So the festivities of my Birthday have come to an end, it was great fun and the food and cakes were much appreciated by my guests. Will did a wonderful job of organizing it all.
Sunday night I went online to book my turn for the Covid Vaccine. We have a system here on PEI called SKIP THE LINE, this allows you to book a medical appointment online if your family medical doctor is not available and you need to see a doctor pronto. I think it is better than going to Emergency, no waiting and once you booked a time you go at the appointed hour. They even send you a text telling you that you should leave home and make your way to the clinic, your turn is coming up.
So I booked online by vaccination date, all I needed was to give my name, home address, DOB and my Health Card number, within a minute I was booked for 27 April.
Vaccinations are given at the hockey arena about 5 minutes from our house. Will is booked for earlier in the month. The Government here follows a system of decreasing age for vaccination. They started 2 months ago with anyone over the age of 85+ then proceeded with all front line medical staff, etc. then doctors and dentists, etc.
Recently they also offered the vaccine to anyone working in a kitchen, restaurant or bar between the ages of 18 to 29. So it is going pretty fast and by 1 July it is now estimated that 80% of the population will have been vaccinated. PEI is way ahead of the National average and we have had none of the gong show and incompetence of Ontario and Alberta where politicians are playing medical doctor.
Spring is definitely here, with lots of rain and sun and mixed in together, mild weather is very nice. Now everyone is talking about what to do this Summer.
Today I got a hair cut from Jared who is probably one of the best barbers in Charlottetown. I use to go to a traditional barber, old school type who is very popular with politicians and regular guys. His shop is very well known and he is a very pleasant fellow. However it was not exactly what I was looking for and noticed his staff were indifferent in general unless you were a local celebrity or somebody’s cousin. I got to know my current barber Jared through the gang of Receiver Coffee Co. a local coffee shop which caters to a more cosmopolitan crowd and has a progressive outlook on life. In fact when we first arrived in PEI almost 5 years ago, we went to have coffee at Receiver which had just opened as a new business. From that point we met other people and Jared was part of that group. Though at the time he was a photographer and his work caught my eye. He has a real talent for composition and light and his work is dramatic and beautiful. He then branched out into cutting hair but decided that he should go study in London UK for it at one of the more famous schools. His girlfriend is also a photographer and does art photography, she has a lot of talent.
We also have as of January a new family doctor. Our current doctor who is on maternity leave called to ask if we would consider going to his new practice which is half of her old practice in the same office. We know the new doctor and he is very nice and has a professional and easy manner with people, so we agreed to switch. You have to know that in PEI not everyone has a family doctor, in fact some 5600 have no family doctor and have to go either to a community clinic or the hospital for care, so we are privileged. This is a new factor in Canada with one generation of medical doctors retiring and insufficient numbers coming on stream.
I noticed today that we have been receiving Xmas cards in the mail but the stamps are not cancelled. I know that the volumes of mail in Canada are very high, delivery right now is 7 days a week. Maybe they are just pushing it through and making sure it gets delivered. That is ok because some people re-used uncancelled stamps and sent cards to people.
Well we are almost finished with the Xmas decorations, just a few small details to attend to now, can do this tomorrow. Now we are waiting for the Friday conference by our Chief Medical Officer for PEI, Dr Morrison and the Premier Dennis King to tell us if some of the lockdown will be lifted. Looks like it might, no new cases and everything looks pretty calm now and also vaccination has started on PEI so it’s all good news. Heather Arsenault a front line worker at a seniors home was the first to get the Pfizer shot. Fingers crossed it all works out. At any rate we have plans to either be quiet for Xmas at home or maybe invite a few close personal friends over. It’s all up in the air…
Every year I get to put the Star on our tree, an old tradition, it is the original star of 1979, always the same which has been carefully preserved through all the years.
Today Health Canada has formerly approved the Pfizer vaccine and we will get 2 shipments one from Belgium and one from their lab in the USA. Inoculations will start next week and this means the end for Covid 19 and a better year for all of us. When the news was announced today around noon time, this song popped into my mind. Such a relief and the best Christmas gift.
