our health care system, apparently no thanks to the Federal Government, has been doing a very good job. Update a week later: The prime minister now seems to be truly taking it serious - and is starting to get frustrated with those that are where he was mentally a week ago.
2020.05.20 Due to an error by one of my developers, and a second error by the person responsible for maintaining backups, my personal site was deemed 'not important enough to backup' ... a bunch of my blog items, including those on COVID-19 between the above and today were lost. Sorry.
Filling in the gap: I had compliments for the primers of Quebec and Alberta, some mild compliments for Trudeau and suggestions that I think that if schools open in September, they'll be closed by the middle of October.
I had comments about the president of the Philippines who gave 'shoot to kill' orders for those not following the rules - and my surprise at first that no leaders, including Trudeau or Trump, gave any criticism, until I realized that THEY understood that what was unthinkable just 2 weeks previous was expected and routine today, so they probably realize they may need to implement marshall law before COVID-19 runs its course over the next 3 or 4 or more years, so they decided to not criticize so it didn't come back to bite them when they decide to do the same thing in their countries.
2020.05.20 There have been disagreements over what the Federal Canadian Government is doing:
So with the latest info about Andrew Sheer, the Opposition Leader for the Government of Canada ... that he recanted his decision to recant his US citizenship and that several years ago he voluntarily signed up to defend his country (USA) though the 'Selective Service System' (so he can be drafted), it leaves me wondering, as leader of the opposition in Canada, if Trudeau were to declare war on the USA, would the CANADIAN leader of the opposition be called up by Trump and asked to execute Trudeau, and would that then be a legal action since it was Trudeau that declared war on the USA and Sheer is a USA citizen and potential draftee?
2020.05.28 Today was only the second time since the era of COVID-19 started that our 7 year old daughter went out and into stores. Though we have gone biking and walking on the bike paths in Airdrie a couple times.
She commented on the traffic (a lot compared to 2 weeks ago), and commented correctly on how people "Aren't obeying the virus rules anymore. I guess no one cares about the virus anymore." .... from the mouth of babes. If there is a second spike in Round one, or Round two starts ... it will be because people have stopped taking the rules seriously.
2020.06.19 We still try to not go out. But what I see is that there is a dual attitude. Certain rules are being followed (most) but there is a laxness in attitude. I had a sales clerk come up today at a farm store. He talked to me from the 'old normal' distance (while I stood on the circle I was supposed to) I was giving him details of my tractor, and since he was so close I showed him the phone. He jerked "I'm not allowed to touch your phone" - but he still stood about 2.5' away from me reading it. I noticed than 9 out of 10 people no longer try to walk a 6' circle around me, the just lower their chin and walk past 'faster'. Hearing that others are seeing the same thing, I'm expecting that - due to summer and being 'outside' and the wind blowing the COVID-19 away, that there will be a continued slowdown in cases over the summer. Then, by September we will have become so lax, that when we go back indoors together ... combined with the Seasonal flu in October, I predict everything will shut down again sometime in October. To be fair, I've been predicting this for over a month so it could be that I'm just looking at and interpreting the facts that agree with my biased conclusion. So i guess we'll see. But this is where I see us likely headed when I think about human nature and past similar pandemics like the Spanish flu. Yes our technology is better, and we think we are a lot smarter, but are we wiser? Or are we still basically the same humans we were 100 years ago? You can probably guess what I think.
2020.06.25 I'm seeing more 'outrage' among normally 'calm, rational' people that the response to COVID-19 has been unreasonably harsh by the government compared to the risks. I'm trying currently to stay neutral in my stance, in my writing, in my emotions on it. So I'm going to talk about things that are within 2 levels of contact of myself.
A lady I know in British Columbia was diagnosed with stage 1 of an aggressive cancer in Early March 2020. Her physician scheduled her for emergency surgery 2 weeks later. But then the BC government decided: The risk of COVID-19 is so severe that surgeries like hers should be put on hold in case her bed is needed by someone who might become sick. Now, last Thursday, she was told that while her surgery can now be performed legally, as the physician feared her cancer, being aggressive, is now stage 3 and inoperable. She was essentially told: Sorry, the BC government killed you with their response to COVID-19, go home and die. Of course the physician tried to say it in the nicest possible way, but that was essentially what she was told, and essentially the truth.
another lady had alzheimer's in Alberta, for years her husband came in every day to spend time with her. At the beginning of COVID-19 she was essentially cheerful and healthy, but her husband was told by the Alberta Government (via the nursing home) that because beds MIGHT be needed by someone who MIGHT contract COVID-19, he was not allowed to visit his wife anymore. The nursing home reported that after a few days, the lady started to deteriorate but the husband was STILL not allowed to visit because the Alberta Government wouldn't let him. Within 2 weeks she died. Essentially, the Alberta Government killed her because they MIGHT have needed her bed for someone else.
