Tag Archives: covid-19

Protected: Zoot Suite Peaceful Protest

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So Alberta’s going back to the Phase 1 restrictions because people suck and can’t follow the rules and now variant cases are making up like 60% of our new daily cases (which have risen back to the ~1,000 per day level).

I just want to see my mom. It’s been FIFTEEN MONTHS.

I hate everyone.

A Year

So it’s been a year now since U of C said “don’t come to campus!” and I’ve been working from home.

I freaking hate it.

I’m so sick of always being in the same place. Of course I get to go out and walk the river path and run the river path and all that stuff. But I always come back to the same place. There is no variety and it’s really getting to me.

I miss my office. I miss having my own space. I don’t have my own space at home. My computer is set up on the dining room table. I miss having that physical separation between “this is where I work” and “this is where I live.” And I really miss teaching in person.

What’s worse is that I still don’t know when we’ll be able to go back. The university is supposed to announce the plans for fall semester sometime in April. I can’t imagine us going all the way back to “live” classes, especially for the larger classes with 200+ students, but who knows.

The thing is, though, that as much as I hate working from home, I’d rather be stuck with that in the fall than return before we can be sure that most people (profs, staff, students) are fully vaccinated. I remember those Science Theater hallways – SO MANY PEOPLE crowded in there while classes change. I would not want to be in a classroom of 200 students, let alone in a crowded hallway with hundreds more.

But Canada’s going with the stupid (in my opinion) vaccine plan of getting everyone vaccinated with their first shot by June and then waiting FOUR FREAKING MONTHS until the lowest risk group (which I’m sure I’m in) is supposed to get their second shot. They’re banking on it being okay to wait that long between doses which (again in my opinion) is super risky.

It also means that the lowest risk group won’t be fully vaccinated before the fall semester starts. And maybe I’m being overly worried, but I really don’t want to be around that many people before I get my second shot (and before most of those people get their second shot as well).

It’s just…ugh. So frustrating.

Good lord, people, can’t you just WAIT?

Yes, there are COVD vaccines out now. Yes, people are getting vaccinated (at least in the US).

But there are a lot of people who aren’t vaccinated just yet and there are a lot of variant cases as well.

So please, please, please just keep waiting.

Keep waiting to get back to “normal.” I know we all want “normal,” especially now that it’s somewhat in reach, but now is not the time to jump the gun and pretend everything is fine just yet.

‘Cause it’s not.

You may be one of the people who has gotten your first vaccine. Hell, you might be one of the people that’s fully vaccinated.

But again, most people aren’t in either of those groups yet. And again, there are a lot of variant cases as well.

If you’re vaccinated, you can still catch COVID. And what’s possibly worse is that YOU CAN STILL SPREAD IT TO OTHERS. The chances are a lot lower, but it’s still possible.

You know those people who aren’t vaccinated yet? You could infect them. You could maybe kill them.

So chill the fuck out.

You do not need to get that pedicure right now. You do not need to hang out at the mall right now. You do not need to throw that party right now. You do not need to travel right now.

Your selfishness is going to make this last even longer than it already has. You’re going to hurt people just because you think you’re protected. You’re going to make people wait even longer than they already have to be able to safely see their families.

Just wait. Be patient.

It sucks, but it’ll suck a lot more for a lot more people if you don’t just wait.



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Heyyyyyyy Alberta is doing a really good job keeping COVID cases down. I guess stricter lockdown rules work. WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED?!?!?!?

They’ll probably re-open things too soon again, though, ‘cause that’s what happened last time.

Edit from April: okay, yeah, we done screwed up. We’re in a serious wave three now.



Are you thinking of traveling to see people this Christmas? Are you thinking of driving or flying or taking a bus somewhere?

If so, I have a tip for you:


You are not immune to catching COVID, and you are especially not immune to spreading it to others, even if you don’t have symptoms.

The rules apply to you, just like they apply to everyone else. Do. Not. Travel.

Stay home.

Does it suck? Hell yeah it does. I haven’t seen my mom since the beginning of January, whereas in a normal year I would have seen her at least once over the summer and would probably be visiting her right now.

