COVID19 Weeks Later

Several weeks ago I supposedly contracted COVID, this is a summary of what I went through and where I am today.

This is what I wrote on 13 May.

Since then I am still showing some mild symptoms including:

Cough

This comes and goes, with some days coughing phlegm up and other days nothing. This could be agitated by the hay fever season even though the pollen count is not as bad as in other years.

Fatigue

I do feel tired a lot. I notice this when I got out shopping or just for our regular walk. I feel very sleepy and my body starts to ache.

Tingling Hands

A number of people have noticed tingling in their hands, like pins and needles. I had this for a short while but it soon went.

Weight

It does appear I have lost a little bit of weight. Shorts that I had difficulty getting in last year are very loose on me. I guess that is one benefit of getting this.

The symptoms haven’t prevented me from doing anything at all, which is good, since I do have a big project on at the moment and other clients want work done. I do try not to walk so far though. For example, going around the Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre was exhausting, it’s a huge complex and I reached a certain point and couldn’t go any further.

I found it quite unusual that it has been going on for so long, but other people in our gated community said it took them up to 2 months to finally be 100% in good health.

According to the British Columbia COVID-19 Dashboard, there are still plenty of people catching the virus, who have been hospitalized and dying. Let’s hope there isn’t another “wave” coming as is predicted in the UK.

I have noticed that in supermarkets, the chains like Real Canadian Superstore virtually no one wears masks. However, in Asian supermarkets like T&T virtually everyone does. I do feel more comfortable shopping in Asian supermarkets but due to the high prices, it’s not always possible.

2022-06-19T17:53:03+00:0019 June 2022|Coronavirus|

Getting The COVID Vaccine

It’s been a mixed bag trying to obtain the COVID vaccine here in British Columbia. Here is a summary of what I went through.

Shot One

Prior to this shot, the communication was pretty bad. Even though the local government had a registration system I tried the alternative to getting it done through a local pharmacy since it would be faster. So, I had to phone around all the local pharmacies to see who would do it, or leave my details on their website with the larger chains. I managed to register successfully with Costco and Rexel near me, however, due to demand and short supply, I didn’t know when, if ever, they would ask me to go in. Eventually, I managed to book an appointment through a local small pharmacy I am familiar with. It was a scabble, to say the least.

The local pharmacy was good, efficient and friendly. After the vaccine though, I was a little sick with a headache, dehydration, dizziness, and so on. Could have been worse since others had suffered more.

Shot Two

After the first shot, the pharmacy didn’t know whether they would be getting the second so it was all left up in the air. Again, the communication from the government wasn’t very good, very much unlike in the UK when most people I knew got the actual date during shot one when they would go back for shot two.

Anyway, out of the blue, the pharmacy called me to go in for shot two. It all went well. Didn’t feel ill afterwards apart from an arm ache for two weeeks. That one was much easier.

Shot Three – Booster

Again, a little bit of confusion with the communication. I understood only seniors and the vulnerable could get the booster 6 months after Shot Two and the government would eventually roll it out to others. However, I saw that friends who were much younger than me, not vulnerable, and hadn’t reached their 6 months yet were managing to get the booster.

So, I called the helpline, and even though 6 months had passed they said I wasn’t eligible due to my age. I didn’t want to argue with them, it wasn’t worth it. The day after I got a text telling me I can book a booster now. I sighed, of course.

I went onto their system to make the booking, however, there was only one location available in the whole area and they didn’t have appointments for 3 weeks. So, I booked it for the new year, the first appointment they had available.

I was very pleased to get it done but it was a bit of a gong show. It was a drive-thru facility for which there was a lineup of cars for about 45 minutes, luckily I got there well in advance of the appointment. The “facility” was not a clinical environment and was a filthy warehouse, which didn’t really put me at ease. Anyway, it was done and staff were organized as much as they could be given the circumstances.

Afterwards, I was sick for three days. The same symptoms as shot one. It was no problem really, I’d rather be queezy than not get the vaccine.

