Friday, July 1, 2022

Right now

Right now...* 

*(an occasional (mostly monthly) meme, alternating from time to time with "The Current"). (Explanation of how this started & my inspirations in my first "Right now" post, here. Also my first "The Current" post, here.)

Pandemic diary/update:  June was Month #27 (going on #28) of living with the COVID-19 pandemic. Wave #6 appears to be on the wane -- but the medical/science experts are already warning about new variants on the rise and an expected resurgence of the virus in the fall (if not earlier)... 

Unfortunately, the same provincial government that mishandled the pandemic (along with many other things...!) won another (increased!) majority in the June 2nd election -- so I am not hopeful that overall, things will improve dramatically anytime soon. :(  

Most of the few remaining mask mandates -- on public transit and in medical facilities -- expired on June 11th and were not renewed (although virtually every hospital in the province announced they will retain mask mandates for the foreseeable future). The only places where masks must still be worn are long-term care homes and retirement homes. 

Then, starting June 16th, the government cut back its covid data reporting from daily to weekly (on Thursdays). :(  It has also stopped reporting data from schools and long-term care and retirement homes. As a result, the Toronto Star (my main source of covid data) has had to change the way it reports covid numbers. It has archived its daily stats trackers covering the past 2+ years, and has started a new stats tracking page that's updated weekly, beginning with data from May 6, 2022.  Not all stats that were previously reported are still being disclosed there :(  although there are probably other places where that data could be found (if you hunt for it...!). 

So -- here are some daily stats for June 1 to 16, and then (where available) some weekly stats from June 16th to the 30th
  • There were 1,030 new cases reported in Ontario on June 1st, and 777 on June 16th.   
    • Caveat:  The Star notes that "given new provincial regulations to limit testing that took effect on Dec. 31, 2021, case counts are no longer considered an accurate assessment of how widespread the virus is right now. Daily reported cases in 2022 should be considered under reported."  (Scientists are (still) saying that the true number of cases is likely 10 times higher than what's being reported. (!)  And some provinces have stopped reporting daily new case numbers altogether, leaving citizens entirely in the dark.  (It sounds like it's a similar situation in the U.S., according to this Washington Post article.)  
  • Test positivity was 8% on June 1st and 6.9% on June 16th.  
  • Hospitalizations declined from 722 on June 1st to 491 on June 16th, then increased to 585 on June 30th (up 20.4% over the previous week). 
  • There were 127 patients with COVID-19 in Ontario's ICUs on June 1st, declining to 109 on June 16th and 95 on June 30th.  
  • There were 24 deaths on June 1st and 6 on June 16th, 16 on June 29th and 9 on June 30th (up 115% over the previous week). 
  • On June 30th, 86.3% of Ontario's total population has had at least one vaccine, 83.2% had at least two, but just 50.5% had received a third dose. These numbers have not budged much over the past couple of months. 
With a population of just over 14 million, Ontario has logged 1,315,224 (officially counted) cases of covid (as of June 16th) and more than 13,421 deaths (as of June 30th). As of June 18th, for Canada as a whole (population 38 million), those numbers are 3,913,975 cases and 41,566 deaths. 

On the personal pandemic front:  Despite the fact that masks are no longer required just about  anywhere (and fewer and fewer people seem to be wearing them), dh & I continue to wear them when out in public, and remain (mostly) socially distanced -- although we were out a bit more than usual this past month. On top of dh's weekly (masked) trips to the supermarket for groceries and for occasional takeout lunches & dinners: 
  • We visited SIL & Little Great-Nephew at BIL & SIL's house 5 times.    
  • We voted in the provincial election on Thursday, June 2nd. The place where we vote was not too far from where we lived, there was no lineup when we went (around 2 p.m.), and we were in & out of there in minutes. (We later learned that voter turnout was the lowest in any federal or provincial election in the past 100 years! -- go figure??)  
  • We had haircuts back in our old community on Saturday, June 4th. 
  • We went to Canadian Tire, the bookstore and the drugstore on June 9th.  Back to Canadian Tire on June 22nd. 
  • We were back at the drugstore on June 14th, as well as a trip to the gelato shop. :)
  • Dh went to our condo corporation's annual meeting of owners on June 15th. (They requested only one person attend per unit, to help with social distancing.) Of the 31 people there, only 3 people wore masks (including him).   
  • Dh took the car in to the dealer for regular servicing on June 16th, something he hadn't done in more than a year. (Of course, the car hasn't been driven much over the past year either...!) 
  • Dh had a colonoscopy on June 20th, at a clinic near our condo building, and I walked over and escorted him home when he was done. 

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Also right now:  

Reading: I finished 4 books in June (all reviewed on this blog, as well as Goodreads, & tagged  "2022 books"): 
This brings me to 29 books read so far in 2022. At the mid-year point, I'm at 64% of my 2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 45 books, and I am (for the moment, anyway) 8 books ahead of schedule. :)  (I'll be doing a mid-year check-in post on my reading goals shortly.) 