But it’s worth it to know that I’m choosing to actively try to prevent the spread of COVID by staying home. It’s worth it to know that I’m not going to inadvertently give my mom COVID and possibly cause harm to her or anyone else due to my inability to suck it up and not travel.

Is your family worth it? Are your friends worth it? Of course they are. But if you’re planning on traveling to visit them, you’re not treating them like they’re worth it.

So please.

G’Bye, Fall 2020!

So this nightmare of a semester is finally over.


Teaching online is…not enjoyable. I miss actually getting to see and interact with my students. I feel so disconnected from them and I feel like I’ve been absolute crap at my job this semester, even though I’m really trying to do the best I can given the garbage circumstances.

It’s so demotivating, and now is not the time to become demotivated. It’s also SUPER FREAKING FRUSTRATING that the first “real” (non-spring/summer) semester of my tenure-track position has been marred by online nonsense, and it’s even more SUPER FREAKING FRUSTRATING that my first actual course coordinating assignment (next semester’s STAT 213) will be during an online semester rather than a “normal” one. I feel like no matter what I do, I won’t get to show my true ability to coordinate effectively, especially since everyone is new to online teaching and there are so many things that can go wrong.

But the main thing? I miss my students. I miss actually teaching them in person and feeling like I’m making a difference in their learning. I’m definitely not getting that vibe this semester and it’s destroying my soul.


So very demotivating.

And just for clarification, I’m not blaming the U of C for any of this. They (at least the Math/Stats Department) did the smart thing by making all the courses online this semester and next, especially with how Alberta’s crashing and burning COVID-wise right now. It just…sucks.

Hey Alberta: Get it together, man

So remember a few months ago when Alberta was still doing quite well pandemic-wise? New daily cases were in the 100-200 range, hospitals weren’t overwhelmed, and people were generally still following the “don’t be a moron” way of life as far as dealing with COVID?

Yeah, no, that’s not happening anymore.

New daily cases jumped into the 300s; nothing was done. New daily cases jumped into the 500s; nothing was done. Now they’re regularly above 1,000, closer to 2,000 (in fact, Alberta holds the daily new case record for Canada). And guess what? Very little is being done.

We are the only province without a province-wide mask mandate.

Only recently have those in charge shifted from “educate people about COVID safety” to “enforce the rules with fines” – something I thinks should have happened from the start of all this.

People are gathering in big groups indoors and out.
There are anti-mask rallies being held in Calgary.
Space in hospitals is running out rapidly.

It’s quite frightening.

Is it a coincidence that the most conservative province is having the biggest issue with COVID right now? No, I don’t think so. Kenney is more concerned about “tHe EcOnOmY hUrTiNg” than saving peoples’ lives. Guess what? It’s not people going into grocery stores/small businesses/etc. that’s causing the main source of spread. It’s morons gathering indoors without masks. Surely that can be better monitored without damaging the economy.

It’s so damn frustrating. Those of us who are being cautious and following the rules are continuously getting screwed over by the idiots. Not to mention, I don’t know, all the people dying or having long-term effects from the virus.

Is this what it feels like in the States?


I miss my mom.

I miss Moscow.

I miss my office.

I miss campus.

I miss teaching in person.

I miss Market Mall.

I miss Anytime Fitness (even though I went there like five times a year, haha)

I miss public transit.

I miss long weekend walks with my husband.

I miss Westbrook Mall and the walk up there.

I miss disliking crowds of people because people annoy me rather than because I’m afraid they’ll infect me.

I miss the comfort of knowing I could travel to and from the US without any huge issues.

I miss pre-COVID normality.

I’m sure everyone else is feeling similar sentiments, but it’s US Thanksgiving today and I’m bitter about the fact that I won’t get to see my mom in a month like I normally do each year so you get to hear my whining.

Sorry not sorry.

The United States is in a Freefall

That is an absolutely terrifying curve. Remember when we thought that “second wave” curve in July was bad? This is so much steeper.

What a time for the dilapidated pumpkin we call “President” (at least for now) to go silent, eh?

