Posted in current events, health and wellness,

COVID-19 Timeline

Another COVID-19 post… sorry folks, but as an analytical person I prefer and appreciate information in a visual and structural format.  If you do as well, keep reading…

This timeline, written by Stephanie Parker, chronicles the spread of this lethal virus into a pandemic that has shut down our planet.  Starting with a warning from Dr Li in Wuhan on December 30, to the present (April 23rd).  Four months of facts and details.

It is not behind us yet; unfortunately, the timeline continues to grow.  Just how far no one really knows.  Economists and those struggling financially are hoping the world re-opens soon, but scientists are sceptical and hesitant.  In the meantime, we are all holding our breaths and doing what we can to get through this.

One of the things that bothers me about this pandemic, far behind the economic destruction, is the judgement and negativity it has spawned.  Hopefully that too will come to an end soon.

Feature image from Pixabay


Posted in current events, health and wellness,, rant

Bill Maher on Virus Shaming

Bill Maher hits the nail on the head!!  My blog has been saturated with posts related to COVID-19 lately.  This video sums them all up pretty well…

Other than the fact that the Spanish flu didn’t start in Spain, the points Maher makes are all valid.  History buffs know that as Spain was one of the neutral European countries in WW1, their (uncensored) media were the first to report the ravages of the virus that was killing off millions.

Posted in current events, health and wellness,

Virus Vigilantes

Are the vigilantes coming out in this COVID-19 virus crisis driving you crazy?  They are me.  While some people are rising to the top in their creativity and helpfulness during these trying times, others are looking for ways to judge and incriminate others.

If we should practice one positive thing out of this mess, it should be to refrain from being judgemental.  Every family situation is different, often requiring a variation in coping mechanisms.  Not to mention the social distancing rules are very ambiguous, open to interpretation.

Some ridiculous examples I have heard of people calling in by-law officers to impose fines:

  • a father kicking a soccer ball around with his young son on a soccer field
  • a woman not able to celebrate her birthday whose friends and family drove down her street waving and singing happy birthday, from their cars while she stood in her doorway
  • a 14 year old boy, shooting hoops by himself.  Yes he was at the edge of a park, but well away from any play structure or other people
  • walking a dog across an empty soccer field or park

These vigilantes are getting way out of control.  As are the by-law officers that have tapped into their overbearing and controlling personalities.  Are we going to resort to beating people soon if they don’t comply to the murky social distancing rules?  In a democratic society, policing people into complying to senseless rules is not effective.

While blatant disregard for public safety is not recommended or condoned, judgemental squealers and snitch lines are over the top, sometimes unconstitutional.

Find something better and more creative to do people!

Posted in current events, health and wellness,

COVID Coverup

Will the global consequences of the COVID-19 coverup in China go unpunished and no permanent changes made? During this time of crisis, when this virus is devastating the economy and health of the rest of the world as well, it may seem inappropriate to point fingers. At what point does the world start demanding answers, accountably and change though?

What is it about China that these fast spreading viruses keep originating there? Does anyone remember SARS in 2002 and the Asian Flu in 1956? My comments are not racially motivated, it’s not about Chinese people anywhere in the world, but about the law makers in China.  The coincidence is getting far too suspicious. I would be equally suspicious of any other country in the world, including my own, if their irresponsible, unaccountable behaviour warranted it.

The facts speak for themselves. A concentrated population, “wet (live) markets” of livestock such as pigs and poultry, other mammals and reptiles, combined with limited sanitation and hygiene. A culture that thrives on freshly slaughtered poultry because it is tastier and healthier than refrigerated or frozen meat. All of these conditions factor into a perfect storm for these deadly viruses that can, and obviously do, rapidly mutate and jump species to infect humans.

picture of a Chinese wet market, wikipedia

As well as the unsanitary practice of exposing humans to raw meat, China is known for its censorship and secrecy, even bullying tactics all in the guise of controlling their reputation. Their health and safety regulations are murky at best. They also resist modern medicine, adhering to herbal treatments and acupuncture to treat emerging illnesses, even when these treatments do not show signs of working. Potential diseases have a chance to fester and incubate within their population long before anyone steps up to admit things are out of control. These actions delay global response, as we are all witness to now.