Summary

The disorganization did pain me especially as the complete idiot Boris Johnson appeared to have done a better job in the UK. I hope the process didn’t put people getting the vaccine. At the end of the day, it’s out of the way. Question is, will there be another vaccine/booster?

2022-01-09T18:28:53+00:009 January 2022|Coronavirus|

Latest COVID Update

I feel as though there has been some progress since the last time I wrote a COVID update.

The great news is that I have now had both vaccines so that is out of the way for the time being. I had the AstraZeneca vaccine for the first and second dose. At the time of my second dose, the Canadian government said I could have one of the other vaccines if I wanted, however, I didn’t feel as though I wanted to mix and match plus the pharmacy called for AZ before I could book for the others. I was sick after the first vaccine but did ok after the second one.

Two days after the Canadian government then recommended those who had AstraZeneca dose one to receive one of the others for dose two. There were reports from the NHS that Pfizer performed better with dose one and two, compared with AZ, against the Delta (Indian) variant, by about 5%. I’m not too worried about that though but will continue to adhere to the same protocols as if I haven’t had either vaccine ie wear a mask, social distance, continue to wash hands etc.

We live in one of the areas where the uptake in vaccines has been low, according to the last report I saw a couple of weeks ago. I hope they have managed to turn this around. The local health authority held a vaccine marathon event and I hear that has been popular and from what I understand they had to tempt people with prizes.  This irks me slightly as people should be vaccinating from their own and the common good of society rather than wait for prizes.

Our pandemic routine has been pretty much the same as it has been over the past year or so. Stay at home. Walk within our community. Go out shopping once per week. Yesterday we went to Ikea, it stressed me out a bit since very few were adhering to the rules, often not even the sales staff, so it is slightly disappointing. So now, we have to go out assuming no one is going to behave like decent human beings and try to protect ourselves as much as we can.

I’m pleased to see that the number of new cases and deaths are declining in British Columbia, however, I don’t think it’s enough. I think people can do better. Any new infection can result in a fatality or have a rare chance of being left with a long term condition. Today the government accounts 1 million people have been fully vaccinated in British Columbia, which is approx 1/5 of the population, which seems like a great milestone.

There has been some talk about re-opening the border with the US, it appears they review this on a regular basis, with the current date set at 21st July. I don’t know anybody in our community that is for that, however, it would be good for business as Americans come up here for tourism and cheap prescriptions.

So, at least some good news at last which is giving me a more positive outlook but realistically I don’t expect any slant to normality until later on next year.

2021-06-22T23:04:19+00:0022 June 2021|Coronavirus, Health Care|

COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID VaccineIt’s been two weeks since I had the COVID-19 vaccine now so I thought I would write up my experiences in obtaining it and its after-effects.

Obtaining the Vaccine

According to the initial communication from the British Columbia government, I didn’t think I would receive the vaccine until at least September 2021. Good news followed when I heard I could apply at a local pharmacy to have the AstraZeneca one, I feel inside the age group of 55-65.  The initial list of pharmacies were few and far between but was able to place myself on the waiting list for the major ones such as Costco and Shoppers Drug Mart. I hadn’t heard back from those pharmacies when I was notified by the local community bulletin board that a smaller business was going to get a supply in, I called them up and was able to get my vaccine quickly.

The pharmacy concerned did a great job of supplying information about the vaccine to address any concerns. After the vaccine I was provided with a receipt, proof I had it done. I needed to wait around for 15 minutes to ensure there were no side effects. Actually, we waited in the car to prevent any overcrowding in the pharmacy, I went back in after 15 minutes to advise them I felt fine.

Feeling Sick

For two days after the vaccine, I did have mild side effects such as:

  • Headache
  • Very sleepy
  • Shoulder ache

I kept hydrated and took some medication.

The third day after the vaccine I felt much better.

After three days my arm felt ok, however, in the 2nd week, it started to ache again, as though it had been bruised although no sign of lump or discolouration. I’m not making anything of it, maybe it’s me just being moderately senior now.

