Waterloo Region’s Hospitals Are Looking For Donations To Help Them Buy More Supplies

Our hospitals here, much like the hospitals everywhere, need supplies and the money to buy them. If you can help out, please do.

The COVID-19 outbreak is placing unprecedented pressure on our hospitals. The support of our community will help to tackle the growing demands.
To help our Waterloo Region Hospitals prepare, a joint fund is now established to support St. Mary’s General Hospital, Cambridge Memorial Hospital and Grand River Hospital purchase the equipment, beds and supplies they need at this critical time.
Your donation will help keep our hospitals at the ready and support our community’s highest priority needs.

If you have some money to spare, you can donate it here.

Religious Michiganders Allowed To Give Each Other Coronavirus

Should be interesting to see how the good lord handles this one. Will he side with the people he created or with the fast moving, highly lethal virus he created? Will he split it somewhere around the middle to keep up his reputation for working in mysterious ways? To find out, keep an eye on Michigan.

Religious houses of worship are now exempt from being penalized if they violate Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.  
On Monday, Whitmer issued an executive order in response to coronavirus that said “all assemblages of more than 50 people in a single indoor shared space and all events of more than 50 people are prohibited.” 
Later in the week, the order was updated to add a part that reads: “A place of religious worship is not subject to penalty under section 3 of Executive Order 2020-11.” Section three of the original order said that “a willful violation of this order shall constitute a misdemeanor.”
That means that churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples will not be penalized with a misdemeanor if they violate the rule to keep assemblies under 50 people.

In a Facebook post, Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, thanked Whitmer for the update to the order, writing: “People have a God-given right to assemble and worship, and that right is secured by both the United States and Michigan Constitution.”
But Chatfield added that: “I believe that as Christians we also have a duty to love our fellow man and play our role within society. My recommendation is to find ways that you can abide within the order to the best of your ability.”

From the sounds of it, many churches are disregarding this silliness and are closing and moving their services online where possible.

But since there has to be one in every crowd, let’s check in with this fella here.

Dennis Lennox, a member of an Episcopal Church in Detroit, said he welcomed the update to the executive order that gives churches an exemption from being penalized. 
“It is imperative that constitutional rights and liberties — particularly the fundamental right to worship almighty God — aren’t impeded by the response” to the spread of coronavirus, Lennox said. “Decisions about religious services should be fully made by spiritual authorities without pressure by temporal authorities.”

Here’s hoping that you, your circle and the rest of the state all have good lungs, my dude. And that the next big ‘ol church gathering you attend isn’t a funeral.

A Calculator To Make You Feel Like An Idiot For Buying All That Toilet Paper

Judging from the stores around here some of you could have used this service a couple weeks ago, but hey, it’s never too late. And so I give you How much toilet paper? The simple calculator for how much toilet paper you need to survive the pandemic.

Not everyone is able to get to a store and stock up on toilet roll. Don’t be selfish.

Created by London based student Software Developer Ben Sassoon and Artist Sam Harris after they had a discussion about how much toilet paper they each used on a day to day basis and how that would change during the pandemic. It has now been used by over 2,000,000 people and is helping to reduce toilet paper shortage round the world.
Sliders alter the amount of toilet rolls you have and the amount of times you go to the toilet everyday. There are also advanced settings which alter wipes per trip, sheets per wipe, sheets on roll and the length of your quarantine.
The average user has 500% more toilet paper than they need for quarantine.

Thankfully the shortage didn’t mess with us at all. We had enough in the house that we were able to wait you hording sumbitches out until things died down a little and we could buy the new pack we were going to have to buy anyway. this means that we too now have more than we need, because you really don’t need that much.

Do I Have The COVID Virus?

I knew it wouldn’t be long before I started seeing more of these things.

Nice work here. Amusing and informative.

