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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
I 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.
During 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.
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:
Customer service tries to sell you useless things you don’t need.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since I wrote the last time I’ve been mainly doing bits and pieces of work relating to a new client and a couple of existing ones. It’s kept me busy and I don’t think much of what is going on in the world.
This past Friday’s shopping trip seemed a little bit more stressful than usual. People seem to forget the social distancing so avoiding people coming any closer is becoming more troublesome, especially with seniors who may not understand what’s going on. We had to go to 2 stores with the Asian supermarket being the best and we ended up with everything we needed.
We noticed the gas/petrol prices are very low at the moment, this is the price per litre in our neighbourhood, see picture right. However, the prices in Calgary are almost half that since they don’t have to pay taxes on it, I believe.
Today is the first day we had wet and cold weather, however, we’ve been out every day for a walk to try and keep active.
We went for a drive down to White Rock, mainly to recharge our cars batteries. The traffic was busy on the way down there, like there was no outbreak, mainly around Surrey, British Columbia. However, down by the waterfront it was fairly quiet. Most of the shops were closed, the promenade was closed as was the pier. People were jogging in the middle of the road as though there hadn’t been any traffice for quite a few days.
In The News
Well, as I said I hadn’t been paying too much attention to it, it has been pretty miserable out there.
Not sure what is going on in the US, it seems madness with a minority wanting to go back to normal despite it being too early to do that. But, I guess that is what the US has always been like, needs of the few lunatics outweigh the health and safety of the many. I am just pleased I’m not down there. Some American’s are blaming China, making racist remarks, and even Missouri taking legal action against them. China is still providing aid to the US in the way of protective gear.
Sad to hear the passing of Tim Brooke-Taylor and Eddie Large, two British celebrities who died due to COVID-19 complications. There has been so many deaths, all equally sad, I hope they all continue to be honoured and their stories shared.
I like looking at data, as grim as it can be, and this is a snapshop I find particularly interest. I compare British Columbia (BC) and Colorado (CO) as the population sizes are very similar, unforunately the latter has it worse than we do. The data for the US keeps going up and up by the minute so it’s difficult to be accurate, but for a developed country they really aren’t doing well at all. Whereas Taiwan, has far few cases than either BC or CO and have a much larger population, they are a country not a State or province. Then, there is the UK, so many issues, especially with the supply of protective equipment, and such are large number of deaths.
So, it’s all very grim, but luckily I have plenty of distractions to keep me sane.
I’ve kept away from the news of late for a couple of reasons, there is way too much information out there with never ending opnions, everybody wants to tell each other what to do or their advice is the best, and I have too much work to do.
I’m currently involved in a website redesign project and in discussions with a new potential client, both great news for me. Also, I have tons of other projects, like many training training courses to start or finish, my own website redesign, and a book I want to complete as well.
As advised by health care professionals we are still stuck at home not able to go out so far. I guess that’s ok, everybody is in the same boat. Every Friday we go to the supermarket and we are finding Asian stores are more stocked up than others. Today, we went to T&T and bought a ton of goodies plus so to-go meals for tonight and another day or two. T&T are starting to do voluntary temperature checks, I like that idea very much so I partcipated, it’s important to protect store staff and other customers.
It’s good to see our neighbours make some noise in support of health care workers. I don’t think there are many in the profession in the area and no hospitals nearby but maybe they will put it online. This is the video I took:
In The News
Internationally it’s not good news at all. As I write this there are now 1,699,632 cases worldwide with 102,734 deaths, very sad news. The US reached over half a million cases today, bringing it to a total of 502,876, the highest in the world. The UK has a total of 73,758 cases with 8,958 deaths but their recovering figures appear to be non-existent or incorrect at 355; I really would have thought they would want to share some glimmer of good news. In total Canada has 22,148 cases and 569 deaths, obviously we have a lower population than US or UK but I would like to believe we are doing better than them. I think Canadians obey instructions given by health care officials and the government more than other countries. The US is in such a mess with such dreadful leadership and I really wouldn’t know where to begin in dissecting what is happening there.
