Well, Biden has done a lot on his first two days. It’s currently Friday, January 22, 2020. Day 315. Lordy. I won’t go through all he’s done – you know what it was or you can google it. But suffice to say, I doubt I will be writing much about the USA anymore because there’s an adult in charge and things should be relatively normal for a little while. And I’m glad. And super glad about his virus management. All passengers now arriving in the US from outside the country (including citizens) must show a current negative test AND go into quarantine. That’s how to do it. Because people should not be travelling anyway. What part of the pandemic don’t you understand?
The virus. Now that’s another thing. JFC. It just keeps getting worse. Face it, you are inside for some time. Just do it. In the end, I promise, in retrospect, it will be worth it and won’t feel like it was so hard. Not when you get your life back and you still have a life to live because you were cautious.
I am planning, with fellow Boomer Bitch™ Rosa, to do a weekly drop-in zoom session, open to anyone who knows us. NOT a BB thing – separate. Private parties will not be taped. Just like drinks at the bar – that’s the vibe we want. Bring a cocktail or a mocktail and meet us at the zoom bar for a drink and some conversation. We’ve got some interesting friends, and even if it’s just she and I some weeks, we’re pretty damned interesting.
I have to think up a good name and get a logo done (why not?). And a Facebook page and a Twitter account (IG too?). For the name – R&B works as a partial – but R&B’s what? R&B’s Covid Cocktails? Nah, I don’t want ‘Covid’ in there, that’s nasty. R&B’s something. I’ll work on it. Suggestions more than welcome if anything comes to you! Ohhhhhh…. my first bull terrier, Piggy Caesar. I always swore I would have a sign made for our entertainment zone that says: Piggy’s Bar & Grill. But I can’t see how I could make that work. For now, working title: The R&B Zoom Social Hour (R&B= Rosa & Bev).
Anyway, the point of this is, it was fun when we did it last week and we know there are people out there who are missing the face to face contact because of the virus. We want to give everyone a chance to interact and make new friends like we used to do before this mess. I think it will be healthy for us and others. Especially anyone who lives alone. If you’d like to be on the invite list, send me an email or contact me below in the comments. I would really welcome the opportunity to meet some of you and I promise, we are fun. So send me an email (reply to your email notice about this post) or leave a comment and I’ll be in touch with the link to our first official session. Maybe that’s the direction to go, The R&B Sessions (no relation to Jeff) … Nah, that’s maybe too obscure. Keep thinking.
Today, I must finish the first draft of the Hallmark Christmas movie script. We’re good at this shit if I do say so myself. Hallmark is very paint-by-numbers and it’s actually a lot easier once there are a lot of rules. Rules that break traditional screenwriting rules, like: it’s okay to have your protagonist tell another person their backstory as exposition. FM! That could NEVER happen in a real script. Makes life easy, LOL.
And they are cute stories, really. This is just a test. If this works though, we’re in business. Because they are fun to write and pretty easy so far. It’s all structure and fairy tales, really. I’m not going to go too far down the next road, which is, are fairy tales really that good for people? I’ll save that for when the public has anything to worry about from me on the Hallmark channel. Hehe. After the trainer comes, around 8 am, I’ll dig back into the story.
In the meantime, it’s fun to do and any writing teaches you something. About yourself, about others, about the craft of writing. So it’s all good, even if it goes nowhere. Speaking of which, we’ve been patiently waiting for the French animation scene to come back to life so the producers can cut a deal for DogStar. It was almost a done deal (as much as any entertainment thing can be) when Covid hit and the company has been in touch regularly, saying hang on for a while longer. Ah, the time will pass anyway.
It’s going to take months for the vaccines to affect the pandemic. So we need to be patient and vigilant (and stay kind). Pfizer is a disappointment with their delivery, but I think I’ve mentioned, our friend who is the zoonitic disease virologist thinks they aren’t as safe as AstraZeneca, but he says Johnson & Johnson will be the game-changer. So, we’ll see. But this is the very beginning of our recovery period and it’s now looking more like a couple of years before travel and business are back to normal.
Hopefully, travel NEVER comes back to normal. F-ck that fast tourism crap. Slow tourism. Things like travelling on freighters. Or going somewhere once a year and staying there for a month. Or going somewhere to do good, like clean up a polluted lake. Or help someone dig a big garden. And Who TF needs fresh mangoes in Toronto in February? Use frozen. You need to change your evil ways, baby. All of us do. Didn’t like that song either.
Soooo, there is some good news in the world, we just have to look really hard. Really, really hard 🤣
It’s Saturday afternoon. Canada is flattening the curve, and they are thinking about making a 14-day hotel quarantine mandatory upon international arrival to Canada, only allowing you to board with a negative covid test within 72 hours of the flight. All at your own expense. And I think they should. No one should be getting on a plane right now if they can avoid it. Certainly not for leisure travel.