Vaccine Number Two

In Canada, they don’t plan to provide the 2nd vaccine until 4 months after the first. I have to say this is fairly troubling given that this is not exactly according to the supplier’s recommendation. The justification Canada is providing is to ensure as many as they can receive the first vaccine.

Maybe there will be a change, later on, to fast forward this to a more acceptable level.

Summary

It does feel good to have the first vaccine, as it is one small step from this disaster is over. When I say over, I mean start to function moderately normal although I don’t suspect life will be 100% normal for some time.

2021-04-26T22:36:28+00:0026 April 2021|Coronavirus, Health Care|

COVID Update 4 March 2021

I have to say I’m not very happy about the direction in which the COVID pandemic is going here in British Columbia and Canada overall.

NOTE: This is an opinion piece and everyone should clarify COVID pandemic and vaccine facts/figures for themselves from their own sources.

So, the latest figures for yesterday weren’t very good. Since there is quite a large number of new infections I do question why this is happening. Is the province failing to tighten up to prevent these new cases or are people now just fed up and ignoring the rules? Maybe a mix of both? There was a downward trend in cases but in the past few days it’s going up again, stats for yesterday (3rd March):

  • New Cases = 542
  • New Deaths = 7
  • Hospitalized patients = 246 people, 64 in intensive care

I am troubled that the highest number of new cases always seems to be in my own area suggesting more work needs to be done here, but will it? Probably not.

I am also concerned by the mess of the vaccine rollout. Most of our friends and family in the US and UK have had their 1st dose and on the way for the 2nd one, some have had their 2nd dose already.  It’s been tough to interpret what really is happening in Canada but this is the information I have gathered:

  1. British Columbia has decided to increase the gap between the 1st and 2nd dose of the vaccine against the recommendation of the manufacturers. The UK gap is up to 12 weeks, BC has increased that to 17 weeks. Many freaked out. The Chief Science Officer of BC got concerned, the health department said she can’t comment because she wasn’t included in the decision-making process, but I want to why she wasn’t included as I think you would want buy-in from everyone especially the Science person.  BC Health has been criticized before for not including others in the decision-making process, including teachers.
  2. Canada failed to build facilities to produce the vaccine here, unlike the UK. It is building them now but this is useless for current needs, it will only be good for the next pandemic.
  3. Canada procured its vaccines way too late.
  4. Canada is a member of a vaccine pool, really meant for developing countries. Canada was the first to order from it.
  5. 500,000 vaccines arrived from India yesterday, however, that is controversial since India has only vaccinated 1% of its population.
  6. Trudeau has ordered enough vaccines for 5 times the population which means it eats up the supply that may have gone to developing countries.
  7. Canada is at the bottom of the league table among developed countries to roll out the vaccine.
  8. There is likely to be diplomatic rifts later on due to its greed in procuring too many vaccines.
  9. Regarding the 4 months/17 weeks gaps there have been some studies suggesting it is possible, one of those studies it quotes hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet. So, it appears that they are making these decisions based on Canada’s failure to procure enough vaccine for 1st and 2nd dosage inline with the manufacturers’ recommendation so it has no choice to go in this direction.
  10. Most likely, vaccinating the whole BC population with dose 1 first is not a bad idea but leaving 17 weeks for the 2nd dose I think is a risk, I hope they know what they are doing, I have lost some faith in them somewhat.

I feel as fed up as other people about the whole situation.

2021-03-04T18:23:47+00:004 March 2021|Canada, Coronavirus|

COVID Update August 26 2020

I’ve not done one of these reports for a long time and it seems the world is still in chaos. I don’t know what to make of it all except just ignore it and dive into my own life shutting off the outside as much as I can.

British Columbia Update

Here are some snippets from what’s been going on here:

  • Many wildfires, some caused by lightning strikes. Seems they are moving families back to their homes now.
  • COVID19 cases continue to rise with record breaking numbers on a daily basis. Since 6th July they started to rise and increase on a daily basis, there are minor drops here and there but then it goes up. Total cases to date is 5,242.
  • Unfortunately there has been 925 COVID19 related deaths as of today.
  • Reported today a COVID19 outbreak in a local hospital, seems there was only 1 case but still alarming.
  • Most alarming news is the deaths from illicit drug overdoses, 175 during July and around the same numbers in recent past months. Highly disturbing.