Today it was 16C and warm here in PEI beautiful sunshine and frankly another record breaking day more like May than November. The weather person tells us that this Winter is going to be apparently wet rainy and icy but not much snow, I prefer wet to snow. We are back into a something like a lockdown but not really. The major thing is, we cannot leave the Island and frankly I would not want to, I really think it is not safe.
Today was Black Friday, I had to do some grocery shopping and buy some fish for dinner. I was looking for either Cod or Halibut filet, got Halibut which is my favourite in terms of flavour. Will made a gratin of Halibut in a cheese sauce, it was some good.
The traffic was murder and lots of little old ladies driving around at 5 MPH, it felt like I was living in a huge metropolitan area. Got it all done within 90 minutes and back home I went. Despite the traffic most people actually stayed home and shopped online, we do most of our shopping online now too.
I really have to get going on Xmas cards and I was going to do them this week but I got sidetracked with other things. Yesterday I gave a short talk on the Official Residence of the Lieutenant Governor and the architectural history of this 1834 building built in the Greek revival style or Georgian style. The Lieutenant Governor who is a Patron of our Club came to hear the talk.
This weekend will be quiet the Xmas Market has been cancelled on Richmond Street, which is unfortunate for the merchants but Public Health comes first. We also decided that we may have a very quiet Christmas Eve and Christmas day, we thought of asking a few friends over but everyone is nervous and if things don’t improve despite the fact we have only 1 case on the Island and a mild one at that, according to our Chief Medical Officer, we will re-assess.
The Winter wind has started and is blowing on average at about 70K on a good day, plenty of fresh air, the humidity is also fairly high at 70% or more which makes for bone chilling.
Well the Atlantic bubble which had been working for us for 5 months has burst, with surging cases of Covid 19 in Nova Scotia in the region of Halifax and in New Brunswick in the region of Moncton and St-John our bridge to the mainland has been closed since early this morning. The wind also played its part gusting upwards of 90Km. Long lines of trucks bringing essential goods are stopped at the foot of the bridge on the New Brunswick side until the wind dies down tonight. It would be far too dangerous to try to cross the 12Km over the Strait to the Island. So it looks like life is going to be a lot quieter now here on Charlottetown. Many people work from home so less people in town.
We still have only 2 mild cases of Covid 19 on the Island and both are at home. To keep our situation under control we need to shut off the Island and now must also wear face masks in all buildings, shops, malls etc inside. So far everyone obeys the rule which is remarkable.
Our worst case is the Province of Alberta who has more per capita cases of Covid every single day than any other provinces including Quebec and Ontario despite having only fraction of their population. The Premier of Alberta is Jason Kenney, a Trump wanna-be, his reasoning businesses and oil companies come well before peoples lives.
Despite the announcement of 3 possible vaccines in the works against Covid 19, the reality is that in Canada we are not likely to see any of it before March 2021. The reason being that in the last 40 years all our research and medical producing facilities have moved abroad. This was allowed in a series of mergers with foreign companies and a Federal Government and politicians asleep at the switch, an unfortunate situation but it is what it is.
Some Canadians are leaving for southern climes and the Foreign Minister warned them that because of the Pandemic it would far better to stay home. There will be no special flights to bring people back if they leave the country and find themselves stranded abroad. Still enough fools think it does not apply to them.
One terrible lesson from this pandemic and one I have come to understand; Governments have clearly made a decision to put efforts in saving businesses instead of people. The other lesson is that if you are over 55 your government sees you as an expensive burden, this explains why so little has been done to help save elderly in assisted care homes, why so many have been left to die. We see it all over Canada with the notable exception of PEI where no one got sick or died. Since such centres are private and run by companies for profit, it has been know for the last 40 years that they are often understaffed and provide only the most basic of services. Staff is on minimum wage and poorly trained, despite this situation and major scandals politicians look the other way.
On the other hand the news of the transition to the President Elect Joe Biden having now officially started and his presentation of his new Cabinet is very encouraging. A return to professionalism and a clean broom of the nonsense of the last 4 years. The news also of a possible vaccine to solve this crisis is encouraging, we can only hope that 2021 which will dawn in just 5 weeks will bring a new beginning.
Oh well as I write this I am having a glass of Champagne, can’t be all that bad.
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown