EASTER MONDAY

It’s a public holiday for most people in the province on Friday. Did you know that it’s not a holiday in the United States? I found this out because many of my co-workers are located in Los Angeles. While Monday is not a holiday for any of us, I took a vacation day to make it a four-day weekend.

I usually don’t take the Easter Monday off but I have lots of vacation time this year and I could use the time off. I am not alone as many of my fellow Canadian co-workers are doing the same.

I will spend most of my long weekend trying not to get sick. We’re into the home stretch and it’d be a shame to falter to so close to the end.

WEATHER DAY

It was windy all day today but I ventured outside anyways to get some fresh air and exercise. I brought an umbrella just in case but it wasn’t needed at first, since it was just windy.

The wind died down and then it was just cloudy. The clouds then gave away to blue sky and it was actually sunny for all of perhaps 30 minutes. It was sunny and warm enough that I was getting hot. The weather, however, turned incredibly fast. The blue skies were quickly replaced by large, very dark clouds that were very ominous. The sky got dark and then out of nowhere, it started raining very heavily, with large and forceful drops. It was a deluge straight out of a movie. Then the hail started, an intense hail that was aided by the strong winds that returned again. The hail started coming in from the side. By then I had opened by umbrella but it was almost useless since the wind turned it inside out.

By this time, I was struggling to get home. My pants were wet, as were my shoes. By the time I got back to my apartment, I felt like a wet dog. I stripped off my wet clothes and got into my PJs. It was then I checked the Internet a massive multi-block area of my neighbourhood was without power. I was right at the edge of the affected area but for some reason, my building had power. I was able to make food, hot drinks, and turn on the heat while people the next block over were in the dark.

The power outage for some people lasted well into the night. What a weird and windy day.

JUST CHECKING

I’m not saying I did but someone told me that you could go to the state of Alaska government website, choose a vaccination site (of which there are many), sign up using a hotel address and phone number, and get pretty far into the registration process. It even allows you to select that you don’t have medical insurance. The only part I’m not sure of is if they need proof of residency in the state. It seems like if you could get past that part, you’d be ok. Not that I did any of that today.

ETHICAL

As far as I know, the states of Texas, Alaska, and now Arizona are offering vaccine shots to any adults who want one, with no age restrictions in place. I have envy. A hypothetical question, do you think any of those states would give a shot to a Canadian, if they hypothetically went to one of those said states? I am asking for a friend.

VACCINE REPORT

Today was the day that I drove my Dad to get his first vaccine shot. He had a confirmed appointment for 12:15pm. We chose to go to a drive-through clinic located at the Coquitlam Park and Ride lot, since it was the closest location to my parents’ place. We got there about five minutes early and there was a small line-up of about five cars to get enter the lot.

That line-up went relatively quickly and when I got to the entrance of the lot, the first health care worker asked me why I was here today. I showed her a printout of my Dad’s vaccine appointment confirmation. She pointed me to a line of cars that had been already queued up ahead of me. I drove up behind the car that I was directed to and I could see another covered tent ahead that I would eventually have to pass under.

Here’s where it got weird and where my first complaint started. After a few minutes, the line moved ahead and I was able to get to the tent where another worker was talking to all the cars. She handed me two forms and asked me to fill it out. I was surprised by this request. No where in the confirmation e-mail did it warn us there would be additional forms to fill out. I didn’t bring a pen or anything to help me write on forms. I told her I didn’t have a pen and I guess this was something they’ve dealt with because she handed me a pen.

Now I’m trying to navigate a moving line of vehicles while simultaneously trying to fill out forms for my Dad. I looked at the first form and it’s asking me to fill out his name, birth date, address, and personal health number. What? Should the Fraser Health authority already know this? They made us fill in all this info when we made the appointment in the first place! Why would they not know this on the day of the appointment? What was the purpose of us filling that info in when the appointment was made? It was frustrating to have to fill this out in the car, while trying to steer through lanes of the vehicle queue.

It turned out that I had plenty of time to fill out the form because we waited 45 minutes for us to finally snake our way to the tents where the shots were actually administered. I’m not sure what caused them to fall so far behind schedule. I have no reference point so this might have been either a day where they were relatively on time (I hope not!) or this might have been a terrible day for being on time.

Everyone is supposed to have a specific time they are supposed to show up and I know that when I booked, time slots had a limit before they were all gone. I feel like they got behind early in the morning and just never recovered.

