The Private Citizen 106: Concluding the Coronavirus Coverage, Part 2

To answer your question, I do not have the fear that others have about SARS-COV-2, I definitely agree there is more fear out their than necessary. What I understand about omicron is it is more contagious but milder in symptoms; especially as I am vaccinated. I am planning on getting a medical exemption for wearing masks as it is likely to be required during work and it is not something I can cope with all day. I will however, likely wear my mask for as long as I can stand it to appease the fearful.

Also do you have a picture of the rocinante you mentioned above your desk. :rocket::woman_astronaut:


Am I afraid? It’s a good question, especially that till now I’m still unvaccinated (:scream: the horror!).

So the question might as well be: am I afraid of the vaccine?

I’m still unvaccinated because I don’t think that I’m of the risk group, and that most probably I would be able to resist it.

But I’m also not 100% sure, as I don’t see that there’s actual information about why do people react differently to it.

The only thing that I hear is that I should be afraid and that I should get vaccinate, and that’s it!

Initially I had in mind to wait until there is more data about the vaccine, but now it seems that it’s not just a one time business, now you have to accept the vaccine into your life (as Adam Curry puts it!).

From the look of it, I feel that I will be forced to get vaccinated to continue normal life, and I don’t feel particularly happy about it, but it will not be the end of the world!

So in the end, I don’t feel particularly driven by fear, but on the other hand, I completely agree that Fear is being used as a way to drive people’s behavior.

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I join the others: I’m not afraid, and I felt no need to be afraid too much from the very start. However, mine’s quite a particular situation: first me and my wife didn’t give a damn, but then she got pregnant with our daughter, and got really over-the-top virus-avoiding. She was taking no bloody chance in hell, she would step three meters off the path to avoid the oncoming people while walking in the park; I decided that, all things considered, I wouldn’t blame her, and would comply: for 9 months, we had no guest in our house, we met friends and family only outside and kept our distance, and so on. After our daughter was born, we returned back to sanity. And now, a year later, we’ve all had the infection, and see no reason to be scared at all any more.

As for people around me, Russia seems to be divided into two camps: the absolutely insane pro-vax “how dare you not vaccinate, you’re putting my life at risk” people that are so scared they support mandatory vaccinations and executing the refusers immediately, and the totally bonkers anti-vax “don’t you come near me or my kids, you 5G-chipped scum! even if the thing they injected you with is not contagious (which it is), the radiation you’re emitting can’t be good” people that sincerely believe COVID is a hoax altogether. And, in total accordance with the hundreds-of-years-old Russian tradition, the vast majority of people join neither camp, keep their mouths shut, and only confide to closest friends, so there’s no telling what the masses really think. The government and the press (and independent press doesn’t exist here) do their best to scare people, as seems to be the case in other countries, too.

Personally I think the pandemic is the new terrorism. For 20-odd years (became obvious after 9/11, but has been in action long before that), the global terrorism was the big threat that demanded sacrificing everyone’s rights to privacy, dignity, and self-respect. The threat looked scary enough to a big enough number of people that the sacrifices were made. Looks like that threat is going out of fashion, and we’re having pandemics now — to the same extent. Not as much the current pandemic (judging by the latest WHO communiques, it’s ending in the near future) as the imminent future ones (to which, judging by the same WHO communiques, we should now dedicate all our efforts to prepare for).


Very nicely worded.

Me and my family being in a foreign country, with no active social life, it was relatively easy to comply with social distancing.

Now I’m still working mostly from home, my wife is not working, only the daughters are going to school (thank God!).

So we didn’t get infected, and I’m still wondering how it would go.

But what furiates me, is the attitude that I (being unvaccinated)is a threat to the vaccinated.

One friend argued that the issue is the risk to overload the medical system if people refuse to get vaccinated, and for this he’s with mandating it.


I think the whole thing is starting to unravel.

