The Page – May 20, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic!
Talk about coincidence!
Maybe it should be blamed on Toronto!
Last year, the Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship for the first time in history.
Flash forward one year, and COVID-19 is crippling the world, the remainder of the NBA season and, of course, the NBA playoffs are all cancelled.
It all started in 1918 when the Toronto Arenas [which eventually became the Maple Leafs] won their first-ever Stanley Cup.
The very next year, in 1919, the NHL cancelled the season during the playoffs due to the Spanish Flu outbreak.
The Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993. In 1994, baseball went on strike.
To be fair, the Blue Jays’ win in 1993 was their second straight World Series title.

* * * * * * *

A comment from a Big Lakes County councillor cannot go unchallenged.
April 29, Kinuso Councillor Ken Killeen, was dead against taking a wage cut for councillors.
He said, “We get peanuts, anyway.”
There are plenty of rebuttals to the remark.
One is, “How else do you pay a bunch of monkeys?”
OK. We’ll bite. We’re thinking a top up of a bundle of bananas is in order.

* * * * * * *

Last week’s newspaper column by Chris Clegg came at an interesting time. Later in the week, commenters right across Canada started thinking the same way – “We are not in this all together.”
To recap, Clegg, and many other like-thinkers across Canada, all agree the public sector in Canada is well-insulated, job wise, from the impact of COVID-19 Wuhan virus.

* * * * * * *

The potential customer, myself, saw a line of people outside the entrance to the hardware store.
“They are only allowing a few in at a time,” my wife said.
I drove around to the side of the store. I was looking for a tin culvert.
There were none in sight. So I drove around to the other side.
Through the chain-link fence and the closed gate, I saw a worker.
“Hey,” I shouted. She recognized me and walked up to the other side of the fence. I was holding on to it, sort of leaning against it. The worker walked up to the other side and smiled.
“Hey,” I said. “What about social distancing!”
I sort of laughed.
She says, “Right here.
It’s the fence between us.”
Ummm. Yup. All of a foot between us. And a fence with holes in the chain-link about three inches across. That’s going to be a great barrier for sure.

* * * * * * *

If you are squeamish, read no further. This is an excerpt from the best selling true story book The Hot Zone published in 1994.
“The headache begins, typically, on the seventh day after exposure to the agent. Seven days after the visit to Kitum Cave [Kenya, Africa] Monet felt a throbbing pain behind his eyeballs.
He decided to stay home from work.
“The headache grew worse, and then his temples began to ache, the pain seeming to circle around inside his head.
It would not go away with aspirin, and then he got a severe backache.
“Then, on the third day after his headache started, he became nauseated, spiked a fever, and began to vomit. His vomiting grew intense and turned into dry heaves. He became strangely passive. The eyeballs seemed almost frozen in their sockets, and they turned bright red.
“His colleagues, not seeing him at work, went to his bungalow.
They looked at him and decided he needed a hospital. He was no longer able to drive. Doctors at the hospital could not explain what had happened to his eyes, face or even his mind.
Antibiotics had no effect.
“They put him on a passenger plane to another hospital. It is full with 35 passengers. He is holding an airsickness bag over his mouth. He coughs a deep cough and regurgitates into the bag. It swells up. His whole head is turning black and blue. Muscles of his face droop as his connective tissue dissolves.
He continues to cough. Vomiting goes on endlessly. It is black and red, and smells like a slaughterhouse.
“Eventually the plane lands. He stumbles through the terminal, then takes a taxi to Nairobi Hospital. Sitting in the waiting room, he goes into the last phase.
“Military specialists say the victim has “crashed and bled out.”
He is going into shock.
He leans over, head on his knees, and brings up an incredible quantity of blood from his stomach and spills it onto the floor. He loses consciousness and pitches forward onto the floor.
Blood pours from every part of his body. He is still alive.”
But not for long.
This is the Marburg virus, not our COVID-19.
There is no real treatment after 50 years. Between 55-95 per cent fatality rates.

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