It’s like the perfect storm has led the US to where it is now. A huge political divide in the country that crested in the form of that ridiculous election, a pandemic that seems to be deepening that divide, a frightening number of people who don’t believe in science, a frightening number of people who won’t accept the mildest inconvenience in order to possibly save many, many lives, and leadership that’s done nothing to try to ease the strain of the pandemic and that as gone radio silent as the pandemic is crashing through the country.

Like…this is horrifying to watch from outside the US. How are y’all doing down there in the US? Please stay safe. Please wear a mask. Please stay the hell away from other people.

I miss you guys and I hope you’re all okay.


Six-digit daily case counts in the States? Yeah, sure, why the hell not.

That is absolutely terrifying, America. I feel like it’s right on the verge of being past anyone’s control and the only way it’s going to slow down is by just chewing through the whole US population.

But Canada isn’t doing all that much better. Here’s our second peak going strong:

Alberta, specifically, has really dropped the ball. We were in new daily case numbers between 100 and 200 for the longest time, then things jumped up to the 500s a few weeks ago. Yesterday? 800 cases. Today? 1,441 cases. People keep gathering and are apparently not staying home when they’re exhibiting COVID symptoms.

Why is everyone so freaking stupid and selfish, I don’t understand.

Like, I get the whole “pandemic fatigue” thing, but holy hell. If people just calmed their tits for like TWO MONTHS and isolated as much as they could, we could probably cut this thing down significantly.

Why is that such a hard concept?



I want to know if this countdown was manually modified as COVID developed or if it had been left alone and happened to coincide with all of this nonsense. Because if it was left alone…wow. Good predicting.

I don’t know if humanity will be ravaged by COVID, but it’s definitely messing us up.

But I guess we’ll have to wait another month or so to see if we get ravaged.

Sweet dreams are made of…COVID?

So has anyone else’s dreams been reduced to COVID-related stuff only? ‘Cause mine sure has hell have (at least the ones I can remember, of course).

It’s like every night there’s some other depressing or horrifying dream about COVID. Mostly involving something happening to my mom.

I’m convinced my brain is trying out coping mechanisms in my sleep but keeps botching them and making things worse. It’s like that dream about the Beirut explosion. I think that was my brain trying to get me to forget about COVID momentarily but decided to END THE EARTH INSTEAD.

Super fun.
I hate it.

Wave goodbye to any sense of normality this year

So we are definitely in the “second wave” of COVID up here. It’s a bit scary because Canada was doing quite well as a country through July and August, but cases are spiking again nonetheless.

I guess the comforting thing (if you want to call it that) is that the second wave seems to be happening in almost every country that appeared to have the virus under control, so at least we’re not an outlier as far as that pattern goes. I mean, it could be worse, right?

(That, of course, is the US)

Canada did really well squelching the first wave. I hope people take this second wave just as seriously.

Edit: okay, just for funsies, Canada has had a total of about 197,000 cases and about 9,800 deaths. That’s about 0.52% and 0.026% of the Canadian population, respectively. The United States has had a total of about 8.1 million cases and about 219,000 deaths. That’s about 2.5% and of the population and 0.067% of the population, respectively. I’d say that’s a decent difference, especially in the percentage of cases.

Unpopular Opinion:



Just because the United States is in Hell Mode right now does not negate the good things that have come out of the country. Also, a big reason for the US being in Hell Mode right now is how polarized the country has become. Posting stuff like this to Facebook/Twitter/whatever will either a) ignite people who agree with you and make them even more “everything about the current US is awful” or b) incite people who disagree with you and make them even more “everything about the current US is amazing” and both of those outcomes will make it harder for anyone to actually make any meaningful changes because the more polarized people are, the harder it is for them to agree to anything that doesn’t pander to every aspect of their polarized view.

I mean, obviously this is just my opinion, but it seems…irresponsible. The last thing we should be doing right now is trying to further polarize the country. I don’t think it’s the solution.

Annnnnnd the Mets have COVID

Of course. At least they weren’t the only ones to get it. Or the first.

Hopefully those that have it will only have mild symptoms and will recover fully!

I Miss My Mom.

United States, get your shit together.

I completely understand the extension on the US-Canada land border closure (AGAIN) and I fully expect it to be closed at least through the end of the year, but it still sucks, yo.