Countries such as England, Ireland, and the Czech Republic are walking back their mandates.

Canada on the other hand has ramped up their mandates, which currently appears to be backfiring rather spectacularly. I have commented before on some of the mind blowing lack of logic in Canada, such as you can not work in health care anymore if you are not vaccinated, but you can continue to work in health care if you are vaccinated and have a current positive covid test. Well, just the other weekend they mandated that no unvaccinated truck drivers may cross into Canada, with the USA mandate on the same scheduled to come into play in the next few weeks. Enter the backfires… Mainstream media isn’t reporting much on it, and the news articles I saw actually downplayed it and even tried associating it with other events, but we now have the largest truck convoy in known history headed to our federal government. Their are 2 routes from the western most provinces, I’m not sure how many from the eastern most provinces, and it’s all scheduled to converge at our federal government this coming Saturday. The gofundme that was set up to help cover costs is currently over $4 million, and climbing fast, with companies pledging up to $10k at a time. And current word is that American trucks are headed up to join, coming from as far away as Georgia. Current registration puts the total at over 50,000 trucks and 500,000 people in transit. I think Saturday will be a day worth watching.

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How did it turn out in the end?

Well, it’s still ongoing.

The convoy rolled into Ottawa and grid locked the city. The city mayor has been sending city equipment to try block more trucks from gathering. The police are on site but have been reporting there is no law breaking. Main stream media has been posting articles discrediting the convoy. Live videos from the scene have been discrediting most of main stream media, some of them even showing video of the main stream media setting up with their cameras not actually pointed at the scene. CBC went as far as to suggest that Russia was behind it. Elon Musk tweeted his support, so that kind of fanned the flames. Our prime minister called the convoy racist and accused them of acts of vandalism, before declaring that he had covid and fleeing the city. So then the farmers showed up with their tractors to show support. The last I checked the gofundme was up over $8 million. There was lots of footage of citizens lining the sides of the highways and crowding overpasses so they could wave flags as the trucks passed. And some communities showed up at the overnight parking lots to feed the convoy.

Saturday morning, all across the country, small local convoys formed. To give an idea of turnout/attendance: I live in a very small city of 5,351 people (wikipedia stat), I watched 649 vehicles go past in the convoy, most with 2 or 3 people in them, before I got to drive, so I was number 650. Someone told me that the convoy hit 1,000 vehicles, but I can not confirm that. I had to wait for 90 minutes before I took my spot, and the volume of traffic grid locked the entire city. Local news stated 200 or 300 vehicles, and it was done in under an hour. After the convoy finished in my city, it headed west for 60km, driving through a village, and converging with another convoy that had come west to meet it in a second city.

It doesn’t look like it will be ending any time soon.

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Just to give the current update from the West of Canada:

Not too much has changed since that last post. Truckers and farmers are still occupying Ottawa, with what appears to be a smaller protest in Toronto, and also a decent sized protest on the border between Alberta and America.

That Alterta/America protest has probably created the most heat and negative energy from both sides, but is still going, and has currently limited border traffic to one lane.

Our Prime Minister is still missing. There were early reports that he was in Tofino again, and actually may have a house there, as he does like surfing there. The most recent news is that he is in America. Either way, he has not made any appearances or even bothered to connect remotely to our House of Commons. He has stated that he will not talk to the group, and still calls them terrorists and racists. I am not sure he understands the word “racist” at this point, as it is not appearing anywhere else.

The Ottawa city mayor called for the military to be brought in to remove the truckers. The military made a press release that it is not there job to remove trucks, and that seems to have died. The towing companies in Alberta and Ottawa have stated that it is not in their best interest to tow or impound the trucks, so that has left the table too.

The government here did succeed in getting gofundme to seize the 10 million dollars that was donated to the convoy, with gofundme stating that they would donate it to other groups at their discretion. As you can imagine, that did not go over well. The convoy has a group of lawyers donating time to them, and there are calls from Senators in America to investigate gofundme over this. The replacement site has been hampered by too much traffic and recorded over 1 million dollars in the first 12 hours.

