Saturday, March 20, 2021

Quarantine Report, Week 53: The Learning Curves are Shallow

 Yes, I am going to keep this q-report going even though it has been more than a year.  Until stuff returns to something approaching normalcy, I will keep reporting my weekly descent into madness.  When I used that phrase last year as this weekly post started, I referred to insanity.  Instead, it has been about anger.  

Ontario returned to the "red" zone yesterday.  This was a couple of weeks after the wastewater tests were showing an acceleration of infections.  Nope, we had to wait until the cases started to hit the hospitals.  And what was Red mean anyway?  Only 50% capacity at restaurants.  Yeah, people are still eating in restaurants?!   They moved from 10 people can meet indoors to 5?  Why meet with anyone not in your pod?  Ontarians have been referring to our government as incompetent murderclowns, and I think that gets it right.  Doug Ford and his band of yes-folks keep opening too soon, closing too late, and keeping open places that are dangerous and occasionally closing places that are safe (public parks and the like).  It is almost as if they are not paying any attention to the science or to any of things we have observed over the past year.  We have gone from regretting that we haven't learned from the Spanish flu to we haven't learned from last month.  

Luckily, most of the folks I know are doing ok.  Mrs. Spew and I continue to listen not to our politicians but to the scientists.  We don't travel, we don't eat out except via takeout, and we don't hangout with others.  It is not the most interesting life, but the variants are scary and we can be patient.  The shot schedule up here suggests that we might get our first shot by the end of June.  This is slow compared to my American friends and relatives as my facebook pages are filled with happy folks getting vaccinated.  But it is faster than I would have expected.  My mother noted that it took decades to get a polio vaccine, and we have a boodle of vaccines within a year.  

Speaking of slow learning curves, the Canadian government continues to slow walk through the sexual misconduct and abuse of power scandal.  I did some media stuff this week after my op-ed appeared Monday night online and Tuesday in the real paper (that does not happen as often or as easily).   I had been reluctant to talk about gender and the armed forces because I know of so many people who are so sharp on that.  But when the story becomes civil-military relations, like what is the job of the Minister of Defence, well, I felt more comfy talking about it.  That the Minister of Defence still has his job speaks to two things: the amazing ability for Trudeau to dither; and how the Liberals focus on domestic politics uber alles can actually mess them up politically.  Sometimes, doing the right thing is good politics.  Just a thought. 

And I can get through this as long as folks give me chances to talk and talk and talk.  Which was the theme of the week.  I met with our first year PhD students as part of a course they have to prepare for the comprehensive exams.  So, I talked about the civ-mil field and the questions they might be asked.  At the end of the week, I was part of a virtual roundtable at Simon Fraser University--on the very western tip of Canada--to discuss Backsliding Democracies with a focus on the US.  My role was "not a coup" and then I got to also rant a bit about the GOP and false equivalence machines.   I will post later today what the other folks said and what I said.  Good q&a, and it was fun to hangout virtually with folks including a former colleague from my McG days.  

Mrs. Spew and I went on an errand together.  We had to sign some bank documents, and it was the first time we were in a car together in many months.  These days, I go out for the groceries, and she goes out less often for some errands, but we haven't been driving to random small towns and we have definitely not been going to movies.  It was fun, well for me, to see my wife unused to my driving, which is a bit more aggressive than hers.  She got back into old patterns on the way back, but it is interesting to see which muscles we have been using and which ones we have not.  

Spring is here, and it actually feels like it.  Usually, we are still deeply buried in snow and cold weather and our spring does not really start until late April/early May.  Climate change may have pushed things up this year.  Which means I may start biking soon.  I am putting away the x-country skis, the snowshoes, and my downhill skis, as the time for that stuff has passed.  I usually want winters to end here, but I was hoping for more of those adventures.  The long mud season that awaits is not so much fun.  The best news is that the ultimate folks are starting to talk about summer league, and I am aching to throw some reckless passes deep and to hang out, perhaps at a distance, with the silly folks in the great Ottawa ultimate leagues.  

To get through the next stages of anger at the governments local and federal, I will focus on the prospect of ultimate in the near future.  Whatever you are looking forward to, embrace it, as we are closer to the end of this thing now.

No comments: