More thoughts (in isolation)

As pandemic life continues I thought I’d offer up some more random thoughts on how things are going.

Much as I disliked it the first time, shouldn’t Ontario be in lockdown again? Our numbers are as bad as they were when this took off, and experts say they’re only likely to climb as the cold weather hits. So why are gyms still open?

Is there some rationale behind rendering it COVID-19 instead of Covid-19? I see both used, but I’m not sure what the principle is. The “CO” stands for corona, “VI” for virus and “D” for disease, so it should be CoViD-19 or CoviD-19 (“Coronavirus Disease”). This is the way the virus that causes the disease is written (SARS-CoV-2).

Face masks have become our new plastic bags. You see them everywhere now. Even hanging from trees. I don’t imagine they’re very environmentally friendly either.

When we first entered lockdown it seemed like Amazon was one of the big winners. I’m sure they still are, but I think I’ve only ordered from them once since this started. Their prices for everything are higher and their delivery times (unless you’re on Prime) are slow and unreliable. I don’t even bother with them anymore. But then Costco is no fun either since they stopped giving out samples. The golden age of retail may be over.

So many small local businesses are going under. And where are these people going to go? Time for a Universal Basic Income, whether we like it or not.

Is every “milestone” a “grim” milestone? It seems no other adjective works, at least when it comes to the death count in a pandemic.

Why do so many people drive around with their masks on? People alone, in their cars. I’m all for wearing masks, but only when I go into some public place. Driving with a mask on seems overkill.

Schoolkids are getting screwed. I’ve been talking to a lot of teachers over the last several months. Public school and high school students aren’t even getting a second-rate education. I guess if the kids are really motivated they can still be doing the work and learning something, but I strongly suspect that many of them are basically taking the year off while still picking up their credits. In university I’ve heard that small classes work, since you can run them as Zoom seminars. But again I suspect a lot of students in larger, introductory classes are just floating along and not learning much. In programs involving lab work the amount of lab time is getting cut back. Again, it’s a second-rate sort of education.

And I think it’s even worse than that. With more emphasis being put on online learning we’re pushing young people into taking on even more screen time as a substitute for direct human interaction. Kids in Grade 2 are having to learn to navigate their school’s class portals. Which is a useful skill, I suppose, but I feel like we’re embarking on a giant social psychology experiment whose results we already know are going to be disastrous. Things have come to a sad pass when you start feeling sorry for young people, but I really do.

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