What else? I’m done the script 1st draft, it is off with my partner and hopefully, we can finish any edits and promo material inside a week. Then, that either works or it doesn’t. Still updating Captivatist.com – I have a story I hope to publish tomorrow morning. Still, no ads though, waiting on my guru.
Day 319 – Tuesday January 26, 2021. We’re in the Groundhog Day period again. Oy. I don’t know what to say, except now it’s Wednesday and it’s the same thing, different day. Every day, Rosie (the old dog) gets me up between 4:00 and 4:40 usually. To go out. And get a treat. Old dogs.
So I read the news for a while, surf, answer Whatsapps and emails (I go to bed early and a lot of my contacts are west coast so I don’t see the evening stuff). Around 6am the other dog gets up and gets his pills and food and at 7am we go for a walk (based on light, not time). Then I get a bit more done a and a few people I know are awake. Then I walk with the trainer and the dog around 8:30am but not for long. The dog goes off to basically fun camp walking with other dogs for a few hours and I get to work.
Now it’s 3:50pm and around 4pm, I knock off. Sometimes a bit later. We did have another social hour – if you want to join us, as mentioned, send me a note and I’ll send a link. Two people came from the UK, one AZ, one FL, one GA, two Mexico and I don’t think any from Canada this time. It’s fun to chat and to hear people’s stories, I’ve been missing that.
Tomorrow is supposed to be a star-studded lucky miracle day for me (but not gambling lucky). It will be interesting to see if anything happens. I could happen behind the scenes apparently, but I’ll hear about it eventually.
Things seem a little set back now because of the vaccine delays but again, we all just have to sit on our hands. In another month, we could be right back on track. Not sure about Mexico but we’ll see what happens. So many different stories from different outlets. But there are no vaccines to speak of right now. The next month may see a flurry of them – ojala.
Flying will be as different from now on as it was after 9/11. Things will change a lot. I’m sure most countries will want to see a coronavirus vaccine to allow tourists in. Except for Mexico of course, they don’t care.
Okay, now it’s Friday, January 29. My father, 88, is in the hospital for some testing with I think a laparoscopy method but he really doesn’t ask enough questions for my liking. Results mid-February. Another friend tested yesterday for prostate, results by Monday. Ack, I hate this.
My friend in San Miguel tested positive for Covid, the whole house. She, her husband, her elderly parents. Her dad is dead, her husband is in ICU on a ventilator. She and her mother have oxygen at home. Her daughter and sister (two separate houses) just tested positive. The new variants are HIGHLY contagious, these people are very careful. The old safety doesn’t cut it. Double up your masks. No one in and don’t go out except when you have to. I am out early with the dog, that’s it. We’ll order everything else to be delivered, or we’ll live without it for a while. “Live” being the operative word.
Today, thankfully, our PM, Justin Trudeau, cancelled all flights to and from Mexico to Canada. Mandatory test prior and upon landing, quarantine for test results at a hotel ($2,000 of your own expense) and stricter quarantine at home following negative test in Canada. If it’s positive, quarantine in government facility (at government expense). About time. Although it means we’re really fucked now.
The restrictions are in place at least until April 30. That’s consistent with our plans so far, we didn’t think we’d get up there until May or June anyay. We could, I suppose change planes in another country. Holy moly is all I can say. But it’s good. It’s what has to be done.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is sounding very good. We just all have to stay put for a while and let the vaccines get out before we move around again. Even then, we have to be uber cautious. But I would wager that in a month or two, the AstraZeneca combined with the J&J vaccines will be gamechangers.
And the script is done! Last clean up today and my partner is doing the pitch deck – which is a visual pitch that includes the standard logline, synopsis, treatment, resumes. Since everyone can produce a professional-looking campaign on home computers these days, you need to do it. We got a bunch of Christmas photos – I’ll share it with you when it’s done. I have two places to pitch it and one professional submission channel as well. So we’ll see how it goes.
Sunday, january 31. Almost two weeks for Biden now, and he’s corrected a lot of stuff. My big news is more details on the new Canadian government restrictions on travellers. There are, as of February 13, no direct flights to Canada from Mexico and they will be closing the change planes in the USA loophole. No Caribbean either. To keep goddamn selfish f-cking Canadians from travelling over March break. This was done in talks with the airlines, for whom these sun destinations represent 12% of their business. Effective Feb. 1, the remaining flights are to return Canadians home until February 13 and that’s that. April 30 is the last day, at this point. It could be extended but likely will not be as many fewer people travel to Mexico and the Caribbean in the summer.