And in what has been perhaps the most stereotypical Canadian move ever, the protestors have cleaned all the statues in the area, posted guards on the statues, used their food to cook free pizza for the people in the area, shoveled the streets and sidewalks, and played an East vs West game of road hockey.

Yep, day 7 of the protest is shaping up to be an “as reported in main stream media” vs “as reported by the people on the streets” type of day.


Boy, this is a very sympathetic view of it compared to what I get from my mom and what I’d infer from that poll (okay, I didn’t look up how the question was asked) having 62% not relating to these protesters whatsoever. Which is fine, when you don’t have majority opinion you have protest. Having gone to peace protests in the past I’m familiar with that damp squib.

What I find a little shocking (though not really, remembering the 85% approval and some first hand positive views – including my mom’s – of Pierre “Just Watch Me” Trudeau’s handling of the October Crisis) is my mom telling me some want this protest ended by force perhaps even with the military put to use. And in fact, Justin Trudeau’s response to that question was more noncommittal than one would hope (however the Emergencies Act has already been explored in the context of covid and rejected – btw this act would be a counterexample to the idea sometimes mentioned in the show that no government power grab is given up – the Emergencies Act replaced the war measures act that Justin’s dear old dad used for the October crisis and has a constitutional process needing more than only the executive to go into effect – and this counter example somehow happened despite Canadians approving of P.E.T. abusing the war measures act). It’s curious to me that many Canadians are quite comfortable with non-democratic actions going way beyond some pesky vaccine mandate. Granted I wasn’t there in the late sixties when the FLQ was setting off bombs in various places.

Last I heard on the trucker protest in Ottawa was that a judge ruled that they have to stop blowing their horns. Maybe that will allow them to settle in Occupy Wallstreet style in a way locals can tolerate better. Then there was an interesting opinion by a Liberal MP where he seemed to be calling out his own party for using the protest to political advantage (what more advantage they need with the Federal Conservatives own-goaling at every turn I don’t know): Liberal MP Joël Lightbound says his party's COVID policy 'stigmatizes and divides people' | CBC News

It’s interesting the contrast between the U.S. and Canada right now. Here you have Democrats starting to back off on mask mandates, etc. not wanting to be the “party of covid measures” going into next year’s elections. Then you have Conservatives in Canada gradually realizing that being the party of truckers in Ottawa might not work out so well for them politically and starting to distance themselves, at least according to this guy: The protest convoy could cast a long shadow in Canadian politics | CBC News

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Pierre was before my time too, but he is legend in my province, as he traveled through it by train and gave the crowd the finger, resulting in his train car getting coated in vegetable produce.

I think we are seeing much the same news. I heard the same about the horns yesterday night, and actually just finished reading the article about Lightbound. I think the only thing I can add to that is that the police appear to have stopped confiscating fuel cans going to the trucks, as the truckers seem to have found a way to get a fuel truck on site. Since I happen to work with diesel engines, running them out of fuel with the current cold temperatures was not going to end well for either side anyways.

I’m still not sure what to think on the long term fallout of this protest. I am very cautious in my reading of CBC news on it, as some of the people from my city have posted pictures of CBC deliberately filming inaccurate information in Ottawa, but I guess that is to be expected, since the numbers released show that 71% of their income is coming from our current government.

On a side note, have you also notice that you can not submit a report on any CBC posts on Facebook? They have the comments turned off so that you can not ask questions or point out inaccuracies, but you also can not report the post for inaccuracies.

Thanks for your input on this too Petit-Michel, it is good to hear from people in a different area of our large country.

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I don’t use Facebook. Also, I’ve been in the U.S. the last 20 some years, so I get it all 2nd hand from my mom and from online news sources.

