Care, caution, paranoia….will it help?

Sal’s mom is in her 90’s.  Our newest grandchild is just closing in on 8 months.  And we were going to visit them this week.  In theory, we are safe.  In fantasy theory.  Even though Sal and I have isolated for months, all those people with whom we include in our very small ‘bubble’ have not.  That means we have not.  We are clearly low-risk but we are not no-risk.  We called yesterday to postpone our trip for yet another pure-isolation period.  We’ll go in 14 days.

How could two, senior stay-at-homes on a remote island separated by water from normal traffic and having little or nothing to do with the outside world STILL be a risk?  Simple: my daughter came to visit from Alberta two weeks ago.  Her visit was factored into the schedule to allow for us the required ‘break’ before visiting family this week.  But then a friend came up (sailing), stayed for three days and basically interrupted our isolation period.  Start the clock again.  And our neighbour loaned his cabin to two pleasant people and we picked them up in our boat.  Technically, our isolation was ‘set back’ again at that point.  Then, of course, Sal attends the food distribution program on Fridays and, technically, sets it all back again every time.

And yesterday Sal went to bookclub.

None of the ‘encounters’ were with people showing any kind of symptoms but, on the other hand, there is a lot of pollen in the air and some people sneezed.  Covid?  Or pollen?

And all the social distancing etiquette we practice just can’t hold up when people stay in your home.  We all tried.  No hugs.  Six feet apart.  Socialize outside (and we have a pleasant breeze most of the time to assist)….but then I hand them a glass of wine, we eat dinner together, we ride in the boat together… is simply impossible to be ‘good’ for more than a few hours – life and living just gets in the way.

Now bear in mind that Sal and I and most of the locals are more isolated than most people and, being retired, are not as engaged with ‘the larger society’ anyway.  Most of us sport masks if we do rub shoulders with the hoi polloi but none of that makes you ‘pure’, it just makes you less compromised at best and still a carrier at worst.  Two old people living OTG for months still cannot be sure of their health in the age of Covid.

When it comes to infants and grannies, we have to be.

As mentioned before, almost the majority of our community is a senior.  47% are 65 or older.  If you count ‘senior’ as 55+ then it is the majority.  And, if you factor in the average age (likely 55+) then we are getting past senior and into bucket-list.

All this is not particularly interesting information, I know.  But it makes me wonder how they (us) will ever get C-19 fully under control if even folks like us cannot be sure of non-transmission.  I am not the risk that a waiter or a teacher or a bus driver poses.  I am not the risk that presents every day to urban people in the least.  But I am NOT pure.  And, if I am not pure, and Sal is not pure, and our community is not pure….the rest of the world is definitely still very much at risk.

23 thoughts on “Care, caution, paranoia….will it help?

  1. All the precautions for avoiding Corvid 19 are continually evolving and changing. It was revealed recently that a newborn infant at a Vancouver Hospital had Covid-19 although the infant showed no symptoms of Corvid 19 regardless this infant was infectious could give the virus to others. Until recently a common belief was that children did not pass on the virus. That no longer seems to be true.


    • I Know. We have been exemplary out here in the boonies. REALLY good and yet…….we let our guard down enough that it all could have been erased. It may have been erased in fact and we would not know it if were asymptomatic. So, back to square one.


  2. Very well said, David. We are in a similar situation with a 92 year old mom and our four year old granddaughter. So many people have become complacent about this virus but I am a firm believer in better safe than sorry.


  3. “But I am NOT pure. And, if I am not pure, and Sal is not pure, and our community is not pure….”

    And the rest of the world is definitely….NOT PURE.

    The amazing thing to me is the lack of info for testing for Covid.
    In the 5 months that I have worked, met, talked, etc etc etc with people in the Lower Mainland I have met ONE person who has been tested (negative).

    Its almost as if the authorities really dont want to know how many really are infected.
    If the vast majority are already infected then it’s been much ado about almost nothing.
    If only a very few per capita have been infected then we are all stuck in the “isolation” zone for another 6-12-18 months until a vaccine has been found, developed, produced and issued.

    Be happy with the isolation because people are losing their shite now in the cities and when this goes on into the fall and winter with no let down in the line ups, the unemployment, the dwindling cash hand outs, the falling Canuck buck……Ugh-Lee
    Black Lives Matter protests will look like a walk in the park


    • So far BC has done about 350,000 tests for Corvid-19. Number of deaths from Corvid-19 is about 200. So far BC has flattened the curve of infections but lately has seen a blip of about 100 persons acquiring the virus in the last three days. BC is currently tracing the contacts of these recently infected persons.