I mean, since I’m a US citizen I could go down there and visit her, but when I came back up here I’d have to quarantine for 14 days. I don’t know if I’d have to quarantine when I got to Idaho?

And since I’m a Permanent Resident of Canada, she could technically come up here to visit me, but she’d have to quarantine up here for 14 days.

So not super feasible.

It just sucks.


Today, Alberta led the Canadian provinces and territories in new active cases of COVID-19. How many new cases did Alberta have?


That’s a good sign, I think. I mean, the province leading in new active cases sucks (especially since it’s only the fourth most populous province in the country), but the fact that it’s leading with such a relatively “small” number is good.


COVID Rankings

So here’s an interesting ranking of US states and Canadian provinces/territories. Want to see how your state/province/territory is doing with COVID compared to all the others? Take a look. Alberta’s not doing too great compared to the other provinces/territories, but is doing pretty well compared to most states.

Edit from November: yes, this thing keeps updating and I didn’t take any screenshots of it when I originally posted it, so there have been some changes. However, in general, the provinces/territories are still doing quite good compared the states.

Anyway, check it out. It’s interesting


Using the “99% of people who get COVID don’t die!” as an argument for it not being a serious illness is really, really stupid. Sure, if you get COVID, you probably won’t die. But so many people are reporting other issues post-COVID – some of which may be lifelong complications – that it’s ridiculous to discount those things.

I hate this black and white “it’ll kill you or it won’t, and it probably won’t, so you’re fine” nonsense. If I got COVID and ended up with a long term effect of not being able to walk for more than 10 minutes due to not being able to catch my breath, I would wish that it would have killed me. I can’t live without my walks.

And the fact that those possible long-term side effects aren’t even being considered by a lot of people is really rage-inducing.


I miss malls

Thanks to COVID, I haven’t been in a mall since I got my hair cut at Market Mall right at the start of all this (mid-February I think). And man…I miss malls.

That might seem like the most frivolous thing to say, I know. People are sick, people are dying, people are losing their jobs and businesses, and I miss malls?


Malls aren’t just OMFG SHOPPIGN!!!!!!!!1!1! for me. They represent normality in a lot of different ways. My dad and I always went to the Palouse Mall on Saturdays. He’d give me $20 and an hour to go wander off and spend it before we met up again and went home. When I moved to Vancouver, I made malls my destinations on my walks (which started my “Canadian Mall” series on my blog) and would always take the bus back home. In Calgary, malls have still been a common destination on my walks, especially North Hill, Brentwood, and Market Mall. And, of course, walking to Westbrook Mall is my absolute favorite walk in the whole city.

So yeah. Malls have always been a big part of my life, and not just for the shopping aspect (in fact, most of the “shopping” I do at malls is at the grocery stores, haha).

So I guess when I say “I miss malls” I’m really just saying that I miss normality. But saying “I miss malls” makes it more concrete.

Coronavirus Madness

Take a look at these two different graphs of daily cases of COVID-19.

Which one is the US? Which one is Canada? I’ll give you one guess.

Even with the population difference, Canada is seeing much smaller rates than the US. And we’re flattening a lot more. Will we spike again? Probably. But I don’t think we’ll spike to the extent the US currently is.

Hell, that isn’t even the second wave in the US. It’s still the first wave. It just picked up a lot of momentum.

That’s terrifying. Are you all terrified down there?

It’d be funny if there weren’t PEOPLE DYING

Edit from December: *sobbing noises*

What Song Did COVID Ruin for You?

For me it’s The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights.

Do I still love it? Absolutely. It’s a five-star (and the first five-star since my Decade of Music project ended).

But I discovered it right at the end of March of this year, which was when COVID was starting to really hit Canada. The U of C had moved to online classes and I spent a lot of my free time watching the news (bad idea, I know) and seeing the daily cases climb, not knowing how bad it would get.

And now whenever I hear this song (especially the first few bars, for some reason), I get that little twinge of anxiety that I associate with the start of the pandemic in Canada.

So that’s great.

Did COVID ruin a song (or songs) for you?