More on the poll here: Almost 2/3rds of Canadians oppose trucker convoy protest, poll suggests |
Says it’s a web based poll, so kind of bullshit I guess.

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Ha, Trudeau should take a page out of Premier Legault’s book:

Quebec Premier Francois Legault said the demonstrators who descended on Quebec City last weekend calling for an end to health measures didn’t weigh on the government’s decision to offer Quebecers a reopening plan.

“Now, if they (demonstrators) want to take credit for this, and then they don’t come back in two weeks, I won’t object to that,″ Legault said.

Was looking for the AP to be more objective than the CBC, but there’s not a sympathetic word for the protesters in that article. I’ve seen more sympathy from the NY Times of all places, whose Canadian correspondent at least towards the end of an article acknowledged that despite the weird (now retracted) Canada Unity position statement about the elected government needing to cede power, some he’d interviewed stated most of the protesters they’d run into were pretty normal people.

I agree.

One of the worst parts is that he is even refusing to talk to them, while calling them racist, misogynistic, islamaphobic, homophobic, transphobic, and pretty much every other insult he could think of, but he actively marched in the BLM parades.

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Well, Nixon’s little foray out of the white house way back when notwithstanding, I don’t think a protest can reasonably expect parley with heads of governments. They have every right to protest and bring attention to their views, but that’s about it. I guess he must have marched in BLM parades in his capacity as a citizen because he agreed with those views, while he clearly doesn’t agree with those of this set of protesters (nor do I on the whole, though a libertarian point of view is good for Canada to have in mind along with everything else).

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I’d like to retract the above statement. The degree to which the Emergencies Act is an improvement over The War Measures Act is at best complicated. As pointed out in the paper below, while it does add some modicum of (after the fact) parliamentary and judicial review it also adds these new categories of emergencies. These new categories grant less power than the war powers – e.g. no using it to disband a political organization by declaring membership a criminal offense subject to 5 yrs imprisonment as was done to FLQ – but at the same time the new categories lower the bar for what it takes to suspend normal, agreed upon law, as has been demonstrated this past week by the declaration of a “public order emergency.” To quote Rosenthal’s conclusion:

“…the additional scope that “public order” and “international” emergencies give to the Governor in Council to rule by emergency decree suggests that Canada’s future will probably be marred by many more “emergencies” than its past has been.”
“Since prospects of effective judicial control of the broad powers contained in the Act are slight, it is reasonable that those concerned about civil liberties lobby for the repeal of the parts of the Act that allow declarations of “public order” and “international” emergencies. If these parts of the Act were to be removed the Act would represent
a significant improvement over the War Measures Act. As it now stands, however, it might well produce even more than four times the number of “October Crises” that would have eventuated under the War Measures Act.”

The paper (which was linked from the wikipedia article on the Emergencies Act) is worth reading in full:

Yes, it has been some interesting times and turns of events here. You have an excellent link here when it comes to the old war measures act and it’s replacement, the emergencies act.

It’s worth noting that the old war measures act was only ever invoked 3 times, 2 of them being the world wars, and the third one being an internal issue facing our current Prime Minister’s father. Since I know most of the people on here likely don’t have any background on Canadian history.

The only time the newer emergencies act has been invoked is for the current mandates protest. Interestingly enough, it was not enacted for the massive flooding in BC this fall, the massive fires in BC last summer, when Fort McMurray burnt a couple years ago, or the massive protests that stopped all shipping and trains last year.

I’m not too sure that we are going to see the oversight or judicial reviews that the people that wrote the act envisioned though. Currently, Brian Peckover, that last Premier still alive that co authored and signed our charter of rights is attempting to sue our government over the government’s failure to follow the charter. Our opposition party called on the government to justify the act in parliament, so our Prime Minister had parliament suspended. This is rather reminiscent of when the Prime Minister was caught, on a recording pressuring the government to drop charges on SNC Lavalin, and then suspended the government to bypass the investigations into what was deemed an ethics breach by the ethics commissioner.