another lady (85 years old) I was told by an employee (his grandmother he reported) went into hospital in Costa Rica and he reported that 2 days later she died of COVID-19 and that he now had it too and he got me to give him several significant amounts of money to help cover hospital fees and funeral expenses, technically they were loans he said he would pay back 'in 4 days when ...'. Over the next 2 weeks there were ZERO deaths of COVID-19 reported in Costa Rica, and when the 7th death was reported, it was in a different province. This, among several other small things, got me suspicious, and I found out that he had been skimming (embezzling) money from me since December 2019 at least (I didn't have the time to waste checking back further) and he became more and more hostile and rude and demanding. So it turns out he was using the possible death of his grandmother (I wasn't able to confirm even that) to make his scam work to get more money. He played 'nice' for the first 6 months - long enough for me to trust him, then he started to scam me. Nicely played actually! But he overplayed his hand too heavily and I caught on before he could scam more than a few thousand dollars. He thought COVID-19 was the perfect smoke screen, and if he had lived in a country that was having more than a couple deaths a week, it might have continued to play for several more months.
I don't know a single person who has or has had COVID-19. I'm not denying that 100's or 1000's have, I'm not questioning the stats - I'm assuming with no concern that they are essentially correct.
I know some people that I don't want to name to protect them from government reprisals, that are over 80 year's old. They figure statistically that one out of every 5 of their friends are going to die in the next 12 months of things that have nothing to do with COVID-19 and that, based on the current stats, only 1 in every 10,000 of their friends are going to die of COVID-19. So they and their friends have all agreed to ignore the government warnings and continue to meet together. After all - what is life without friendship? What's the point of extending life by killing all 'life.' Essentially, they have looked at the fact that the Alberta and BC governments have KILLED more people they know by the REACTION to COVID-19 than have even CONTRACTED COVID-19, that the governments have destroyed the economy, and they state that Trudeau is raping the country to hand out election favours, using COVID-19 as his smoke screen excuse so why would they WANT to live longer to pay back all the money it is costing to get Trudeau elected in fall 2020? They have decided the risk to LIFE of the governments response to COVID-19 is killing them and stealing LIVING from them. So they have decided to obstinately refuse to follow the government rules and have chosen LIFE over government sanctioned 'death by life'.
of friends I have in retirement facilities and nursing homes, they are saying that they would prefer to take the risk and LIVE than live by death.
Unfortunately, it is the SURVIVORS who will sue the government for LETTING their parents choose LIVING (and risk dying) over living dead.
As for me ... I think they are correct about Trudeau handing out election goodies without considering the true costs and benefits. But that is not a politically correct view to hold in Canada. Truth - sure, but politically incorrect. And to be fair, Trudeau, with his many shell companies and his trust fund perhaps does know how much damage he is doing and he simply doesn't care - it won't hurt him or his beautiful haircut and he knows that it will get him a majority government in the fall. When you already have money - power is sadly, often your new god, and baby Trudeau is still living in the ghost of Daddy Trudeau. He's got to do a lot more before people will stop comparing him to his much more successful, much more brutal, much more intelligent though not nearly as pretty daddy.
But I am glad I am not the Alberta Government, I'm glad I don't have to decide what the CORRECT balance is. I'm following all the rules as best I can, and I'm following the spirit of the rules. But it is easy for me - because really, it doesn't hurt me, I've only lost about 10% of my corporate income. Would I take a different stance if it was drastically hurting me? If I'm honest, I have to say yes. I think cancelling cancer and other life necessary surgeries was a horrible murderous decision. I think cancelling cosmetic surgeries and haircuts was probably a good decision. But as I said above, I thought that cancelling Church services while leaving gambling halls open was a blatant and transparent political move, but I think MOST of the decision the Alberta Government has made were made with good intentions, not evil, and i'm glad that Trudeau has chosen to just hand out election goodies and not try to implement marshal law yet (we'll see when he wins the election and doesn't have to hand out election goodies for another 4 years and round 2 of COVID-19 hits much harder than round 1.)
I may regret how strongly I've stated things above in coming weeks. But I promise to try to keep everything as is, only fixing spelling mistakes and formatting, no changes in meaing, so you can criticize me fairly. If I have to take something down because it is deemed slanderous or I'm ordered legally to, I'll at least note that I did.
2020.06.26 I've also been thinking of the general attitudes I'm hearing from people
The vast majority: The government is killing the economy and people for a political agenda. Yes they had to do SOMETHING - but they got power hungry and thrilled that the media went along with their abuse of power - especially at the Federal level.
A very small group I've HEARD about but haven't met anyone: I'm TERRIFIED that COVID-19 is going to kill me and my kids.
a big group: "Whatever". OK, I'll stand 2 meters (well, at least half a meter) away, and i'll follow the rules when I get in trouble or when there are marks clearly indicated that aren't inconvenient. But - whatever.
A medium sized group: Sign, I guess the government had to, but they went too far and caused too much damage.
A small group: Yeah! It's over! COVID-19 is gone. Come September everything will be back to the way it was.
Where would I put myself? "Sigh, I guess the government had to, but because they were SO restrictive and caused so much damage, when round 2 comes it is going to be worse because they 'cried wolf' too loudly."
Who is right? Am I right? I don't know - do you?
Who is wrong? The ONLY one I'm going to say I think is definitely wrong is the 'Yeah! It's over' group. After I wrote the above info today, I had to take someone to the hospital. (everyone's ok now) the particularly interesting comment was made by the doctor "Don't wait for COVID to be over to <...> it's going to be around another 4 years unless there is a miracle cure."
2020.07.24 So the province has announced that the schools will be opening in essentially 'back to normal' on August 1st. I have listened carefully to the premier as he spoke and other government officials. I have noted in particular the 'political speak' they seem to be using.
It appears to me that they are VERY carefully avoiding saying that Dr. Deena Hinshaw said they SHOULD open the schools on September first - why? Because the ATA, the Minister in charge of schools, the Premier have been extremely careful to EVERY time they speak said that they are 'following the guidelines given by Dr. Hinshaw'. They are SO careful to say EXACTLY the same words - effectively they are blaming Hinshaw for it, yet when she spoke, she gave no indication that she thinks the schools SHOULD open. Further I noted that the primier gave an argument FOR opening the schools while giving the SAME argument in the same speech for NOT opening other public things more! Doublespeak me thinks. Again, talks about why things need to stay closed while in the same speech essentially saying that "the mental health of children is more important than a few hundred or few thousand people dying from COVID-19, and we all know that parents are incompetent at protecting the mental health of their children, it is far better for the government to use trained AtA teachers to guard the mental health of children than let parents do it." (no that is NOT a quote, that is me interpreting the reality of the Premiers political speak, and I'm sure he would not like the way I expressed it.)
Not ONCE did they say she is ADVISING or RECOMMENDING that schools open. Not once did they say anything like "Dr. Hinshaw thinks it is OK that we open" let alone that she said we should open.
Reading between the very large, fat, blatant lines here is what I think the truth is:
The ATA and or the government in general has decided that having the schools closed is such a terrible problem for our economy and/or the risk that too many parents will decide that they are doing a better job teaching their children so they should not ever return them to the bureaucratic teaching system and the ATA and government do not want a society that is based on parents teaching their children - they prefer that the government indoctrinate the children in society than have the parents do the indoctrination. In other words I do not believe the reasons given for returning in September are what are being said publicly. I think it is either money/economy or ATA or government indoctrination that is the real reason - or more likely, both.
they are doing CYA so they can blame Hinshaw WHEN it fails in October (or if we are luckily it will last until November) "Wha wha wha - we followed Dr. Hinshaw's rules exactly, it's HER fault that we have to close again and that the problems are so much more severe than when we closed last time."
basically they are setting Hinshaw up to take the fall for THEIR decision. They will be able to say "we followed ALL of her guidelines" and for HER to come out and say "But I TOLD them NOT to open" will not be believed at that time - it will sound like sour grapes. And of course, for her NOW to come out and say "I have given guidelines for them to follow if they are so incredibly stupid to open the schools in September, they are are the best guidelines I can give - but the ATA and the government are insisting that the schools open in September and aren't listening to my ADVICE."
I'm basing this on my personal experience (I have worked as an advisor to both the provincial and federal governments paid and volunteer as well as other bureaucracies): Normally they are better at playing the CYA game, so I'm guessing that behind the scenes Dr. Hinshaw STRONGLY objected to them opening the schools in September and so they had a hard time having any flexibility in how they blamed her for her rules.
Now, I admit, I could be wrong. It COULD be that Dr. Hinshaw IS recommending they open the schools. But ask yourself this: If she was -why isn't SHE or ANYONE saying that? Why are they so careful to use one set of weasel words. I guess I'm saying that it is SO blatant that the only conclusion I can draw is this:
Dr. Hinshaw told them - don't be jackasses, do NOT open the schools in September, you're idiots if you open them. And she was told:
We ARE going to open them, and we will replace you if you don't go with the party line. Now - tell us HOW to do what we are GOING to do.
And she decided it was better for the province for her to give the best guidlines she could, rather than forcing someone else to have to quickly replace her and likely not give as good a set of 'advice'.
2020.11.27: While I am disgusted that some slime ball from one of the unionized (according to CBC and the NDP) public servants released confidential tapes, it appears my reading between the lines above were correct.
Note that I am not saying that opening the schools in September is a bad idea - I can't balance the risks of destroying the economy and people's lives and killing people early by delayed medical treatment vs the number of people who will die early because of COVID-19. My comment here is on one of the most blatant political speaks I have seen in this province. (Sadly it is common at the federal level.)
But my final comment is this: Remember that I believe that opening the schools in September with ANY amount of rules will cause a huge surge in COVID-19 cases in October. So it could be argued that I am simply laying my opinions on the current political speak.
2020.08.04 Canada's Chief health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, finally realized today (at least realized 'publicly') that even WITH a vaccine, COVID-19 is going to be a major disruption for 2 or 3 years. That even with a vaccine, restrictions may have to be in place "for several years". With more than 150 vaccines being tested, surely, being cautiously optimistic, one of these will actually make a significant difference. Tam reported that 'there are over 166 vaccines .... being tested' ah ... I remember people making fun of Trump over a statement like this ... over 166 - so is it 167 being tested?
It is too bad (Warning: Political opinion coming up here; you may want to skip it if you love the prettiest world leader) that Trudeau has been spending money like it is a 4 month 'get me a majority government in the fall 2020 and I promise COVID-19 will go away' problem.
As far as whether you'd be willing to trust a Trudeau government app on your phone ... apparently 1.1 million downloads have occurred so far. So if we assume that those are 1.1 distinct phones (and only a very tiny are multiple downloads before successful, probably a safe bet), that's almost 3% of the population who have downloaded so far. If we get another 57+% ... the app will have significant value. Will you be one?
2020.10.17 It appears to me that Trudeau tried very hard to get a vote of non-confidence (and my satirical side said he wanted to blame the Conservatives for it it, but I probably am correct) but the NDP wouldn't let him. Yes I know everything 'said' by those 2 parties was different, so I could be wrong. But it sure seems that he was trying but the NDP 'bailed him out'. Why do I say he was going to try to blame the Conservatives? Because he continues to blame the Conservatives for things that he did nothing about the last 5 years he has been in power, and he blames the Conservatives for him not being able to do anything this fall on COVID-19 when it was he that prorogued parliament to avoid attention being brought on his probable illegal actions (doing a Chretien style 'pay my friends and family' set of moves.) But he looks so handsome in his windswept hair and COVID-19 beard that his supporters will probably blame the Conservatives along with him.
2020.11.27 I have tried to stay out of the political side of COVID-19 recently, but 3 things happened this past week that left me feeling I should jump in.
First, in Canada, Justin Trudeau, who is in the second year of his SECOND mandate, his first was a majority, blamed the previous government for there not being enough facilities to create vaccines! That was just too much for me to stay silent. If he really believed they were at fault, he should have started to do something in the YEARS that he has been in control. To blame the previous government for that was just too petty, too ridiculous for me to stay silent.
Second, in Alberta (province in Canada), someone, who based on the NDP statements and the CBC report, was one or more unionized public servant(s), released tapes of private conversations taken when they were under oath to NOT reveal the info. This was with respect to discussions of all sorts of people who are trying to decide and advise for dealing with COVID-19. Conversations like that are kept secret so that people can give they HONEST opinions so that the BEST POSSIBLE decisions can be made. But this slimy, disrespectful, cheating stool-pigeon released recording of the conversations they promised to keep secret. This person or these persons should be removed from any jobs they have and their names made public after they are convicted in court. But what does Notley, the leader of the NDP say? She says that not only should nothing be done about this cheating, untrustworthy person(s), but that the government should invoke it's ability to FURTHER release MORE of the secret discussions - causing ALL trust to be lost for decades to come. This was a sleazy, political maneuver by Notley and is especially disgusting in these very trying times.
Third, helping keep everything in perspective, it was revealed, or at least claimed, that North Korea has executed people to avoid economic damage by COVID-19.
And finally, no I am not going to give my uninformed opinions about how much right and wrong I think the various governments of the countries I deal with, including my own, are doing. I do not know enough and I thank God that I am not the one that has to make the hard decisions and then be brutally attacked from all sides about not doing enough/doing too much/being dishonest/being blah blah blah.
On the good side today, after blaming the previous government for delays, Trudeau has said that most people should be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine by September 2021 and that, by the time vaccines are approved, the Trudeau government will have a plan for how they will accomplish this. That puts it about 16 months after the pandemic started, and I think that means several world records will have been set for vaccine creation.
I have had to drastically cut my personal income, but I've been able to keep every staff member on my team around the world, I haven't had to get rid of anyone because of COVID-19, despite having customers cut back and/or go bankrupt. I'll be doing my very best to keep everyone, and I think that is a realistic goal.
2020.02.02 I am hearing more and more people that seem to think that COVID-19 will be 'over' soon, despite government discussions and governments doing things that will bankrupt more and more companies. I am planning for SOME easing in travel in late 2021 or Q1 2022, but I am not looking at even that being a 'sure thing.'