Worldwide Update

Here are some snippets that I have been keeping an eye on or trying to avoid:

  • Number of COVID19 cases and deaths still continue to rise in the US. Doesn’t seem like the current administration really cares.
  • US is in its election silly season, I am trying to ignore it. Most of it is terribly offensive and it seems pretty much all their own problems are set aside just to regain power.
  • The US vs China fight continues. Both countries slagging each other off constantly. I don’t see any end to it.
  • The UK seems to be in a mess but maybe not as much as the US. Not sure if I have any confidence in the current government there.
  • Climate change appears to be tearing the world apart in various pockets of countries. I can’t see much is being done, maybe on the back burner due to COVID19.
  • Canada has a new opposition leader and Trudeau enters another scandal.

What’s Happening With Me

For work I have a couple of major projects on right now, I guess it keeps me out of mischief.

We are still wary about going out but stores and restaurants are opening more including our favourite local Chinese. Many people aren’t bothering to social distance or wear masks.

Spare time has been spent on training myself. Some online training but the easiest is viewing short tutorials on YouTube.  It’s easier for me to learn if I am actually working on a project of my own rather than being taught something that is not relevant. I have to feel as though I am achieving something this year and this is one way of doing it.

I don’t feel I am sleeping that well which makes me agitated during the day.

The weather has been warm with pockets of rain.

2020-08-26T05:09:08+00:0026 August 2020|Coronavirus|

COVID Update July 27 2020

British Columbia Update

After a very moderate year so far the hot weather has arrived here in BC. Today we are in the 30C’s and the humidity level seems quite high, really stuffy.

The statistics speak for themselves regarding how COVID19 is doing:

81 new cases over this past weekend
Total number of cases now 3,500
2 new deaths
Active cases = 264
Hospitalization = 11
ICU = 3

We heard today that the temporary closure of a Real Canadian Superstore due to a staff member being tested for the virus. This is one of the stores where staff do not wear masks or social distance. This behaviour I do find troubling and puts me off going out as they people can’t behave themselves. [Source: News1130]

Worldwide Update

The top headlines I have heard are all round COVID19 and the rise in numbers globally especially in the United State. The World Health Organization has reported a rise in global numbers. Governments want to get back to normal to improve the economy with people going back to work and sending children back to school somehow but it seems that comes with a price.

One of the most tiresome news stories come from the recommendation by health care experts to wear masks. There are people who refuse to wear them, and I’m not sure why, in the US something about it breaking their constitutional right not to wear them, in the UK I can’t determine what their reason is or why they came to that conclusion. There is a large anti-vaccine movement so many will not have the COVID vaccine when it finally arrives. The world feels like madness.

The other global news headlines are related to the continued spat between the United States and China. Each country has their fair share of human rights abuses but China clearly much worse. I suspect it’s not just the US but other western countries that are becoming very fed up of China who are becoming extremely aggressive along with their bad behaviour. I can’t see that there is a path to resolve matters between the two countries and I suspect the relationship will deteriorate further.

It’s now less than 100 days to the US election so silly season down there has truly started which of course has an impact on the world. So there is so much going on it’s difficult to deal with things so I think its best to stay in my own bubble.

Personal Update

I have some new work that I have picked up from a client I have done business with now and again, that is good news. More the better.

We have been going out about twice a week, always on a Friday to do the shopping for the week ahead but sometimes during the week when we have forgotten something or the need arises. Since it’s so hot we’ll likely do shopping very early in the morning.

I am pleased we can sit outside in the shade to have our lunch every now and again.  Our home is quite cool compared with others in the neighbourhood so we are comfortable.

I have been training myself on various programs in Adobe, ones I haven’t used before and there are many of them.  All very good skills to have even though I’m of very advanced age now.