Current read(s): 
Coming up: 

Most of my book groups have their next reads plotted out for a few months in advance -- and listing them here helps me keep track of what I should be reading next. ;)  (Prioritizing these books right now and trying to read as many as I can before my eye surgery on July 25th -- my sister, who had a similar surgery last year, has warned me that I won't be able to spend much time on screens for a while after that...!) 
  • For my D.E. Stevenson fan group:  
  • Within the private online Gateway Women community, we've formed a group to discuss Jody Day's book, "Living the Life Unexpected," one chapter per month, in a live Zoom call. (There are actually two groups -- one that's more conducive to UK/European/Australasian time zones, and one mostly for North Americans.) Our sixth call, discussing Chapter 6, was on June 19th, and we'll discuss Chapter 7 in mid-July. Completing all 12 chapters will take us a full year.  If/when we complete the full 12 chapters, I'll count it as another re-read. :)  
A few recently purchased titles (in digital format, mostly discounted ($5 or less) or purchased with points):  
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Watching:  We've been enjoying season 2 of "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy" on CNN on Sunday nights, but it hasn't been shown much this month -- they aired a documentary mini-series about Watergate in that time slot instead on a couple of Sunday nights (almost exactly 50 years after the break-in that started the whole thing). (SIL wants to know when Tucci's going to visit Calabria -- where his family, hers and dh/BIL's comes from!)  

We did watch and enjoy CNN's series about Watergate -- an event I remember from my childhood/early teen years. (I was 11 when the Watergate break-in occurred, and 13 when Nixon resigned.) (See my review of "All the President's Men" by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who figure prominently in this program.) 

I've watched most of the January 6th committee hearings on CNN to date (which were a LOT more interesting to me, at 61, than the Watergate hearings were at 12-13! lol). 

As I wrote here, I got up at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. on June 2nd to watch the Trooping of the Colour ceremony live from London on CBC, celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. No matter what you think of the institution of monarchy itself, I don't think anyone can say the Queen has not served her country and the Commonwealth extraordinarily well for 70 (!!) years. This was history in the making -- a never before, never again (certainly not in my lifetime) event -- and I decided I had to make the effort to watch. I am glad I did. :)  

Listening: To some great podcasts, including several new episodes of New Legacy Radio and The Full Stop (both relevant to the childless community). 

Dh has been listening to a comedy station from Hamilton (Ontario, about an hour away) on the radio when we're in the car. He loves it. I enjoy it, to a point, but not as much as he does. I don't enjoy all the humour (some of it on the misogynistic side) and the frequent yelling, and it gets kind of monotonous after a while. Plus it's an AM station so the sound quality is not great -- even before you factor in the static...! I'd much rather listen to our usual classic rock FM station. (Although some of the DJs there can be kind of lame too. The regular morning show was recently put on hiatus after a human rights/harassment complaint was brought against the host by a former (female) co-host.)  

Eating/Drinking:  Iced tea on the balcony, several times, when it wasn't too hot and humid outside... ahhh!

Buying (besides books, lol):  We bought a handheld mini-vacuum at Canadian Tire, for small, quick jobs (this one) and two smoke/CO detectors to replace the ones originally installed in our condo. At the drugstore: a pulse oximeter for our first aid kit.    

Online shopping/home delivery: I ordered some essential oil roll-ons and blends for my diffuser from Saje, and a couple of new tops/T-shirts from Old Navy.  

Wearing: Capris and sandals (with great satisfaction, lol)  ;)  and more recently, tank tops and shorts (especially outside on a hot day!).  

Mourning: My cousin, who died far too young on June 2nd. :(   

Wanting: More hours in the day lately, to cram in everything I want to do and read...!  

Enjoying: My freshly washed windows.  :)  (Although I've noticed that, by month's end, they were already starting to get dirty again...!) 

Being able to leave the balcony door open for most of the day when the weather is nice (not too hot/humid).  

Spending time on the balcony with tea (hot or iced) and a good book.  :)  (See "Eating/Drinking," above.) 

Appreciating:  Air conditioning, on the days (and nights) when the weather is hotter and more humid. 

Enduring:  Seasonal allergies. :p  (Grass, tree pollen, etc.)  Late May/early/mid-June has always been the worst time of the year for me in this respect, and this year seems to be one of the worst in years.  (The downside of having the balcony door open all day...!)  Dh has been suffering lately too.  Thank goodness for Claritin! (my longtime go-to antihistamine... The allergist I saw several years ago told me there were better ones out there now, and suggested I try Reactine, but I did not like the spacey way it made me feel and switched back to my old reliable). 

Noticing:  More sunsets, now that the days are longer. I once posted a photo in the spring saying, "Sunsets are back!" and someone cracked, "They never left!"  Maybe not, but they do seem to be more noticeable (and spectacular!) in the summer than in the winter! 

Waiting: For my two surgeries later this summer, now scheduled for July 25th (eye/cornea procedure) and August 15th (gallbladder removal). 

Hoping: For a fall trip home to see my family, once I've recuperated sufficiently. And that the current mess at the national (and international!) airports (and Toronto Pearson in particular...!)  clears up by then....!  (One good thing about not travelling right now, I guess...!). 

Trying: To get some of the household tasks that don't get done frequently (e.g., cleaning the shower cubicle -- my favourite (NOT), lol...!) scheduled and completed before my surgeries. 

Loving: Spending time with Little Great-Nephew. :)  We stayed with him for a few hours on Wednesday morning while his grandma went for an appointment.  Just guess who had the most fun, lol. 

Feeling: A little nervous about my upcoming surgeries. Tired (SO tired!!) of living with and dealing with covid (-- but even more tired of people who think it's all over and don't take any precautions against getting or spreading it -- and of the government's cavalier attitude toward it all).  

Wondering: How is it July already??!

1 comment:

  1. I think masks in hospitals and nursing homes is going to be permanent, which is a good thing to come out of COVID.