These are alarming times. I work in a university, in an extracurricular setting, developing innovative competencies in students. We consider communication, collaboration, creativity and problem-solving to be the pillars of our programming. I find myself (early in this curve) needing to take time to develop strategies to be my most responsible self in performing civic duties during this pandemic. And I find myself thinking of many of our domestic and international students who cannot be at home with their families, I think of the elderly who need support, and I think of myself and others and the absolute necessity we have toward solidarity. The news has been overwhelming and, as the process develops, it occurs to me that we need some humour to balance the severity of the situation. With this and the above mentioned pillars in mind I went to Murdo’s house to write new words to one of Canada’s classic songs (at once uplifting, fun, and clear), “If I Had a Million Dollars” by the Barenaked Ladies, in the hopes that we might get people to laugh, to reflect on those in need, and to provide some crucial information. During the time of filming, Nova Scotia had no confirmed cases of COVID-19, and, as you can see, we were pretty decent with the social distancing. Performing (left to right): Murdo Messer – vocals and unconventional percussion; Jason Grant – vocals and beat-up guitar; John Killawee – harmonies and keyboard. Please see the lyrics and crucial info below.

Take care,
Jason

Government of Canada website:
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

Here is a full list of public health authorities to call if you think you may have symptoms of COVID-19.
British Columbia: 811
Alberta: 811
Saskatchewan: 811
Manitoba: 1-888-315-9257
Ontario: 1-866-797-0000
Quebec: 1-877-644-4545.
New Brunswick: 811
Nova Scotia: 811
Prince Edward Island: 811
Newfoundland and Labrador: 811 or 1-888-709-2929
Nunavut: 867-975-5772
Northwest Territories: 911
Yukon: 811

Lyrics:
Do I have the COVID virus Do I have the COVID virus
Should I self-isolate Should I self-isolate
Do I have the COVID virus Do I have the COVID virus
I’ve got to emulate best practices according to health canada
Do I have the COVID virus Do I have the COVID virus
I should visit the website specific to my province or my territory
Do I have the COVID Virus let’s find out more

Do I have the COVID virus have you traveled outside of the country
Do I have the COVID virus is your temperature more than 38 degrees
Do I have the COVID virus got a new dry cough that you can’t explain
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should call the non-medical emergency number for your province or territory
***see the numbers below***

So I have the COVID virus So you have the COVID virus
What the F*!K do I do now I’ll tell you WTF you’ll do now
So I have the COVID virus So you have the COVID virus
I must self-isolate for a period of no less than fourteen days
So I have the COVID virus Now that you’ve got the COVID virus
I’d better just hunker down Drink plenty of fluids, get sleep, recuperate.
So I have the COVID virus you’ve got it now

Now I’ve got the COVID virus you can get a friend to go to the store
Now I’ve got the COVID virus they can drop things off outside your door
Now I’ve got the COVID virus you could ask for help on the phone if you need more
Because we don’t want to spread this disease to anyone else…
please consider the vulnerable
****yeah, like the elderly or people with underlying health conditions****

You don’t want the COVID virus don’t touch your face, don’t pick your nose
You don’t want the COVID virus don’t bite your nails, DO clean your phone
You don’t want the COVID virus don’t get sick

CBC Television Shuts Down Local News At The Worst Possible Time

I’m going to hope that this was honest to god unavoidable, because what a terrible move otherwise.

At times like these we need more local news, not less. There are people relying on their local news for up to date information about what’s happening around them, especially the older ones or the ones that live in areas without reliable internet access. The ones who aren’t exactly flocking to digital platforms to fill the gap, in other words. And let’s not forget the ones who happen to live in places where the CBC is basically the only option that even approaches being local TV. What are they supposed to do now? CBC temporarily replaces local evening TV news amid coronavirus pandemic
‘We are temporarily pooling our resources into one core news offering,’ says CBC’s Susan Marjetti

CBC is temporarily changing its news service in light of the coronavirus pandemic, including replacing local supper-hour and late-night newscasts across Canada with CBC News Network. 
Effective on Wednesday, CBC News Network will shift into “a core, live, breaking news service” that will feature content from local and national journalists from across the country, the public broadcaster said in a statement.
The modified News Network service will replace local evening and late-night newscasts across Canada, with the exception of CBC North programs Northbeat and Igalaaq, produced in Inuktitut. Local radio, digital and social news programming will continue.

