Saturday, April 04, 2020

It's International Pillow Fight Day 2020

Unfortunately in Toronto, and probably around the world, the massive groups of people in places like Nathan Phillips Square or Yonge Dundas Square will be cancelled due to Covid-19 precautions. Replaced instead with family pillow fights, virtual pillow fights on Zoom or maybe AIR pillow fights in groups of 5 or less, separated by vast distances.
The day of battle is always the first Saturday in April and this year it would be April 4, 2020 starting at noon. Toronto had a Pillow Fight Day from 2005 to 2018 so you couldn't join a citywide event for the past couple of years.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Toronto World Naked Bike Ride 2020 postponed

The bare ass WNBR originally scheduled for Saturday, June 13 has been put on hold. Toronto has cancelled all mass events in Toronto until the end of June and the World Naked Bike Ride is continuing to evaluate the rapidly changing precautions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Hopefully the situation will allow the ride sometime this year.
The City's 31-Mar-2020 press release: "Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in response to the recent provincial emergency order to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, the City of Toronto will cancel all City-led major mass participation events, festivals, conferences and cultural programs, and all City permits for major mass participation events organized by external groups at civic centres and squares, parks, public spaces (including road closures), City-operated museums and cultural centres through June 30."

Here is information from the WNBR's website; "JUST SHOW UP AND RIDE. The World Naked Bike Ride is global protest against the over usage of oil and urban pollution, promoting greater cycling safety on our roads, and encouraging body freedom for everyone. This site visually describes the naked protest and environmental awareness event. You are encouraged to join this legal ride. There is no cost, no registration, no cost to the taxpayer, no corporate sponsors and best of all it originated in Vancouver, Canada, and now occurs in over 80 cities world wide. You can wear your clothes if you want."

This year's ride was to start gathering at noon with body painting at Coronation Park. After socializing and photographs, including group photos, the ride would leave the park around 1pm. The ride would head through downtown Toronto streets, stopping at several major tourist spots including Queens Park and Toronto City Hall, generating lots of smiles and stares from people who catch the mobile protest.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

2020 Toronto Spring Motorcycle Show Cancelled

Not a surprise but due to the Covid-19 pandemic precautions the 2020 Spring Motorcycle Show that was to take place April 4-5 has been cancelled. Now we will have to be content with the thought that it will return next year. Go 2021, screw Corona Year 2020.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Toronto cancels events into summer 2020

As positive Covid-19 cases continue to grow exponentially the City has decided to cancel all mass events till the end of June. I believe the government made an error in highlighting how minimal symptoms would happen to 80% of people and that young people would barely notice a thing. Combined with limited testing, with or without symptoms, which only minimizes the actual quantity of sick people in society and how fast this pandemic has spread, the politicians can only now throw up their hands and say they can't believe people don't stay home.



The spread of the coronavirus also appears to happen easier than what they first told us; droplets can go 27 feet, microdroplets can last in the air for a long time and they still say not to wear masks unless you are sick, which seems just wrong. Finally everyone but restaurant and bar staff seem essential and almost everyone that physically has to get to work is forced into enclosed subways and buses, or walking around grocery stores where people do not social distance correctly. It is a recipe for disaster that is happening right in front of our eyes and soon they will probably about face and say that everyone should wear masks and gloves. One positive is the use of plasma from people that have recovered to treat people suffering with the virus.

When cases keep increasing the next step is a lockdown which has already happened in Spain, Italy, France, India, the UK and many other countries already. Italy entered a country wide lockdown on March 11 with over 10,000 cases and 633 dead - which could be by mid-April in Toronto? Anyways, here is the March 31st City of Toronto press release tightening the restrictions on people after the cat is out of the bag and next to you in the toilet paper section, hoping that the cat will get back in the bag.

Cancellation of mass events through to June 30

"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in response to the recent provincial emergency order to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, the City of Toronto will cancel all City-led major mass participation events, festivals, conferences and cultural programs, and all City permits for major mass participation events organized by external groups at civic centres and squares, parks, public spaces (including road closures), City-operated museums and cultural centres through June 30.

The decision to cancel City-led events and third-party permits has been made in consultation with Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, the Emergency Operations Centre, Toronto Police Service, Mayor John Tory's office and major event organizers, and supports the directive that physical distancing is critical to stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The breadth of the COVID-19 crisis and the City's need to ensure the sustainability of essential services also limits the City's ability to provide the usual level of support to third-party event organizers to ensure public safety.

