In Over My Head

“This is why we should be in Florida!”

A bit of context.

Snow.

Lots and lots of snow. It looks nice though, doesn’t it? Our winter house, covered in snow.

In fact, it hasn’t stopped snowing heavily here since Christmas day. So much snow that we are getting our driveway cleared daily. So much snow that I have to keep clearing out the walkways. So much snow that it really doesn’t matter that our province is in lockdown. We aren’t going anywhere in this weather. Take a look at the road leading out from our house. Yes, it is in there somewhere, buried underneath all that snow.

Needless to say, it has been a few years since I’ve had to attend to snow clearing duties around a house. We should be in Florida right now, enjoying our friends and our family and enjoying our motorcoach in the sun and mild weather. Instead, we are getting reacquainted with Canadian winters and the hazards that go along with snow and ice.

Did you know that falling is the second-leading cause of accidental death worldwide? Did you know that falling is a major cause of personal injury, especially for older people?

A falling person will reach terminal velocity after 12 seconds or so. Closer to the ground, there isn’t enough time to reach terminal velocity.

There is still enough time to sustain injury.

I slipped.

I fell.

I’m injured.

Thankfully it seems to be a mild concussion. At least according to Dr. Google. Going to a hospital in this pandemic is really best reserved for those with near death symptoms. Our socialized health care system is not handling the COVID-19 load very well, hence the lockdown.

There was no bleeding and no swelling after the fall. And I am doing better today than when I first hit the ground with my head a few days back. I did pass out for a few minutes after impact. Lorraine and Matthew came out and helped me back into the house.

As Lorraine brought me in, she made this astute observation: this is why we should be in Florida.

Lorraine is always right.

Merry Christmas

Go Tell. A great song from our livestream Christmas event. We were able to hold seven in-person events as the lockdown in Ontario does not come into effect until tomorrow. We followed all of the local health requirements to ensure a safe environment for our attendees.

I was there for six of the seven events to oversee the technical environment even though we had automated all of the production elements. In a way, we were really running more like a movie theatre than a live concert event. With all of the automation control, it was literally press the “Go” button to sequence all of the show elements for lighting, sound and visuals.

I wanted to be there in case our highly complex technical environment had a problem. And I also enjoyed seeing how the crowd responded to the production.

I miss performing live although I think we came pretty close to getting the energy of a live performance out there with this version of Go Tell It. Aside from the horns, I  recorded and mixed all of the tracks and played all of the guitar parts. A much bigger job than when I only have to worry about playing guitar for a live concert event.

You will see me playing in the video although Obi and Anna, the two vocalists, are really the stars to watch.

Merry Christmas everyone. Here is hoping for a much happier New Year!

Silent Night

A Christmas unlike any other for many. Here is a video from a livestream event that I recently completed. If you hang in there, you might recognize the jazz guitarist in the video.

Silent Night. All is calm. All is bright.

Random Bits And Pieces

Let’s take a stroll through some of the highlights of my daily scanning and see if any of the random bits and pieces hang together in some sort of general theme. Sound exciting? Can’t wait to begin?

Starting with a bang, my good friend Garth takes aim at mandatory masks and COVID-19.

The crime was simple, saying people wear masks because they have fear. Fear of Covid. Fear of getting it, spreading it, facilitating it, enabling it. This may be glossed with language like, ‘it’s respect for others’, but anxiety lurks within.

Yes, we’re scared. A new KPMG poll shows just how much. Over 50% of Canadians say they’re too terrified to go back to work and 77% fear their co-workers will infect them if they do return. Six in ten will refuse to venture to the workplace if they deem it unsafe and almost 80% of Ontarians say they don’t want to use public transit to commute. This is a huge problem for employers. It’s a reason all the major banks, for example, have given up – head office workers are off until sometime in 2021. The soaring towers stand mostly empty. The condos around them are eroding in value.

Fear is moving politics. The Canada-US border will stay closed for a long time, despite the economic implications, since 82% of people here are afraid of Americans. Even within Canada there is public support to keep some provincial borders shut. And big debates are taking place about the kids going back to school.

Whether this level of public anxiety is justified by the severity of the virus and its impact on the health care system won’t be known until it’s gone and a rational analysis takes place. But the economic consequences are clear. Millions unemployed. Historic government deficits. Mortgage deferrals. Business failures. Also evident is the terror this has caused in society. It will be a long time before normal comes back, since we no longer trust each other. Masks seem a potent symbol of that mistrust.

The Canada-U.S. border will stay closed for a long time. That is now clear. And most unfortunate. But is the border really closed?

Confused over Canada-U.S. border restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Perhaps you’re wondering why you see U.S. licence plates in a local parking lot when the Canada-U.S. land border is closed to tourists.

Or you’re stumped why your neighbour was able to fly to New York last week, but you can’t make the five-minute drive across the Windsor-Detroit border to visit family.

Here is an overview of the border crossing rules that only a government bureaucracy could create.

The pandemic is causing some full-time RVers to call it a day.

RV and van living has become increasingly popular the past few years. But, things are getting harder for those who live on the road due to COVID-19.

After 8 years of RV living Glen and Linda Schildhauer decided to stop the adventure and stay in Boise.

Glen enjoyed his time on the road, having been to almost every state in the United States.

He says COVID-19 is a big reason why he and many full time RV’ers are deciding not pursue this lifestyle anymore.

Certainly true in our circle. We know of several people that have decided to sell the RV and go back to sticks and bricks. I almost joined them. I can’t tell you how frustrated and upset we are with the current situation. And we are powerless to do anything about it.

Still seeing a ton of headlines about record-breaking sales for RVs. Allison makes trannies for the RV industry. Here is a comment from their latest financial quarterly update:

The pandemic continues to impact the United States and other major markets in which we operate across the world, resulting in severe disruptions to global markets and supply chains, significant uncertainty and a weaker global outlook. We anticipate continued disruptions to our business for the foreseeable future, and we continue to take a variety of measures to promote the safety and security of our employees and to maintain operations with as minimal impact as possible to our stakeholders. These measures include increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of facilities, social distancing, remote working when possible, travel restrictions and limitations on visitor access to facilities. Given the uncertain duration of the pandemic, as well as continuously evolving customer demand and supply chain readiness, we cannot conclusively provide a full year 2020 revenue, earnings or cash flow outlook at this time.

Okay. So not exactly the most positive outlook for a key supplier to the RV industry.

And, finally, a critically important article on how to prevent being infected by COVID-19. I think I may need to fact check this one 😉

At a press conference Wednesday, Dr. Fauci suggested that Americans cover their entire bodies in bubble wrap to protect against coronavirus.

“Studies have shown that this is very effective at stopping the virus, germs, and the oxygen that carries these things,” Fauci said. “You will no longer have to worry about death by coronavirus, though I’m just a medical doctor and can’t speak to any other risk factors this may introduce.”

Of course, Dr. Fauci says that he and other Washington elites are exempt from the recommendation.

“I mean, other people should do that, not me,” he said, chuckling. “I can go to a baseball game and stuff without worrying about protecting against that kind of stuff, because I’m a doctor. The virus and I are on good terms.”

Some doctors quickly held a press conference to point out the dangers of wearing the new full-body bubble wrap cocoons, but their video was banned from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for containing dangerous medical misinformation.

At publishing time, Fauci had also pointed out that the bubbles are really fun to pop and admitted that may have informed his recommendation.