Sunday night.

I’ve checked the paperwork to verify my dark suspicion, and yep – if you’re quarantined after crossing the border, you’re not supposed to go outside at all, even for exercise. For the next 12 days, my Studio of Solitude will remain my 24/7 home, without so much as a walk in the sun. Meh, still worth it.

Today was spent doing absolutely nothing productive, but a lot of fun nonetheless: my little alien dude in No Man’s Sky has built up a scrappy but functional planetary base, bought a cheap space freighter after defending it from space pirates, and started building his own space business empire. (Everything is better with space in it.) There is an interesting colonial aspect to the whole game… You’re a very nearly omniscient alien invading different planets, strip-mining them for resources (in the game, all the devices have zero emissions to avoid the awkward environmental questions), slaughter local animals (even when they’re described as self-aware or capable of love), and generally make a mess of things before moving on to the next planet. To all those planets and their inhabitants, you’re essentially an evil alien, though the game never delves into that. That was part of why the original Star Trek series was so great: they actually debated whether it was right to interfere, whether their actions would make them villains. If you’ve never seen it before, check out The City on the Edge of Forever – probably one of the most famous, beautiful, and haunting Star Trek episodes ever made. That’s some good stuff, eh.

…yes, I know, I have many opinions.

If you’ve been reading this for a while now, I’d just like to point out that I’m not some tragic deadend case that spends all his life playing games in a basement. (My apartment is on the third floor, please and thank you.) Before the pandemic, before everything, I had a fairly active social life, with outings, and dates, and meet-ups, and parties. (Though to be fair, there were also weekends dedicated exclusively to recharging my introvert battery.) We find ourselves now in this strange predicament where staying inside, and doing anything you can to keep your sanity while staying inside, is heroic – or at the very least responsible and patriotic. I would love nothing more than go bar-hopping, or invade karaoke bars, or audit every bar on Toronto’s lakefront to sample their selection of cider (it’s usually not that great), but here we are…

In covid news, it really is uncanny how often people ignore the news or the increasingly dangerous trend until it finally affects some celebrity. The Vancouver Canucks (a beloved NHL team) got hit with the Brazilian P.1 variant. More than 20 players are sick, and some can’t even get out of bed. That happened despite all of their testing and precautions. It somehow made it out of Brazil, to someone local, and then to them. If even the NHL itself can’t keep its players safe, the odds are bad for average Canadians. There are reports of this variant in Alberta, and it’s likely circulating in other provinces, but since it’s not hitting celebrities, no one cares – at least thus far. Canada and the US are setting new vaccination records every single day (to be fair, the US records are quite a bit higher) but if this variant spreads faster than we can vaccinate people… This will not be pretty. We should find out soon, I guess: for now, there’s a critical shortage of ICU beds in the entire GTA (Greater Toronto Area) region.

Stay safe, folks.a