Wednesday night. Gf’s health is rocking back and forth: just when we think we’re close to figuring out the electrolyte misbalance, it hits again. Not as bad this time as in the past, but still worrying.

She and I spent about 12 hours last night and today looking at AirBnB listings that wouldn’t qualify as the banned short-term rentals (so at least four weeks), and the main requirement was location. We need to be in Ontario if gf requires medical attention: health cards from other provinces are honoured, but there’s always red tape. We finally ended up finding a luxurious condo being rented out for next to nothing ($780 USD for four weeks!) in Niagara Falls. (The Canadian side, obviously.) This pandemic is such a strange way to explore Canada… One upside (aside from amazing amenities) is that it’s right next to a hospital that has multiple specialists. If there’s a bona fide medical emergency, we’ll be ready.

Gf got bored and cut my hair last night, and it looks pretty funny – not unlike The Rock wearing a turtleneck. If and when this pandemic ends, folks will either start rocking homemade haircuts or grow their hair (and facial hair) out in weird and exotic ways.

Earlier today, I made a trip to a local grocery store. It was in the local village, different from the store in the adjacent town. The store was wide open, and though there were duct-taped direction arrows on the floor, a ban on children, and mandatory hand sanitation at the entrance, it was almost like shopping before the plague. So strange to consider how much the things for granted gladden us when we can get them back. It was almost as strange to see a grocery store without any sales. The prices were on the high end of reasonable, and occasionally above that threshold. I was in a rush, trying to avoid anyone else while I was the store’s sole shopper (slow day, I suppose), and didn’t notice that the yogurt I bought had passed its “best before” date four days prior, or that one of the cheese packages had been pierced. Oh well. We’ll just eat them first, I guess.

As of right now, the cumulative US death toll is 28,628; 1,011 in Canada. New York added about 3,000 more deaths to its total after deciding the undiagnosed deaths may have been due to the virus. The US hit approximately 2,500 new deaths today. The daily death toll inches closer and closer to the 9/11 totals. I hope at least one media outlet will have the guts to point that out when the time comes.

Zero words on my new novel: the outing to the store, the laundry day, the sterilization of groceries, and the hours spent on AirBnB drained me completely.

Earlier today, at yet another daily press conference circus, Trump floated the idea of adjourning the US Congress, something no president has ever done. It’s always hard to tell whether he’s serious or trolling. If this was an attempt to distract the media from his failures in the pandemic handling, then he succeeded: the political social media can’t talk about anything else. If, on the other hand, he was serious about adjourning Congress and defunding the WHO…

I remember my decision to move from the US to Canada. I’d been set on leaving since early 2016, when I saw a few too many disturbing trends. Three years and five attempts later (the UK, Poland, Canada, Australia, then Canada again), I received an internal transfer offer from an old colleague whom I’d never actually met. It wasn’t a hard choice, but it wasn’t a happy one, either. Leaving everything behind, taking a massive pay cut, abandoning my Search & Rescue crew, all for a chance of becoming a resident in a saner country. If I’d stayed in Seattle, I would’ve had more creature comforts, but I would’ve remained on a demoralized team in a doomed department, surrounded by high-strung and overworked colleagues, stuck in an expensive city filled with gloom and endless unsolvable problems. In the end, the Canadian team won me over with the simplest, most rudimentary emotional appeal, and that was all it took. A month after I crossed the border, my old department got disbanded: most of those who stayed had to start all over. It was a strange and muddy choice. Not good or bad, but tactical or strategic: limited immediate rewards and life under an incompetent angry clown, or a chance to spend the rest of my life in a civilized country, however imperfect it may be. I often wonder how different my life would’ve been had I stayed in Seattle, had that simple emotional appeal failed to work on me. I can almost feel my other self going through the same motions, running the same routine, riding the same bus to work, and going mad with anxiety that has neither an easy answer nor a release valve. I wonder if that other me can even imagine how very strange my life has become.

Good night, y’all.