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May 4, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Enough with the online COVID research — listen to the experts
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/05/03/opinion/online-covid-vaccine-research-listen-to-experts
The disinformation campaigns continue. That's unfortunate and frequently reprehensible. The question that really conerns me is why these campaigns continue (and are allowed to continue).

New results on Work From Home
"First, employees will enjoy large benefits from greater remote work, especially those with higher earnings. Second, the shift to WFH will directly reduce spending in major city centers by at least 5-10 percent relative to the pre-pandemic situation. Third, our data on employer plans and the relative productivity of WFH imply a 5 percent productivity boost in the post-pandemic economy due to re-optimized working arrangements. Only one-fifth of this productivity gain will show up in conventional productivity measures, because they do not capture the time savings from less commuting."
https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2021/05/new-results-on-work-from-home.html
The referenced paper, "Why Working from Home Will Stick" is found at:
https://www.nber.org/papers/w28731

Relatively few COVID-19 cases reported after receiving first vaccine dose, data show
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-relatively-few-covid-19-cases-reported-after-receiving-first-vaccine/

Sadly, it now appears that Plaguemeister Jason Kenney wanted to outdo Doug Ford on devastating his province.
'We're in a lot of trouble': What's happening in Alberta as it shatters multiple COVID-19 case records?
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/we-re-in-a-lot-of-trouble-what-s-happening-in-alberta-as-it-shatters-multiple-covid-19-case-records-1.5411005
'It'll crash tremendously': Alberta now leads Canada and U.S. in per capita COVID-19 cases
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/it-ll-crash-tremendously-alberta-now-leads-canada-and-u-s-in-per-capita-covid-19-cases-1.5412090
Some people just won't learn the obvious lesson: you can't negotiate with a virus.
And just to rub some salt into the festering sore:
'It's shocking:' More than 1000 parking tickets issued at Calgary's mass vaccination site
https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/mobile/it-s-shocking-more-than-1-000-parking-tickets-issued-at-calgary-s-mass-vaccination-site-1.5407959

After a Year of Loss, South America Suffers Worst Death Tolls Yet
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/29/world/americas/covid-latin-america.html

Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/health/covid-herd-immunity-vaccine.html

Risk from COVID-19 variants remains after first Pfizer shot: study
https://globalnews.ca/news/7823141/covid-19-variants-pfizer-vaccine/

A Canadian vaccine certificate faces science, privacy hurdles: officials
https://globalnews.ca/news/7826318/canada-covid-vaccine-certificate-hurdles/

Another family member got their first shot last night. Now we have one each of Moderna, Pfizer, and Astra Zeneca (first shots only).

Take care of you.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For world vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

Why warnings of a deadly 3rd wave in Canada may have gone unheeded
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/canadas-inevitable-third-wave-ontario-alberta-1.6008176

How Can the Olympics Protect 78,000 Volunteers From the Coronavirus?
They are being offered little more than a couple of masks, some hand sanitizer and social-distancing guidance that may be hard to abide by.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/02/world/asia/olympics-volunteers-coronavirus.html

Fauci says Canada isn't mishandling the pandemic's third wave
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/fauci-covid-pandemic-third-wave-1.601000

Provinces have been slow to use rapid COVID tests, new numbers show
Just more than 4% of nearly 42M tests distributed across the country have been used
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-rapid-tests-provinces-1.6004376

Thousands flock to 'No More Lockdowns' rodeo in rural Alberta
https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/thousands-flock-to-no-more-lockdowns-rodeo-in-rural-alberta-1.5410492
Mark your calendars for the week of May 15th to check for a rise in new COVID case counts in the Calgary area.

Why the pandemic causes languishing and how to cope
https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1892940867689

No money left for pay raises, Legault tells 'guardian angels' and other public-sector workers
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-public-sector-union-negotiations-1.6011182
I can't imagine this going over well, coming from the guy who ignored expert health guidance from the pandemic outset and chose to dance with the virus instead.

Pfizer to start shipping coronavirus vaccine made in U.S. plant to Canada
https://www.cp24.com/news/pfizer-to-start-shipping-coronavirus-vaccine-made-in-u-s-plant-to-canada-1.5409774

Using Pfizer in pharmacies presents challenges
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/using-pfizer-in-pharmacies-presents-challenges

We'll soon be able to tell whether you are immune to covid-19
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg25033323-700-well-soon-be-able-to-tell-whether-you-are-immune-to-covid-19/

May the Fourth be with you. It's corny, but I like it. One year from today, the Ontario provincial election campaign will begin officially. I hope for a few things. First, that the COVID-19 pandemic will finally be under control so we can have actual polling stations to vote at. Second, that Ontarians will actually spend a few minutes researching the issues and make an informed decision on who they want to represent them and their riding, and make over-arching decisions about provincial policy around education, environment, transportation, emergency preparedness, who will run long-term care facilities and health care across the spectrum. Third, that people will ensure that they are on the voters list before election day, and actually be bothered to take a short walk or drive to cast their vote.

In that vein, I'm putting up a list of headlines that popped Friday last week and since. We will need to remember how our elected officials managed the pandemic. This is not an exhaustive list, just a snapshot in time per the mainstream media. The long list will be for others to compile.

Ontario's long-term care sector wasn't ready or equipped for COVID-19: report
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/long-term-care-pandemic-report-1.6005331
Report can be found here:
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/20692999/covid-19-preparedness-and-management-report.pdf

Despite the coincidental timing, this is actually a different report.
Ontario had no plan to protect long-term residents against COVID-19 pandemic: commission
https://www.cp24.com/news/ontario-had-no-plan-to-protect-long-term-residents-against-covid-19-pandemic-commission-1.5408596
This report can be found at:
http://www.ltccommission-commissionsld.ca/report/pdf/Ontarios_Long-Term_Care_COVID-19_Commission_Final%20Report.pdf

'The Iron Ring was a farce': Why didn't Ontario better prepare long-term care homes for the 2nd wave?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eodNe3oqYo

Former long-term care inspector speaks out on Ontario's broken inspection system
https://globalnews.ca/video/7813993/former-long-term-care-inspector-speaks-out-on-ontarios-broken-inspection-system

Families, Experts say long-term care report shows pandemic lessons can't be ignored
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/families-experts-say-long-term-care-report-shows-pandemic-lessons-can-t-be-ignored-1.5410845
(But they were, and continue to be ignored.)

Minister of Long-Term Care walks out of news conference on damning commission report
https://blackburnnews.com/midwestern-ontario/midwestern-ontario-news/2021/05/03/minister-long-term-care-walks-news-conference-damning-commission-report/

Ontario government can't wait to start dancing with the virus again.
Ontario may soon lift some COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor activities, solicitor general says
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-may-soon-lift-some-covid-19-restrictions-on-outdoor-activities-solicitor-general-says-1.5408851

Report reveals Ontario’s hospitals most problematic compared to rest of Canada
https://globalnews.ca/news/7817487/report-ontario-hospitals-problematic-canada/

Toronto family forced to pay to bring uncle's body back after hospital transfer to Ottawa
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/toronto-family-forced-to-pay-to-bring-uncle-s-body-back-after-hospital-transfer-to-ottawa-1.5406743

Doug Ford's top staffers knew Rod Phillips would be away ahead of St. Barts vacation, e-mails show
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-doug-fords-top-staffers-knew-rod-phillips-would-be-away-ahead-of-st/

The Ford government has never put our health above profit. Why did we think they would start now?
https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/04/25/the-ford-government-has-never-put-our-health-above-profit-why-did-we-think-they-would-start-now.html

Pandemic pay bonuses are going to executives, instead of the front-line workers taking all the risks
https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/04/26/pandemic-pay-bonuses-are-going-to-executives-instead-of-the-front-line-workers-taking-all-the-risks.html

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
If you're not confused about the pandemic rules, you haven't been paying attention.

;-) SUCCESS:
     At age 4 success is . . . Not piddling in your pants.
     At age 12 success is . . . Having friends.
     At age 17 success is . . . Having a driver's license.
     At age 35 success is . . . Having money.
     At age 50 success is . . . Having money.
     At age 70 success is . . . Having a driver’s license.
     At age 75 success is . . . Having friends.
     At age 80 success is . . . Not piddling in your pants.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 29, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

'One bad decision' away from serious outbreak on P.E.I., Morrison warns
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-pandemic-briefing-april-27-1.6003431

Canadian politicians should learn from India’s COVID-19 mistakes.
They’re making the same ones.
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/tasha-kheiriddin-canadian-politicians-should-learn-from-indias-covid-19-mistakes-theyre-making-the-same-ones

'It's out of control': COVID outbreak grips oilsands just as roughnecks fly in
https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/oil-gas/covid-outbreak-grips-canada-oil-sands-just-as-roughnecks-fly-in

Hundreds landing in Canada test positive for COVID-19 variants
https://nationalpost.com/news/hundreds-of-travellers-landing-in-canada-test-positive-for-covid-19-variants

Ontario Small Business Support Grants lack support for local businesses
https://www.kingstonist.com/news/business/ontario-small-business-support-grants-lack-support-for-local-businesses/

Ottawa-designed vaccine system praised in Nova Scotia, envied in 'chaotic' Ontario
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/ottawa-designed-vaccine-system-praised-in-nova-scotia-envied-in-chaotic-ontario

Invented in Ontario by a small business, so naturally not available in Ontario.
Not the first version of this story. Another Ottawa business is providing vaccine booking in BC.

