Sunday evening. What a century this month has been.

Another uneventful day… But that’s another day where I learned a bit of French, another day of getting slightly closer to becoming a permanent resident here in Canada, another day of getting closer to all my goals, another day without having caught covid. So yay, here is to crossing yet another day off ye olde mental calendar.

Today was supposed to be open for hanging out with xgf and playing her favourite video game. (Borderlands-2 – she loves that turret special ability.) Alas, her parents stopped their Sunday trips to the local monastery, so hanging out with just her is no longer an option. Both of her parents practice hardly any covid precautions (and go shopping an awful lot), so merely being in the same house with them would increase my virus exposure risk by a huge percentage. Oh well, it was good while it lasted. She seems to be dating again, and good for her. I may try to find a likeminded penpal/romantic prospect here during the long winter, but then again, maybe not.

The weather was cold and shitty today. Winters here are long, and without so much as a chance to go to a random meetup and chat up some perfect strangers… Hobby inventory: I have dozens of books I’ve never actually read, three musical instruments I haven’t tried playing yet (ocarina, guitar, and harmonica), a zoom lens for my camera that I’ve yet to unpack, a “Cooking for dummies” book which has gotten mighty dusty over the past few years, a small (but incomplete) pile of art supplies in near-mint condition, and literal buckets of minerals I’ve yet to sort through and admire – leftovers from my July roadtrip vacation. Oh, and the exercise equipment, of course. And lots of video games I’ve bought on Steam over the years but haven’t played. And a DuoLingo subscription that will let me learn any language 24/7. Heh. So, yeah, I really shouldn’t be posting “boo hoo, poor me” updates if only because I’m fortunate enough to be safe from covid, economically stable, and in perfect health – and hell, all those hobbies will take years to master. It’s just the social isolation… Well, 205 days down (and 133 of those being all by myself), so what’s another couple hundred, am I right?

Random folks on social media are cheering each other up whenever someone asks “Please tell me I’m not the only one still staying in lockdown?” The frustration and fatigue I’m feeling is far from unique, but it helps to know that I am not alone.

In covid news, the shitshow is intensifying. Yesterday, the White House released two pictures of Trump supposedly working hard at Walter Reed Medical Center. He wore mildly different clothes in two different rooms, etc. One problem, though: the pictures were too high-tech. Online sleuths zoomed in and saw that he was literally signing blank pieces of paper in both pictures. The metadata on the pictures showed that they were taken just 10 minutes apart. That was literally a poorly staged photo opp. (And even a random Internet guy like me knows how to reset the metadata… Come on, people, you can do better than that.)

It got worse. This morning’s medical briefing mentioned that Trump is getting even more anti-covid drugs, and that his oxygen saturation levels dipped into the low 90s at least twice, which necessitated putting him on oxygen for several hours. The good doctor also waffled when journos asked why he lied the day before. When asked for specific results (such as Trump’s lung damage), he ran away. The only thing we know is that the official medical conferences cannot be trusted. There’s so much we don’t know – even the basic facts. It’s fairly obvious now that his first positive test was before Thursday, but when? No one even knows how long he’s been sick with covid, and that information is vital. Assuming his doctor told the truth about Trump’s treatment, he might be in fairly bad shape indeed. I won’t pretend to be any kind of medical expert – the details are way outside my competence level. This Politico article, however, has some great analysis of the press conference.

Later today, Trump went for a ride in his bulletproof, gas-proof SUV, waving at his supporters. He wore a mask for once, but an airproof SUV means all the Secret Service agents were likely exposed to his virus, even despite the protective gear they all wore. Like I wrote earlier, in the end this will be a binary choice: he’ll either die of covid or he won’t. But all this lying and obfuscation… This is what it must have felt like when JFK got shot, or when Reagan was in surgery after a failed assassination attempt. The one exception is that those events took days, not weeks. It’s hard to believe it’s been less than 72 hours since the news of Hope Hicks’s covid diagnosis. Folks online are making jokes about joining bears in their hibernation. (“I have some IPA and a can of cookie dough. Please vaccinate me while I’m asleep.” Heh.)

In non-self-inflicted-covid-news, Canada isn’t doing so well. In particular, Quebec has recorded over a thousand new cases. (1,107 to be precise.) A very basic google search suggested that maybe it’s because they have far more folks in retirement homes than any other place in the world. I have my own and selfish curiosity about Quebec, since I wouldn’t mind retiring there. (Ergo the French lessons.) I’d love to find out more about their situation. In other In non-self-inflicted-covid-news, there’s a spike in cases in Israel. Looks like the second lockdown (which, admittedly, had multiple loopholes) didn’t work after all…

Stay safe out there, folks. And hey, to make things a bit less gloomy, how about a 2020 meme, eh?