Monday, June 15, 2020

#MicroblogMondays: Pandemic odds & ends

  • Last week, our provincial government announced the move to Stage 2 of reopening... but not everywhere.  Ten regions, encompassing what's known as "the Golden Horseshoe" of Ontario (and of Canada) -- including Hamilton, Niagara, and the entire Greater Toronto Area, where I live -- remain stuck in Stage 1.  Elsewhere in the province, people can now get haircuts, tattoos, manicures & pedicures, dine on restaurant patios (albeit still not inside restaurants) and go to the mall (among other things).  (All (supposedly) subject to precautions, of course.) 
  • The government also announced on Friday that everyone in the province could now form "social circles" (or "bubbles," as I wrote about here) of up to 10 people, without physical distancing restrictions. 
    • It's still early days, but nobody has asked us to be in their circle/bubble. Not that we expect to be asked...!  As I wrote a while back: 
For us, there's no question that would be BIL's household (which currently includes him, SIL, Older Nephew, his wife & 5-month-old baby).  BUT -- would WE be THEIR pick to "bubble" with?  They might rather have more regular interaction with their other son/our Younger Nephew & his wife... or perhaps the baby's other grandmother (I know she's dying to see & hold her first & only grandchild again).  As I said to dh when the baby was born, we know where we are in the pecking order (and it's not at the top of the list).  Another one of the hard things about childless living, and especially during a pandemic...!  :(
    • (Older Nephew & his wife have actually taken the baby to see Other Grandmother in recent weeks... so I guess they've already got their bubble there...!)   
    • I will be very curious to see how many people actually FOLLOW THE RULES...!   
  • Daily numbers of new cases in my province dipped below the 200 mark last week, for the first time since March. Fingers crossed those numbers keep dropping. (I am not optimistic, given the rush to reopen.)  
    • I am also not optimistic, given the number of people I've seen around our condo -- chatting outside, going in & out of each others' units to socialize, etc. -- and in photos on my social media feeds -- lounging in groups at cottages, group photos (arms around each other, heads together -- no masks, obviously...). ("Pandemic?  What pandemic??")  *Sigh*   
  • Great-Nephew was baptized yesterday (as I mentioned recently). Because of COVID restrictions, we could not be there, and the big party that was planned for afterward did not happen.  But we still got to watch, via the miracle of livestream on YouTube. :)  Yay for technology!  :)  We are planning to take over his present later today (a children's book I bought pre-COVID shutdown, and a nice fat cheque for his piggybank/savings account) and have another brief visit.  
  • I was talking to my sister a few days ago, and she mentioned that my mother had told her I wasn't coming home this summer. Sister (never once to beat around the bush...!) informed Mom that I won't be coming home for Christmas either. (!)  I had to admit that things don't look good, but said I still haven't given up completely on the idea. She told me she wanted Mom to get used to the idea, so that if by some small miracle I do manage to make it home, it will be a nice bonus, and not something Mom is expecting. *Sigh. (Again.)*  
  • Dh, shaking his head while looking out the window at a man walking alongside a very young toddler and holding his hand:  "Lucky bastard."  :(  
You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.


  1. This is the one thing I hate about the "bubbles"(other than I think that most people aren't going to follow these guidelines), which is that people are getting left out. On a public health level, I get it, but on a social level the amount of hurt that is going to be created is huge. And I don't think people will abide by them (its hard enough to get them to follow with the current restrictions). Still, this sucks and I'm sorry. :(

  2. 1:30 p.m., Monday afternoon: They just announced more Stage 2 reopenings -- including for the region where we live AND the region where we used to live and still go to the hair salon. I don't care about anything else reopening (and I'm sure we won't get in right away), but I just called & left a message for my stylist... woohoo!! :)

  3. I'm sure the social circles will backfire. I don't think they explained them clearly at all and I've seen posts on Facebook already where people have misinterpreted what's allowed. Plus some of the headlines are very misleading and not helping. I posted a PSA/rant on Facebook spelling out that no, we were not just given permission to all pick 10 people to hug.

    I'm sorry you haven't been invited into a circle yet. It's a really tough situation. We are now in a circle with my Mum and my aunt, but that's only because my sister's household has to circle with her nanny's household and she can't add in anyone else. If we'd both been available, my Mum would have just stayed in her own bubble as she wouldn't want to choose.

    Fingers crossed that the numbers keep dropping and we're able to mix in bigger groups again soon. (And woo-hoo for haircuts!)

  4. I see Canada and the UK both allowing social circles/bubbles, but it is disappointing if people are not clear about it. It was extremely well communicated here, but people still stretched the rules, as I've mentioned before. As long as they don't associate across bubbles, the principle stands. So I keep hopeful for you. But I shudder at the idea of 200 new cases per day.

    Yay to haircuts though. I'm going to get one in the next week or so, I think. It's not urgent, as fortunately my style has morphed into something new that I can cope with. And because it has turned cold here, I'm not looking forward to exposing my ears again! lol

    And I want to send hugs to you AND your DH at his comment about the young man. I'm sure being around great-nephew reminds you both anew of what you have never had.

  5. I'm watching with fascination how different places reopen. I've been watching the daily update here:

    I wonder if there is a Canada equivalent?

    1. Ooh, interesting! I don't think I've seen anything tracking Rt factors for Canadian provinces or the country as a whole, but I've been following case/hospitalization/death stats (updated daily) on both the Globe & Mail and Toronto Star (which digs into local/regional numbers):

    2. I did notice this paragraph in this news story:

      Jane Heffernan, a mathematician epidemiologist at York University in Toronto, said that she and her colleagues estimate that the reproduction rate of COVID-19 in Ontario is similar to Quebec and currently falls somewhere between 0.8 and 0.9 additional infections generated from each new case. A rate of less than one will produce a drop in case counts over time.

      “I think that the downward trend is pretty stable and I hope that it will continue," she said.