One of the highlights of the opposition asking the government to justify the emergency act was a lady member of parliament standing up in parliament to ask them to. Our Prime Minister then stood up and accused the opposition of siding with the Nazis. The best part, the lady that had asked was Jewish, and her grandparents had actually survived the holocaust in Germany, so she stood back up and asked for an apology. Our Prime Minister then stood up, and walked out of parliament.

I guess the up side is that there is some great camera footage online of our police forces using horses to trample an elderly lady in her mobility scooter (you have to really watch out for those disabled elderly people), and also using their rifles to beat a protestor that has already been tackled to the ground. Not great moments in my country’s history, to be sure.

One of the downsides is that the government has given the banks the ability to seize peoples accounts and assets if they suspect you have been siding with the protest. This was made retroactive, so if you donated money in the very beginning, you are just as likely to have all your assets frozen as a person donating now. Another downside is that most of the tow trucks had been refusing to tow trucks, in support of their actions, which is now punishable by 5 years in jail. They have also started to tell people that we need to start reporting people that we see making social media comments that are against our current government.

And now, to add to the mix, the gas pipeline protestors have reared their ugly heads again. These are the same people that were behind the above mentioned rail blockades. I think they had the rails blockaded for something like 6 weeks last time. At the time, I worked in an industry that relied on rail to ship our product from site, and we were idled for most of it, due to running out of storage space on site. There never really was a conclusion to it that time. This time, they broke into a construction yard, chased the employees with axes and machetes, destroyed vehicles and buildings, and used excavators to tear the cabs off the haul trucks and flip over other excavators and loaders. Not really a peaceful protest, but our Prime Minister is already on record saying he understands their anger and frustration.

Technically, the currently evoked emergencies act could cover this renewed pipeline protest, however, there is little thought around here that this will come to be.

It is also worth noting that our national police force has admitted to conducting sabotage on construction equipment located in the province of Alberta, to ensure that it could not be used in protests in the future. This was tracked construction equipment, not easily moved to a protest, and located on privately owned land.

But, thankfully, I live in BC, where our provincial health officer has decided to extend vax passports, and to add more job descriptions to the list of “either get vaxxed or lose your job”. For anyone that wants to see her medical qualifications, her name is Bonnie Henry, and you can read and excellent article in McLean’s magazine about her, when she was working for the government in the 1990s, covering up issues with rape and sexual assault in our military.

So, to sum it all up, 2022 has looked at 2021 and said “hold my beer”. And if anyone follows Ozzyman, Canada appears to be on course to “destination fucked”. On a positive note, our neighbours to the South have requested that Canadians be allowed to enter the states to avoid persecution from our government. I really wish there was more positive stuff I could say here.

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As I have just finished listening to episode 108, and there have been some significant changes in the 11 days since I posted the update, I will add some new info here.

As suspected, nothing was said or done about the pipeline protest mentioned in my above post. Actually, as it turns out, the pipelines appear to have been exempted from the emergencies act in this occurrence, but luckily there has been no further acts of vandalism or threats in this regard.

The mainstream media has reported that the convoy failed, and it has indeed been removed from our capital city. However, every province in the country, with the exception of British Columbia, has either dropped mandates and passports, or announced dates for doing so. These dates for dropping mandates are all in terms of a week or two, not this summer or next year type stuff. A couple of the provincial leaders have openly called for the federal government to remove all mandates. There was an issue in the province of Alberta where mayors where imposing mandates in the city to replace the removed provincial mandates, but the province has actually now tabled legislation that would ban the mayors from being able to do so. So, call it what you will, the net effect is exactly what the convoy was requesting.