When COVID-19 first emerged in Wuhan China, it was known as “a SARS-like” virus, discovered by Dr. Li Wenliang and his cohorts. They published their fears on social media, way back in early December 2019, but instead of being heroes and saviours, they were formally reprimanded and their warnings completely shut down by Chinese authorities.

Sadly Dr Li died with COVID-19 symptoms in February, before his convictions could be taken seriously and used to (potentially) prevent the global spread of the disease. After the outpouring of grief and anger from the Chinese population, an investigation (by their own government) admitted the disciplinary action against Dr. Li was “wrong” and an apology to his family was granted. Several top authorities, a few from their Communist Party as well as health officials, were fired over the mishandling of the viral outbreak. And, they did issue a ban on the sale or trade of live animals in January, albeit temporarily.

Big deal. Chinese authorities uncharacteristically apologized and admitted to their “mistake.” What about the information and grave (pun intended) message Dr. Li and his team were trying to share with the world?

For the first time in months, China supposedly has no new cases of COVID-19 infection. That is if you believe the data they share with the now ravaged, shut down countries within the rest of the world. That means it must be time to ramp up their economic recovery plan to show the rest of the world how great they are, all while deflecting from their actions and responsibilities.

Have you heard their accusation that COVID-19 actually originated in the USA? More deflection. Rumours spread in desperation to pass the buck. Fake news, started by bored Chinese citizens in lockdown, picked up and tweeted by authorities including their foreign ministry spokesman. Here are a few of the accusations and rumours prevalent on social media:

  • the deadly virus was brought to Wuhan by the US army.
  • COVID-19 is a biological weapon, cooked up in an American laboratory.
  • the virus was brought to China during the Military Olympic Games last October.
  • China’s emergence as a global superpower is threatening to the USA, so this was a plan to slow China’s progress down.
  • the virus was deliberately released by China to eliminate the growing number of Chinese pensioners. There are over 250 million citizens, 17.3% of their population, over the age of 60. An aging population refers to a country with more than 10%.
  • 2020 is the year of the rat within the Chinese zodiac, with the transition purportedly being resisted by the aggressive rat’s predecessor the pig. That theory says things will settle down after the beginning of spring. Hmmmm, coincidence that they have no new cases of COVID-19 now that spring has arrived?
  • pets are to blame for the spread of the virus. This came from the belief that the virus originated from bats. Pets are animals too, so must too be suspects in viral transmission.
  • alcohol could treat the virus. A Chinese epidemiologist started this rumour saying that a concoction of ether and 75 per cent ethanol (alongside chlorine-containing disinfectant and peroxyacetic acid) would be effective in eradicating the virus. He later claimed he meant alcohol should be used to disinfect with, not to imbibe.

Unfortunately this is not the first time these kind of accusations and silly rumours have surfaced. And unless drastic measures are taken, it wont be the last. Hopefully, the time for the world to hold China accountable comes soon.


Posted in current events, health and wellness,

COVID-19 Crisis: Bringing out the Worst in Some and Best in Others

I find it amazing how a crisis situation, like the COVID-19 panic the whole world is now in, brings out the worst in many and the best in others.

We’ve seen it before, many times, although perhaps not on such a global scale. Most Canadians remember the ice storm of 1998, when many in eastern Canada and north-eastern USA were stranded without power in their homes in frigid, icy Canadian-like weather conditions. Our neighbourhoods were literally encrusted in ice for weeks. Power generators were stolen, basic necessities stockpiled, and other “worst” behaviours experienced, but generally I believe the “best” prevailed. Neighbours shared everything from food, BBQs (propane powered), power (generators) and spare rooms, to shower and laundry facilities.

Globally we remember the horrific events of 9-1-1 as well as the amazing humanitarian gestures conceived by the evil acts. The stories of bravery, compassion, and genuine heroism were awe inspiring and heart warming, reminders of the “best” category of reaction to crisis.

Today, the hoarding practices going on amongst the ill-informed, panic-driven population is downright sad. It’s bad enough that the hoarding of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks etc, is taking place, but the reselling of these products for profit is disgusting, “worst” behaviour exemplified.

We must listen to and take the advice of the real experts and not the sensationalized, fear-promoting, ratings-driven TV shows and personalities that claim or pretend to be experts. Routine handwashing (something we should already be doing in cold and flu season) and social distancing are the best, and wisest, options to control COVID-19 as well as the bad behaviour and panic it has spawned.

