I received a cheque in the mail this week. It was a rebate from the provincial auto insurance company, ICBC. The reason for the rebate is explained here, but essentially less driving because of the pandemic led to less crashes and thus less claims for the insurer. Less claims means more money was saved by ICBC.
Though they say the average rebate would total around $200, my rebate wound up being $11. There’s probably a few reasons behind that small amount. One, compared to most drivers, especially younger ones, my insurance is much cheaper, by the thousands annually. Also, I only insure my car for leisure because I don’t use it to drive to work (even before the pandemic), so that leads to a smaller amount. So, it makes sense my rebate isn’t that big.
I am not complaining about getting $11 back. Indeed, someone got a $1 rebate and wasn’t that happy about it. $11 can buy me a few groceries, so that’s not so bad.
We’re in the middle of April and here in the greater Vancouver area, it’s feeling like summer already. The highs this weekend hovered near 20 degrees Celsius. People were wearing shorts and t-shirts like it was July. I was caught off guard by the good weather, didn’t have any summer clothes cleaned or pressed, so I was forced to wear pants all weekend.
It felt particularly hot and muggy on Saturday. That was the day that I was outside the most. It did not feel like a day in April. Traditionally, and perhaps in a cliched manner, April in Vancouver means rain. I don’t think it’s rained here in almost two weeks.
I did laundry Sunday night and washed some of my warmer weather clothes so I’ll be ready for more sun. The good weather will be around until at least through Wednesday. I am not complaining about the nice weather. With everything going so badly lately in our province, at least this is one thing we can enjoy (but not in large groups without physical distancing!).
A few weeks ago, Kenji Lopez-Alt showed how he makes his own tuna melts. The recipe is simple enough that even an idiot like me could follow it. The most exotic ingredient is scallions, so nothing fancy here. It turned out really good.
This evening I drove my Mom to the same vaccination site that my Dad went to a few weeks earlier. Instead of waiting an hour for the shot, we were waived in immediately to a vaccination tent. There were hardly any cars in the vaccination area. I saw one other car where someone was already getting their shot. Other than that, it was just us.
My Mom filled out her forms and she got her shot within ten minutes of arriving. It was a much more pleasant experience because of the lack of waiting. We also waited for fifteen minutes for any side effects but my Mom didn’t have any.
I feel a sense of relief now that both my parents have their first shots. Of course, my Mom still needs to be vigilant for the next two weeks as she builds up immunity, but at least the process has started.
My Mom gets her first vaccine shot tomorrow and I am very excited for her. I am also still very nervous. Even with her shot, it still takes two weeks or so for the immunity to build up, so things are still risky for her. I guess it’s risky for everyone in the greater Vancouver area right now.
Record breaking positive cases continue to be logged every week. There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that people are aware of more and more sick people in their spheres of influence. For example, in this Reddit post, many people mention knowing more friends, family, coworkers, and roommates who have all tested positive in the last few weeks. What’s especially troubling are the people in that thread who say they caught it even though they are adhering to all the rules: wear a mask everywhere, wash hands, and limit trips to grocery store. That scares me greatly. Is it just a matter of time until everyone who is unvaccinated gets it? Are these variants so contagious that all the preventative measures we do now are ineffective? If so, I feel like I’m just rolling the dice whenever I venture outside my apartment. It’s not a great feeling.
I was watching a zombie movie last night and the opening scenes featured lots people at a packed party in an apartment. It was wall to wall people, standing in close proximity and yelling over the music. These people later on became zombies. Between those two events, the most frightening thing to me was the party scene. It’s because in my reality, that could lead to serious illness and death.
I can’t even imagine then next time I’ll feel comfortable enough to go to a packed party, standing next to strangers and making small talk.
My Mom is scheduled to have her first vaccine shot on Wednesday but I’m going to be nervous until then, plus the two weeks or so when she’ll have all the immunity built up from the shot. The situation in British Columbia is currently the most dangerous it has been since the start of the pandemic. Almost every day we break daily case records and today we almost hit 1300 cases in the last 24 hours, which is a new record. The impact of variants plus an infuriating amount of people who don’t seem to care anymore about staying safe has led us to this point.
My Mom’s appointment is six days away, which seems short compared to how long the pandemic has gone on now, but it does seem a long time to wait, given how dangerous things are now. I’ve told to her to be extra careful now, even though I know she doesn’t take a lot of risks anyways. I’ve asked her to let my Dad go into the supermarket or pharmacy instead, since it’s been over two weeks since he got his shot.
It really is now a race to get everyone vaccinated before things get completely out of control. I may allow myself to relax a little in three weeks but until then, my concern is high.