In any event, we *could* fly to Europe, Canadians allowed (plus I have an EU passport) and go home from there if it became more urgent. Talk about privilege. But it gives me comfort, even if misplaced. And we weren’t really planning on getting out at the earliest until late April so we will just wait it out. Here are the regulations if anyone wants to read them, they are quite serious. If you aren’t interested, just skip the italics. It’s long. But if you’re a Canadian outside the country, or know one – they should read it.
Many people have questions about the new travel requirements enacted by the Canadian Government in response to increased concern about Covid 19 & the new Variants.Canadian travellers have basically 2 options under the new travel Testing & Quarantine regulations after February 13.
A. To stay in their current destination until at least Apr.30/ or find their own way back to Canada. After April 30, the renewal of these regulations are pending.
B. Get in touch with your Airline asap to rebook your flight before the last day of Feb .13.**Note, besides all major Canadian airlines affected, Aeromexico will cease all flights into Canada until April 30….
Also, it is important to note that using a US airline may become very difficult because of pending US Quarantine & testing regulations and decreasing flight availability.The following is useful and interesting information that I hope will be helpful… please keep in mind that the Covid situation can change frequently and thus the information provided below.
Also, I am including in Part 3, hard to find but interesting information on the actual Canadian Quarantine Facility experience.Information: included in 3 Parts.. 1: New Requirements 2.: Reinforcement/Penalties, and an article3. Canadian Quarantine facilities ( from an August article of real experiences of travellers)
Part 1. New Travel Restrictions / Testing / QuarantiningWithin weeks of being set up & implemented, CSB & the Canadian Gov’t’ is putting in place new PCR testing at 4 Airports, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Also, Federal Quarantine Facilities will be part of the new regulations at these locations.Preflight testing (PCR or (Lamp- limited) to be required 72 hours prior to flight to Canada. Upon arrival another PCR test is required when reporting to Border Service Agents for processing.
“Travellers will then have to wait for up to three days at an approved hotel for their test results, at their own expense, which is expected to be more than [CAD] $2,000,” he said.“Those with negative test results will then be able to quarantine at home under significantly increased surveillance and enforcement.”Under existing rules, people entering Canada are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Now, after people leave hotel quarantine, security contractors will visit Canadians’ homes to check that they are completing their full isolation period. The high price for the three-day hotel stay includes the cost of a private PCR test, security and food. It takes into account the cost of the measures designated hotels will have to implement to ensure the safety of their workers.“The cost is ballparking. This isn’t like any other facility. This is one where there has to be infection prevention control measures, security and other costs as well. It’s not just a regular stay at a hotel,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer. She said that travellers will also have to be tested 10 days after they enter the country. Trudeau said that people who test positive will be immediately transferred to government quarantine facilities where further testing will determine if they are infected with strains of particular concern, such as those originating in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
***Part 2. Quarantine Act & ReinforcementFrom the Government of Canada’s websiteViolating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada or failing to provide accurate information is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to:6 months in prison and/or$750,000 in fines. If you choose to break your mandatory quarantine or isolation, resulting in the death or serious bodily harm to another person, you could face:A fine of up to $1,000,000 orImprisonment of up to 3 years orBothThe Contraventions Act gives police (including the RCMP, provincial and local police) more power to enforce the Quarantine Act.
***Part 3: Quarantine Facilities (Hotels)*Note: Prior to the recent Travel Advisory, the Federal Gov’t’ paid (taxpayers) for travellers that had no alternative but to be quarantined at a federal facility. Now with the newly announced regulations, the traveller will be responsible for the costs….Also, people have asked a question of what happens if I don’t have the $2,000 approx Quarantine fee.
The Answer: First, the government probably won’t believe you don’t have the $2,000 if you can travel and pay for all the associated costs of travel in the first place…..but, if you can’t or won’t pay by Credit Card etc, you most likely will be billed with an invoice, and if not paid in time, it would be handed over to a collection agency and reported to the credit bureaus….Also, a note may be attached to your passport/immigration file affecting future travel.”Travellers interviewed by CBC News who stayed in the hotels said they were typically mid-range hotels located near airports.
The agency did not give a detailed breakdown of the costs but said they include accommodation, meals, transport, health checks and security. Some quarantine sites have a nurse practitioner on-site 24/7. Food was left outside the room three times a day. Family and friends were not allowed to visit the hotel, but the Canadian Red Cross would call once a day, Geauvreau said. There were health checks twice a day, during which nurses would stand outside the room, take his temperature and ask a series of questions, Geauvreau said. If anyone showed symptoms during one of these checks, they were moved to a lower floor of the hotel.
Cleaners in HAZMAT suits would wipe down surfaces in the room once a day, he said. He couldn’t leave because he didn’t have a key card.” You’re not leaving that room. And once you enter the facility, when you sign [in] downstairs, you have no rights to leave, under no circumstances,” he said. “They can arrest anybody that tries to leave.” He was allowed to go outside to a designated walking area in a parking lot, but only while accompanied by security.