The City’s decision provides clear direction to event organizers to enable them to make sound decisions in support of public health efforts and their business needs, access insurance, support impacted employees and manage sponsors.

The City urges event organizers to follow Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health’s recommendations of physical distancing as a way to minimize COVID-19 transmission in the community when reviewing their event plans for the upcoming months and make prudent decisions about cancellations. Physical distancing means limiting the number of people a person comes into close contact with, including keeping two metres (six feet) apart from others, avoiding mass gatherings and avoiding crowds.

The end date for the cancellation period will be reviewed every two weeks following the initial announcement and may be extended beyond June 30 in consultation with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and in consideration of the provincial prohibition of organized public events and social gatherings.

The City of Toronto will not be in a position to issue new permits until there is further direction on mass gatherings from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. The City is committed to working with event organizers to mitigate the impacts of these cancellations and to determine potential future dates once the public health crisis is contained and economic recovery efforts are underway. Among the major events impacted by today's announcement are Doors Open Toronto, Indigenous Arts Festival, Pride Toronto, and NXNE Music and Gaming festival."

"While the City recognizes the importance of special events and festivals to the livability and vitality of the city, protecting the health and safety of residents is of primary concern. City staff are working closely with event organizers to help mitigate the impacts of cancellations wherever possible and we look forward to Toronto's festivals and events being featured prominently as part of the city's recovery from the impact of COVID-19." - Mayor John Tory

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Hearts in the windows in Niagara Falls

The impressive waterfalls have brought tourists from around the world for a very long time, now due to the Covid-19 pandemic precautions, the city more resembles a ghost town. To bring cheer to visitors and locals, the hotels have been lighting up vacant rooms with lights that display large hearts on the buildings.
On the side of Embassy Suites the lights spell out HOPE. These are the hearts of hope that blaze out a message of solidarity that started with the staff of the Marriott Fallsview and spread throughout the hotels in the city. Not very many people are on hand lately to see that message as parks facilities and casinos are closed and large gatherings are prohibited.
Niagara Parks closed public facing operations on March 14. From the Niagara Parks website; "The closure extends to Niagara Parks attractions, restaurants, retail stores and golf courses, as well as the WEGO Green Line bus service and Falls Incline Railway. All public programming and events will also be suspended during this time. Recognizing that Niagara Parks offers many natural outdoor areas that will continue to draw guests, public washroom facilities will be remain open at Table Rock (outdoor only), Queen Victoria Place, Niagara Glen and Butterfly Café. These facilities will be cleaned regularly following the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene."

Social Distancing in Public Parks and Trails

Spring has sprung

Thursday, March 19 was the first day of spring 2020 and for some reason it was kind of lost in the fog of stuff going on. Anywhoo, nature remembered and things are starting to sprout here and there. I have seen bright yellow daffodils are starting to grow and pussy willows have started growing their cute little balls. Pretty soon we will be looking for fruit blossoms to cheer us up.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Blue Jays Opening Day at Home 2020

Let's Play Ball. Today was the planned start of Major League Baseball unfortunately there is a scary pandemic that has other ideas. Well MLB isn't going to give up without a fight, or a flashback, so they are bringing out some classic games available across a variety of viewing platforms. Enjoy these Social Distancing baseball games on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
MLB says; "Even though we're apart, we can come together. Opening Day is about hope, belief and community - exactly what we need right now. Even though the start of our season is postponed, baseball can bring people together. Carry out your traditions, put on your favorite team's gear and reach out to your friends, family and teammates who share a love for this game. Today is Opening Day at Home. Today is unlike any Opening Day in Major League Baseball’s long history. We need to call on the optimism that is synonymous with Opening Day and the unflinching determination required to navigate an entire baseball season to help us through the challenging situation currently facing us all."

You can find old games on Youtube as well
Blue Jays vs Astros

"While we aren’t on the field today, there still will be plenty of baseball for you to watch. In addition to programming on MLB Network, ESPN2, and FS1, we have made thousands of games available for free to you through MLB.TV, MLB.com, and MLB’s YouTube accounts. We also are hosting Opening Day at Home, a selection of 30 memorable games, one for each Club, that you can enjoy today across MLB’s digital platforms. While we wait for players to take the field, I hope this brings us together as fans and engages us in conversation through social media."

