Bear's Etcetera Etcetera
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Since the Covid crap hit the fan in January of last year (earlier in some parts of the world), we've been staying home and will be for who knows how long, out of an abundance of caution of course. Shopping online or by phone for groceries and other necessities has become a way of life as is curb-side pickup. However, telephone calls, texting, emails, and online video gatherings give us some semblance of social get togetherness.

This is not what retirement was supposed to be, but it is what it is. We just have to make the most of it and hope this Covid situation comes to an end sooner rather than later.

The big day arrived for some of us, we got our first Covid jab on March 2nd and our second Covid jab on April 13th. This happened according to plan with no screw ups. Kudos to all the folks that made this happen. Mind you, booking the appointments was not something I want to go through again. And we aren’t out of the woods yet, as I have to keep reminding my 99-year-old dad, who wants to go for lunch and a beer at his favorite restaurant.

One would have thought that the 2003 SARS epidemic would have been a wake up call for Canada to be prepared for what is now taking place. It's a disgrace having to rely on foreign suppliers for PPE and vaccines, and has become a fiasco to say the least. Maybe this time round we might just get it right.

This Covid disaster will cost Canada and ultimately the taxpayer, somewhere in the $trillion-plus range. Oh, and don't forget the interest we'll have to pay on the federal and provincial debt, all borrowed money and likely the interest as well. I figure the final cost won't be known until 2022 or much later. I’m sure we’ll be footing the bill before that. As of April, this year, Canada’s federal debt is over $1 trillion and growing by over $1 billion per day. That’s a lot of zeros. Add to this, in Alberta, our forecast public debt stands at about $97 billion and increasing by almost $64 million per day.

The Liberals have finally tabled a 739 page budget (April 19/21), a so-called stimulus budget, and the first budget in two years. What immediately came to mind for me, was a song written by Merle Travis and sung by Johnny Cash, "Sixteen Tons" and specifically the words "another day older and deeper in debt," it seems nothing ever changes. As Don Martin (Columnist for CTV News) says, "It's a stimulus budget all right - for votes in the next election."

Mulling is an interesting word that has many meanings such as to think, to consider, to study or to ponder about something. Mulling best describes our federal government's decision-making process about many things. Now, it’s mostly about the current Covid epidemic in Canada. If you ask our PM about Covid vaccine certificates (vaccine passports) for international travel, he will likely say he’s mulling it over but won’t make a decision or the very least say what his personal preference would be.

To me it’s an easy decision, yes and yes to anyone leaving Canada should have a vaccination certificate and anyone coming into Canada should have a valid vaccination certificate from their country of origin. I’m really not sure what the big deal is, as I’ve had a Canadian International Certificate of Vaccination booklet since 1955 that was and is still required for travel to many foreign countries. The booklet has changed over the years, but it has always had the same yellow color and was previously issued by Health and Welfare Canada and is now issued by (PHAC) Public Health Agency of Canada.

Having said all this, an International Certificate of Vaccination is only as good as the existence of long-lasting immunity for current Covid vaccines which unfortunately is not known at this time. So, vaccinations, physical distancing, masking and restricted travel are necessary for the foreseeable future. Anything else is pie in the sky.

To rant or not to rant, that is the question? What can I say, we seem to be going from bad to worse over the last few weeks? People cannot get it through their thick heads that Covid kills, not just from Covid but through Covid patients taking up valuable hospital space for those that need it the most. Whether it's cancer treatment, cardiac care, general surgery, accident victims and hospitalization for a long list of other health issues. The list goes on and on.

Covid deniers and anti-maskers have no thoughts for anyone but themselves. Covid has been life altering and deadly for a lot of people. Look at long-haulers who are suffering from the aftermath of Covid. Decisions are going to have to be made one way or the other, if Covid can’t be controlled then decisions will have to be made quickly, and it will likely be a triage from hell. I just don’t understand why some groups believe they have the right to cause pain and suffering by not following health guidelines to protect themselves and others. Sure, it’s easy to say, let’s all get sick and get it over with, but belligerent jackasses are being unkind to themselves and to their neighbors.  

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