I’ve done a comparison between the last data I displayed on this blog against today’s figures. We do seem to be in a better position than anyone else.
Obviously, there is no chance of any “stay at home” being lifted anytime soon. It’s coming up to the Easter weekend so they are warning people not to be tempted to go out. Seems some smaller communities in BC are seeing arrivals as they go on “holiday” and potentially bringing the virus to them.
As of today there 128 COVID-19 patients in hospital, including 65 in intensive care. I hope they will recover soon.
Health care officials says masks are a personal choice but the medical variety should be reserved for those in the profession.
Justin Trudeau said normality wouldn’t return until a vaccine is developed, who knows when that will be, if at all.
I am starting to receive Coronavirus related email spam now although the majority of it appears to be the usual stuff from before. I expect any domain procurement company to scrutinise their customers tightly during this time period, many are stuck indoors with they isolate, some spending more time online in a vulnerable mindset. There does appear to be many bad domain sellers as there are spammers.
Here is some analysis over the past week and some tips on dealing with spam.
First, here are some analytics from one of my email accounts for the past week. The following is an analysis from an account I don’t use so much but that email address was the one I used on LinkedIn which was hacked. Now and again I do have legitimate emails going through .
Number of Emails Received: 135
Number of Legitimate Emails: 61 (+2 that were marked as spam but went on to be legit)
Number of Spam Emails: 73
Number of Emails Quarantined: 65
Number of Emails Rejected: 8
Number of Emails I Released from Quarantine (not spam): 2
Number of Emails with Domains Registered with Namecheap: 63
In general most of the TLDs (top level domains) I receive email from are the non .com .org domains, the most popular ones this week were:
Why are the majority of spam emails I receive associated with Namecheap? That is a question I have been asking them for a couple of years for which they refuse to answer. What is wrong with their process that allows so many criminals buy on their system? They have blocked the purchase of domain keywords associated with the Coronavirus, which is good but doesn’t provide a solution to criminals using domains that don’t use those keywords from buying domains. I’ve read some minutes from ICANN meetings that include a Namecheap representative but don’t see any discussion on what the company is doing to solve this issue. Maybe they just enjoy the money coming in a little too much.
You can report abusive or spam emails to Namecheap, however, with 63 emails this is virutually impossible to do when having to include headers for each, which is why they should be addressing their bad workflow issue, but unfortunately they don’t care.
Deciphering A Spam Message
Below is a typical spam message I received. Although the subjects of much of the spam is consistent with the past 2-3 years I am now seeing Coronavirus type spam, in this case for masks which people are desperate to buy.
You must deactivate automatic downloading of graphics in your email program. In most emails, companies and scammers alike, have embedded an invisible graphic which pings back to the server the message was sent from. This sends a huge amount of data back to them, the worst being that they know you exist, it is sending to a legitimate email account, and that they can send you more scams. Also, your email will likely be sold on to other bad actors, or placed on a dodgy server for nasty people to download and use.
It is easy to look up a domain in ICANN, just enter the URL/s from the email and you will receive quite a bit of information back if you dig deep enough. You can find roughly the company the site is hosted or the domain supplier. It is possible to report the domain to the supplier so others aren’t victims, however, if you receive so much spam it’s impossible task to do that. If you are receiving too much spam in your inbox, contact your internet service provider or check on their website for instructions about decreasing that, for example, sending into the spam folder or elsewhere.
The unsubscribe link at the bottom of the message is most likely fake and just another way for the scammer to confirm you exist then go onto send you more spam. Do NOT click on any links within the email, it could redirect you to a site that will infect your computer will a virus or malware.
Some scammers include an address at the bottom of the message, it is quite easy to investigate what is exactly at that address, assuming it exists. When looking up the address I’ve seen all manner of obscure places.
I looked up the address on the above email, it is a company that rents mailboxes. You can’t get a mailbox without some kind of registration but is the box number real? Most likely not. If it is a legitimate company they are most likely have an office in a real building but if it’s a mailbox then you know any old person off any old street can rent one, assuming it is real.