      • 350,000 out of 3.5 million.
        10% of the population after 5 months…….FIVE MONTHS.
        The economy has been gutted by shut downs and cash handouts.
        And we still dont have a concrete numbers of the infected in BC.
        CERB has turned a generation of cashless idiots into a nation of credit/ welfare dependents.
        What ever happened to “save for a rainy day”?
        Well the storm hasnt even started yet.
        This isnt over by a long shot and the first set of bills hasnt come due.
        We are headed for a nasty, prolonged recession. With a govt that will have its credit in the toilet and , with interest rates at rock bottom……no where to go to “stimulate” the economy.
        It’s pretty hard to lower interest rates when they are already at their lowest rates in history.
        Prepare for hideous increases in taxes and user fees while govt programs are cut cut cut.
        Trudeau cant keep standing at the Cottage podium giving out a billion here and 10 billion there forever.
        But he has learned to turn his dwindling popularity (last Fall) into great polling numbers(this Spring)…..hand out billions of $$$$$$!
        Mr. “The budget will balance itself”
        The taxpayers money means nothing to him
        The arrogance of T2 to think he could hand almost a billion dollars over to a rah-rah “charity” in the midst of the worst economic crisis in decades speaks volumes.
        Canada……$350 Billion deeper in debt ….in ONE YEAR.
        7 to 10 times the worst year of “Arrogant” Harper.
        2020 The worst deficit ever. Worse than WW2 .
        Worse than the Great Depression.
        Here’s an idea.
        Instead of the govt being everyone’s “nanny” and politicians of every stripe using the Bank of Canada as their own personal bank machine to dump billions of taxpayer $$$$$ on every favorite politically correct agenda out there… about they spend money on roads, bridges, hospitals, schools.
        And NOTHING else.
        If people want rainbow sidewalks to show their support to 1% of the population….go buy the paint and have at ‘er.
        Just stop demanding taxpayers fund every personal “cause” out there
        Just get a permit first.
        I recall in the mid 1980’s a group was demanding a statue in Stanley Park to honor some ridiculous cause and a Park’s Board Commissioner said, “If we allow permission to everyone that wants a statue in Stanley Park ….. we will have to cut down all the trees ”
        Time for politicians to grow spines again and learn a new word, “No” every time another group of protesters demand “their” rights be dealt with.

        Does anyone hope/expect……..AFTER round two of Covid…….perhaps by this time next year………….. we’ll have accessible Covid tests in place?


      • As you know, I am not as hard on the so-called deadbeats for a number of reasons but I do agree that government should stick to their business and their business is dry, maintenance and repair of infrastructure and universally required services. As soon as you go ‘special needs’, everyone will claim that. Are there special needs? Of course. But government is NOT in the business of that. They should just keep the trains and planes running, the roads paved, the water flowing and the rules, laws and regulations working right. And they should count the beans and make it all make financial sense! But your rant and my simplistic solutions are not going to influence anyone. That’s why I say, “get ou…….. ge…….ow!”


  4. Same here in Belgium…numbers have spiked last week, so we are back at wearing masks in public areas and shops. But will a vaccin work? there have been reports that the vaccin has mutated already and will continue to do so. It’s like a vaccin for the flue, it only protects you against some strands and next year they will make another cocktail against the most common strands. So maybe COVID is here to stay forever and will have to be “treated” as a kind of flue each year. I don’t believe that 1 “miacle” vaccin will be THE cure once and forever! So not optimistic at all, as there may be new lockdowns and then all hell will break lose I am afraid. But good for you hat you stick to the 14 days quarantine. On the other hand, visiting Sal’s mom will require travelling and thus exposure to other people on the road…so you’re NEVER 100% safe


    • Getting to granny will be safe enough. It is all car travel with just Sal and I in the car. But, once there, you have to shop and get gas and ‘see the neighbours’ and pick up a pizza and all that. We won’t TAKE Covid with us but we will be immersed in the bigger Petrie dish of the city and we may bring Covid to granny or home with us.


      • About all you can do is…….
        Masks, gloves and alcohol wipes……
        Seems to be working for the majority, for now….


  5. The rate of testing in BC is part of a strategy to prioritize contact tracing of individuals presentIng with COVID-19. A complication is some people can spread COVID-19 but have no symptoms. Some also have the disease but choose to ignore the treat this presents to others by not self-isolating for 14 days. In BC roughly one person in 100,000 has the disease. Mass testing is very ineffective and expensive so individuals must be proactive and get a Covid-19 test. If a BC resident wants a Covid-19 they can have one. No barrier. Just ask for a test. Whether one needs a test is partly a matter of one’s contacts and one’s travel. Some countries are still hot spots for COVID-19 such as the USA. Personal responsibility is needed. Recently a traveler without symptoms flew into the Maritimes and did not quarantine for 14 days. An outbreak of Covid-19 resulted and that outbreak is on that traveller. Contact tracing later identified the traveler as the source of the outbreak. A recent article in the New York Times praised the efforts in B.C. to have a effective strategy to fight Covid-19. Hence an infection rate in B.C. of about one in 100,000. Piss poor to be sure but a spot to begin the long path to a economic recovery.