I’m back. Quite the regulations. I’m delighted, if somewhat nervous about not having one clear option in our back pockets, which was flying to Vancouver via Toronto with a few days notice. But there is Europe and there is a private plane (credit cards) if the zombies start to come over the walls. But they won’t. We don’t necessarily need to leave Mexico – we are isolated, two gardens, big house, CW has a workshop area, it’s perfect for us – it’s a matter of running to something (Canada). Not running away from this country. If that were the single case (my last sentence), we’d probably go to Amsterdam or maybe even Portugal for a couple of years, LOL, there I go again. Stop that. I can’t. Hehe.
So, Sunday. I can publish today I think, but later. I have some things to think about. And note. If I knew what they were, I’d do it now. But I’m still kind of thinking about Canada shutting down like this. There are talks ongoing to not allow Canadians to land in the US by air – I think that will be announced this week. I know people (regarding Mexico) who have already said, “Oh, I’ll just fly through the US.” Soon, they won’t be able to.
In addition, there are lots of Canadians are in Florida and Arizona right now. And they’d better get home in the next two weeks or they will face hotel quarantine. They were asked not to travel, then warned. They did anyway. Suck it up.
So, for sure, I can plan on keeping my head down pretty much for the next three months. March is reserved for PADI and I’ll try to time it so I write the exam in early April. Then I will have one year until my open water dive must be completed. Not that we are thinking so fondly of La Paz these days – it’s full of Covidiots and Republicans (is that redundant?). I am on several La Paz (gringo mostly) Facebook groups. It’s changing my attitude (and CW’s) about that place. We don’t want to winter among a town full of them. Maybe they are just the loudest. So we aren’t ruling it out. Just not as enamoured as we once were.
I know that there is no perfect place but I’d like to be able to make social acquaintances where we winter without worrying that 50% of them are rabid right-wing, conspiracy-theorizing, climate-denying Covidiots. That’s #2 on the list after view. Just kidding. They are both non-negotiable so they tie for #1.
I did another piece for the content site about clean candles. Some are pretty saucy. I have a friend who is a priest with purple hair – if you know her, don’t give away the surprise. She’s a middle child, so I sent her this:
It’s from the Whiskey River Soap Company. So funny. She’ll think it’s hilarious. I found them for the story. Click on the link, they are hilarious and they do sarcastic soap too.
What else? I have to organize taxes this week if I can and get on that blasted CRA (our IRS) website which has had problems ever since Covid. I used to be the only one on it, I’m sure. We owe a bunch of money and I don’t want to pay it late. I can figure it out but our accountant won’t submit our taxes without the proper forms that are issued from any earnings. Which I get on the CRA website. Sigh. I know. First world problems.
I must make bread again. I have not made bread in months. Certainly not the month before we moved and we’ve been here two months now. Two tomorrow! Wild.
The dogs like it a lot. It works. I’m’ glad. This way, he’s in this side of the house (my office opens onto that garden) and never sees Rosie. There were a couple of times I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to turn him into a normal dog, not a PTSD candidate. Damn that Rosie but she’s ours. Well, CW’s haha. We can stop wondering if she’s going to die soon, now that we’ve got three months when we can’t really get home unless there are zombies coming over the wall (because the logistics are expensive or risky with no commercial direct flights). Time to just cool our heels and hope she lives for 2.5 months.
I’ve got March reserved, as noted, for the dive course refresher and continuation. I have to finish that part in the first year (April 19). Can’t believe we’ve been (mostly) inside for a year almost. Day 324. And I haven’t been back to Canada since late November, 2019. Because everything stopped in early March. And now, here we are again. Pretty much the same level of holy f-ck, wouldn’t you say? But we’ll get through it, all of us.
If you want to drop in to our R&B Social Club zoom, let me know. It’s Tuesday for two hours beginning at 4pm Eastern. We won’t always do it on Tuesdays (once the bitches get back in production), but we’ll try to do it once a week. It’s just what it says, a social zoom club. Those are our initials, but we hope we have Rythmn, and we know we have Blues LOL. We all do.
It helps me to meet on zoom and have a drink and just chat – like we’re meeting for a drink in the bar, or in someone’s back yard. And then friends bring interesting friends and it goes from there. It’s just a drop in, but it’s been fun so far. People visit for a while then others come a bit later. Like a drink after work in the bar. Non-alcoholic is fine. I mostly drink beer 🙂
That’s it for me. I’m going to find a good song and then hit that publish button. PLEASE stay safe, stay TF inside as much as you can, double mask if you can’t. Stay informed and kind too. And we’ll talk soon.
OMG, THIS is the song, I forgot about it. It’s a mashup. Once guy started, others added to it, it is bloody incredible.