Wednesday evening. Things are getting hectic at work, but what else is new? As long as you keep your schedule clean, keep doing Excel magic, and – most importantly – don’t panic, all is well. (And yes, I do take my towel with me whenever I travel.)

Sliding right back into the old routine… Instead of spending most of the day hiking, it’s just a brief exposure to the sun in the backyard while I gobble up my dinner. (Today’s culinary adventure: cider and microwaved frozen burritos. Exciting, I know.) Learning a couple of new French words in DuoLingo, playing some more video games, yada yada yada.

It could be far worse, though: the gigantic explosion in Beirut, as well as its aftermath, is simply unimaginable. How on earth does one misplace 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate? Was it corruption? Incompetence? Both? Neither? I’ve read that the explosion was among the biggest non-nuclear blasts in human history. I’ve read that Lebanon’s economy is now destroyed. I’ve read many things, but I can’t even begin to understand what that must be like to go through so much strife, and stress, and violence, and the pandemic, and then have your capital city explode. This is a tragedy of such a scope that it’s impossible to fully grasp it. May it put our own petty struggles in perspective.

In covid news, it turns out a churchgoer in Ohio infected 91 others in one day. That is remarkable, an tragic, and was entirely avoidable. Dr.Fauci reports that his family has received death threats. Here is hoping none of those troglodytes actually follow up. And on a somewhat brighter note, Canada’s government has announced plans to invest a fortune into vaccine research, followed by distributing a vaccine (once a viable one exists) to Canadians.

Yay Canada. Yesterday, after I mentioned the latest update in my quest for Canada’s residence, I remembered something my AirBnB host in Palmer Rapids told me a week ago. A friend of his was about to go through the same PR application process I’ve described here in the past. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find any fingerprinting agencies that stayed open during the pandemic. Her work permit has expired, and now she’s in the legal limbo. I hope things work out for her… I mentioned that there was one place that stayed open (though with very strong anti-viral protocols) in Mississauga, a four-hour drive west of my host. He said his friend didn’t think to look that far out. Now she may have to leave, all for the price of a single day-long roadtrip. …raises a question, doesn’t it? How far would any of us be willing to go to fulfill our dreams? At what point do we stop looking, even though the solution may be just a bit farther away?