  6. All levels of government are involved in “Special Needs.” Without giving a long list of examples of compensatory programmes Notable are in health, education, elder care under the broad umbrella of societal caring. During the current pandemic, governments are trying to address needs of all types. I have not had my hand out but regardless I’ve been offered breaks not taken. Even on their best day some folks struggle with day to day living expenses as I know you are aware. It appears that Canada is heading to a means tested guaranteed annual income to support the disadvantaged,


    • I know they are. And some special needs are important – like extra care for autistic kids and such. But those fall into the ‘basic services’ category under Healthcare and are not really special so much as specialized. What I am referring to is subsidies for oil and oil clean-up, tax-gifts for the rich, grants for corporations, stimulus programs and the hidden, behind-the-scenes hand-outs to special interests like the extraordinary admin fee for WE Charity. I cannot honestly list all the worthy ones vs the unworthy ones but government has got to get out of ‘prostitute-mode’ whereby they give money to secure favours, where the populace subsidizes ‘special interests of the kind described’ and weird, quirky favours to cronies are doled out like cookies. I am also fed up with government thinking they own our country and we have to pay to be here – but rapacious corporations get subsidized access to resources that they then sell to foreign governments. A Canadian should be able to go camping, go fishing, go hiking without having to pay fees. But a logging company should NOT be able to sell whole trees. They can ‘log’ and they can ‘sell’ but the tree goes to a Canadian value-added enterprise and that company has to be held accountable for that privilege. And do not get me started on fish! OMG!! The Dept of Fisheries is inept, irresponsible and virtually unaccountable…..and for what? For whom?
      I guess I am just tired of the Robber Barons and the political lick-spittle they get elected to power. I am tired of witnessing air-heads-in-power. I am sick of the corruption and privilege. And I am tired of a system that seems to do, at best, inadequately at just about everything.


      • Implement a Flat tax. 10% of income, 15%, what ever.
        Get rid of all the deductions, grants, income splitting, on and on and on….
        But that will NEVER happen because… and lawyers ( the major benefactors of tax es and litigation) are the biggest contributors to political election campaigns.

        On second thought.
        Ban ALL political contributions.
        ALL contributions and make any politicians that lose an election or resign during their mandate BANNED from working for any company involved in their previous jurisdiction.
        OR they lose their coveted , inflation indexed, obscene pension for life..

        If I ran for office as an independent ………..I’d accomplish nothing.


      • None of us would. Independents flounder. And, in a way, that is as it should be. Democracy is, in the end, about majority rule and no single independent CAN be the majority. However, a ban on parties makes all independents equal and they can POTENTIALLY be part of the majority on any number of issues. Plus they can flip and flop between left and righty issues. Banning parties could work.


  7. I understand your frustration and the frustration of many others. “Special Needs” is a term for people with disabilities in Social Work and Education and an assessment by government officials must be made to justify the dispensing of these funds. Special needs funding under goes a budget overview to ensure proper use. I realize that you are aware of this oversight in your work in the East End Clinic you managed. On the matter of ‘’corporate welfare’’ I agree with your view point. Some might argue that General Motors should not have been bailed out but others not so much. Some might like a ‘survival of the fittest’ type Capitalism whereas others demure.


    • It all basically boils down to ‘weighted’ or ‘favoured status’ capitalism. If we are really going to accept that the world is dog-eat-dog then let the dogs out! Let it happen. The strong win, the weak lose and the bulk of us are ‘fodder’. So be it. But this rigged game of ‘all folks are equal’ but some folks are ‘MORE equal’ is just justification for elitism, cronyism, corruption and evil. Trudeau and Trump – YUCK!
      Frankly, it is MORE our currently distorted sense of Capitalism than it is the actual Adam Smith philosophy of human nature in economics. Make no mistake: human nature as manifested in economics is ugly enough. But when it is also rigged against the ‘people’, it is too much to bear for me. That kind of injustice is unnaturally ugly and evil.


      • The current best interest rate offered to banks of .25 of a percent to be loaned at a much higher rate to the consumer probably should result in a much lower cost of credit. It is not unusual for some credit cards to charge a yearly interest in the range of 13%. That is a long way from .25 %


  8. A number of people I know have sought out a type of monastic life. They have simplified their lives having very few possessions and few needs. They do not drive. They pay no attention to the media whatsoever. They envy no one and do not offer unsolicited advice. They are contented within themselves because for them ‘’less is more.” They came to realize that they needed to stop the negativity and futility of their thoughts. One friend became a monk at Mt Shasta Abby and lives a contented life of meditation and meaningful daily work. It is a supportive community that fosters growth. Within ourselves we can make a “…Heaven of Hell or a Hell of Heaven…” according William Blake, poet. One need not enter a monastic life but it is often helpful to turn down the noise.


  9. Doing our two week quarantine alone up the lake to make ourselves pure, but when it’s over we have to go to town for a resupply and “business” that’s been on hold for six months. There it goes in a fell swoop. – Margy


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