Take care of you.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For world vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

Why generation Xers threw aside our apathy and embraced vaccines
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/first-person-craig-silliphant-gen-x-vaccines-1.6002800

First J&J COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in Canada Wednesday
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/first-j-j-covid-19-vaccines-to-arrive-in-canada-wednesday-1.5405664

Ontario announces paid sick leave program to curb COVID-19 transmission
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-announces-paid-sick-leave-program-to-curb-covid-19-transmission-1.5405853

I guess if the polling is harsh enough, even the Ontario PCs can eventually be dragged kicking and screaming to do the obviously correct thing, even if only a year or so late.
In the past year, the Ontario government voted down paid sick leave over 20 times.
The Government of Ontario votes against paid sick days for 23rd time
https://www.insauga.com/the-government-of-ontario-votes-against-paid-sick-days-for-23rd-time
Ongoing paid sick leave issue should have been resolved a year ago
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-ongoing-paid-sick-leave-issue-should-have-been-resolved-a-year-ago
Uh-oh, Ontario PCs, note the source for this piece - The National Post
Before Ontarians raise the victory flag, wait for the photo op announcement to actually become law.

Ontario to move patients from hospitals to long-term care without their consent due to COVID-19 third wave
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-to-move-patients-from-hospitals-to-long-term-care-without-their-consent-due-to-covid-19-third-wave-1.5405366
Wait, what? There's space in Ontario long-term care facilities? How did that happen? Last provincial report, we were short 10,000 spaces and the number was growing. (Hmmm, it couldn't be related to for-profit LTCs having empty beds in 4-bed rooms, could it?)

Halifax police ticket 2 men for failing to self isolate after travel
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/halifax-police-ticket-2-for-failing-to-self-isolate-after-travel-1.6005127

COVID-19 outbreak strikes partially vaccinated ER staff at St. Mary's Hospital
https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/covid-19-outbreak-strikes-vaccinated-er-staff-at-st-marys-hospital

Why can't Canada make COVID-19 doses at home?
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/domestic-vaccine-manufacturing-canada-1.6004427

Fortress Fossil Fuels Highlights/Gaslights

Ford government seeks to deprioritize green energy
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/04/27/news/ford-government-seeks-deprioritize-green-energy-renewable

Goldboro LNG asks feds for a billion-dollar subsidy
https://canadians.org/analysis/goldboro-lng-asks-feds-billion-dollar-subsidy

I don't suppose saying no to the natural gas industry is an option for taxpayers, who might prefer the money be used for building back better. No, I thought not. (Pardon, my cynicism is showing.)

Canadian oil sands firms ousted by NY state fund for not planning end of production
https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/oil-sands-new-york-pension-fund-170145827.html

Project to make jet fuel from waste fats, oils gets big financial lift from federal government
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/project-to-make-jet-fuel-from-waste-fats-oils-gets-big-financial-lift-from-federal-government-1.5984870
Colour me cynical, but it feels like taxpayer-funded greenwashing for the oil industry.

JPMorgan Secretly Emailed the Trump Administration About Bailing Out the Oil Industry
https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2021/04/jpmorgan-secretly-emailed-the-trump-administration-about-bailing-out-the-oil-industry/

The Fossil Fuel Industry Used Deception To Conceal Damage To BIPOC — NAACP Report
https://cleantechnica.com/2021/04/02/the-fossil-fuel-industry-used-deception-to-conceal-damage-to-bipoc-naacp-report/

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Be your own life coach: Think small, make big changes.

;-) Apologies: today's humour item is a giant set of inside jokes.
     Many people won't get it; think of it as a posterity posting.
     https://youtu.be/4pokCxzzbj0

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 27, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

I'll just summarize the following provincial government COVID stories as: gets it, didn't get it and still doesn't get it.

Facing a count of new COVID-19 cases that Ontarians would consider 'quaint', NS recognizes the threat.
All N.S. schools, non-essential stores to close for 2 weeks as entire province locks down
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/covid-19-update-nova-scotia-april-27-1.6003300

Last week's summary article published Saturday for Ontario.
Ontario logs more than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases as ICU admission continues to climb
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-logs-more-than-4-000-new-covid-19-cases-as-icu-admission-continues-to-climb-1.5400844

(In more reccent days, Plaguemeister Ford has shifted the news cycle focus from this catastrophe to the nonsensical story it's spinning about paid sick leave.)

Maskless protesters at Alberta rally urged to get tested after participant tests positive for COVID-19
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/medicine-hat-covid-rally-1.6003086

Alberta surrenders to COVID with anti-science approach to public health
https://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alberta-diary/2021/04/alberta-surrenders-covid-anti-science-approach-public-health

Take care of you.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For world vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

Mixing COVID-19 vaccines may have more than one benefit: Infectious disease expert
Dr. Lisa Barrett says the evidence available points to it being better and more effective to get mRNA for the first COVID-19 vaccine dose and another type of vaccine for the second.
https://ottawa.citynews.ca/local-news/mixing-covid-19-vaccines-may-have-more-than-one-benefit-infectious-disease-expert-3667618

CDC says fully vaccinated people can exercise, hold small gatherings outdoors without masks
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/27/cdc-fully-vaccinated-people-can-exercise-hold-small-gatherings-outdoors-without-masks.html

Scientists find evidence of human-to-cat COVID-19 transmission
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/scientists-find-evidence-of-human-to-cat-covid-19-transmission-1.5403027

Military sending medical teams to pandemic-stressed Ontario hospitals
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-forces-pandemic-ontario-covid-1.6002905

'We are ready to go to work': Health-care workers from Newfoundland arrive in Ontario
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/we-are-ready-to-go-to-work-health-care-workers-from-newfoundland-arrive-in-ontario-1.5404474

Hundreds line up at Ottawa Loblaws for chance to receive COVID-19 vaccine
https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/hundreds-line-up-at-ottawa-loblaws-for-chance-to-receive-covid-19-vaccine-1.5402237
Here's the underlying question that bothers me: why should we need something like Vaccine Hunters?
The questions that bother me as a system and database designer, why do we have multiple, unconnected systems for booking vaccination appointments, and, why don't they allow for user-initiated cancellations?

The AstraZeneca rollout isn’t a vaccination plan, it’s pandemonium
https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/04/26/the-astrazeneca-rollout-isnt-a-vaccination-plan-its-pandemonium.html

Doug Ford picks another political fight on the pandemic front, trying to engage the feds, but sacrificing Ontarians to try to score political points - and fails miserably - forgetting Ontario had exactly such a plan before he scrapped it.
Feds say Ontario should introduce paid sick leave program as PC government ducks calls for its own
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/feds-say-ontario-should-introduce-paid-sick-leave-program-as-pc-government-ducks-calls-for-its-own-1.5403824

(Digital) Deception

Top 5 ways to protect against cryptocurrency scams
https://www.techrepublic.com/article/top-5-ways-to-protect-against-cryptocurrency-scams/

This password-stealing Android malware is spreading quickly: Here's what to watch out for
https://www.zdnet.com/article/this-password-stealing-android-malware-is-spreading-quickly-heres-watch-to-watch-out-for/

Apple’s ransomware mess is the future of online extortion
https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2021/04/apples-ransomware-mess-is-the-future-of-online-extortion/

With 4 Words, Apple Just Exposed the Biggest Problem with Facebook
https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/with-4-words-apple-just-exposed-biggest-problem-with-facebook.html

Building a successful Disaster Recovery strategy in the age of ransomware
https://www.itworldcanada.com/sponsored/building-a-successful-disaster-recovery-strategy-in-the-age-of-ransomware
Spoiler: it starts with prevention and doing robust backups.

Some while back, I mentioned the GameStop (ticker NYSE:GME) story wasn't over. The mainstream media (MSM)coverage has been disingenuous and reprehensible. Yesterday, the U.S. regulator ran new stress test simulations on the institutional fund managers, and raised the capital requirements for those positions by a factor of 25 - immediately.
I don't have the time or space here to go through the backstory, but the stock price run up since market open on Monday has been, shall we say, interesting.
If you aren't aware of the potential coming squeeze on the stock price, then the mainstream media campaign of misdirection has been quite successful. They may have missed this news item (at least I haven't seen it in MSM).
New rule NSCC-2021-005 has been signed (April 26, 2021)
Interpretation of new rule (NSCC 005) by a retail investor is: "This increases minimum fund deposit requirement for each member from $10,000 to $250,000 IN CASH. This is to mitigate the risks NSCC (DTCC) is exposed to when members get liquidated because of defaulting (margin call). In other words, NSCC is requiring EVERY member to throw $250,000 in cash to cover for member defaults."
My interpretation is that increasing liquidity requirements for at least 3400 NSCC members overnight by $240,000 or more each is a chunk of cash to be raised on short notice. The unasked question is, why is NSCC membership suddenly so much riskier?

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
What do I want to be proud of tomorrow?

;-) Juice Media video - Honest Government Ad - Electric Vehicles
     https://youtu.be/WWMJR8THuZQ

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 26, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

How bad is it?
For Canada, the current reproduction rate is about 1.1 - or growing by 10% with each reproduction cycle. The current modelling does not show that number dropping to 1.0 during the forecast period.
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
The daily count of new cases continues on an upward trend from the plateau ending around mid-March.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/
That's more than a month of steadily rising new case counts, despite supposed 'lockdowns' in most of the plague provinces.
The daily death counts are also on a pronounced rise since about April 8th. Deaths is a lagging indicator, so this is going to get worse based on leading data, and could get much worse when ICUs are all overwhelmed. Remember yesterday's item that COVID-19 patients are now dying at home with COVID-19; the death counts may be under-counted.
Still worse than the death counts, we aren't even counting the long-haulers.
The variants of interest and variants of concern are edging out the original virus for the bulk of new infections, where we are bothering to do the testing to understand the changing ratios. The newer mutations of concern are a concern precisely because they are more transmissible, more potent and appear to affect previously healthy people harder.

Ontario detects 36 cases of COVID-19 variant first identified in India all within 'last few days'
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-ontario-april-23-2021-1.5999347

On the plus side, we are delivering vaccines to arms. About 12 million doses as of yesterday, and almost 11 million individuals have received at least one dose, which is about 29% of the Canadian population. More encouraging, the number of doses administered has risen from about 70% of the number delivered to the provinces and territories a couple of weeks ago to 87.5% as of Sunday.