Monday, March 23, 2020

Mayor Tory declares a State of Emergency in the city of Toronto

Today, Mayor John Tory declared a State of Emergency in the city of Toronto after receiving advice this morning from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and the Office of Emergency Management. The emergency comes as Toronto has 239 positive cases of Covid-19 with 14 in the hospital and one death. On the same day Premier Doug Ford introduced new measures to protect the People of Ontario - All non-essential workplaces to close.

Here is the province's press release.

"TORONTO — To further contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario Government will order the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending this order as the situation evolves. A full list of businesses that are permitted to stay open will be released tomorrow.

"This was a tough decision, but the right decision, as this is no time for half measures," said Premier Doug Ford. "But I have said from day one we will, and we must, take all steps necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of every Ontarian must come first. The health of you, your children, your grandparents and friends depends on all of us doing our part."

Businesses that can continue operations with employees working remotely, or through other contingency measures, are being given approximately 36 hours to prepare and adapt. Essential services may continue their operations to maintain supply chains and ensure the people of Ontario have access to necessities, including groceries, medicines and other essential products.

A 1-800 number and website will be made available on Wednesday for any inquiries.

"Based on the advice of Dr. Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the experts at our Command Table, Ontario is taking further action to contain the spread of COVID-19," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "These enhanced measures are necessary to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians. Nothing is more important."

"Our top priority must be to protect the health of the people of Ontario," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. "Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will allow the people and the businesses of Ontario to move forward from this unprecedented situation."

This is the City's press release dated March 23, 2020.

"Through his office, the Mayor has also been in communication with the members of City Council, and has spoken to both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford.

The declaration of a municipal emergency is part of the City's ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and will ensure the municipal government can continue to act and respond quickly to the pandemic and any other events that arise in the weeks ahead.

We know the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase in our city and that the next few days are absolutely critical in our ongoing efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19. In making this declaration, Mayor Tory strongly encourages our residents to continue taking every precaution in protecting themselves – stay home, stay safe, and only venture out to buy essential supplies once a week. Even better, order online if at all possible.

While the Mayor thanks the residents and businesses who are listening to public health advice and practising social distancing, we know from our public health professionals that there are many who are continuing to put their health and the health of our community at risk.

This declaration sends the strongest possible message to our residents to stay home and to change their behaviour.

This decision was not taken lightly. It is part of an overall collaborative effort and cooperation with the Government of Canada led by Prime Minister Trudeau and the Government of Ontario led by Premier Ford – both of whom the Mayor has worked very well with throughout this crisis.

It also comes after we learned on the weekend about the first death of a Toronto resident related to COVID-19. It is a tragic reminder that we are confronting a deadly virus. That is why it is so important that we all continue to do everything we can to keep COVID-19 from continuing to spread.

The Mayor continues to ask all non-essential businesses to close – as the Medical Officer of Health has urged publicly – and as the Government of Ontario has ordered. To further contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario Government has ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 p.m. Mayor Tory supports this action by the province and has been clear that he will support further recommendations and orders from the Medical Officer of Health and the provincial and federal governments if people do not comply with the need to stay home.

Later this afternoon, Dr. Eileen de Villa and Chief Matthew Pegg will outline, in greater detail, what this declaration means for essential and critical workers, and how it assists in the City’s operations as it works to protect Torontonians.

Right now across Toronto, our healthcare workers are confronting the reality of COVID-19. The Mayor is making this emergency declaration in support of our healthcare workers and all City workers focused on this crisis, to make sure we flatten the curve, and protect our healthcare system.

While the declaration does not change the Level 3 status of the City’s Emergency Operations Centre, it does provide City staff with the necessary flexibility to access resources in a more timely way so it can continue to keep the city functioning and safe.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports, and economic recovery measures. Check https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

Quote:

"We are declaring a State of Emergency as part of the City's ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the municipal government can continue to act and respond quickly to the pandemic and any other events that arise in the weeks ahead. I know this is an incredibly tough time for residents across our city. I want them to know that we are doing everything we can at the City to fight this virus while continuing to deliver our essential and critical services. I remain confident that we will get through this pandemic by continuing to work together and all following the advice of our public health professionals."
- Mayor John Tory"

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Future Retrospectives by DesignTO

