Normal may not be coming back for a while

I woke up this morning and saw this thread on Twitter:

Essentially, the argument goes is that what life was like pre-COVID-19 is never coming back. Governments around the world are banking on a vaccine roll out to be completed by the end of this year at the most extreme timeline. Based on current trends I find that to be dubious at best. However, it is still highly inconsistent on a global level.

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Let’s Try This Again, Shall We?

The big news of the week is of course, the province is going to emerge from lockdown this month. At first glance, these protocols the province is describing seems to be fairly reasonable. The Premier wanted to project a sense of hope, by saying there is light coming through the clouds.

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If this isn’t a sign of a shift in the economy, I don’t know what is

The first day of President Joe Biden’s term saw the cancellation of the Keystone pipeline. Immediately here in Canada, Conservative politicians were aghast and eager to point blame. I wrote about this here. Then things got worse for them.

Last week, GM announced a landmark decision that they would shift their entire fleet to electric by 2035. In Europe, Volvo has pledged to produce only electric cars. As well Volkswagen, in an effort to put Dieselgate behind them has put forward their ID line of vehicles to rebrand themselves as environmentally friendly once again. In fact just about every major automobile manufacturer in the world is producing an electric model and putting brand power behind it. All except for Chrysler, but we’ll discuss that another time.

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The race for social media is on…

So as it turns out the repercussions of Jan 6th are more widespread than first anticipated. The violent attempted insurrection on the U.S. Capitol has made many question, how did this happen. While the people who were responsible are being identified, there is blame also being pointed towards institutions in society. Namely, the tech and social media giants out there.

And they are aware of the situation as well. Notably, the race by Google and Apple to pull down the right wing platform Parler. Followed by the move by Amazon to pull it’s hosting of the platform. More interesting is the fact that a judge has agreed with Amazon. This isn’t a fight over free speech, but rather a disagreement between private entities. It is telling to find that in recent months, all the social media platforms have discovered they’ve had the ability all along to police activity on their platforms.

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Biden is elected, and some uncomfortable truths need to be discussed in Canada

Yesterday was a great day for many Americans and fans of democracy around the world. I am of course describing the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States. After four years of Trump, a return the sanity and reasonable discourse from the Oval Office is very much welcomed. There is one person though who is definitely not happy about this. Jason Kenney.

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No matter what, Hallmark is NOT essential…

I wrote previously about how the essentials of this pandemic are highly subjective. Check it out here.

To underscore the point, see this:

While I can appreciate the importance the arts industry is to the economic well being of the province, I question the necessity for yet another Hallmark christmas movie being filmed in Hamilton.

I can’t say I’m surprised. Clarity on essential work isn’t there. And in that void, people will continue on their business as usual. It’s hard to take the Premier seriously when he says for us all to stay at home, and yet a Hallmark movie needs to be filmed for the 2021 christmas season.

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?

The Internet needs to be more than a privilege

Yesterday, if you had a kid in school in the Halton, Niagara and southern Ontario region you were faced with wide spread disruptions to your online experience.

There has been a number of times personally during this pandemic that it’s become painful that internet access in this country is very much an embarassment. Living in the 905 region of Ontario, it is thought that we would have fast and effective broadband internet. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that that is painfully not true.

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It’s a Wonderful Life, is still relevant today…and that’s a problem.

Last night, I finally sat to down to watch my favourite Christmas movie. The timeless classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s themes of our common humanity and the impact one person can have on his or her friends and family, still resonate today. Maybe this year it’s more important than other years to hear that message.

However, there was one scene that stuck out to me though:

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A lockdown for Christmas…

No one wanted this. I think we can all agree on that point. Friday, I posted a piece on how the Halton mayors were chiming in on their lockdown opinions. Despite a track record of being proven wrong on their COVID-19 prognostications, they couldn’t help themselves and declared Halton unique.

The word is today, that apparently the provincial government disagrees. Or at the very least has moved on from caring what the mayors are thinking. Unlike before, this statement from Halton had zero effect on provincial planning. Apparently at 1pm today (Monday), Doug Ford will announce a lockdown for all of southern Ontario, beginning Christmas Eve at 12:01am.

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