Take care of you. If you have not already received your first dose, please sign up for your shot and get it as soon as you can. It's not so much about you as those you come into contact with.

We'll see if Doug Ford has really learned anything when we see his response to this item.
Tillsonburg, Ont. golf course defies Ontario provincial order by opening
https://london.ctvnews.ca/tillsonburg-ont-golf-course-defies-ontario-provincial-order-by-opening-1.5400944

Abused political advisers are no longer staying silent, flipping the usual power dynamic

Ford government’s approval rating falls to just 35 per cent amid growing frustration: poll
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/ford-governments-approval-rating-falls-to-just-35-per-cent-amid-growing-frustration-poll
2 things to note here: PostMedia are historically Ford supporters; how the heck is the approval rating still this high?

'Is this the beginning of the end of Doug Ford?': Premier's week from hell raises questions about his political future
https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/doug-fords-week-from-hell-has-some-in-the-party-wondering-about-his-political-future
Again, this from PostMedia.

Here's a message for the 're-open now' crowd. There's no economy without a population or stable civil society. We may be about to see a failed state due to COVID-19 pandemic mismanagement.
World’s Fastest Recovery Outlook at Risk as Virus Hits India
https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/world-fastest-recovery-outlook-risk-230000459.html
Take a look at the graph at the top of the article.
We don't have a stock index for Ontario companies, but we can bring the same economic collapse here if we don't smarten up and shift to a zero-virus stance as our core philosophy going forward.
You can't negotiate with a virus.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For world vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

‘I couldn’t take it anymore’: Why some medical staff are calling it quits amid COVID-19
https://globalnews.ca/news/7782649/covid-19-medical-staff-mental-health/

Meatpacking workers 'systemically ignored,' says doctor as Alberta delays Cargill vaccine clinic
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/meatpacking-workers-cargill-vaccine-clinic-1.5997033

Ontario health unit partially closes 2 Amazon fulfilment centres to control COVID-19 outbreaks
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-peel-public-health-workplace-closures-1.6001128

Israel finds heart inflammation in people who received Pfizer COVID-19 shot
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/israel-finds-heart-inflammation-in-people-who-received-pfizer-covid-19-shot
"Pfizer said it has not observed a higher rate of the condition than would normally be expected in the general population."

Ottawa family doctors vaccinate hundreds at drive-thru clinic
https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-family-doctors-vaccinate-hundreds-at-drive-thru-clinic-1.5401020

Science suggests low risk of outdoor COVID-19 transmission. Here’s why
https://globalnews.ca/news/7769445/covid-outdoor-transmission-science/

COVID-19 increasingly hitting younger Brazilians, study finds
https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/brazil-covid19-youth-1.6000393

We're definitely going to have more issues with 'vaccine passports' and COVID test certificates.
100 people try to enter the UK every day using fake Covid certificates
https://metro.co.uk/2021/04/21/100-people-try-to-enter-the-uk-every-day-using-fake-covid-certificates-14445354/

The Conservatives should have never sold off Connaught Labs
https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2021/04/24/the-conservatives-should-have-never-sold-off-connaught-labs.html

Tim Hortons staff in London, Ont., say they worked together not knowing co-worker positive for COVID-19
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/covid-19-outbreak-tim-hortons-london-1.5998941
"We're all in this together" seems to be interpreted differently by some businesses.

The inside story of Doug Ford's COVID-19 climbdowns
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-ontario-doug-ford-cabinet-police-playgrounds-1.5997381
For me, Plaguemeister Ford's inability to treat the pandemic as a health crisis, but view it only through the optics of perception, political advantage and blame deflection, is why he needs to resign.
If the Ontario government were actually concerned about the arrival of variants of interest via international flights, as this is a health issue, they have the authority to do additional screening at Toronto's Pearson airport on all arrivals and enforce their own provincial quarantine protocol in addition to the federal measures, as other provinces have done even for inter-provincial travel.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Winnipeg therapist urges self-care, compassion, and cutting yourself some slack during pandemic
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/opinion-meaghen-johnston-therapist-self-care-pandemic-1.5995443

;-) Sometimes I laugh so hard the tears run down my leg.
     "I don't have time for politics"
     ~ Premier Doug Ford, May 14, 2020

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 25, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Starting this post with a harsh reality check
Prominent COVID conspiracy theorist dies of virus
https://www.dailydot.com/debug/conspiracy-theorist-hans-kristian-gaarder-dies/
We are literally in a life and death struggle here, physically and in the disinformation battles. The virus doesn't care what you think or believe.

The complete mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis by elected leaders in most western jurisdictions offends me - daily. But, it has taken me days to get to the point of putting up another post here after watching Doug Ford try to play the victim card in a crocodile tears apology. He figures his government made a mistake, but he thinks it was just the latest over-reach over-reaction his government dropped like a bomb, and then had to mostly retract when even the right-wing media lashed back and a phalanx of credible health officials took to the airwaves to publicly criticize those measures. The real problem is that Doug Ford still doesn't understand that his entire response since March 2020 has been a continuing series of mistakes. And nobody believes that he or his Cabinet have been listening to health officials, ever.

Doug Ford takes the spotlight in the Washington Post - not in a good way
Opinion: Doug Ford must resign
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/04/18/ontario-covid-lockdown-doug-ford-canada/
We do need to change the channel in Ontario from deceit ('we listened to the health experts'), mixed messaging (how many ways are there to book a vaccination appointment right now?), disinformation (we can negotiate with the virus to get a balanced strategy to support big business over the health of citizens), and politicization of a public health crisis by picking fights with the federal government as a blame deflection tool. Doug Ford's departure may be the only way to accomplishment that in a timely manner.

How bad is the situation in Ontario? The simple health statistics don't reflect the depth of the rot that got us into this crisis.
How Ontario's health advisors handled the 'darkest day' of the pandemic
https://www.macleans.ca/society/health/how-ontarios-health-advisors-handled-the-darkest-day-of-the-pandemic/

It's not enough for Ford to resign. Every provincial minister who parroted the party line on 'iron rings' and 'we listened to the health experts' also needs to resign from the Legislature. This was wilful deceiving of the public with serious, largely preventable, health consequences.

Sadly, it can get worse. The same mentality we see in Ontario's elected government has also driven the government in India. Once there was a slight dip in cases after the second wave, health guidance restrictions were lifted and the messaging was that the virus had been beaten. However, as I have said far too many times here before, you can't negotiate with a virus.
As Covid-19 Devastates India, Deaths Go Undercounted
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/24/world/asia/india-coronavirus-deaths.html

Ontario can expect some version of this as soon as Doug Ford sees the ICUs are no longer over capacity. Clearly, this government is incapable of learning from it's mistakes, or those of others.

Sadly, this mentality has led some Ontarians to feel they are entitled to take the pandemic with them to other jurisdictions and not follow the local guidance that is working.
Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 surge partially blamed on out-of-province visitors
https://ca.news.yahoo.com/nova-scotia-covid-19-surge-020251744.html

Why we need to get it right: Inside the country’s hardest-hit ICUs
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-why-we-need-to-get-it-right-inside-the-countrys-hardest-hit-icus/

We have already overwhelmed the ICUs - the reported numbers don't capture it
More COVID-19 patients dying at home, Ontario coroner says
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-patients-dying-at-home-ontario-coroner-1.6000327

India flight ban arrived just hours after Health Canada implied it was pointless
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/chris-selley-india-flight-ban-arrived-just-hours-after-health-canada-implied-it-was-pointless

The situation is bad, and it is not improving in Ontario at the moment, despite re-implementing more restrictive measures. Take care of you.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For world vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

Climate Change

From the Canadian Liberal government's 'we like to talk about doing something on climate change, but not so much do anything positive on the subject' files. Again.
Budget bolsters federal climate plan with $17.6B in new spending
https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2021/04/19/budget-bolsters-federal-climate-plan-with-17b-in-new-spending.html
From the teaser:
"The Liberals tabled new federal budget numbers this week, announcing $17.6B in spending earmarked for climate action. Which is about the same amount they gave to oil and gas companies over the last 14 months… and the cost of the Trans Mountain pipeline!"
But now we're going to get another 'plan' to do something, someday. From the folks who brought you never making a single GHG emissions reduction target - ever. To be delivered by an 'environment' minister who used to work for the fossil fuels sector.

Climate crisis has shifted the Earth’s axis, study shows
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/23/climate-crisis-has-shifted-the-earths-axis-study-shows

How scientists are restoring boreal peatlands to help keep carbon in the ground
https://theconversation.com/how-scientists-are-restoring-boreal-peatlands-to-help-keep-carbon-in-the-ground-145290

A ‘win’ for fossil fuels: green groups critical as former Origin Energy boss named chief of climate body
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/apr/09/a-win-for-fossil-fuels-green-groups-critical-as-former-origin-energy-boss-named-chief-of-climate-body

Carbon Market Bill Now Tied to Legal Protections for Unproven Carbon Capture Project
https://www.indianaenvironmentalreporter.org/posts/carbon-market-bill-now-tied-to-legal-protections-for-unproven-carbon-capture-project
So, the 'energy' industry is getting legal protection for use of a technology that probably doesn't work. What is this, Alberta and the bitumen sands, where 'capping' a tailings pond can be done using a 'water cap', that experts generally don't believe will work, and have that counted as 'remediation'?