Harbourfront's art gallery has some fun and free exhibitions throughout the year and while currently shutdown, the Centre had the Future Retrospectives curated by DesignTO on from January 17 to March 29, 2020. Harbourfront will remain closed due to the Covid-19 virus precautions through till April 5, 2020 at the earliest. What is right and what is left at top.
This is a group exhibition with eleven artists, both local and international, trying to predict the future - what it will look like and how did we get there? I didn't get that by looking at the pieces, but maybe you can.
DesignTO says; "Creative acts are, by their nature, future-oriented. Creativity brings to fruition that which did not previously exist and, in doing so, builds the future. What is this future-world that we are building? What does it look like and how does it work? How do we prepare for it? ‘Future Retrospectives’ proposes that in order to have a meaningful understanding of relationships in the future and our role in them as creators of material culture, we have to look at how the past, present, and future are interconnected. By considering the past, we are able to holistically imagine the future. The exhibition features the work of Graysha Audren, Mia Cinelli, Hannah Claus, Cassandra Ferguson, Tsēmā Igharas, Andreas Krätschmer, SHATTERED MOON ALLIANCE, Studio Björn Steinar, Adhavan Sundaramurthy, Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart, and Jessica Thalmann."

Internet fun during social distancing

If you are getting too much negative news about the pandemic and the stock market swings it's time to look for interesting things on the internet or television. You can stream some free television, especially if you like old B movies, or go for a paid subscription service. On the internet you can find some great content with Google Arts and Culture including visiting some of the world's top destinations like Stonehenge (pictured above), the Great Pyramids of Egypt or even take a virtual tour through some famous museums.

When you can't get around due to travel restrictions and closures - time to be a virtual tourist!
from a 360 degree view of the Champs-Elysees Theatre

Friday, March 20, 2020

Toronto Anti-Social Series 2020

Music and Arts will find a way. As gatherings are cancelled due to the Covid-19 social distancing and self isolation requirements during this state of emergency and pandemic in Ontario, URGNT LIVE has created a crowd-funded livestream concert series to play in closed concert venues - without a live audience. What an outstanding way to bring people together in spirit and help others during these trying times.

The musical series was started by Mark Marczyk from the Lemon Bucket Orchestra and will feature 19 Toronto acts over the 19 weeks. The 30 to 40 minute concerts will be livestreamed and will help artists whose work has been cancelled due to the virus. You can support URGNT's efforts by donating on their GoFundMe campaign.

It all starts at 7pm on Friday, March 20, 2020 with Measha Brueggergosman live from the Great Hall on Queen Street West in Toronto. You can watch the show on URGNTiHeartradioMacleans, or Facebook Live.

IndyCar virtual racing 2020

With so many closures due to the Covid-19 virus, even IndyCar drivers have been told to work from home. If you can't bring the racetrack home it's time to make the racetrack virtual and get those professional drivers going head to head against one another. Beginning Saturday, March 28, 2020 the NTT IndyCar Series starts live streaming virtual race events each week. Six races have been planned during the current racing suspension featuring the drivers and some special guests.

You can watch the virtual races at indycar.com, IndyCar's YouTube Channel, Facebook Live and iRacing's Twitch. Each race will begin at 4pm ET every Saturday up till May 2 and last 1.5 to 2 hours. IndyCar plans to get the actual race season going on May 24 with the Indy 500.
IndyCar has been suspended since the the season opener in St Petersburg during the March 15 weekend was cancelled.


From IndyCar; "To enhance the fan experience, INDYCAR will conduct a 15-minute, pre-race virtual autograph session with several of the participants beginning at 3:15 p.m. each week. There also will be a live interview with the race winner by post-race host Katie Hargitt on INDYCAR’s Instagram immediately following the conclusion of the race. The inaugural INDYCAR iRacing Challenge race venue will be selected through bracket voting by fans today through Thursday. Fans can vote daily on the track match-up in the bracket to determine which venue will advance to the next round. The voting, which has a 12-hour window beginning 10 a.m. daily after today, is available through the @INDYCAR Instagram and Twitter handles or online at indycar.com/iracing. The opening virtual race event will be followed by Barber Motorsports Park (April 4), “Driver’s Choice” track (April 11), “Random Draw” track (April 18), Circuit of The Americas (April 25) and a non-INDYCAR “Dream” track (May 2)."
The ladies from of James Hinchcliffe's sponsor - UFD

We will also get to see the car's with the new Aeroscreen cockpit-protecting device which is all new for the 2020 season. In the meantime here are some photos from past Honda Indy Toronto races.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Toronto Comicon 2020 cancelled

In a world with superheroes there must be villains that have to be beaten. For our times the Covid-19 virus is the foe and we must all fight to reduce the curve, however that means that sacrifices must be made to help society and as a result the Toronto Comicon scheduled for March 20-22 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is cancelled.

