It’s Saturday night, and the US is on fire. It was always a powder keg waiting to blow up, and it finally did. Protests in 30 major cities. Police cars on fire. Cops caught on video driving through protesters and assaulting random people (including a congresswoman) who didn’t do anything at all. A photo reporter was shot in the face by the police, and became permanently blind in her left eye…

This is 1968 all over again. We never did learn or grow.

Epidemiologically speaking, all of this will make the second wave far worse (and sooner) than it would’ve been otherwise. It’s also pretty amusing that evening curfews were so easy to organize on short notice in response to civil unrest over a black man being killed by the police, yet there was nothing even close to that level of urgency with covid: loose restrictions, no curfews, little if any enforcement. Priorities, eh?..

I hung out with xgf today: she’s doing well, though seeing me again sent her down an emotional spiral. She’s getting a little too panicky about potential exposure, so she had me wear a mask the entire time, but hey – whatever gives you peace of mind in these here plague times. We drove to a lakeside park, which we had to flee almost immediately after being attacked by a gigantic swarm of weird bugs that were bigger than flies but less aggressive than mosquitoes. Swamp flyers? I think I’ll call them swamp flyers. Tiny but persistent.

Toronto’s traffic pattern is back to its pre-covid self: gridlock, shitty drivers, near-misses happening all around. During 1.5 hours of driving, I saw the outcome of a three-car collision (airbags and all), as well as a few very close calls that involved drivers playing chicken with a semi truck, a driver who almost flattened two bicyclists, and a man who ran into traffic because he simply had to blow some mowed grass off the side of the curb. (A lawn to die for?) I can’t tell if this is all because a) everyone forgot what it’s like to share the road in a major city, b) folks forgot how to drive, c) people are too aggressive because of the long lockdown, or d) all of the above.

So far, xgf and I have been rather lucky with how little the pandemic has affected us. Let’s see if that pattern holds.