Sustainable Investing a ‘Deadly Distraction’ from Government Action, Ex-BlackRock CIO Warns
https://theenergymix.com/2021/03/29/sustainable-investing-a-deadly-distraction-from-government-action-ex-blackrock-cio-warns/

Democrats Move To Scrap Trump-Era Rollback Of Methane Rules
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/methane-rule-congressional-review-act_n_605ca42ac5b67593e0564190

Climate change: 'Default effect' sees massive green energy switch
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-56361970

I'm seeing more opinion pieces masquerading as news in Postmedia, Globe&Mail, and other pro-extractivism mainstream media favouring massive nuclear fission build-out as key to addressing climate change.
Balderdash. Nuclear fission isn't a good climate change solution. The nuclear fission fuel cycle is not zero-GHG. Nuclear fission creates MASSIVE amounts of waste heat. The build-out time doesn't fit the timeline in which we have to have made the shift to negative emissions. But, the biggest reason not to go nuclear is that real net-zero GHG solutions are already available off the shelf and winning the market on simple, unsubsidized economics. However, our policy makers and mainstream media continue to underestimate their impact and refuse to support them.
‘Insanely cheap energy’: how solar power continues to shock the world
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/apr/25/insanely-cheap-energy-how-solar-power-continues-to-shock-the-world
Renewables to oust fossils by 2050 as emerging markets on-ramp for transition https://www.rechargenews.com/energy-transition/renewables-to-oust-fossils-by-2050-as-emerging-markets-on-ramp-for-transition/2-1-999332

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
We had snow this past week, a gentle reminder that it's only April.
I'll use this opportunity to remind you to go start your car, check
tire pressures, and drive it around for a few minutes if the vehicle
is now sitting again during the 3rd wave.
Better than finding it won't start when you need it.

;-) “I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable.
     There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the
     intellect.” – Oscar Wilde

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 19, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Face Shields Called Flawed Protection Against Pathogens
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/face-shields-called-flawed-protection-against-pathogens

[Hmmm, it appears the article has been removed from the website 2021-04-26] I'll just say I don't think the headline reflects the actual message of the article well. Personally, I'm back to wearing my face-shield and curtain, as well as the mandated 3-layer mask, because it's Ontario while the 3rd wave is still rising. More on that in the section below.

Anyone who is still whining about the lack of stable supply and predictability of the vaccines supply needs to grow up and spend some time in the real world. Six months ago, Moderna wasn't even a vaccine producer and mRNA vaccines weren't a real thing. If you want stability and predictability, then set up for vaccine delivery in 2023 and 2024; by then we should have things sorted out in the rest of the world that is clamouring for the same product we want now.

One of the key reasons we're losing ground in the third wave is because we gave the virus a huge pool of reproduction points (us), which increased the chances of more deadly variants being produced in the expected mutations that come with reproduction. Suppressing transmission was our best bet - and still is for a while to come. Instead, too many leaders tried to negotiate with the virus (euphemistically called balance) instead of setting out for the win early.

This article speaks to the futility of trying to negotiate with the virus.
Canada’s Crazy Pandemic Response
https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2021/04/17/Canada-Crazy-Pandemic-Response/

If you are frustrated and want to vent constructively for a couple of minutes, have a look at this.
Re: Canada Must Adopt Zero Covid to Avert Catastrophic Deaths and Long-Term Health Problems
https://zerocovidcanada.org/take-action

When you are offered an approved vaccine shot, just take it, at the earliest opportunity.
At your appointment, smile a lot and be gracious to all those you encounter. Be grateful for this boost to your health and the opportunity to be supportive of your community, your family, your friends, your neighbours, and front-line workers by doing this one thing to help with suppressing virus transmission and keeping you out of an overwhelmed hospital. Say thank you, not just for the shot, but for the service of these people.
Then go home and act like nothing has changed for at least 3 weeks after your final injection, or until it's clear the local effects of the pandemic are finished.

Moderna slashing vaccine deliveries to Canada, but Pfizer steps up with 8 million more doses
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/moderna-delay-1.5990166

Ontario, Alberta to lower minimum age for AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine to 40 from 55
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-lowers-minimum-astazeneca-age-1.5992703

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For world vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

Blood clot risks: Comparing COVID-19 vaccines with common medicines, travel and smoking
https://globalnews.ca/news/7755742/covid-vaccine-blood-clot-risks-comparison/

It if feels like I'm flogging a dead horse here, the point I'm trying to make is that most of this was entirely preventable, if elected officials had acted on data and overwhelming quantities of advice from medical professionals starting over a month ago. That we are reaping that whirlwind today speaks to me of nothing less than malicious negligence by senior government officials. It's almost a week since I last posted on this topic, in part because I needed to count to ten - about a hundred times - before I toned the sentence down enough to share.

Ontario health minister denies political decision behind labelling Ottawa's K2V area a COVID-19 'hot spot'
https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ontario-health-minister-denies-political-decision-behind-labelling-ottawa-s-k2v-area-a-covid-19-hot-spot-1.5385997
So, then, it was just incompetence in allocation of life-or-death resources to citizens.

Ontario's COVID-19 strategy: waiting for catastrophe, then enacting preventative measures
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-ontarios-covid-19-strategy-waiting-for-catastrophe-then-enacting/

Ontario's failure to control the third wave has implications for all of Canada
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/ontario-canada-covid-19-third-wave-hospitals-1.5991614

People 18 to 49 can now register for COVID-19 vaccine in three hot spots through UHN
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/people-18-to-49-can-now-register-for-covid-19-vaccine-in-three-hot-spots-through-uhn-1.5384818

About 10K vaccination appointments being cancelled in Scarborough due to lack of supply at two clinics
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/about-10k-vaccination-appointments-being-cancelled-in-scarborough-due-to-lack-of-supply-at-two-clinics-1.5386636
The current vaccine tracker data for Ontario shows over 1 million doses between received in the province and put into arms.
10,000 doses is less than 1% of the doses currently available for use.

Cargill plant in London, Ont. to halt production after 82 workers contract COVID-19
https://london.ctvnews.ca/cargill-plant-in-london-ont-to-halt-production-after-82-workers-contract-covid-19-1.5386026

But somebody is finally stepping up for Ontarians
Trudeau pledges more health-care workers, rapid testing for pandemic-battered Ontario
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/federal-government-ontario-covid-19-third-wave-1.5992496

N.L. Premier Andrew Furey offers help to Ontario as it faces rising COVID-19 cases
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/n-l-premier-andrew-furey-offers-help-to-ontario-as-it-faces-rising-covid-19-cases-1.5388126
As an Ontarian who has felt hope wane due to the incompetence of my provincial government, I just want to say thank you for this support. In case it slips our Premier's mind to do so.

It can be done better.
How New Mexico Became the State With the Highest Rate of Full Vaccinations
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/14/us/new-mexico-covid-vaccines.html
From the teaser:
"Infectious disease experts say New Mexico’s success can be attributed to a centralized portal for vaccine appointments and a strong focus by elected officials on combating the virus."

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
This is my version of COVID fatigue. The growing frustration and anger with the incompetence of our 'leadership'.

;-) Light travels faster than sound.
     This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
     – Alan Dundes

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 13, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Oh, Canada, you failed the marshmallow test [TANZANC excluded] https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/04/13/opinion/canada-failing-covid-19-marshmallow-test

Since March 24th, the new COVID-19 cases numbers in Canada have been accelerating. That pre-dates Easter. That is in spite of more vaccines coming into the country week over week. 10,858 new cases reported on April 12th alone.

As of Tuesday (April 13th), there are over 2.8 million vaccine doses in Canada delivered to the provinces and territories not yet injected into arms. That's enough for over 7% of the entire Canadian population.

Heard a rumour yesterday that Ontario is almost ready to get serious about mass COVID-19 testing sometime this month. If true, just 13 months late.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For world vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

Australia’s vaccination rollout strategy has been an epic fail. Now Scott Morrison is trying to gaslight us
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/12/australias-vaccination-rollout-strategy-has-been-an-epic-fail-now-scott-morrison-is-trying-to-gaslight-us

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine FAQ: Why do the age recommendations keep changing? Does it cause VIPIT blood clots? Is it effective against variants?
https://theconversation.com/astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-faq-why-do-the-age-recommendations-keep-changing-does-it-cause-vipit-blood-clots-is-it-effective-against-variants-158302

Ontario sets a single-day record for new COVID-19 cases [again and again]
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/canada-nearing-peak-of-second-wave-of-covid-19-tam-says-as-ontario-sets-case-record

When asked [on April 8th] why the provincial government waited to issue a stay-at-home order, despite calls from doctors to do so sooner, Ontario’s solicitor general Sylvia Jones said: "We wanted to make sure that the modelling was actually showing up in our hospitals.”
https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1883082819636
I'm pretty sure the point of the modelling was to provide elected officials with enough lead time to prevent people ending up in hospitals by ramping up transmission suppression measures. It's definitely revealing to see that the Ontario Cabinet doesn't understand the function of modelling or data or that their job is to reduce outbreaks rather than let people get sick or die to test models.

Lack of foresight to blame for epic public policy failure over COVID
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-lack-of-foresight-to-blame-for-epic-public-policy-failure-over-covid

Doug Ford insists schools are safe. He's shutting them down anyway.
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/randall-denley-doug-ford-insists-schools-are-safe-hes-shutting-them-down-anyway

So, exactly what economy that Doug Ford was protecting by letting people get sick and die?

Small businesses still waiting on money from the last Ontario shutdown
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-small-business-province-grants-1.5983028

COVID-19 has been much harder on those who already had anxiety and financial issues
https://theconversation.com/covid-19-has-been-much-harder-on-those-who-already-had-anxiety-and-financial-issues-157289

Take care of you.

Fortress Fossil Fuels Highlights/Gaslights

Biden Plan Targets Fossil Fuel Subsidies Worth $35B
https://www.rigzone.com/news/wire/biden_plan_targets_fossil_fuel_subsidies_worth_35b-08-apr-2021-165110-article/
Wait, what? Don't the fossil fuel industries keep whining that it's renewables that are getting all the subsidies?

Hmmm, maybe that Fortress Fossil Fuels storyline is just another of their fairy tales.
The true cost of fossil fuel subsidies
Fossil fuel producers receive $62 billion in "indirect subsidies" per year, a new study finds.
But the cost of providing those subsidies is far, far greater.
https://heated.world/p/the-true-cost-of-fossil-fuel-subsidies

The referenced PNAS paper:
The producer benefits of implicit fossil fuel subsidies in the United States
https://www.pnas.org/content/118/14/e2011969118
Significance
There are real and substantial financial implications to fossil fuel producers of policies that seek to correct market failures brought about by climate change, adverse health effects from local pollution, and inefficient transportation. The producer benefits of the existing policy regime in the United States are estimated at $62 billion annually during normal economic conditions. This translates into large amounts for individual companies due to the relatively small number of fossil fuel producers. This paper provides company-specific estimates, and these numbers clarify why many in the fossil fuel industry oppose more efficient regulatory reform; they may also shape the way policymakers view the prospects for additional subsidies going forward.
TLDR version: if you want to stop climate change, stop making it massively profitable.

Oil and Gas Jobs Are Disappearing—With or Without Renewables
https://newrepublic.com/article/161937/fossil-fuel-companies-job-killers
"As has been the case historically, the fossil fuel industry is now proudly trying to kill as many jobs as possible. Meanwhile, the public conversation about the industry seems stuck in some fictional past where the interests of fossil fuel workers are synonymous with those of their bosses."

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Ontario is still trying to negotiate with the virus, rolling the dice, and losing.

;-) "Age is an issue of mind over matter.
     If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
     ~ Mark Twain

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 11, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.


I lifted this image from the Sunday edtion (April 11) of the New York Times -
FRONT PAGE, TOP OF FOLD.
For those of you who don't remember when news was printed on paper, that means 'this is the most important news in the world today!!!' To make it onto the NYT Sunday Edition means 'this is the most important news story in the world this week'. To get a 4-colour infographic there means 'this is the most important news story in the world this month - or longer'. Now that they have our attention ...

Have a good look at the 3 panels. Here's my interpretation for you. Panel 1: Dec. 7 2020 - it took 8 months after the pandemic was declared to reach this state, while many of the most powerful national leaders were explicitly telling their citizens the pandemic was a hoax, no countermeasures were needed, and actively obstructed health guidance.

Panel 2: Feb. 1 2021 - it took only another 8 weeks to get to this point because the B.1.1.7 variant completely changed the game, despite the fact that health countermeasures were now mandatory in the countries shown in colour, and citizens certainly knew by then that the pandemic is not a hoax.

Panel 3: March 22 2021 - in another 7 weeks with all these countries on high pandemic alert or in lockdowns of one kind or another, somewhere between 60% and 100% of the COVID-19 viruses being screened are the B.1.1.7 variant. And case counts in most of these countries are rising - despite heightened awareness and countermeasures - as the VoC ratio rises.

We know the B.1.1.7 and P.1 variants are more transmissible and more potent than the original COVID-19 variant, and we didn't really shut it down.

Canada ski resort linked to largest outbreak of P1 Covid variant outside Brazil
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/11/canada-ski-resort-p1-covid-variant-whistler

South African variant can ‘break through’ Pfizer vaccine: Study
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/11/s-african-variant-can-break-through-pfizer-vaccine-study-says

On a positive note, my wife was called into work today (not the positive part) because the pharmacy where she works was overwhelmed by the volume of walk-ins for vaccinations. This is the way. (They still have lots of supply).

Take care of you. Get the shot. Follow the health guidance to reduce virus spread.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For world vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

How 'excess deaths' show COVID's real impact, and point to better ways of combating pandemics
https://nationalpost.com/health/how-excess-deaths-show-covids-real-impact-and-point-to-better-ways-of-combating-pandemics

TLDR 1: Disinformation on COVID-19 has killed people, and continues to do so
TLDR 2: An economics researcher who set out to prove the lockdown measures were excessive did some actual research and analysis. The results of his study changed his mind. Good data and analysis matters.

Curious takeaway - it's more dramatic than the excess deaths data show. Jurisdictions that implemented real health countermeasures actually LOWERED mortality rates over the baseline during the pandemic. Australia's mortality rated dropped 3%, saving 4,500 lives compared to their expected deaths trend line.

Australia is regarded as a fairly right-wing, libertarian, pro-extravism country by most. But pikers on the COVID-19 disinformation file by comparison to Alberta.
17 UCP MLAs revolt against Alberta government’s renewed COVID-19 restrictions
https://globalnews.ca/news/7744125/alberta-covid-restrictions-ucp-mlas-letter/
It's as if 2,000 mostly preventable deaths (and rising) in Alberta didn't matter.

COVID-19 hit Canadians harder than it should have, thanks to an epidemic of mediocre government
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-covid-19-hit-canadians-harder-than-it-should-have-thanks-to-an/

Empty Appointments At Mass Vaccination Sites Mark New Priority: Hesitant & Hard-To-Reach Oklahomans
https://www.kgou.org/post/empty-appointments-mass-vaccination-sites-mark-new-priority-hesitant-hard-reach-oklahomans

Ten cases of COVID-19 at Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore and Shoppers Drug Mart in Ottawa since Wednesday
https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ten-cases-of-covid-19-at-loblaws-real-canadian-superstore-and-shoppers-drug-mart-in-ottawa-since-wednesday-1.5382525
(My wife works at one of these locations. Trust me, these are essential front-line workers. The stakes are higher with UK, SA and other variants of concern on the ground locally now.)
https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/reports-research-and-statistics/daily-covid19-dashboard.aspx

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
'Nuff said above.

;-) Still not feeling it.

Take care of you. Don't become a statistic.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 10, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

All I can really say for today's COVID-19 items is, I couldn't make this stuff up.

Canada sets new single-day COVID-19 record with 9,244 cases
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canada-sets-new-single-day-covid-19-record-with-9-244-cases-1.5382102

“Over the past week, the number of new variant cases has more than doubled,” [Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa] Tam said Friday.

That terrifies me, particularly in the context of plague province inaction on real health measures to date. If that doesn't terrify you, look up the Rice And Chessboard Story, and do the math.
https://www.dr-mikes-math-games-for-kids.com/rice-and-chessboard.html
Your starting point is 27,901 confirmed variants of concern cases for Canada on April 9th.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/tracking-variants-of-the-novel-coronavirus-in-canada-1.5296141

If the doubling rule is valid (and the graph suggests it is), by next Friday that number will exceed 54,000, and by April 23rd, over 108,000. We will have broken the emergency health system in the plague provinces by then.

Related headlines from yesterday:
B.C. reports 1,262 new cases of COVID-19
https://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-reports-1-262-cases-of-covid-19-as-province-tops-1-million-vaccine-jabs-1.5380927
Alberta adds 1,521 COVID-19 cases on Friday
https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/alberta-adds-1-521-covid-19-cases-on-friday-1.5381719
6 COVID-19 deaths, 358 new cases reported in Sask.
https://regina.ctvnews.ca/6-covid-19-deaths-358-new-cases-reported-in-sask-1.5380929
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Manitoba school
https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/covid-19-outbreak-declared-at-manitoba-school-1.5381456
Ontario reports 4,227 new cases of COVID-19, nearly topping single-day record
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-ontario-april-9-2021-1.5981122
COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Quebec with 1,683 new infections
https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/covid-19-cases-continue-to-rise-in-quebec-with-1-683-new-infections-1.5380973
For the other 7 of Canada's provinces and territories: TANZANC.
New case reports April 9th:
NB:7; NS: 2; PEI:1; NL: 3; NU: 0; NT: 0; YT: 0 Total for 7 jurisdictions: 16 new cases reported yesterday.

Does anyone else detect a pattern here?

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For world vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

Complacency and Missteps Deepen a Covid-19 Crisis in India
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/09/world/asia/india-covid-vaccine-variant.html
This is sounding dire. India may need to keep all the vaccines it produces in-country for export (including to Canada) to deal with the new outbreak. From the teaser newsletter:
'After cases dropped in December, many Indians shed masks and resumed normal life. Leaders also began acting as if the problem were solved, allowing large Hindu religious festivals and political rallies.

'The variants of the virus may have also played a role, but the country doesn’t do enough genetic sequencing to know for sure. India’s sluggish vaccination drive has also been dogged by complacency and public skepticism. If inoculations don’t quicken, experts say it will take India more than two years to inoculate 70 percent of its population.

'The surge in India is a troubling development for the broader pandemic. The sheer number of new infections creates a breeding ground for possible new variants that could be resistant to vaccines, or better able to reinfect people who have already had the virus. India is also a large producer of vaccines, and the Serum Institute of India has said that practically all of its daily production of about two million doses will over the next two months go to the government, delaying commitments to other countries.

'“India’s size is going to dominate the global numbers — how the world performs on Covid is going to be very dependent on how India performs on Covid,” said Dr. Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in Washington. “If it is not over in India, it is not really over in the world.”'

Michigan’s scary slide
The outbreak in Michigan is bad and getting worse. Hospitalizations have more than tripled in the last month, and cases continue to spike. About 7,200 new cases are being reported each day, a sevenfold increase since late February.

The state is home to 16 of the 20 U.S. metro areas with the highest per capita new infections
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/23/upshot/five-ways-to-monitor-coronavirus-outbreak-us.html

Only 71.8% of doses delivered to Canada's provinces and territories have been put into peoples' arms. This number is actually falling, as variants of concern are becoming dominant. In Ontario, that number is 72.9%.
It's not that impressive when you consider these numbers are for all doses received since December 2020, not just recent shipments. Put another way, Ontario currently has 1,541,159 doses in the province which are still seeking recipients. (April 9th data) And more arriving weekly. (I have covered the increased transmissibility - even outdoors - and greater impacts of the newer variants of concern on younger people before. The rules for schools aren't the same now as they were in the fall of 2020.)

Ontario issues emergency orders to bolster hospital capacity as cases soar
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-issues-emergency-orders-to-bolster-hospital-capacity-as-cases-soar-1.5381845

ICES COVID-19 Dashboard
OVERVIEW OF COVID-19 METRICS IN ONTARIO, For the WEEK OF March 28 - April 3, 2021
https://www.ices.on.ca/DAS/AHRQ/COVID-19-Dashboard
My big takeaway from this site: "[Vaccination] coverage was lowest in the FSAs with the highest COVID-19 neighbourhood risk and highest in the FSAs with the lowest risk". (FSA is the initialism for Canada Post's Forward Sortation Areas. For mortals like me, that means the first 3 characters of the postal code, e.g. K1A.) Let's not confuse supposed vaccine hesitancy for lack of actual vaccine accessibility.