According to this post on Fagstein, this new experiment didn’t start off so hot, with places like Montreal getting a grand total of 90 seconds of local news and the whole of Ontario getting around 2 and a half minutes largely focused on Toronto mashed in with clips from press conferences from British Columbia and a couple of interviews, one of which was joined in progress. And that was just 6 o’clock. The 11 o’clock news was a replay of the episode of the National that had just finished airing, but this time with a headline crawl running alongside it.

Granted this is only day one of a fairly out of the blue new system and we’re living in some crazy, uncertain times right now, but yeesh. Hard to imagine anyone feeling better served by this.

The article also brings up a couple of other things I wondered about upon hearing the news.

For starters, is this even legal?

The conditions of CBC’s licence, last renewed in 2013, require it to produce 7 or 14 hours a week of local programming, depending on market size, and “each station shall broadcast local news seven days a week each week, except holidays.”
The CRTC has not made an exception to those conditions (which is possible — a similar exception was granted just this week for the Olympics later this year). Asked to comment, the commission says it’s “monitoring the situation” and urges Canadians to follow local news through radio and digital means.
CBC’s head of public affairs Chuck Thompson says the CBC has “been in touch with the CRTC” about the change.

I have a hard time imagining the CRTC coming down too hard on this assuming they do at all, but it’s something that’s at least worth a mention. Are the private broadcasters also going to be able to ignore licence terms at will if they decide they “need to”?

Also, and this has been a pet peeve of mine for years, we’re learning now about what happens when you cheap out and try to base way too much of your gigantic operation out of a single location instead of letting the locals handle it.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a surge of live events. Press conferences from premiers, the prime minister, public health departments, businesses and others. Multiplied by 10 provinces each doing their own thing, plus the federal government.
On the other side you have the Toronto Broadcasting Centre, which routes traffic for CBC’s English TV stations. At the same time as it’s overloaded by video traffic, it is facing constraints because of absences due to quarantines. At some point it reached a breaking point, prompting this decision.
This wouldn’t be an issue if CBC hadn’t centralized so much of its technical operations. If local stations truly controlled their own broadcasts, they wouldn’t need Toronto. Under normal circumstances, centralization saves money and staff and works well enough. But when a crisis happens, this system has a huge vulnerability.

Like I said, the whole damn world is a mess at this point and it looks to be continuing in that state for the foreseeable future. To that extent, maybe we should give CBC a little benefit of the doubt. They’ve clearly got some bugs to work out, but maybe they’ll fine tune this thing and we’ll all get over it. But what if they don’t? What does it say about the state of our public broadcaster that when the public needed it perhaps more than ever before, its only choice was to under-serve us thanks to a mess that is, in no small part, one of its own making?

I don’t hold governments (both current and former) blameless here. All have used the CBC as a political issue, cutting and restoring funding left and right at various points. Working under such uncertain conditions can’t be easy, and that’s most definitely another factor in why we are where we are. If we want to have a strong, healthy, useful public broadcaster, we need our elected officials to get serious and pass measures to ensure that the damn thing is funded securely. I don’t feel like that should be too much to ask, especially not after this.

Bell Has Decided To Bell

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said it, but once again, Bell is proving me correct. If nothing else, they’re consistent.

At a time when just about everyone is trying to help people out and make things a little easier, Bell has decided that it would be better to do not that.

Changes to your Bell Home phone service rate and TV bundle savings.
At Bell, we continuously invest to provide reliable and high quality services. In order to support these investments, as of May 1, 2020, the monthly rate of your Home phone service will increase by $2.50 per line, and your monthly Bell TV bundle savings will be reduced from $7 to $3.50.

If you have any questions or wish to cancel or modify your services, please call us at 1 866 310-BELL (2355).

Now might not be the best time to do that cancelling bit, but when you can, you should. We did it five years ago and have never looked back. And let me tell you, it feels especially good on days like this to know that I don’t have to financially encourage this greedy horseshit on a monthly basis.

Hopefully we can all shame them into changing their mind, but if not, the best possible alternative outcome would be that they decide to put some of this new cash toward a public relations department. Preferably one that can forcefully teach them about timing.

