Ping


This week Justin Trudeau announced implementation of a Canadian COVID-19 tracking app. Deemed ‘voluntary”, currently testing in Ontario, apparently available nation-wide on July 2nd, COVID Alert is hailed as an anonymous tracking app which pings subscribers with alerts when coming in close contact with consensual participants testing positive for COVID-19.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/coronavirus-contact-tracing-app-ontario_ca_5eebbfdec5b6d9234ce7b795

Sorry Canada. If you think I’m going to voluntarily download a COVID tracing app affording supposed “anonymous” Bluetooth access to daily activities with promise of a ping when coming in close contact to someone testing positive for COVID-19 – you have another thing coming!

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Sweet mercy, surely contact tracing apps raise more red flags than my own?

I Think Not!


Home province British Columbia, Canada has a population of 5.1 million. Population of U.S. state Maryland is 6.06 million. As of today the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in B.C. is 2,659. Of that, 183 cases are considered active. 2,309 persons recovered, 167 died. Of the 183 active cases, only 16 are hospitalized, 4 of those in ICU. Compare home stats to those of Maryland – 58.404 confirmed cases, 2,776 deaths, 4,240 recovered. Even when taking 900,000 or so more Maryland residents into consideration, the difference is staggering.

Closer to home, ponder Washington State, population 7.1 million – 1,300 new cases over the weekend, compared to 29 in B.C. To date Washington state accounts for 24,401 confirmed infections, 1,161 deaths. And there’s impatience to open the border, why?

Total number of COVID-19 deaths in Canada is 7,835. New York state alone accounts for 30,374 of America’s 112,579 COVID-19 deaths. As more than 20 U.S. states report increased cases in the past 14 days, Canada maintains a sharp decrease. Still think the Canada/U.S. border should open? I think not!

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Staff Infection


As quarantine restrictions ease across North America, restaurant owners leapt on reopening despite regional restrictions on capacity and seating distance. On May 19th British Columbia allowed restaurants to open at 50% capacity. Enthusiastic public response filled patios to the brim, patrons wait in long lines hoping for a seat at normality’s table. Overnight, a palpable transformation played out across the city. Akin to getting out of jail, an inch of freedom gave way to miles of opportunity. I can so I will took root.

Yesterday, youngest son returned to work at a trendy Yaletown eatery.  Normal need not apply, patrons are splurging on bottle service, tipping with wild abandon and filling available seats until closing bell. His observations aren’t unique, permission to sit at restaurant tables amounts to viral imperative for familiar social surroundings.

Rejoice, sit with friends, drink draft beer, take comfort in health regulations requiring service staff to wear face masks. So great, right? Not so fast. What about the rights of service staff? Patrons don’t have to wear face masks, they’re not touching plates, glasses or cutlery of others. They don’t languish in a steamy dish pit, sweltering behind mandatory face masks as scalding steam covers them in particulate moisture. No big deal, what’s a handful of service staff compared to optics of economic revitalization?

Actually it’s a very big deal and frankly I’m appalled.

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Next Please


It’s hard to remember when I stopped laughing at Trump antics. Once initial shock of president elect Trump wore off, exchanging guffaws with like minded people lent hope to a seemingly desperate situation. Now, on day 1,207 of America according to Trump, anyone still clucking disbelief needs to wake up. For whatever reason, this clip from today’s White House briefing punctuates Trump absurdity –

 

Zoonotic Ponder


Zoonotic ( zoonoses ) refers to infectious disease transmitted from animals to humans. Hard fact – over 60% of infectious disease contracted by humans are zoonotic, 75 % of new emerging diseases have zoonotic origins. From mosquito, rodent, bat, flea, beaver,  to water contaminated courtesy cow dung, nature doesn’t blink at inflicting humanity with respiratory or gastrointestinal disease. Zoonotic encompasses viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic human infection.

https://www.healthline.com/health/zoonosis#list-of-diseases

Chances are COVID-19 is zoonotic, so why all the conspiracy jibber-jabber? The SARS outbreak of 2002-2004 is widely accepted as zoonotic transmission from cave dwelling horseshoe bats in Yunnan Province, China to humans via intermediary civet cat hosts. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak (and if you believe China is actually cracking down on farmed wildlife destined for sale as meat ) exotic wildlife for human consumption never raised a brow in China. Have conspiracy theorists forgotten viral videos of Chinese foodies chomping the head off bats in high end restaurants, or annihilating live baby mice in a bowl of broth? By what stretch of imagination did conspiracy ignore zoonotic covid-19 infection in favour of some nefarious bio-weapon laboratory goof?

I’m tired of conspiracy theorists pointing hysterical fingers at everything from Bill Gates to secretive new world orders, biological warfare or targeted population purge. I get it, people are upset, they’re in denial, searching for something to blame. Anything is possible, but until evidence proves otherwise – COVID-19 is zoonotic.  Everyone needs to chill.

 

 

Hometown Cowboy Surf Vibe


Not the first time I’ve championed homegrown cowboy surf rock, but certainly the first time It’s Gettin’ Tough by the Modelos plays as a pandemic earworm. Last time I shared this song, Trump’s America blistered. Since then, Trump jibber-jabber has intensified. Undaunted by more of the same, it struck me as appropriate to reinsert a homegrown Vancouver cowboy surf vibe to lighten the mood.

https://www.the-modelos.com/about-us

Pandemic App


Yesterday Google and Apple announced partnership details pertaining to development of a COVID-19 tracking app. When launched, the opt-in platform would use Bluetooth to keep tabs on your whereabouts and interaction with personal contacts. Ostensibly to send email alerts if anyone you’ve had close contact with tests positive for COVID-19. The fine print explains –

“It works a bit like exchanging contact information with everyone you meet, except everything is designed to be anonymous and automatic. Instead of contact info, your smartphone will periodically exchange anonymized tracing keys with nearby devices. Both devices maintain a list of the keys they’ve collected on a cloud server, and when one person reports an infection, they have the option of sending an alert to people they’ve recently been in contact with. That alert will share information for what those people should do next.” From https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/4/10/21216675/apple-google-covid-coronavirus-contact-tracing-app

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In a perfect pandemic world, unprecedented solidarity between competing tech giants might be considered admirable. Trouble being, ours is anything but a perfect world and  red flags flap in the wind. Second phase of the Google/Apple partnership involves contact tracking functionality built in to Android and Apple phone operating systems. Excuse me? I urge you to read the link above.

Kraft To The Rescue


Business is far from usual at the Kraft Heinz Co. plant in Montreal. In response to COVID-19 panic buying, Kraft Dinner production lines are running 24/7 producing 400 KD boxes a minute.  Plant manager Danielle Nguyen didn’t need images of empty grocery shelves to amp up production, sales figures double the monthly average ignited a KD production frenzy. Her cheesy macaroni to consumer imperative is outlined in contingency plans dubbed A, B, C and D.

Plan A – keep two KD production lines running 24/7 in three shifts. Plan B – train replacement teams. Ready staff working on less essential product lines like Philadelphia Cream Cheese to step in if regular KD production staff fall ill. Plan C – train mechanics to hit the line if those staff tap out, managers and supervisors if mechanics can’t make it to work. Plan D – worst case scenario, Nguyen will run the line.

Kraft Dinner isn’t the only product with essential service contingency plans A – D.  KD welcomes indispensable product inductees canned beans, Cheese Whiz, peanut butter and barbeque sauce. BBQ sauce? Cheese Whiz? Kraft to the rescue.

Why consumers don’t need to worry about a lack of food at grocery stores for now