We need to get smarter about who we are prioritizing for vaccines, how we deliver them and making sure we don't waste any due to expiry or inept logistics.

Why Mississippi Has Few Takers for 73,000 Covid Shots
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/09/health/vaccine-mississippi-demand.html

“We Are Hoarding”: Why the U.S. Still Can’t Donate COVID-19 Vaccines to Countries in Need
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/04/why-the-us-still-cant-donate-covid-19-vaccines-to-countries-in-need
Spoiler alert (from the article):
'The contracts the Trump administration signed with the vaccine manufacturers prohibit the U.S. from sharing its surplus doses with the rest of the world. According to contract language Vanity Fair has obtained, the agreements with Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Janssen state: “The Government may not use, or authorize the use of, any products or materials provided under this Project Agreement, unless such use occurs in the United States” or U.S. territories.'

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
COVID + stupid is a potent combination. It frightens me that our leadership seems unwilling or unable to control either.

;-) No humour today. I don't have it left in me.

Take care of you. Don't become a statistic.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 9, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Virus epidemiology appears to be changing in third wave, expert says
https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1882906691980

Canada on track to surpass U.S. in number of new COVID cases relative to population
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/canada-could-soon-surpass-u-s-in-number-of-covid-cases-relative-to-population

Quebec extends lockdown for Gatineau until April 18 as COVID-19 cases rise
https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/quebec-extends-lockdown-for-gatineau-until-april-18-as-covid-19-cases-rise-1.5379912

Canada's past advantage was better health guidance compliance, which led to lower transmission rates of the virus. Sadly, this has been fully undermined by our plague province premiers valuing populism over governing responsibly. And now the slightly more restrictive mockdowns will ramp up in hopes of not completely overwhelming the ICUs and watching the death tolls and counts of long-haulers go up as the younger, healthier people are falling to the variants of concern.

We can still make this worse. Why are our elected officials so determined to do so?

Take care of you. Get the shot as soon as you are eligible.

The only way Canada could have had access to more vaccine doses at this stage is if we had invested in domestic production capacity over the past decade. Our governments chose instead to reject investments in knowledge workers and value-add and focus on extractivism.

Related to above?
Canada's public health data meltdown
https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/canadas-public-health-data-meltdown/

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For world vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

Canada has triple the number of cases of the COVID-19 variant P.1 than the U.S.
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/canada/what-we-know-about-p-1-the-covid-variant-devastating-brazil-and-spreading-in-canada

The end of “hygiene theater”
"You can put away the disinfectant and stop wiping down your groceries.
"This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines on the dangers of coronavirus infection from touching a doorknob, a subway pole, or other surface. The risk is extremely low.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/08/health/coronavirus-hygiene-cleaning-surfaces.html

When the plague won: a history of vaccine hesitancy
https://www.macleans.ca/society/health/when-the-plague-won-a-history-of-vaccine-hesitancy/

3M Brockville Plant begins rolling out Ontario-made N95 respirators
https://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/manufacturing/3m-brockville-plant-begins-rolling-out-ontario-made-n95-respirators-268599/
Good news for domestic PPE production and employment in Brockville.

Canada receives first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines through global vaccine initiative
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/covax-first-shipment-canada-1.5979777

'You listen to them die': Blind woman shares harrowing experience in ICU with COVID-19
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/you-listen-to-them-die-blind-woman-shares-harrowing-experience-in-icu-with-covid-19-1.5380452

I'm not the only one who is taking issue with Ontario's inability to provide internally consistent information on what a 'lockdown' means. At least this version is a little bit entertaining.
https://twitter.com/matttomic/status/1379793885522714630/photo/1

Rome is burning and we fiddle with lockdowns
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/ginny-roth-rome-is-burning-and-we-fiddle-with-lockdowns

Ontario's new 'stay-at-home order' is the province's latest pandemic humiliation
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/chris-selley-ontarios-new-stay-at-home-order-is-the-provinces-latest-pandemic-humiliation

After his latest outing, Doug Ford is officially anti-worker
https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/04/08/after-his-latest-outing-doug-ford-is-officially-anti-worker.html

Your money or your life? Scott Moe's tragic miscalculation
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/opinion-lewis-muhajarine-neudorf-1.5978305

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
53% of Canadians on the brink of insolvency: MNP survey
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/53-of-canadians-within-200-a-month-of-insolvency-mnp-1.1587379

;-) COVID Days: Something to look forward to after 'now':
     "I'm having people over to stare at their phones later,
     if you want to come by."
     ~ Anonymous

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 7, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

The big news is that yesterday I got my first vaccination dose. Astra-Zeneca. Estimated time to next round is 120 days, date to be provided later. Pretty painless - like other vaccinations. I'm feeling a bit low on energy this morning, but this is comparable to some flu shots I have had. And now life goes on in COVID-standard fashion for a few more months, because it takes weeks after the injection for the first shot to achieve potency, and the second shot is still to come, but there is a sense of relief and that progress is being made.

Next optics dilemma - what to do with expiring vaccines?
Some Albertans get COVID-19 vaccine ahead of schedule as pharmacies distribute leftover doses
https://globalnews.ca/news/7739141/alberta-health-covid-19-vaccine-pharmacies-leftover-doses/
As much as queue-jumping could be a problem, letting vaccines go to waste when the overall objective is to vaccinate as many as possible as quickly as possible seems the bigger issue to me. However, if an elected official were to show up with a van load of family and friends who were not yet eligible, I don't think that would go over well.

What strikes me as a bigger problem still for now is, the number of people who are eligible for vaccines based on provincial/local rules, but are not signing up for vaccinations, or for whom transportation to the injection site is a formidable barrier. Fortunately, in some areas, there are services like Pink Cars which will help seniors book their appointments, and provide transportation where needed.
Pink Cars helping seniors in York Region get to COVID vaccine appointments
https://globalnews.ca/video/7712596/pink-cars-helping-seniors-in-york-region-get-to-covid-vaccine-appointments/

Free rides in Barrie for seniors getting their vaccinations.
Community organizations help connect seniors to COVID-19 vaccine
https://barrie.ctvnews.ca/community-organizations-help-connect-seniors-to-covid-19-vaccine-1.5355852
There are likely other similar grassroots initiatives popping up in other communities.
(File under 'caremongering')

Ontario's website has this information:
"For help with your booking through the provincial online vaccine booking system , please call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line (available in more than 300 languages) at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007)"

In Ottawa and Renfrew County, seniors and adults with a physical disability can get help with transportation to and from your vaccination appointment - if other options are not available - via organizations within the Champlain Community Support Network. (Minimum 48 hours notice required to set up with volunteer drivers.)
https://communitysupport.covidresponse.ca/transportationvaccination

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For word vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

Climate Change

Net-zero emissions targets are vague: three ways to fix
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00662-3

If we want to show we're serious about reducing GHG emissions, we need to report the validated numbers on a quarterly basis by jurisdiction. I may not like how major corporations are treating our environment, but I do recognize the strength of their measurement, reporting and management systems for focusing action in their desired directions. We also need to change the channel on how we compensate and punish private sector ventures on GHG emisisons. Perhaps we can provide accelerated depreciation for capital investments related directly to reducing net GHG emissions, but make it so that fines and other financial penalties for missing targets are not tax-deductible business expenses.

China generated over half world's coal-fired power in 2020: study
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-china-coal/china-generated-over-half-worlds-coal-fired-power-in-2020-study-idUSKBN2BK0PZ

New research: Photovoltaics can make the world fossil-free faster than expected
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-03/au-nrp032921.php

New batteries give jolt to renewables, energy storage
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210405143400.htm
"Researchers have been exploring the use of low-cost materials to create rechargeable batteries that will make energy storage more affordable. Now, they have shown that a new technique incorporating aluminum results in rechargeable batteries that offer up to 10,000 error-free cycles."
If this technology makes it to market, will Canada use the aluminum it makes to create the base for a new core renewable energy technology, or just ship aluminum off-shore to create green jobs elsewhere?

Darkened reservoirs can blot out hydropower's climate gains
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00552-8

Mobilizing youth for systemic climate action
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/road-ahead-mobilizing-youth-climate-action-1.5973603

Battery storage system planned for Regina's northwest
https://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/battery-storage-system-planned-for-reginas-northwest

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
"To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the
tail and swing you around is another."
~ Katherine Paterson, Jacob I Have Loved

;-) "To those of you who received honours, awards and distinctions,
     I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can
     be President of the United States."
     ~ George W. Bush

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 6, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Today is National Family Caregiver Day. It's always been a tough gig, usually unpaid. The pandemic definitely raised the stakes in terms of risk for these invisible heroes.
For more information and support, visit (for Eastern Ontario)
https://www.champlaincaregivers.ca/?mc_cid=2e7f80c22d&mc_eid=6cbd766958
For all of Ontario, visit
https://ontariocaregiver.ca/

As it's also tax season, here's a link for the Canada caregiver credit
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/canada-caregiver-amount.html
During the pandemic, you may also qualify for the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-caregiving-benefit.html

Almost 2.2 million more vaccine doses coming to Canada this week as COVID-19 cases spike
https://nationalpost.com/news/almost-2-2-million-more-vaccine-doses-coming-this-week-as-covid-19-cases-spike

A local pharmacy called to tell me they received 1,000 vaccine doses Saturday. However, they can't administer the dose unless people arrive with one of the provincial booking system barcodes and an appointment. As of end of business Monday, it appears no one has received a shot from this inventory. Perhaps today.

