Fist Bumps, not Hand Shakes

One permanent change from COVID-19 will be more physical distancing of strangers.

On the one hand, it will be more sanitary.

On the other, physical touching does connect people. Hugs. Kisses on the cheek. Even a touch on the arm.

It won’t affect me much as I was already quite frigid. But less touching will be culture shock for some societies.

Running Parksville B.C. trails

I’ve been in and around Parksville nearly 3 months now during COVID-19.

The Pacific N.W. truly is fantastic for walking, running and cycling year round.

Mostly I cycle.  But running I find to be better, more demanding exercise.

Here’s a tour of some of my favourite trails.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.  (2min 35sec)

My Spring Allergies – MEDICATIONS?

In 2020 I tried Diphenhydramine HCI 25 Mg – Kirkland Brand.

They did seem to work. It helped my Dad, as well.

My brother bought Kirkland in the States, inexpensively.  Over the counter. Pink tablets.

Some people do experience side effects.

As I couldn’t find it quickly in Canada, I ordered something that looks identical from Amazon.ca.

More expensive.

Basic Care Diphedryl Tablets,

400 Count

 

I acquired allergies later in life.  In Calgary they start about May 15th, end about July 1st.

In B.C. with a much milder climate, everything is about 2 months earlier. In 2020 I was suddenly mostly better about May 1st.  And stopped taking the pills.

Before this year I mainly treated Spring Allergies by fleeing somewhere else in the world. OR … a combination of exercise and frequent showers.

The End of October by Lawrence Wright

The Kongoli virus in the book is much more deadly than COVID-19.

Kongoli kills hundreds of millions. Leads to world wars.

But, for the most part, readers are shocked at the many parallels between this fiction and COVID-19.  

It’s a cautionary tale. And an excellent book.

The central figure is an American microbiologist named Henry Parsons. His personal story is engaging.

Henry tries to discover whether Kongoli arrived naturally like past viruses, or if humans (Putin) had been experimenting with bioweapons.

Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, and fellow at the Center for Law and Security at the New York University School of Law.

In 2007 he won a Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. A book about Islamic terrorism.

The End of October is fiction.

Wright’s fictional tale is about a mysterious virus that starts in Asia, sweeps across continents, cripples the health care system, wrecks the economy, and kills people worldwide.

Enlarge this image

“I knew from talking to all these medical experts that something like this was going to happen,” Wright says. “They all knew it. They just didn’t know when.”

Wright began writing the novel in 2017 and turned in his final draft in the summer of 2019.

This Is ‘Creepy’: Lawrence Wright Wishes His Pandemic Novel Had Gotten It Wrong

Wright had started thinking about this plot line after Ridley Scott asked him what kind of disaster could cause what happened in the Cormac McCarthy novel The Road.

Netflix is among the studios considering making The End of October a film.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

 

My 14-day quarantine is over

Returning to Canada from Bermuda (zero positives at the time) I was asked at the Toronto airport to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days. And watch to see if I developed a fever or other symptoms:

Stay home for 14 days from the time you returned home from international travel.

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  2. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school.
  3. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares.
  4. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

 

Since that time I’ve only had one encounter I considered at all risky — a hotel check-in clerk near the Toronto airport.

When I got to the room I washed my credit card, the room key and my hands very thoroughly.

Physical distancing at my parent’s place in Parksville went well. Just 5 of us in contact. And one friend.

We had no thermometer but it was clear I had no fever — only my usual Spring allergies.

I’ll continue with the physical distancing, minimizing contact with people. But I do feel freer now to spend more time outside running, hiking and cycling in the wilds of Vancouver Island.

As far from people as possible.

Rathtrevor Beach, Vancouver Island at dawn

Most mornings I wake early. Head directly to Tim Hortons to pick up coffee.

Continue on to Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, one of the most beautiful beaches I know in the Pacific N.W.

At low tide, it stretches nearly a kilometre out into the Strait of Georgia.

The park is an important stopover area for migratory birds, notably brant geese, which use the beach as a staging area from March 1 to April 15.

Birds stop in the spring for the annual herring spawn … which also attracts large numbers of seals.

There are plenty of friendly, feral rabbits too.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

 

 

cycle → RUN → cycle → WINE

So far this year I’ve run about an hour on 34 days.

Now social distancing / quarantine / lockdown (not all that different than my normal life, actually) … I wanted to increase the daily workout.

After declining the Worldbig3 challenge … instead:

Day 1 in Parksville, I decided to cycle out to Englishman River Falls Provincial Parkrun for about an hour → then cycle back to town stopping at the liquor store.

A good start.  🍷

 

Farewell Bermuda

I’m now back in Canada.

Same day Trudeau announced Canada is shutting the border to non-Canadian citizens, with limited exceptions, to limit the spread of COVID-19.

My flight Bermuda to Toronto was quite normal. I was asked to self-quarantine for 14 days when I get to my final destination. Just in case. No testing on arrival.

 Air Canada postponed my ongoing flights by a day claiming Government travel advisory. No compensation.

Sounds bogus to me.

But by luck we managed to complete the annual Bermuda Gymnastics competition on Sunday — before schools closed Tuesday.

Level 7 – 10 Bermuda Gymnastics Association gymnasts

The Gymnastics Club has now shut down, as well, for 2 weeks out of an abundance of caution.

There are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bermuda.