Friday night, and I’m trying to learn to laugh. Everything can be viewed as either a tragedy or a comedy. Just a matter of perspective, since none of us can really affect large-scale events. So instead of growing more horrified by the headlines, maybe I can try to find humour in them instead.

The US Independence Day is tomorrow, though everyone’s three-day weekend began today. It’s unclear if that was a deliberate insult or not, but Sonora (a Mexican state) picked this date to close its border with Arizona. American tourists (and their money, and their viral loads) are no longer welcome. It’ll be downright hilarious if Trump’s 2016 campaign promise comes true, if we really do end up with a border wall and if Mexico pays for it – but to keep Americans out, and not the other way around.

Also, a private jet filled with rich Americans was turned around in Italy. Their non-US friends were welcome to go through customs, but they chose to fly back to Colorado with their yankee compadres. Also also, a couple of days ago Toronto’s mayor straight-up said that he doesn’t want his city to get as sick as the US. In normal times, that would’ve been a diplomatic incident. These days, everyone just sort of shrugged and admitted that yes, he does have a point.

There’s some good news from the Oxford vaccine trial. It appears to provide three times more antibodies than found in recovered patients. It’s still far too early to celebrate, and even if it passes all the human trials, it’ll take a while to produce almost 8 billion doses – but still, this might be it. And just in time: at work, they’ve reneged on the October promise. They’re trying to corral us back from WFH. The plan is to have myself and my colleagues start by showing up just one day a week, working on site just a little. That’s as absurd as being “a little pregnant.” I had to bite my tongue to keep from asking on which days the virus is off the clock. There’ll be an interesting discussion with the new management about why precisely I’d much rather stay home. (I’m not the only one appalled by that decision.)

I likely wouldn’t die if I catch covid, and I probably wouldn’t develop lifelong complications (though who knows), but I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I got infected at work and passed it on to xgf and her compromised immune system…

Amidst the flood of disturbing headlines, there was a funny one: 7-Eleven is stopping their annual Free Slurpee Day which happens on – you guessed it – July 11th. It usually generates small crowds, so this is a wise choice. My best friend and I used to hit up every 7-Eleven in the neighborhood back when we were hungry college students: it was more symbolic than filling or nutritious, but hey – free food is free food. Here’s hoping there’ll be a delicious raincheck to come when all of this blows over. (Also, kudos to 7-Eleven for showing more responsibility than the US government.

My whittling kit and cut-proof gloves arrived today. Now I just need to find some wood branches and hope they’re from a pliable tree. (With my luck, it’ll be hickory.) Such simple tools, yet so much potential. This may end up becoming a perfect hobby, what with the free supplies and non-existent entry barrier. Easy to learn but hard to master, I bet, but hey, gotta do something even marginally productive with all this free time, eh.