Which behaviour does crisis bring out in you? Worst or Best? Please consider the best option, pun intended!

also from Facebook

Posted in health and wellness,

Wicked Viruses Going Around

There appear to be several wicked viruses going around. One of them crossed my path recently, and it hasn’t been pretty!

This week while I have been TKO’d with a virus, my grandchildren are all healthy. But throughout prior weeks all of them were in contact with the very common and benign Coxsackievirus. That’s the one that causes Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in children. Kids with HFMD have symptoms including fever and a telltale rash on their hands, feet, in and around their mouths etc. Apparently, it is very contagious, spread easily among children and even to adults.

I cannot be sure that is what I managed to catch, but after talking to several friends in the health profession, we think it highly likely. My symptoms included fever, chills, general weakness, exhaustion, lack of appetite, and a hacking cough. One thing I did not have, as is common with a flu bug, was nausea or vomiting. Thankfully! I did promise them (and my concerned family members) that if my symptoms worsened or did not improve by today, I would go get checked out.

Due to my own 30 year career in the healthcare industry, I try to minimize my visits to the doctor and hospital. I have witnessed the overcrowded and misused ERs and clinics. I know that when a virus attacks your immune system, there is no treatment other than rest, lots of fluids, and more rest. I have been averaging about 15 hours per sleep per day, seriously. I also realize that with all the attention the Coronavirus has been collecting worldwide, medical staff are up to their ears in scared patients.

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling somewhat better, but sweaty from the fever. I decided a nice, hot shower would feel wonderful. Well, I managed to get into the shower, but the last thing I remembered was rinsing shampoo out of my hair and wondering if I needed to open a new bottle of conditioner….

Yep, I passed out in the shower. I’m guessing I merely slumped forward, since I came to (mere seconds later, I think) on my hands and knees, with the water still running. The conditioner never made it to my hair, but I did manage to crawl back to bed to reassess just how well (not) I was feeling.

I did not realize my son was still at home (he had scheduled the day off work to prepare for university midterms), but when he came to check on me he admitted that he had heard a thump and thought I had dropped the shampoo or something. Other than a bruise on my knee today, I got off lucky. I was also fortunate to have someone home to wait on me all day, forcing me to stay in bed and take it easy.

This morning I was much smarter and more cautious, even though I felt even better. I have learned that better is a relative term, so still not 100%, but much better. I have to keep pushing my impatience aside to let common sense (and advice from loved ones) prevail. Another clue that I’m not completely recovered came to light after I drove my son to a local park-n-ride to catch a bus downtown. The busses here in Kanata were not running on schedule due to a major snow storm and he has a midterm to get to. The drive took less than 5 minutes, return trip, but the proof was in the wobbliness of my legs upon my return.

The last 4 days are now a blur in my mind thanks to the wicked viruses circulating around town this winter. Thankfully, my immune system stepped up and won the battle. Now I just have to show it (my immune system that is) some appreciation and relax. Easier said than done, but I’ll do it.

A few sewing projects, income tax, and the snow shovelling will just have to wait!

Posted in health and wellness,

Summer colds

Colds are miserable to have any time, but summer colds are the worst and a first for me.  I am just recovering from a doozy that lasted almost two weeks.  It started out with general fatigue, then a sore throat set in followed by laryngitis for three days.  A sinus headache, fever, dry cough and swollen glands were in there too, just for good measure.

summer colds
cold virus


Apparently, there is a nasty cold virus going around.  I am happy to report I am feeling much better, my talking voice is back and no longer scratchy.  Even my singing voice has returned!




Posted in health and wellness,

Summer cold



Colds are miserable to have any time, but a summer cold is the worst and a first for me.  I am just recovering from a doozy that lasted almost two weeks.  It started out with general fatigue, then a sore throat set in followed by laryngitis for three days.  A sinus headache, fever, dry cough and swollen glands were in there too, just for good measure.

Apparently, there is a nasty cold virus going around.  I am happy to report I am feeling much better, my talking voice is back and no longer scratchy.  Even my singing voice has returned!