I feel quite comfortable and content with plenty to keep myself occupied.

2020-07-27T22:56:02+00:0027 July 2020|Coronavirus|

COVID Update July 11th 2020

The world does appear to be in a state of collapse and it’s quite depressing watching the news these days. I have to admit I’ve been ignorning a bit of it in order to try and keep sand plus my own creative juices going.

British Columbia Update

Yesterday, July 10th, saw the biggest jump in COVID 19 cases since May with 25 new cases. The virus still remains a threat and far from over it seems.

  • Total cases: 3,053
  • Total recoveries: 2,679
  • Total deaths: 186
  • Total active cases: 187

People wearing masks and practicing social distancing depends on where you go. T&T Supermarket make it mandatory to wear a mask, I like this very much and feel much safer shopping there. Real Canada Superstore it just a gong show, 50% of shoppers wear masks, no staff wear masks or even practice social distancing. Unfortunately, people still think they are invincible and companies should really know better to ensure their staff are safe.

Worldwide Issues

Oh geez, where do I start.

The most stressful situation does appear to be happening in the US with the continued corruption of Donald Trump and the lack of leadership on addressing the huge issue of COVID 19 case explosion. There was 71,787 new cases of the virus yesterday, July 10th, with the prediction of that increasing to over 100,000 per day. The US appears to jump from crisis to crisis, it’s completely out of control.

US-China relations have seriously deteriorated with counter tit-for-tat measures against each other. This comes down to both Trade, Hong Kong and human rights abuses by China. China’s relationships with other parts of the world are also deteriorating and it’s scabbing to retain allies, such as from Pakistan and parts of Africa. The National Security Law in Hong Kong has certainly had a negative impact locally, in the region and around the world.

Some countries have done well with the virus, such as Taiwan, but others are not fairing so well. Many think the UK is opening up too soon and there will be more lives lost.

News About Me

It does feel as though the year is passing by without really doing what we planned to do ie “The Year That Wasn’t”.

I carry on with my routine of self-employed working helping my clients in the medical journal community, it feels I am at least achieving something.

We limit our shopping to once a week if we can. We go out for walks every day to ensure we aren’t getting rusty.

The weather this year has been cold and wet, no real summer to speak of at all. Maybe that is yet to come, there is still part of July and August left. Haven’t really sat outside in our garden since it’s been too cold.

I’ve nothing much to complain about, life could be much worse.

2020-07-11T22:49:58+00:0011 July 2020|Coronavirus|

COVID19 Update May 9

In The News

There is good news for British Columbia, slowly but surely, with some possibility of lockdown rules being loosened up in the near future.

The statistics to date show:

  • Total Cases: 2,330
  • Total Recoveries: 1,659
  • Active Cases: 542
  • Total Deaths: 129

The number of new cases per day continues to decrease. 71% of people who caught the virus have recovered.

During the week we tuned in to hear British Columbia’s Restart Plan and it looked pretty impresive despite receiving the news that complete re-opening seems a long way off, understandable really. These are the slides they presented during the Press Conference:

I kind of feel stressed when I think of the other things happening in the world, such as:

  • Continuing failures by the Trump administration
  • The ping pong of insult throwing between the US and China
  • People in the US and UK ignoring physical distancing rules

We are currently celebrating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE Day) where we think about the struggles people had during World War 1 and 2 then compare society’s reaction to a little bit of discomfort in the 2020’s.

Her Majesty The Queen delivered this speech for VE Day 75, many look to her during times like these:

My Diary

MasksI don’t really have much news, life has pretty much been going on as normal.

The weather has heated up a bit, today was 25c with tomorrow reaching 26c. Quite uncomfortable going for a long walk but nice to sit outside under the shade when having lunch.

Don made some masks for us and they look pretty fantastic. Picture to the right.

