An Upcoming Hiatus
This post comes in three parts:
- A serious message about COVID.
- Some less serious but (I hope) mildly interesting things about life here in our North Vancouver abode.
- An explanation of the title.
With that out of the way, let’s get started…
The Serious Part: COVID Is Not Gone
As I watch the people around me, it is clear that most everyone is acting as if COVID is a thing of the past. Mask wearing borders on nonexistent, people go into crowded spaces without thought or worry, and so on.
It’s way too soon for that. We’re not out of the COVID woods. A friend of mine blogs weekly about the latest COVID news here in BC, and she’s been sounding the alarm about this for a long while now. She and I share the general opinion that everyone — particularly public health officials — has backed away far too soon from critical strategies for reducing the damage this pandemic is causing.
Along those lines, The Tyee (a BC based online news magazine that I am growing to love) recently published an article making the same point:
Get Ready for the Forever Plague | The Tyee
Editor's note: This article has drawn global attention and stirred debate. The author has written a followup, providing…
That article went a bit viral and stirred up both controversy and criticism, mostly from those in the rose-coloured glasses, “But things are getting better!” camp. A few days ago they published a devastating follow up:
'Forever Plague': Nikiforuk Responds to Critics | The Tyee
As a journalist my job is not to sugar-coat reality, cheerlead for the status quo or defend the powerful. My…
Both are good reads, but if you don’t want to read the first article at least read the second. Our public health officials are definitely letting us down, and we all need to be as careful as possible. Get your boosters, wear a mask, avoid crowds whenever possible, and keep an eye on the markers of infection in your area: COVID induced hospitalizations, deaths, and virus levels at wastewater treatment plants. At least some of those indicators should be available most everywhere. With most testing happening in homes and the results going unreported, those are the only practical indicators we have of how bad things actually are. On masks, you need an N95 or equivalent, not just an old cloth one. Omicron may be the most contagious virus ever, and good protection is required when you are around others.
Sorry to be a killjoy, but this is not going to be a nice relaxing summer with no COVID threat. The Omicron variant BA.5 is on the march right now, creating new infection waves, killing people, and causing long COVID and many other issues in the process. And BA.2.75 is starting to circulate in India. It — or another variant — will probably be where you are soon. Please protect yourselves as best you can.
On A Lighter Note
Anne has been doing a whole lot of yard work ever since we moved in. In fact, the neighbours keep telling us just how much they love seeing those improvements. Make no mistake, the yard is Anne’s domain. I am happy to help if she tells me she needs something done, but until then it’s her baby. I mostly get to admire her work just like the neighbours.
For some time she’s been removing rock from an area beside the driveway where it meets the street. She’s done this gradually, and is planting in the area as she clears it out. The rocks get moved to a path in the main part of the front yard which is also quite impressive, but more on that in some future post. Here is the area she’s been removing the rock from:
It’s not obvious just how much rock she’s moved. It’s probably something like 2 x 2.5 metres, or 6' x 8', give or take. And the rock is deep and pushed into the dirt. Removing it takes significant time and effort. Even more interesting is the manhole cover you see there. It was well buried under rock and multiple layers of landscape fabric. Here’s a closeup:
That’s right. Someone before us buried the storm sewer access in enough stuff to make the district employees wonder what is going on if they need to get in there. Why would anyone do that?
I am pondering building something that sits atop the manhole cover and displays our address. It must be easy to move though, in the event that the District of North Vancouver needs access to the storm sewer to remove a clog or something like that. I’ll work something out eventually.
In other news, I got up on the roof to see how my various downspout filter contraptions have been working. We’ve had some moderate periods of rain, so I thought I might have a good indication of their performance, and I was right:
That is wonderful! The gunk on the roof was held well back from the downspout opening, and it’s easy to clean without debris falling into the hole. There’s room for a lot more junk to build up and water will still flow well.
The other two filter cages behaved similarly, so I am happy. These should greatly reduce the chances of water getting into the house again as a result of roof drainage backups.
For the easily amused, here is an indication of just how much Tinkerbelle is shedding:
You have to be a dog lover not to care about that kind of craziness!
In still more news: ants. In a skylight. Don’t ask.
On the window installation, we now have an actual date for the crew to show up: August 8th. This is the first time we’ve managed to get a real date, so that is progress. They might even be able to send a couple of guys here the week before, but I am not holding my breath on that front. I worry about the opposite actually — having them postpone the install thanks to some new issue. We’ll see.
Regarding the Title
I am taking two weeks off from writing here (and most of the rest of my life, in fact) to deal with other things. I’ll post again in early August.
In the meantime, take care, keep safe, and mask up. Best!