From the comicon website; "Hey Fans, In response to recommendations by Health Canada on the risks associated with mass gatherings as it relates to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Toronto Comicon. Our thoughts are with our entire community who have been impacted by this unprecedented challenge. Our duty to you is to work year-round to deliver the ultimate fan experience. We are passionate about our fans and committed to creating a safe space for everyone across all genres to gather. We look forward to seeing you at FAN EXPO Canada August 27 - 30 where we can come together again to celebrate fandom."

So rather than being to sad it is instead time to look back upon some of the other seasons and look forward to the return of Comicon.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Toronto events come to a halt for COVID-19 Precautions

Update March 26: Ontario's virus growth rate is doubling approximately every 4 days, note New York doubles every 3 days. With 339 positive cases to date and community infection spreading, we should have about 100,000 infected people in Toronto by the end of April - a month ahead of my earlier prediction as the doubling rate is faster than the 6 day period used in the initial calculation. We will soon be able to know someone, or friends of someone we know that have been infected. Next stage might be a lock down as City parks and playgrounds were closed March 25.

Update March 16: Today, as part of the City of Toronto's ongoing response to COVID-19, Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa is strongly recommending all bars, dine-in restaurants, nightclubs, and theatres close to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 effective 12:01 a.m., March 17, 2020. Also "We have recently seen a significant increase in cases of COVID-19, some of which are unlinked, and thus indicate community transmission. We continue to pursue rigorous investigations of these cases and their contacts." Community spread means that the possibility exists for exponential growth of infections. The most apt thing that I have seen on social media is the obvious connection between the recent lineups for limited supplies of toilet paper that will soon become lineups to get treatment in hospitals where limited beds, equipment, care and supplies are available. Given the choice I would gladly give up some of my tp.

Assuming that infected travelers have already come in from the US and other tourist destinations and not done a stellar job in self-isolation say, with a starting infected population of 200 people we would have 100,000 sick people by the end of May, over 1,000,000 people by the end of June and into the 70% of the population by the time the end of July comes around. The time is definitely now to quarantine Ontario and try to slow the spread of Covid-19. Forget about toilet paper, we have far worse things to contemplate now.

Back to original post............

This was the weekend that things changed in Toronto in response to the Novel Corona virus, COVID-19. Instead of just monitoring developments as the number of infected inched higher on a daily basis, with 63 in the city as of March 15, the City and the Province of Ontario have started closing things down and recommending the suspension of gatherings over 250 people. People went from worried to slightly panicked and thus the run on toilet paper, bleach and hand cleaner began: called the Great Toilet Paper Scare of 2020.

Starting Friday, March 13 the Ontario Minister of Education closed publicly-funded schools. The Government of Canada and Toronto's Chief Medical Officer of health both advised people to cancel nonessential travel outside of Canada. They have not closed public transit, or suggested you avoid public transit, but as of March 18 there will be significant service reductions on GO Transit. As of 12:01am Saturday, March 14 until April 5, 2020 the city has closed licensed childcare centres, March Break camps, programs and facilities. Travelers from outside Canada are requested to self-isolate for 14 days as people with no symptoms, including children, may have the virus and pass it on without anyone knowing.

Also closed are community and recreation centres, greenhouses and conservatories, arenas, pools, fitness centres, and ski hills, libraries, museum and galleries, civic centres, recreation centres, parks and Council and Committee meetings. You can check out affected city services on their webpage. Emergency services, TTC, garbage collection and water treatment, along with road maintenance will remain in service.

The challenge for Toronto, and indeed all of Canada, is to reduce the people exposed to the virus so that the amount of people that get sick at the same time is within the capabilities of our hospitals and health system - including our doctors, nurses and other support staff (see chart at top). This will also help to protect the most vulnerable people in our society like seniors and those with compromised immune systems.

With the recommended elimination of large public gatherings and city closures the dominoes of public and private events began to fall. Cancellations started right away with weekend events like The Home Show, Sugar Shack and the Saint Patrick Parade. Then events scheduled in the future started being cancelled - like next weeks Toronto Comicon. Now there remains very little open, you can't event go up the CN Tower, and post secondary schools are moving online. Companies are starting to ask employees to work from home where ever possible.

To educate myself I thought I would look up some things about the world's latest pandemic which can spread through close contact with infected individuals.

1. Can you spread the virus in the air? Yes, coughing and sneezing can spread small droplets. Can it live in the air? Yes, it can survive in the air for up to 3 hours. Can it live on surfaces? Yes, but this is not thought to be the main source of spread. How long will it live on other surfaces? Up to three days.

2. How fast does it spread? Doubling of the virus is happening approximately every six days with each person infecting approximately 2.28 people. Social isolation strategies can reduce the speed of the virus spread.


3. Is there Community Spread, or circulating locally in Toronto? Community spread means that instead of being infected by a known, sick traveler coming into Toronto, the infection source is unknown. As of March 15 the City of Toronto says "Currently, COVID-19 is not circulating locally in Toronto. However, given the global circumstances, Toronto Public Health is actively working with City and health partners to plan for the potential of local spread." It is now free range!!! See March 16 update above for the first indication of community spread. It is amazing what changes in one day during this historic time.

Looking at the numbers of confirmed positive cases in Toronto, which started as two in late January, 2020 and rose to 29 on March 12 and now, as of March 15 Toronto has 63 positive cases - if it was doubling each week then the cases would be around 256. New cases have been from people coming into Canada, or those close to the travelers. So the people must either be self-isolating or the confirmed cases are not adequately known - from people not going to the doctor, or tests not being done. In Ontario as of March 15 only 8,465 people have been tested. There are also quite a number of people in Toronto and the GTA who are awaiting results of the Covid-19 testing.

In America there is community spread and Canada and the US are very interdependent and have a large amount of people that travel between the countries. It seems only a matter of time before community spread starts in Toronto. Rumours that visitors at Canadian airports are not being medically screened suggest that the numbers infected with the virus will rapidly start to increase soon. The CDC in the United States has now recommended that any gathering over 50 people be cancelled for the next two months

4. Is it worse that the flu? Yes, Covid-19 has a death rate of 1.4 to 2.3, which means that it kills more that 14 times that of regular flu. From WHO-China after 5-6 days from infection about 80% of people will get mild to moderate disease, 13.8% will get severe diseases and 6.1% will get critical disease. Highest risk is skewed for older people (60 plus) and those with underlying health conditions.

Our World in Data graph showing symptoms of coronavirus

5. How many people will get the virus? 30 to 70% of people are expected to get the virus. In Toronto that means that potentially 890,000 to 2,030,000 people could be infected. That will be a lot of people (20% or 178,000 to 406,000) that may have to go to the hospital with stronger symptoms. Hospitals will get overloaded unless the numbers are brought down over time.

6. What can we do? From John Hopkins Medicine, "Practice Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette. If you do leave your home to go to a care facility, wear a mask so your coughs and sneezes are less likely to infect others. (Masks are NOT recommended for healthy people in the general population.). Wash your hands thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds) after sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing or using the bathroom, and before preparing or eating food. If you cough or sneeze, do so into the bend of your elbow, not your hand. Or use a tissue, and then throw it away immediately afterward. At home, clean often-touched surfaces such as doors and doorknobs, cabinet handles, bathroom hardware, tabletops, phones, tablets and keyboards regularly with disinfectant." Remember to stay calm, try things like counting your toilet paper rolls. Check out the Government of Canada page on being prepared.

7. How long will large gatherings and travel be stopped? Probably at least the two months that the CDC recommended even though Toronto is closing facilities and services for one month at this time. Hopefully by early summer the heat will reduce the spread of the virus and we can start to return to attending our favourite bars, restaurants, sports, concerts and other events.

The other challenge will be for people that have precarious employment, depend on tips, have low incomes and those that lack health insurance coverage. Plus it is likely that Canada will slip into a recession in 2020. We must try to get our society back to normal as fast as possible. Hopefully a vaccine will be available sometime in 2021 that can help us fight back against Covid-19. The vaccine is expected to take 18 months to produce, even as clinical trials will start in April of 2020.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs

Pride

Redball

Beaches

Graffiti

Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square

Transportation