As usual we went out shopping on Friday, it does appear to be getting more crowded out there. Since we only needed a little we only went to T&T. We managed to pick up some medical masks, made in China, which we were very pleased about even though they were quite expensive at 50 for CAD$30.00. Store like T&T are requiring customers to wear masks and have their temperature checked at the door, which we thought was very good, just like they do in China. Very wise indeed.

All the talk of VE Day 75 made me feel homesick but I guess no one else can enjoy it much apart from indoors or in their gardens.

A neighbour made and posted a video of other members in our communities work on their gardens, it’s pretty nice around here, we are very lucky.

2020-05-11T04:23:52+00:0010 May 2020|Canada, Coronavirus, Health Care|

Customer Service During COVID19

Costco Blown UpDuring the lockdown, relating to COVID-19, I’ve put my customer service needs on hold, just stop going forward until life gets back to normal so I don’t bother many companies whose staff I am sure are having a tough time. Here is a review on how things have been going.

GoDaddy

I personally don’t use this domain and web hosting company but my clients do. It’s not the worst company but it’s not the best either, I have never been a customer with them as I was warned off for the following reasons:

  1. Customer service tries to sell you useless things you don’t need.
  2. Once you are a customer they make it as difficult as possible for you to leave.

The only time I try to reach out to them is when my clients have downtime on their websites, which has been significant of late. There was nothing about outages on their status page but checking out Twitter many customers seemed to be experiencing the same issues. Someone on twitter tried to reach out to them on Live Chat but the waiting time was 14 hours, which is quite scary. GoDaddy has never responded to any of the messages I sent them.

I don’t know what their staff are going through especially when there is an outage, maybe they are finding hard to coordinate with technicians, but it leaves many customers in the dark.

Costco

I don’t enjoy going in Costco on a normal day but have always had good experiences with staff either in stores or their administration offices over the years. Recently it seems to have gone in the other direction, the result of which will be me keeping away from them unless I have a dire need to use them.

There were two incidents I was kind of disturbed about recently.

Incident 1

Went into Costco for a prescription with the hubby.
Staff: Keep 6ft away from him.
Me: I’m married to him.
Staff: You still need to keep 6ft away.[Sees straight couples together, none of which were told to stay 6ft away from each other] Me Shouting: I go to bed with him, and not caught anything yet.
15 mins later staff member apologizes, but if I had left the store I wouldn’t have heard that apology.

Hopefully, the member of staff isn’t homophobic and just over-thinking his job right now, he could have started the conversation by saying “are you two together” then it wouldn’t have got out of hand.

Incident 2

Goes online to try and amend an address in the My Account area of the Costco website.
System wouldn’t let me change the postcode.
Wrote an email to Costco asking them to make the amendment.
They wrote back with the message “you have to go into the My Account area to change your address”.

Obviously they never read my email properly. Maybe they are just inundated with issues to handle right now but I would have thought that one is a synch to fix.

NameSilo

Namecheap is a well known company for letting scammers buy domains in bulk for various evil purposes, I thought they were ‘leaders’ in the market but now a new company has appeared on the scene. I had never heard of NameSilo before, the reviews I have seen of the company appear to be good, however, it seems that they are allowing scammers buy domains in bulk too. All of a sudden I started to receive a huge amount of spam, I looked up domains and discovered they were purchased via NameSilo.

It might be the case that no one is hosting via NameSilo but have bought domains via another company, in another country. I noticed that all domains in my spam have very similar format; three letters followed by four numbers, mostly .com tld’s. I would have thought this would have generated some suspicion at the company. Anyway, like Namecheap, NameSilo get an F rating at the Better Business Bureau because they fail to respond to customer complaints that are escalated there.

Summary

There are some companies I deal with that are known to have poor customer service but I just assume I am not going to get anything done during this period, so I have left them alone.

Compainies I don’t usually have issues with haven’t been doing that well during the lockdown but I just put that down to these chaotic times.

We’ve gone to some stores where staff are clearly unhappy but I can’t blame them really, on the whole we’ve had a brilliant experience with other places. So, it’s hit and miss during these times.

2020-05-06T22:01:50+00:006 May 2020|Coronavirus, Customer Service|