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Sunday, April 5, 2020

I'm proud of how good Londoners are at following orders

Last night my wife and I picked up seven bags of groceries without entering the store or making contact with anyone. As we left the lot, we noticed a very loose line-up of people patiently waiting to get into the LCBO (Liquor Board of Ontaro) store. The line wrapped right around the store.

My wife  and I are both amazed at how willing Londoners are to follow the social distancing guidelines. (My picture is not from the LCBO. Unfortunately, I neglected to bring my camera with me to the grocery store. Oops.)

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Call in your grocery order and simply pick up later

A car sits with its rear hatch door open as the owner waits to have his groceries brought from the store to his car. With the fear of catching COVID-19 growing daily, more and more Londoners are taking advantage of the Express service offered at some area grocery stores.

Call the store, give them your order, when your order is ready the store staff will call, pay with your credit or debit card and then drive to the store for pick up. There are reserved parking spots at the front of the store. Use your cell phone to tell the store staff you are there and within minutes your groceries a have been brought out and placed in your trunk.

I wonder if the service will be as popular once the coronavirus has been brought under control.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

There's a new normal.

I have some friends, who on returning to London from a cruise, self-isolated. They believe it's the best thing to do and at the end of two weeks it will be over. Life will return to normal. The danger will have past. Maybe not.

COVID-19 is highly contagious. Why? Because it hides. Consider the Diamond Princess. Tests of most of the 3,711 people aboard the large cruise ship confirmed that 634, or 17 percent, had the virus; 328 of them did not have any symptoms at the time of diagnosis.

“Children with very mild disease are probably going to be one of the major contributors to spreading the virus across the population,” says Graham Roberts, an honorary consultant paediatrician at the University of Southamptons. -- BBC Future

COVID-19 can spread quickly and quietly. The fact that it attacks the old in a dramatic fashion and not the young means in a youthful population it may go almost unnoticed. But let the virus get into a senior's home and all hell breaks loose. Again consider the Diamond Princess. On board the cruise ship those 70 and older were most vulnerable, with an overall fatality ratio of about 7.3 percent.

COVID-19 is ripping through our world. The number of infected spikes higher daily. The death toll continues to climb. Self-isolate, practise social distancing and you, even if you are old, get through this. Soon herd immunity will bring the numbers down. But the danger will not be over despite what my friends seem to think.

Until there is a vaccine, this new coronavirus will linger. Hiding in the young and the asymtomatic. It will make those younger than fifty mostly mildly ill, if at all, but it will infect our seniors and an uncomfortably large number will die.

In the near future going out to shop or attending a family gathering will carry a ominous undertone: COVID-19. The virus may well become endemic: a part of life until a vaccine is arrives to eradicate it.

70 or older? It's time to self-isolate.

Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, is instructing  all Ontarians over 70 and those of any age with compromised immune systems or underlying health condition to stop going out. Stay home. Avoid visitors. Practise self-isolation and social distancing. And do it now.

People in these categories should keep appointments and access services by phone or online, and have family, friends or neighbours run essential errands for them: groceries, prescription pickups, etc.

If you must go out, say to take the dog for a walk, keep 6-feet away from anyone you encounter. But strangers are not the only ones to steer clear of; avoid visits from loved ones.

The rules are tough but the danger from not following to them is tougher. You can die.

If you want one ray of hope in all this bleak news, check the case fatality rate for children up to age nine: 0%