Time to change the script on vaccines

I wrote an opinion piece in today’s Spec. You can read it here.

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What an underwhelming election…

Well, we’re in the thick of it now. Election 2021 is under way across the country. The fear of COVID-19 has seemingly fallen by the wayside and everyone has embraced this as our temporary reality for the next few weeks. It’s clear that Trudeau probably won’t be punished for calling an early election by the electorate over that alone.

What isn’t clear is why exactly we’re in an election to begin with. Nate Erskine-Smith, Liberal candidate in Beaches East-York provided this explanation on Twitter:

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Am I still Catholic?

I’ve been asking this of myself lately. This year in Ontario has been quite the year of introspection for Catholics. Earlier in the year the Halton Catholic School Board sparked a controversy by refusing the fly the Pride flag at it’s schools this year. Many other Catholic boards did fly the flag, however there were still hold outs. Sparking a debate on inclusivity and equity within our public school systems.

Then of course the news of 215, then 751, and now approaching over 1,000 unmarked graves of children at Catholic run residential schools. The news is shocking and appalling and has shaken the bedrock foundations on which this country was made. Accountability is demanded from all involved, and this is where the Catholic Church is showing it’s true colours. Today in the CBC, news of how the Church could find $28 million to build a new church in Saskatoon yet couldn’t find $25 million for their obligations to residential school survivors.

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Take the damn shot!

In light of NACi’s complete mess of a communications plan yesterday I thought I’d chime in with my rudimentary experience. Last week I got my Astra Zeneca shot at a local pharmacy. Finding the shot was a mess in and of itself. A story for another time. However, as my typing out this piece can attest. I am well and fine.

So of course this was a surprise yesterday:

The only side effects I received from the Astra Zeneca vaccine was a bad case of the chills, night sweats and a mild fever. For about 24 hours I felt like I was in a pretty bad flu spell. Luckily the time passed and now I feel fine. I didn’t panic because I had educated myself on what doctors and scientists were saying. Expect some mild symptoms of COVID-19, and the risks of blot clots etc were minuscule. Doing the rudimentary math in my head I went and found a place o jab me int he arm. I don’t regret it for a second.

We have a way out of this pandemic. We have multiple vaccines available to us. Which means we don’t need to worry about one plant producing vaccines for all of us. Multiple sources means we should be able to get doses to everyone.

This isn’t the time to play vaccine favouritism. In the end they all protect us from COVID-19 and that’s what matters. If you get an opportunity to get a shot in your arm. Take it. Do your part, for all our sakes.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Turning the big milestone in a pandemic. Second birthday in lockdown too! I just re-read what I wrote for my last birthday in lockdown.

Wow how young and idealistic I was. So naive and optimistic. Here’s the thing I still am. Don’t get me wrong I am frustrated with where we are. I was hoping that at 40 I wouldn’t be looking at the exact same situation as I did when I turned 39. I am even more frustrated with the anti-masker, conspiracy theorists and anti vaxxers that still parade around. Causing more harm than good.

However, that doesn’t detract from my optimism for us all. As many readers know, I co-host a news and issues podcast called The 905er. Our most compelling episodes in my opinion are with our younger guests. Teens and young adults working to make our world a better and more fairer place. I must admit that I am in awe of their passion and commitment to justice. It reminds me that there are somethings worth fighting for.

Vaccines are being rolled out. Clumsily and chaotically sometimes, but they are getting in people arms. And the majority of people want them. We are going to get through this. I am hopeful that we will become something better on the other side. Perseverance is key, and it will be rewarded.

And then this time next year, when we are all vaccinated and able to socialise like normal again, you can all be invited to celebrate my 39th birthday…again.

The signs are there, the Ontario government is grasping at straws

I have said many many times on here, that the province’s communications on COVID-19 is just as vital as the vaccine. We need to know what to do and how to do it to keep ourselves save. Its a lesson our provincial government is still struggling to learn.

A few months ago, we were coming out of the second wave. Lockdown restrictions were being lifted and the hope was we’d be getting vaccinations soon to help prevent another situation from arising like we’d just experienced. I had hoped that lessons had been learned, that plans would’ve been adjusted to encourage behaviour that would prevent the need for a third lockdown.

It appears that is not to be the case.

In today’s episode of The 905er, we go off on the status quo in Ontario. Listen to it here:

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Why you shouldn’t leave social media to just anyone…

This was tweeted out by Burger King in the UK on International Women’s Day…

Think before you tweet.

And yes I understand it was part of a thread to promote a new initiative to help women pursue their culinary endeavours. However that announcement could’ve been done better.

After 20 years, its time to say goodbye

There are some who are going to read this and be honestly shocked by what I’m about to write. This week I cancelled my memberships and monthly donations to the federal and provincial Libéral parties.

I should explain myself. This isn’t due to some falling out. Or a protest of government policy. I did use to work for the party in a previous lifetime. However that has come and gone. I have found a new passion and something that I enjoy doing very much. The 905er.

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In this second wave what’s essential?

A list of FAQ’s from the Premier’s office on the Stay at Home Order

So here we are in the midst of another stay at home order from the provincial government. Apparently our numbers warrant this drastic action. So be it.

There are differences from the previous lockdown we had roughly this time last year. The first time we went into lockdown, the government issued a definitive list of what and what was not essential services. What businesses could justify staying open.

If you look above, this time it’s more of a wish washy, if you feel you’re essential then you’re essential attitude. Why this murky grey zone? The provincial conservative government, is returning to a tried and true tropism of conservatism. The rural parts of the province are so different and unique from those effete liberal elites in Toronto.

Only, I can’t for the life of me see what is so uniquely essential for Timmins that isn’t essential for Toronto. Or vice versa. In fact would that be a great litmus test to determine what is truly essential or not? What can you not live without in Toronto and Timmins? Grocery stores, hardware and building supply stores, pharmacies, gas stations etc would clearly make the list. Restaurants would be included in that list as well. Outside of that, what else would be considered essential to live?

Of course, since we are in lockdown all services would be restricted to curbside pick up, or take out. But we’ve all been doing that for so long it’s not anything shocking by now. By not putting definitions in their orders, we’re just leaving everything open to interpretation. And isn’t that how we got into this predicament in the first place?

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