Friday night.

This ends in seven days. I finally made it through my last normal workweek and started my two-week vacation, and then… Wait until next Friday, drive to Ohio, get a test and my second shot, drive back. Send a two-week notice to my boss. Cash in the remaining personal time for the last week, then work (from home, as always) on the first week of May, while waiting two weeks for the second shot to fully settle. And then… Freedom. Early retirement, immunity, no more rat race, just pure exploration, and doing whatever the hell I want. (Within the latest public health guidelines, of course.) This is it, this is the final stage at last – at long, long last.

Exactly 168 hours from now, I’ll be back home, likely experiencing some side effects as the second shot of Pfizer does its job. So soon. So very soon…

As promised yesterday, I switched to a pizza-based diet. Heh. The delivery guy handed it to me from around the lobby door, with both of us masked. I’m pretty sure I didn’t jump on this strange novelty (my first pizza in at least three months) like a ravenous beast, but it probably wasn’t pretty. I feel the way a python likely feels after devouring a medium-sized mammal: at some point, I’ll have to throw something else in my piehole, but that point is very far away. (And there’s plenty left for tomorrow.)

Another sign that things are looking up: a girl I went out on two dates with, well before the pandemic, texted me out of the blue. We’re not relationship-compatible, but it’ll be great to start building a local friend circle again. In fact, that’ll probably be my biggest project this year. And meanwhile, as I spend all this time in lockdowns and quarantines, I might go ahead and install Dying Light – a zombie game that I somehow completely missed, even though it came out in 2015. How weird is that? Steam really ought to offer discounts to people living in covid disaster areas, but fiiiine, I’ll pay the full $60 CAD for the enhanced edition. It’ll pay for itself if it keeps me from going mad with this house arrest business.

In covid news… There is a lot of covid news. After rescheduling his press conference multiple times this afternoon (presumably to reach some consensus on new measures), Ford told us that Ontario will not get hit with a curfew, but we also won’t be getting paid sick days. Without them, the rest of this giant restriction list is really rather pointless. I simply don’t understand political conservatives who oppose paid sick days: yes, it costs them some money to institute that, but it costs even more money if a sick employee infects their colleagues and customers. I get that it’s a one-way door: once they offer it, it’ll hurt them a lot politically to take it away later on. But, you know, pandemic? People dying? Full ICUs?.. I guess that doesn’t phase them.

One of the weirder new restrictions is the travel ban. Unless you have a good reason to drive into Ontario from Quebec or Manitoba, you might get turn around at a checkpoint. More disturbingly, the police have been authorized to pull over any car or stop any pedestrian, ask for their ID, and write them a ticket if they’re not traveling for an essential purpose. (Groceries, pharmacy, medical, exercise, or work.) An awful lot of civil rights groups are mighty pissed off about this. I hope that the sheer laziness of Ontario’s cops will be our salvation. They do nothing about people who drive 30% over the speed limit (or 20% under, for that matter) on highways. They did nothing about the BBQAnon demonstrations in November. (No fines were issued to any of those morons, as far as I know.) They stood there and watched as international travelers walked away from airports and said they’d rather get a fine than quarantine in a hotel. It’s possible we’ll end up under a miniature dictatorship with cops gone wild, but I think it’s more likely that absolutely nothing will happen. We’ll see.

Perhaps the weirdest part of it all was Ford asking other provinces for help (500 nurses, 100 respiratory therapists, etc) while declining Justin Trudeau’s offer of sending Red Cross to Ontario to help us out. (That is literally what Red Cross is for.) Trudeau is Ford’s political opponent (or so Ford thinks), and this is yet another in the long series of remarkably counterproductive decisions that keep extending our pandemic here in Ontario. The one thing they couldn’t restrict was air travel: that belongs to the feds, not provinces. People online are already joking about Ontario ordering a shipment of surface-to-air missiles… Oh, and the state of emergency/stay-at-home thingy got extended by two weeks. Now it’ll last until May 20th. It’s so extremely strange (not for the first time, nor the last) to consider that I’ll be fully vaccinated and living in an empty, locked-down city: my post-pandemic life will overlap with a full-on emergency order for weeks. That’s gonna be so strange…

Meanwhile, elsewhere… Things are getting much worse in India. Yesterday, they had 217,000 new cases, more than anywhere else in the world. That’s less scary per capita, but those numbers are growing and getting worse. This article describes (and shows in its video) the horrific hospital situation in New Delhi, with two patients per bed, and with dead bodies being placed outside the ward before they’re taken to the mortuary. A coworker of mine casually mentioned today that he just lost two relatives in India. Small world… India is capable of great logistical feats, but it also has well over a billion people, and it might not be possible for them to keep following social distancing rules. I hope things get better there, but if they don’t… That will get ugly.

Good night, y’all.