Just doing a basic search, in Google, on the address, has also bought up some information from the Better Business Bureau. That address is also being used for another fake company “Russian Beauty Online: Online Dating Services”. Even though the emails from the “Russian Beauty” rubbish might be going out with the same address in it, the domain is registered via Enom with a another address.
The majority of people have wised up to these scammers now and can determine what is a scam or not:
Uses a non .com, .org, .edu, .gov etc domain
Don’t recognize who its from (not from a friend or someone you do business with)
Doesn’t speak your language properly, like broken English
Is a cold calling type message
The promises are too good to be true
The most problematic messages are scammers pretending to be from legitimate businesses or government bodies.
It’s best to be extra careful right now as scammers take advantage of people in vulnerable situations such as during a virus epidemic. Don’t expect domain registrars to be your friend, they are either uncooperative or your email has been shared to so many bad actors it will forever be impossible to stop the spam.
As I write this there are now 859,556 total cases in the world, that is known about. Also 42,332 deaths and, on the positive, 178,300 recoveries. Every time I look at the US numbers they appear to shoot up, maybe this is because they are finally ramping up their testing: 180,510 cases, 4,076 deaths and 7,109 recoverings. The UK appears to be the only country in the Top Ten that how a less recoveries than deaths: 25,481 cases, 1,793 deaths and 179 recoveries.
BC is not as hard hit as most places, but as I said before 1 person severely ill or 1 person dying is too much.
As expected, health officials are saying there is no chance of lifting social distancing before May.
19 long term Care Homes seem to be affected by the virus, which is very troubling
BC hasn’t really seen the peak of infections as yet
There are 4,171 bed available in BC, as elective surgeries have been cancelled, which is good, assuming that number isn’t breached.
28 Mar 20
31 Mar 20
New Cases Today
Monday we went to the supermarket, they were empty some items but picked up what we wanted more or less. We are doing ok. Neighbours have had some issues picking up eggs.
We had a neighbour who was on a cruise where many passengers caught COVID19. He continued to have respiratory symptoms after the virus left his system and unfortunately died from them. His wife and children are finally able to bring his body back to Canada. When they arrive home they will be quarantined in their home. What a traumatic experience.
I am coming up to doing my end of month reporting so I will be busy over the next couple of days.
Monday was wet, today has been fairly decent. We don’t go outside of our gated community, just walk around to get the blood circulating. We notice senior neighbours will get together and drink wine in the afternoon, outside their houses. They keep their distance from each other, most of the time, I don’t think I want to take the risk.
I should get into the flow of trying achieve more. I do feel the business world is on hold right now but I guess I could get into the flow of my rebranding myself.
Overall it doesn’t seem we are doing as badly as other places but it’s sad to hear about people dying fro this virus, 1 death is too many. Maybe people are adhering to the rules a bit more, I guess it takes a while for them to be drummed into people.
New Cases 28/3/20
It seems totally unbelievable that, as I write this, the US has 124,377 cases and the UK has 17,312 cases.
In Colorado, where we used to live, which has a very similar population to British Columbia, they have 1,740 cases. Colorado also has twice as many deaths as well.
The main news coming out of Canada is how they are instituting more rules about staying at home, altough some of them seem to be a little late. Being reactive seems a very similar trait among other countries as well. Like elsewhere, there is discussion around helping those who have been disadvantaged by the virus such as unemployment.
The Trump leadership in the US appears to going from bad to worse and I am quite concerned about my friends who live there, especially the vulnerable ones.
We went out on Friday 27th March to get a takeaway and some other essential food items. The restaurants we wanted to pick up from were closed until further notice. We did go into T&T supermarket for some asian essentials, they had quite a good stock in there, we were very pleased to pick up what we did, even dessert!
We are noticing people are starting to behave themselves a little better with the social distancing, or Phystical Distancing as they decided to call it now, from other people. The seniors were the worse due to being in denial of the situation.
We’ve been for our usual walks, to get some exercise in, ensuring we keep a distance from everyone and not touching anything as we enter/exit the building. I hurt my right foot so I have been stumbling when walking around.
I am continuing to work and learn new stuff from the online training courses I have signed up to.
The weather has been sunny until the past couple of days when it changed to be more rainy and cold.