As of Monday evening, Canada reports 75.5% of vaccines doses delivered to provinces and territories have been administered. In Ontario, the corresponding number is 74.7%.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For word vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa medical officers call for provincewide stay-at-home order
https://globalnews.ca/news/7739272/covid-toronto-peel-ottawa-stay-at-home-order/

Deadly variants driving up ICU admissions
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCQB2aVHioc

Will the more deadly COVID-19 variants ruin our summer? Here’s what experts are saying.
https://globalnews.ca/news/7738781/covid-variants-canada-summer-2021/

Busy Yorkdale mall frustrates small business owner
https://dailyhive.com/toronto/busy-yorkdale-small-business-shutdown
Photo in this article illustrates what a Doug Ford 'emergency circuit breaker' lockdown really means in Ontario.
"The mall says it closes doors once it reaches 80% of its allowed capacity to control for crowding."
That's not the same as 25% capacity nominally allowed for stores under the circuit breaker rules.

Health Canada issues advisory for disposable masks with graphene
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/health-canada-issues-recall-disposable-masks-1.5974867

US removes AstraZeneca and puts J&J in charge of plant that ruined vaccines
https://www.trtworld.com/life/us-removes-astrazeneca-and-puts-j-j-in-charge-of-plant-that-ruined-vaccines-45593

Peel Region orders schools to close, moves to remote learning starting tomorrow
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/peel-region-orders-schools-to-close-moves-to-remote-learning-starting-tomorrow-1.5375073
Another reason regions in Ontario need to be able to call their own pandemic health measures. Conditions vary from area to area, and we need our health officials to protect us when our provincial government is not prepared to do so.

(Digital) Deception

MSSP eSentire says hackers using LinkedIn profiles for spearphishing
https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/mssp-esentire-says-hackers-using-linkedin-profiles-for-spearphishing/445461
Don't open .zip files from anyone you don't thoroughly trust. If it is someone you thoroughly trust, contact them using a fresh contact path (e-mail not a reply; text; telephone, etc.) to confirm they did actually send the suspect attachment. If they didn't, delete the email and attachment. If they did send it, scan it for viruses and malware before opening it (and don't open it if a problem is detected). Ditto for .doc, .xls, .tar, .ppt, .exe and any other files which are executable or can contain macros or otherwise launch code on your computer or smart phone.

Is it a problem if someone is prepared to give away your possibly outdated, personal, private information, when you gave it away previously?
Leaker says they are offering private details of 500 million Facebook users for free
https://nationalpost.com/news/leaker-says-they-are-offering-private-details-of-500-million-facebook-users-2

There's Something Phishy Going On
https://www.tangerine.ca/forwardthinking/insights-and-perspectives/theres-something-phishy-going-on

At Least 30,000 US Organizations Newly Hacked Via Holes in Microsoft's Email Software
https://krebsonsecurity.com/2021/03/at-least-30000-u-s-organizations-newly-hacked-via-holes-in-microsofts-email-software/

Hackers breach thousands of security cameras, exposing Tesla, jails, hospitals
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/hackers-breach-thousands-of-security-cameras-exposing-tesla-jails-hospitals-1.1574681

Microsoft warns of new threat against unpatched networks
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/microsoft-warns-of-new-threat-against-unpatched-networks-1.1576057

Ransomware the top attack type in Canada last year: IBM report
https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/ransomware-the-top-attack-type-in-canada-last-year-ibm-report/442909

Ontario’s Lakehead University hopes to resume classes this week after cyberattack
https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/ontarios-lakehead-university-hopes-to-resume-classes-this-week-after-cyberattack/442792

Infosec expert says mandatory cyber incident reporting is worth considering in Canada
https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/infosec-expert-says-mandatory-cyber-incident-reporting-is-worth-considering-in-canada/442869

GameStop shares sell off after company finally decides to cash in on frenzy and issue new stock
https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/gamestop-1.5975680

Sorry CBC, you need to do your own homework and not trust Associated Press for fair reporting on this story. GameStop did not issue new stock. On the contrary, today's announcement was that they had updated a 2020 filing to increase the amount they may raise by selling up to 3.5 million shares (unchanged) due to the recent increase in share price since December 2020, and may not exercise this offering because they are in good shape financially and flush with cash. April 5, 2021 filing:
https://ih.advfn.com/stock-market/NYSE/gamestop-GME/stock-news/84747200/prospectus-filed-pursuant-to-rule-424b5-424b5#D160986D424B5_HTM_SUPPROM160986_3

There was a drop in the price of the stock on Monday morning before the retail markets opened, but it was based on a very small number of shares traded. By the end of the trading day, the stock had recovered almost to the closing price from Thursday, US$185 rather than the $161 stated in the article. There is a story about GameStop here somewhere, but the AP article isn't it. Not financial advice.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Be part of the solution. Don't be part of the problem.
Learn enough to know which is which.

;-) I'm glad I don't have to hunt my food,
    I don't even know where sandwiches live.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 5, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

In international news, Ontario takes the spotlight.
Ontario hastily reverses reopening as new variants usher in a third wave of Covid cases
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/04/canada-coronavirus-third-wave-variants-ontario

‘We’re devastated’: Whistler reeling amid ski resort closure, rise in P1 COVID-19 variant.
https://globalnews.ca/news/7727512/whistler-blackcomb-covid-19-closure-bc/
Hmmmm, who knew? Stupid has consequences, for everyone.

Based on Sunday's data, over 25% of the vaccines which have been delivered to the provinces and territories by the feds are yet to be administered to people. (6,302,985 of 8,610,870 - 73.2% - have been injected.)
In Ontario, 29% of doses in province are in storage.
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For word vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

Is Quebec's mixed messaging on COVID-19 leading to defiance?
https://ottawacitizen.com/diseases-and-conditions/coronavirus/is-quebecs-mixed-messaging-on-covid-19-leading-to-defiance/wcm/03380ff0-a483-497e-92ad-2afdd8655141

This seems like a logical step forward. (Perhaps paid sick leave during COVID would make sense, too.)
All B.C. part-time and full-time workers will get job-protected leave for COVID-19 vaccine.
https://globalnews.ca/news/7734096/bc-part-time-full-time-workers-job-protected-leave-covid-19-vaccine/

It's not all rosy in the U.S. either per a recent report (taken from https://messaging-custom-newsletters.nytimes.com/template/oakv2?nl=coronavirus-briefing&segment_id=54711&uri=nyt%3A%2F%2Fnewsletter%2Fd74c4018-e2f2-5789-8d94-4f4207f9c887)

"Nationally, the number of cases has begun to tick up again, even as the vaccination campaign has quickened and the country is approaching universal eligibility for all adults. Two states — Michigan and Maryland — show the issues on both sides of the struggle.

"Michigan is giving the country a glimpse at the threat of the new surge, as the state is facing one of the most alarming outbreaks in the country. Cases have soared to more than 5,600 a day from about 1,000 in late February. The nation’s top five metro areas in recent cases per capita are all in Michigan: Jackson, Detroit, Flint, Lansing and Monroe. The state’s hospital system is being stretched thin as the number of coronavirus patients has doubled in the last month, to more than 2,200."

Ford's latest lazy lockdown plan shows he hasn't learned from the last ones
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/randall-denley-fords-latest-lazy-lockdown-plan-shows-he-hasnt-learned-from-the-last-ones
(Note the source, usually reliable supporters of Doug Ford.)

Microsoft revealed the latest truths about working from home. One is truly disturbing.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-revealed-the-latest-truths-about-working-from-home-one-is-truly-disturbing/

Fortress Fossil Fuels Highlights/Gaslights

Big Oil Is Unwilling to Bet on the Future of Crude
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-03-02/big-oil-is-unwilling-to-bet-on-the-future-of-crude

US fossil-fuel companies took billions in tax breaks – and then laid off thousands
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/apr/02/fossil-fuel-companies-billions-tax-breaks-workers

The Oil Industry Is About To Become Worthless
https://insideevs.com/news/491697/morgan-stanley-oil-industry-will-become-worthless/amp/

Big Oil Faces Backlash For 'Greenwashing'
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Big-Oil-Faces-Backlash-For-Greenwashing.html

Big Oil’s New Slate of Desperate Buzzwords Are Greenwashing at Its Worst
https://earther.gizmodo.com/big-oil-s-new-slate-of-desperate-buzzwords-are-greenwas-1846395653

Oil and Gas Firms Are Saddling States With Billions in Cleanup Costs
https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2021/03/oil-and-gas-firms-saddling-colorado-and-others-with-billions-in-cleanup-costs/

Fossil fuel cars make 'hundreds of times' more waste than electric cars
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/mar/01/fossil-fuel-cars-make-hundreds-of-times-more-waste-than-electric-cars

Canada Could Become A Superpower In The Global Battery Market
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Canada-Could-Become-A-Superpower-In-The-Global-Battery-Market.html
This one you don't have to worry about. The owner of the Trans Mountain pipeline and Trans Mountain eXpansion (TMX) project - aka the government of Canada - will ensure this does not happen until the EV and utility storage battery markets are saturated. I like Lion Electric, and respect the people running it. However, the plant featured in the article will assemble batteries, not make the core technology.

The Canadian government is betting on - and massively favouring and funding the hydrogen mirage, which is essentially a refined fossil fuel. The much hyped 'green' hydrogen plant in Quebec, expected to be operational in 2024, won't make an appreciable difference to the world's existing hydrogen markets, which are less than 1% 'green' hydrogen.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
"I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious."
~ Albert Einstein

;-) COVID Days: If video games have taught me anything, it's that
    if you encounter enemies, then you're going the right way.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 4, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Easter Sunday marks the Resurrection in the Christian religion. The real Lazarus story this week is the resurgence of the COVID-19 virus. It was within our grasp to end this pandemic by emulating the TANZANC strategy until the vaccines were in wide distribution. Instead, we have these headlines. (This is just a sampling.)