There were lots of stories that came up about frozen bank accounts. Many of these stories actually got brought up in our parliament. Single mothers, that donated $10 to the convoy, in the beginning days of the convoy were having their bank accounts seized. $10 doesn’t seem like a huge amount. In the beginning days, the convoy had not been labeled a “terrorist act” by our prime minister, yet there they were, not able to feed their children, because they donated to a non illegal cause. Needless to say, that did not go over well in parliament.

The invocation of the emergencies act actually then requires a vote in parliament. There was hope that this vote would fail. The opposition party was against the invocation, as were the other minority opposition parties (we have 5 “major” parties, with our leading party having around 34% of the vote). Heck, even some of the members of governing party (sorry, if I have used the term MP in here, it means member of parliament) that were against this. Well, with the writing on the wall that this might not pass, our prime minister declared the vote was also a “confidence vote”. This means that if the vote failed to pass, parliament would dissolve, and a new election would be required. For anyone that is thinking “problem solved”, this is the exact moment in time when many members of parliament thought back to the moments this year where they called Canadian citizens such things as “racist”, and “misogynist”, and “nazis”, and the sudden realization came to them that they would likely not get re elected. So the vote passed…

In the run up to the vote in parliament, there was a campaign launched to call our local members of parliament. I actually did do this, on the Monday, which the vote would be held that evening. I called my member of parliament, in his office on Ottawa, and after several rings I got a recorded message. The message stated, that since parliament had been suspended, his office was closed, and would not be open again until the 20th of April 2020. No, that isn’t a typo, and I called back a second time to listen to that message again. Im not sure what the deal is with that message, but parliament was only suspended for a couple days, not a couple of months. So, I then phoned his office in town. After several rings I got a recorded message stating that his office was not open on Mondays, and then was only open a couple hours a day for the rest of the week. Well, needless to say, I didn’t get to voice my opinon.

Next up, after the parliament votes yes on the emergencies act, it then needs to be voted on by the senate. And this is where the campaign kicked in to contact our senators. It turns out that our senators where getting the messages from their offices that their phones and emails where over flowing. The senate then began asking questions of the parliament that made the parliament uneasy. Questions like “why is this an emergency?” and “you did not see this coming?”. A couple of senators actually got quite vocal in their questioning. I actually gained a lot of respect for our senate out of this. Questions are always good. The end result here was that our prime minister actually declared an end to the emergencies act before the vote in senate took place.

At this point in time, I think the convoy had been occupying Ottawa for about 3 weeks, and the emergencies act had been invoked for about 1 week. Those are rough numbers.

In the aftermath, we are still seeing calls for smaller and more localized protests and convoys every weekend. I think there is the possibility we could see these continue for the next while. Media and our politicians have started to try put a negative spin on them by referencing Ukraine, and stating that we are having minimal impact on our life when compared to Ukraine, but one should not compare apples to oranges. I spent several months in Donetsk prior to the outbreak of the original fighting, and this is not the place to discuss that. Apples and Oranges are not comparable.

One of the other things to come out of this is that several of the convoy organizers were arrested. The arrested part is not the surprise. The surprise comes from the part where some of them were charged only with “counseling to commit mischief”, but they were then denied bail. For comparison, there was a person that physically drove their vehicle into a crowd that was supporting the protest (arguably vehicular manslaughter), but they are out on bail. It has since come to light that the judge that has denied them bail had previously run to become a member of parliament for our current government, which would actually put them in a potential conflict of interest position. So this part here has not finished playing out here.

And on a final note, America now has their own convoy that has departed the west coast, and is headed to Washington. By shear population scale, I think this promises to set an untouchable record for convoy size. I’m not sure what the plans are down there, but I have heard that they have mobilized the national guard to prepare for them. As they are advocating for peoples rights and freedoms, I wish them well.

I’m sorry about the long post, but I did not want to leave Fab hanging on what the outcome was. The recap is mixed results, with a net positive effect in Canada.


Just chiming in here to let you know that I am reading all of this and I am planning an episode on this. So please, continue to update me on this. All of your info and your different viewpoints are invaluable to me.