Some Excellent Advice

Doctors recommend that you cover your mouth when you cough you disgusting piece of shit

Hamilton, ON – After a decades long study, doctors at McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine have found that to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses you should cover your mouth when you cough you disgusting piece of shit.
“Given concerns over diseases like the Coronavirus it is important that you cover your mouth when you cough,” said lead researcher Agnes Xiao. “And apparently you need us to remind you of this because you are a human shit stain with no regard for the health of other people.”
“Yes, even if you are on a crowded subway or bus. Especially then. What the fuck?!” she added.

Despite the study’s findings many patients are refusing to cover their mouth when they cough, until a broader study is released and they somehow develop basic hygiene. Those assholes.
Doctors are also recommending that you thoroughly wash your hands because apparently you weren’t already you fucking fuck. Seriously what’s wrong with you?

Calling 911 Will Not Get You Toilet Paper Any Faster Than The Rest Of Us Are Getting It

Of course people are calling 911 asking for toilet paper. Why wouldn’t they be? Christ, we’re so dumb sometimes.

Please heed the words of the poor folks down at the Newport, Oregon police department, you fools.

It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this. Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You…

Posted by Newport Oregon Police Department on Saturday, March 14, 2020

It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this. Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance.
In fact, history offers many other options for you in your time of need if you cannot find a roll of your favorite soft, ultra plush two-ply citrus scented tissue.
Seamen used old rope and anchor lines soaked in salt water. Ancient Romans used a sea sponge on a stick, also soaked in salt water. We are a coastal town. We have an abundance of salt water available. Sea shells were also used.
Mayans used corn cobs. Colonial Americans also used the core of the cob. Farmers not only used corn cobs, but used pages from the Farmers Almanac. Many Americans took advantage of the numerous pages torn from free catalogs such as Sears and Roebuck. The Sears Christmas catalog, four times thicker than the normal catalog, could get a family of three wiped clean from December through Valentine’s Day; or Saint Patrick’s Day if they were frugal.
Then, of course, there are always alternatives to toilet paper. Grocery receipts, newspaper, cloth rags, lace, cotton balls, and that empty toilet paper roll sitting on the holder right now. Plus, there are a variety of leaves you can safely use. Mother Earth News magazine will even tell you how to make your own wipes using fifteen different leaves. When all else fails, you have magazine pages. Start saving those catalogs you get in the mail that you usually toss into the recycle bin. Be resourceful. Be patient. There is a TP shortage. This too shall pass. Just don’t call 9-1-1. We cannot bring you toilet paper.

Updated: Zehrs And Shoppers Drug Mart Will Have Dedicated Shopping Times For People AT Higher Risk Of Catching Coronavirus

Update 4:
Add FreshCo and Food Basics to the list. Both stores say the special shopping hour will be available at many of their locations. FreshCo seems to have already started based on the one closest to where we live, and Food Basics will be starting on the morning of March 23rd. As always, call your store for details.

Update 3:
Waterloo Taxi has announced they’ll be offering free rides on certain days to and from stores offering the special hours.

The free rides will be available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – between 6:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. – to stores offering the extra hour.
You can book a ride by calling 519-888-7777 or 519-886-1200.

Update 2:
Walmart says they’ll also be doing this, but details are light.

Update:
This article from CTV has a rundown of more stores across Canada that are offering special hours. As with the ones below, check with your local location because participation and hours may vary.

Original:
Good news. If you’re old and/or disabled and can get up early, some stores are looking to help you get your daily shopping done before things get too crazy and dirty each day.

Starting this week, Shoppers Drug Mart is dedicating the first opening hour of shopping at our stores to our customers who need assistance or consideration, including seniors and people living with disabilities.

We encourage you to check with your local store to confirm operating hours. Shoppers Drug Mart will also offer the 20% Seniors Day discount on regular priced items for the first hour each day every day. This is in addition to Seniors Days each Thursday.

Zehrs is offering a similar service at many of its stores as well. As with Shoppers, they’re recommending that you check with your nearest location to confirm if and when they’re participating.

Hopefully other stores will be able to offer the same thing. If we hear of any more, we’ll let you know.