The actual process of getting the shot was smooth. They asked my Dad a few questions, he took off his jacket, the nurse leaned into the car, swabbed his arm, and gave him his shot. My Dad said it was painless and he felt almost nothing.

After getting the shot, we moved into another lineup where we were supposed to stay there for 15 minutes, to ensure no side effects were present. After ten minutes, I heard one of the workers say that the lineups were getting too long and that they were gonna ask people if they wanted to leave before their 15 minutes were up, they could. I asked my Dad how he was feeling and he said he was feeling fine. We’d been at the clinic a lot longer than I had anticipated and while my Dad had a bottle of water with him, I knew he was getting hungry. So, I decided to leave a bit early and got the hell out of there.

I took him home and I had lunch with my Mom and Dad. I stayed with them for another two hours or so and he said everything was ok. He’s looking forward to his next shot in a few months. My Mom should be getting her first shot in about two weeks ago. Based on our experience today, I’m wondering if she should go somewhere else to get hers.

DIEZ VISTAS

I did the most challenging hike in recent memory on Saturday. I tackled the Diez Vistas trail which is Spanish for “ten views”. Lucky for me, I also chose a Saturday that was so cloudy, only two of the ten views were not obscured by a curtain of gray.

The hike was a six-hour ordeal, very steep and challenging in parts. The Buntzen Lake recreational area closes at 7pm this part of the year and I had to run the last bit of the hike to ensure I was able to get in my car and be beyond the gates before they were locked for the evening.

By the time I escaped the gates, I was exhausted, very dehydrated, and hungry. I knew I was dehydrated, so I forced myself to drink water the entire evening. Evidently, I still didn’t drink enough water because the next morning I woke up feeling terrible. It was an odd feeling because I wasn’t just feeling dehydrated, there was more to it. It took me a few hours to realize what it was. I felt like I was hungover, which is something I haven’t felt like in years.

I went downstairs to buy two bottles of Gatorade, came back up, and parked myself on the couch to watch a movie. While watching it, I drank one of the Gatorades. In the two hours that the movie ran, I had to pee three times. Was that the Gatorade working? In any case, I felt way better after drinking the Gatorade.

Parts of my body are still sore. I don’t think I’ll be doing that trail again for a long time.

OSCAR NOM

I work for Respawn Entertainment and our studio was just nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Documentary (Short Film). Colette was co-produced by Respawn and tells the story of Colette Marin-Catherine, a former French resistance fighter who travels to Germany to visit a Nazi concentration camp where her brother was killed. As you might imagine, the subject matter is heavy and emotional.

The film was included in Respawn’s Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, a World War II VR game, which had a gallery section with interviews from veterans of the war. I’m not sure how many other studios I’ll work for that will manage to snag an Oscar nomination, so I hope we win this one.

SCARY

I keep reading stories about people randomly getting COVID-19 infections in the local Vancouver area. They say they’re doing all the right things but they still manage to get infected and they’re not sure how it happened. How much of this is just random luck, or I guess bad luck?

Have I just been lucky all this time? There’s a light at the end of this pandemic tunnel but I’m afraid my luck will run out just before I get to the end.

REGISTERED

This morning I registered my father for his first vaccine dose. We are lucky to live in a public health jurisdiction that has an online system for booking. I know other jurisdictions in this province require phoning in, which I think is less convenient.

I was able to get him an appointment next Monday around noon. The location closest to him had about 100 remaining appointment slots and I chose one that was pretty much close to the earliest available. Waiting less than a week is acceptable in my mind. The location we’re going to is a drive-through one but the instructions also say leave time to park, so I’ll have to figure out if we’re staying in the car or having to actually to a tent or something.

I’ll be taking the day off to drive him as Mom doesn’t drive anymore. He could probably drive their himself but it’s probably safer if he has someone else drive him home afterwards. Exciting times indeed!

FINALLY

One year ago, most of us were wondering how all of this was going to turn out. There was and continues to be worry and uneasiness. I am, however, excited to report that tomorrow my Dad will get registered for his first vaccine shot. If all goes well, he should be getting that shot within seven days.

Now, I could mention that in many jurisdictions around the world, people several decades younger than my father are readily getting the vaccine. It’s difficult not to ask why some places are moving faster with vaccinations than here in British Columbia. Complaining, however, won’t magically make more vaccines appear. I am just thankful that my Dad will be getting his dose of a vaccine soon. Since my Mom is a bit younger, she’ll receive her shot a few weeks after.

Once both my parents are fully vaccinated, I’ll be able to relax a bit more.