Canada surpasses 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic
https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/coronavirus-covid19-canada-world-april2-2021-1.5974786

Situation in Ontario ICUs like a never-ending 'fire' amid COVID-19 3rd wave, says nurse
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/icus-in-crisis-beyond-the-chauvin-trial-unionizing-amazon-china-s-digital-currency-depresh-mode-and-more-1.5973360/situation-in-ontario-icus-like-a-never-ending-fire-amid-covid-19-3rd-wave-says-nurse-1.5973374

How the EU blew it and won't see the COVID-19 pandemic end any time soon
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-how-the-eu-blew-it-and-wont-see-the-covid-19-pandemic-end-any-time/

Variant that forced B.C. ski resort shut is rapidly spreading, sending more young people to hospital
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-covid-19-variant-spreading-rapidly-in-bc/

Ontario reports more than 6000 COVID-19 cases over past two days as infections surge
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-reports-more-than-6-000-covid-19-cases-over-past-two-days-as-infections-surge-1.5373294

Ottawa records highest one-day COVID-19 case count Saturday.
https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-records-highest-one-day-covid-19-case-count-saturday-1.5373317

'A question of days before the fire spreads,' doctors say of Montreal schools
https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/a-group-of-doctors-demands-montreal-schools-be-closed
With the variants of concern now driving the renewed pandemic, the rules on schools being safe places for our kids have changed.

47-year-old Ontario teacher who was 'totally healthy' intubated after contracting COVID-19
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/47-year-old-ontario-teacher-who-was-totally-healthy-intubated-after-contracting-covid-19-1.5373439

Alberta reports 1,100 new cases of COVID-19, highest daily total in months
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-reports-1-100-new-cases-of-covid-19-highest-daily-total-in-months-1.5974624

'Significant' COVID-19 variant outbreak in Alberta announced by Hinshaw Saturday [Brazil variant]
https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/significant-covid-19-variant-outbreak-in-alberta-announced-by-hinshaw-saturday-1.5373506

Outdoor transmissions increasing, Alberta’s top doctor says
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/alberta/article-as-outdoor-covid-19-transmission-in-alberta-increases-experts-warn-to/

Ontario’s ‘emergency brake’ not enough, critics say, as Doug Ford announces new four-week COVID-19 restrictions
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-ontario-shutdown-will-bring-few-changes-to-covid-19-hot-spots-toronto/

I wish our political leaders had thrown "everything" at COVID
https://torontosun.com/opinion/levy-when-the-going-gets-tough-our-leaders-repeat-the-same-mistakes
> Note the source for this piece; traditionally a Doug Ford 'fan-boy' publication.

Dear plague province premiers, the pandemic isn't a hoax. Start treating like a real problem. For the rest of us, take care of you.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For word vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

Sunlight Inactivates Coronavirus 8 Times Faster Than Predicted. We Need to Know Why.
https://www.sciencealert.com/sunlight-inactivates-sars-cov-2-a-lot-faster-than-predicted-and-we-need-to-work-out-why

New standards are being created for LTC homes — and the public is asked to weigh in
https://ottawacitizen.com/health/new-standards-are-being-created-for-ltc-homes-and-the-public-is-asked-to-weigh-in
No "iron rings" need apply.

How to tell if your respirator and N95-style mask is counterfeit or poor quality (Marketplace)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHy937FF16o

This is your brain on pandemic: What chronic stress is doing to us
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/pandemic-brain-stress-effect-lethargy-unproductive-1.5972055

McMaster lab to screen for rare antibody that causes blood clots after AstraZeneca vaccination
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/rare-antibody-mcmaster-screen-blood-clots-vaccine-1.5971270

B.C. biotech company says, despite interim approval, provinces won't use its COVID-19 treatment
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/abcellera-bamlanivimab-carl-hansen-kapelos-1.5974126

(Digital) Deception

When you buy cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin in particular, this is what you are enabling.
Hackers demanded $17 million worth of bitcoin as ransom from city of Saint John
https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/hackers-demanded-17-million-worth-of-bitcoin-as-ransom-from-city-of-saint-john-1.5372347

(Is there any interest in me including some snippets about cryptocurrencies in future editions of this blog? If so, let me know. You can simply reply to this email with the subject 'Interested in Cryptocurrency Snippets'.)

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others
have let go."
~ William Feather

;-) COVID Days: Yesterday, I did nothing, and today I'm
    finishing what I did yesterday.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


April 2, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

'A very clear shift': Younger people getting sicker, faster with COVID, doctors say
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/a-very-clear-shift-younger-people-getting-sicker-faster-with-covid-doctors-say

After watching Premier Doug Ford mangle the messaging on Ontario's 3rd or 4th go at a mockdown, it seems fair to invoke Yogi Berra - "It's like déja vu all over again."

One definition of insanity is to do the same thing time after time, expecting a different result. If you're wondering about your own sanity at this stage of COVID mismanagement in the plague provinces, I suspect it means you're actually in pretty good shape.

I am seeing commentary from the chattering classes in the past couple of weeks calling out the 'armchair quarterbacks' who are adding to misinformation and confusion. Perhaps there are those who see my posts in that light. Fair enough, there are plenty of opinions to go around.

My take remains pretty simple; there are jurisdictions that got a much better grip on the COVID-19 pandemic and did a much better job of protecting their residents from infection, death and long-term negative health impacts. After more than a year of the pandemic and nearly continuous light restrictions on our actions, our leaders should have learned lessons from those that have done better. TANZANC.

Canada has now passed 23,000 COVID deaths, and is within spitting distance of a million confirmed cases, about 2.5% of the population. For the Ontarians who are still alive and healthy, mockdown 4 starts at midnight tonight. For the official version, this web page sets out the new rules, but doesn't mention they will be in effect for 4 weeks.
https://covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions
It then goes on to explain the colour-coded zones at length, which won't be in effect for those 4 weeks.

I have now completed the online application for a vaccination at a nearby pharmacy, and have confirmation of the application. And now I wait. It's a skill I have honed to razor sharpness over this past year.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .
For Canadian vaccination numbers, go to
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
For word vaccination data, go to
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

COVID-19 News Items

Ontario Locks Down With Virus ‘Killing Faster and Younger’
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-01/canada-s-ontario-to-be-in-lockdown-for-28-days-cbc-reports

Province blames two-week-old double-booking issue for slew of vaccine appointment cancellations in Ottawa
https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/province-blames-two-week-old-double-booking-issue-for-slew-of-vaccine-appointment-cancellations-in-ottawa-1.5369304

Tam says pandemic now at 'most challenging' stage, calls on Canadians to give vaccines time to work
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/theresa-tam-challenging-times-pandemic-1.5972000

Ottawa getting shortchanged on vaccines: city officials
https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/ottawa-getting-shortchanged-on-vaccines-city-officials/ar-BB1eYaxg
This past week, Premier Ford acknowledged this reality, and said future vaccine distribution in the province would be done equitably based on population. Actions speak louder than words. We'll see.

I noted the story of an Ottawa woman who was told the wait list in Ottawa was weeks, but if she wanted to drive to Toronto which had 30,000 open appointments, she could have a vaccination the next day. She drove to Toronto and back, and got her vaccination.

B.C. officials mum on vaccination appointment data as vaccine supplies pile up
https://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-officials-mum-on-vaccination-appointment-data-as-vaccine-supplies-pile-up-1.5365769

Are vaccines safe in patients with Long COVID? A prospective observational study | medRxiv
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.11.21253225v3

Results Forty-four vaccinated participants were assessed at a median of 32 days (IQR 20-41) post vaccination with 22 matched unvaccinated participants. Most were highly symptomatic of Long Covid at 8 months (82% in both groups had at least 1 persistent symptom), with fatigue (61%), breathlessness (50%) and insomnia (38%) predominating. There was no significant worsening in quality-of-life or mental wellbeing metrics pre versus post vaccination. Nearly two-thirds (n=27) reported transient (<72hr duration) systemic effects (including fever, myalgia and headache).

When compared to matched unvaccinated participants from the same cohort, those who had receive a vaccine had a small overall improvement in Long Covid symptoms, with a decrease in worsening symptoms (5.6% vaccinated vs 14.2% unvaccinated) and increase in symptom resolution (23.2% vaccinated vs 15.4% unvaccinated) (p=0.035). No difference in response was identified between Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.

Conclusions Receipt of vaccination with either an mRNA or adenoviral vector vaccine was not associated with a worsening of Long Covid symptoms, quality of life, or mental wellbeing. Individuals with prolonged COVID-19 symptoms should receive vaccinations as suggested by national guidance.

Hyprogen (not a typo)

Over the past month, I spent quite a lot of time re-immersing myself in the mirage of the 'hydrogen energy economy' in order to give an on-line presentation recently. Here's a key take-away:
Canada's new Hydrogen Strategy is a sham, and a new sop/subsidy to the fossil fuels industry.
You can find the federal government's 8.8 MB PDF document at
https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/climate-change/the-hydrogen-strategy/23080

When I published the Emperor's New Hydrogen Economy in 2006, I wrote:
“the hydrogen economy is a really, really bad idea.”
15 years later, my update is: "Today, it's worse."

In 2006, I closed with a quote (original source unknown):
"Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, and always will be."
My updated version from my presentation:
"Hydrogen is the fuel of no future."

The solutions I set out in the book are still valid and needed. The book is still in print, and the ebook version (yes, we had ebooks back in 2006) remains available. No, I won't be writing a second edition on my own dime.

GameStop

The story isn't finished yet. The financial and mainstream media who have headlined that it's 'Game Over for GameStop' are misleading you. I don't know if it that is deliberate or incompetence; could be both. Not financial advice. If you have time and access this weekend, watch the movie 'The Big Short' as a primer.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
"Complaining about a problem without proposing a solution
is called whining."
~ Theodore Roosevelt

;-) COVID Days: The longer this goes on, the more difficult
    it will be to return to a society where pants are required.

I hope this day truly is a Good Friday for all of us. Take care of you.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


For earlier entries, see earlier blog file.
For the current blog, see the Econogics Blog.

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