Covid Journal, December 22, 2020
December 21, Winter Solstice
The darkest day of the longest year has finally passed.
December 21 is the traditional ‘Winter Solstice’ night, where in the northern hemisphere, the number of dark minutes are greater than the number of light minutes. In simple terms, we embrace this moment when every day, we get just a little more sunlight until Summer Solstice … and then the cycle repeats.
Symbolically speaking, it’s darkest before the dawn. It’s the cracks where the light gets in. Midnight is where the day begins.
2020: Too Little, Too Late
What a mess 2020 has been. D’uh.
Unfortunately, the Ford government in Ontario decided that keeping some big boxes open while creating nightmare situations and inconsistent rule changes for so many small businesses and non-profits has resulted in the ultimate F-U to Ontario inhabitants: no Christmas.
Could severe, early measures have resulted in a more rapid recovery from Covid?
I have to admit, it seems like it’s virtually impossible to know for sure.
BUT … why is our government continuing with half measures that don’t make sense from a health standpoint, but more importantly, defy all logic when it comes to economic prosperity for local suppliers?
Let’s face it: we should be using Covid as a ‘cover’ to implement some new, radical ideas about how to manage our economy and society.
No, no, no, no. NOT draconian reshaping that comes from dictatorships, thank you.
I’m talking about taking one step back so we can jump forward two or maybe many more steps forward.
- 80% of ALL Covid deaths in Canada have been with those people who are 70 years of age or older. Long-term care (LTC) facilities that suffer from massive neglect, greed and budget issues and other services for elderly people need to be MASSIVELY stepped up so that the rest of the country doesn’t have to be punished for negligence on the part of our health-care and retirement system.
- Students at universities partying should be expelled and universities should be forced to present a 100% online plan by the end of March. People who are younger and who think they are impervious to Covid are just acting like torches to dry hay: they are quickly becoming the fastest spreaders of Covid.
- ‘Contact spread’ resulting from visits to businesses that aren’t deemed essential. Examples: Best Buy or car dealers.
How do we address these problems and how should we have done this almost a FULL YEAR AGO?
- Force companies with more than 20 employees to pay up to two additional hours every two weeks so that they can get tested for Covid. They cannot continue to work if they don’t have a valid negative confirmation.
- Bring the military back to LTC facilities. Make shareholders log hours for cleaning and repairing damaged homes.
- Force companies with more than 20 employees to pay up to two additional hours every two weeks so that they can get tested for Covid. Employees cannot continue to work if they don’t have a valid negative confirmation. Documentation showing compliance will have to be submitted to health authorities every month showing no cases. If it’s not made available, the business is closed until further notice. Companies / small businesses / non-profits with fewer than 20 employees may be subject to ‘surprise’ inspections, but can avoid them if they submit their own documentation voluntarily.
- Spend good money on reliable PPE for each and every single essential worker in Canada, especially those in health care. If you’re serious about wearing masks (and we all should be!), distribute quality products to anyone that wants one. The fact that shitty, low-quality disposable masks have become a new cottage industry proves that we’re not very serious about prevention.
- It should go without saying, but unfortunately unions are standing behind health-care workers that refuse vaccination. If you’re in the health-care business, I’m sorry, but you don’t have a right to refuse either vaccinations or masks or other preventative measures. If you’re not happy with that, accept a 50% leave of absense until we have broader immunity and the pandemic is ‘cancelled’.
- Build up and KEEP a public-owned pharmaceutical company that will have branches across Canada, research problematic viruses and other diseases and post patent-free products on the internet for any country in the world to copy. I am sick of a small handful of companies controlling the fate of the planet.
- Close the LCBO and Beer Store. Encourage consumers to purchase only from local suppliers and if they run out, put an end to the absurdly stupid and frustrating barriers to entry with interprovincial trade. Of course, the Ford government will continue to allow the LCBO to stay open after Christmas because it’s an ‘essential service’. NO. IT’S. NOT.
- Give any company / business / non-profit rebates or grants if they can demonstrate that they have invested in suitable online ordering / delivery / curb-side pickup procedures, including cleaning.
- Use protectionist measures as simple as better labeling and restrictions on imports to save jobs on a local basis and use tarrifs / taxes to fund the installation of our own food-growing (eg. greenhouses) and distribution networks.
- Impose a ‘super-tax’ on businesses such as Amazon, Google, Netflix, Loblaws, WalMart, CostCo and others that continue to rake it in during the pandemic, despite not giving back to our communities.
We need to create a country of givers, not takers.
We need to use Covid as an excuse to move forward, not keep stepping back.
Trial Balloons for Nukes. Please God, No
Proponents see SMRs as potentially part of the regular electricity grid as well as for use in remote locations, including industrial sites and isolated northern communities. The mini plants could also play a role in the production of hydrogen and local heating.
The federal government estimates the global market for SMRs will be worth between $150 billion and $300 billion a year by 2040 but critics question the validity of the estimate. They also wonder who exactly might want one.
O’Regan insisted Canada, as a leader in nuclear technology, can’t afford to ignore the potential benefits of the new reactors.
“SMRs offer the next great opportunity for Canada,” O’Regan said.
I would love to see the agenda / calendar of O’Regan to validate which industry ‘experts’ he’s been hanging out with.
Look … it’ll be a thousand years before we pay off the ridiculous debts accumulated for the first wave of nukes built in the 50s through the 80s and about a million years before the waste finally expires.
So, can we please stop talking nonsense about more nukes?
It doesn’t matter if you package them up in teeny, tiny cutesy little packages.
They’re still nukes.
They’ll still be absurdly expensive to the public.
They’ll still take forever for the half-life of nuclear waste to fritter away.
Please don’t do it.