Posted in, technology

What is the Clampi trojan virus and how to protect your computer from it

Have you heard of the Clampi trojan virus?  While troubleshooting my wireless printer recently, I was told my computer was infected by a Clampi virus.  Of course I was alarmed, so did a bit of research.  This is the information I discovered and wish to share:

  • Clampi was first detected in 2008, also known as Ligatus and Ilomo virus.
  • Clampi gathers login information from compromised computers through social media platforms like Facebook and Skype to build a botnet, a peer to peer format.This means it spreads by network sharing from infected computers to any computers they have access to.
  • The botnet is used to install pay per install malware on compromised computers which generate revenue for the operators.
  • When the Clampi virus infects a computer, it sends out messages which direct compromised recipients to download a fake update of Adobe Flash player, through a third party website or infected computer.  If recipients download the fake file, the Clampi virus infects their computer. Once that happens, the search engine of the infected computer will be directed to contaminated websites.
  • Clampi also has the capability of stealing login information and passwords from online banking and other financially related websites.
  • Clampi also has the ability to act as a proxy server making its operators anonymous to heavily monitored and tightly secured financial websites, preventing them from becoming suspicious.
  • Links generated by the trojan virus with subject lines like LOL or YOUTUBE (examples) sent between friends infect new computers when the links are opened creating more zombie or host computers.
  • Using a sophisticated filter program, Clampi is capable of blocking access to security websites or local firewalls that might detect and prevent the virus from spreading.
  • Clampi also uses a password stealing program called Limbo
  • systems affected purported to be Windows 2000, 7, 95, 98, Me, NT, Server 2003, Vista and XP.
  • Clampi targets thousands of websites around the world.


To prevent Clampi or any other virus from infecting your computer, follow these steps:

  • Although most of us are savvy enough to have anti-virus software on our computers, make sure your version is the latest update. Some are free, others you pay for.
  •  Also make sure you have a firewall installed on your computer.  This will monitor the internet connections into and out of your computer.
  • Be sure to keep your operating system current with security patches and critical updates.
  • Microsoft shows all the current fixes for bugs and security patches on their website.
  • Do not click on any suspicious links when surfing the internet, especially the ones you were not searching for.
  • Use a prepaid credit card for online shopping.  This operates separately from your bank accounts, so your banking details will not be compromised.  It also limits the amount of fraudulent activity by restricting the funds available.
  • Change your passwords regularly, especially those for financial websites.
  • If you suspect your computer has been compromised, change all of your passwords and hire someone reputable to get it fixed.
  • Make sure your home Wi-Fi network is protected by a password to prevent hackers from accessing your files and information.


    As I am not the most tech-savvy person, I would appreciate any further information, comments and suggestions for consumer protection on this topic.

Posted in current events, parenting

Get a Handle on Ebola!

These words of wisdom about the EBOLA situation come from a nurse in Corpus Christi, Texas who just happens to be my sister.  Never one to beat around the bush, she hits the nail on the head here….

Get a handle on it!  Infections (viral and bacterial) have been around for a looooooonnng time and have caused many deaths before Ebola. Infection control is NOT new to any hospital or other health care facility. The problem is people not following protocol. Maybe because they are busy, forget, or are just plain lazy, but seldom because they lack the education. Infection control is 101 (basic learning) in health care. Be on the watch ….. in health care facilities, in grocery stores and at your neighbor’s….for good infection control practices and if you see something like …..people not washing their hands, using antibacterial or hand sanitizer, not covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing, not disposing of used tissues, not washing their hands after restroom breaks, not using gloves when providing care, etc….. speak up and steer clear!  Don’t ever feel like you are “covered” and disease proof, even when you suspect that you or your government knows how the virus or bacteria is transferred from one person to another.

I am not meaning to come across as peeved and am not placing blame on the nurses. Just saying that we can’t depend on others for infection control and need to watch out for ourselves too. Obviously if this infected guy got over here and sat in an emergency room twice and waited several days for engineering controls, hazard suits and workplace controls to be put in place several people were potentially exposed. Take personal precautions like staying away from others body fluids, blood or other, keep your hands clean and away from your face, eyes etc and protect yourself! If the govt isn’t going to stop infected or exposed individuals from coming into our communities then each of us need to be aware and proactive in our own protection.

Also just because CDC or the president say an infection isn’t airborne doesn’t mean we can’t protect ourselves. Like anything they say…doesn’t make it the whole truth.