Saturday night, Boxing Day.

I’ve got no idea what Boxing Day is all about (my landlords said there are sales involved), but hey – that’s another day off at the end of the year, another chance to sleep in. I’ve gotten to the point of indoors relaxation where I had to look up what day this was. All it took to get to that blissful state was two days of sleeping and relaxing. Well, and the fact that I stayed up till 5am last night, mostly just for the novelty’s sake. Life is good, eh.

My orc alter ego in Skyrim has mastered the art of commerce and became a traveling salesman. I hope that world’s economy will be able to deal with the flood of homemade vampire-repelling daggers I dumped on the market. (Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d ever type.) In the process, my character became a bit of a hoarder, so he moved veeeeery sloooowly from one town to another, since both he and his sidekick ended up carrying way too much weight. …I guess no matter how much you try to distance yourself, in the end your video game alter ego becomes your reflection in more ways than one. (I’m not much of an enchanter or an alchemist in real life, but I am good at finance and constantly trying not to hoard. Heh.) Looks like my alter ego will need an alter alter ago.

I forgot how great it feels to do absolutely nothing: just some light reading, a small Spanish lesson, binge-watching a TV show (I love Schitt’s Creek, but the Canadian winter in that show lasts only one episode; what gives?), gaming… This intellectual relaxation has already given me an idea for a new e-book that would be edumacational and also relevant to my poli-sci major. And yes, let’s be honest, my lockdown experience would’ve been entirely different if I had kids. I can’t imagine what that must be like: on the one hand, a whole lot of bonding time for the whole family; on the other hand, nowhere to run and no other adults to socialize with. I cannot understand what people with little kids have been going through this whole year, and I won’t even pretend to. I just have this sneaking suspicion that it’s a whole lot more complicated than my hermit existence with a fairly wide variety of entertainment to choose from. Kudos to you, lockdown parents – I hope you hang in there.

In covid news, things are heating up with the UK covid variant. Two cases were found in Ontario, just east of Toronto. The couple had not traveled and had no high-risk contacts, which means this thing is already here and circulating within the community. Given the less-than-stellar containment efforts (delaying the lockdown until after Christmas, etc), I have zero confidence in the local government’s ability to contain the new variant. It remains to be seen if it’s more dangerous than regular covid but it’s best to play it safe – and Ford’s government doesn’t seem to know the basic rules of the game.

Meanwhile, Japan is closing its borders entirely until at least the end of January after a few cases of the UK variant were found there. Japanese citizens and foreign nationals will still be able to fly in, but they’ll have to spend two weeks in quarantine. No one else will be allowed in. That is a very drastic step, but after everything else the world has gone through in 2020, I fully understand why some would want to crank up their safety measures all the way to 11. We still don’t have nearly enough information on how dangerous this new variant is, or whether the existing vaccines will protect against it. If we have to spend another six months (or a year) locking down and avoiding social contact… I’m too much of an introvert to be out there rioting, but I would definitely be able to relate to those who’d hit the streets in protest. So let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that, eh?

Stay safe, y’all, and happy Boxing Day.