Lockdown in Toronto

I can tell you I am feeling trapped (we cancelled a trip, which was a real disappointment) and I think we've all had about enough of this but there's no choice but to trust that things will open up safely when they are safe to do so.     It's starting to happen gradually here but how long will it take before we can be confident to carry on as before is anyone's guess.   I hate that everyone is afraid of each other now.    We do a wide circle on the path if someone is coming toward us and stay 6 feet away from anyone in the stores.    We are supposed to wear masks in the stores but not everyone does.   My friend made a couple for C and I but they're hot and uncomfortable.   I guess you get used to it but it must be so hard for the health care workers to have to wear all that gear at work.

I go to our grocery to shop once a week at senior's hour (7-8 am) and to the drug store occasionally.    We get takeout every 10 days or so.   It's a change and supports the local restaurants.    The parks are closed for parking but we're so lucky to have great parks by Lake Ontario to walk in every day.    Gas is cheap but there's nowhere to go!

It's become like the joke - covid-19 has turned us all into dogs - we roam the house all day looking for food, we're told to stay away from strangers and get all excited about a ride in the car.


Said friend in Valencia in 2016

Things are cautiously starting to open up here.    As of this morning we've had 31,341 cases of covid-19 with 2,475 deaths in Ontario.    The majority of deaths are in nursing homes.   This has shone a light on the homes here, especially ones that are private and for profit.  It's been shocking to see the neglect in some of them.

Stores with street access are open, with capacity restrictions, but malls and restaurants are still closed.   Most people wear masks when out.  All events and festivals have been cancelled.  That includes our Canadian National Exhibition and the Gay Pride and Carribean parades.   It's a huge hit to Toronto's economy.

We're lucky here in that we have a wonderful back yard and 3 months of summer ahead.  Travel restrictions have been hard to take.  C and I can't wait to get back to normal and book a fabulous trip to some far off place.

Trudeau is keeping the US/CDN borders closed for the time being.   Who knows what the effects of the protests will have on their covid-19 numbers.   The last thing we need are plane loads of Americans arriving right now.

Yesterday I booked a b&b in Niagara on the Lake for a couple of nights for next weekend.   It's a beautiful drive from there (through wine country) to the Falls.  A change of scene will do us good.

We'll all get through this.  A vaccine hopefully would put an end to it.  We'll not take our freedoms for granted anymore.   

2 reports from a genealogical friend in Toronto 10/5/2020 & 11/6/2020




Life in confinement in Quebec.



We live in Gatineau, in the south of Quebec province. The Ottawa river separates us from the Ontario province. The main specificity of Quebec is it culture and language, i.e. French, which is also our mother tongue. Gatineau is roughly a two hour drive from the Montreal area, the epicentre of the Covid-19 in Canada.
Like everywhere else, we have been subject to rather severe restrictions, which seem to have had a positive impact on the pandemia. While physical distanciation remains in place, there are gradual openings in various sectors.

Our closest known victim of Covid-19 has been our April evasion to the Costa Blanca, which we regrettably had to cancel 10 days before departing our never-ending winter. Instead we endured it up to mid April.
We ended up managing reasonably well within the confinement rules, except for having to put aside Tennis and Pickleball. All the contrary for other activities such as Bridge and Chess which we more than doubled the frequency, thanks to the technology. Messenger also helped keeping in touch with the grandchildren who proudly described and showed their discoveries within these new conditions. Not to mention the love messages.
As the snow disappeared and the ground started warming up, we could not help but admire the blossom of nature’s beauties. Here are a few pictures around the house

paul1 paul2 paul3

Huguette and Paul
Gatineau Quebec May 27th 2020
- annual vistors to JBC on Javea: playing online with us during lockdown


Canada is freeing up a bit more each week and the situation seems to be under control. However we are constantly reminded to be careful as the virus is still very present and active.- sent 5/7/2020


Lockdown in British Colombia

My wife and I are also fine here in Nanaimo, British Columbia. There were never any restrictions on our movements. I was very lucky to have arrived back from Bogota, Colombia, on March 12. A week later and I might have had to endure the 14-day compulsory isolation anyone arriving in Canada from abroad now has to endure. As it was, I was only asked to self-isolate voluntarily for two weeks, which I did.

Of course, this crisis has ruined my travel plans for 2020. I should be in Newcastle upon Type today on a two-week bus trip around the UK prior to a package tour to Abkhazia. The tour operator (Undiscovered Destinations) has rescheduled the Abkhazia trip for 2021, same time same place. National Express and Premier Inn in the UK were very good about refunding my prepaid bookings in full. In June we were supposed to have sailed to Svalbard with Silversea but of course we had to cancel. We also cancelled the Silversea Grand Mediterranean cruise scheduled for August. They have promised to refund out cruise fares by June 14 (three-month delay). We're still booked with Silversea for Lisbon to Reykjavik in June 2-021 and have out fingers crossed.

I'm starting to wonder if an effective vaccine will ever be developed. The only alternative is "herd immunity" and that would put us in the danger zone.

reports from a genealogical, Silverseas, friend 10/5/2020


April 2020

  • On April 29, Canada launches a new mobile app, ArriveCAN.
  • On April 28, Canada surpasses 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • On April 23, Canada announces more than $1 billion in support of a national medical research strategy to fight COVID-19
  • On April 23, Canada surpasses 2,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19
  • On April 15, Canada surpasses 1,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19
  • On April 15, Canada launches a new portal, Wellness Together Canada, dedicated to mental wellness
  • On April 15, expansion of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, to help essential workers
  • On April 11, expansion of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, to help businesses keep Canadians in their jobs
  • On April 9, Canada surpasses 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • On April 3, Canada announces an investment of $100 million to improve access to food for Canadians facing social, economic, and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • On April 2, worldwide COVID-19 cases reach 1 million.
  • On April 2, Canada launches the Canada COVID-19 app on iOS and Android to provide Canadians with the latest information on COVID-19 and a way to check their symptoms.
  • On April 2, Canada surpasses 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

March 2020

  • On March 31, Canada announces new partnerships with Canadian industries, under Canada's Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19. The Government of Canada plans to invest $2 billion to support diagnostic testing and to purchase ventilators and protective personal equipment.
  • On March 30, Canada states that all passengers flying in Canada will be subject to a health check prior to boarding.
  • On March 29, Canada introduces measures to support vulnerable Canadians to help cope with the health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • On March 27, Canada announces support for small businesses facing impacts of the pandemic, as part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.
  • On March 23, Canada announces support to quickly mobilize Canadian researchers and life sciences companies to support large-scale efforts towards countermeasures to combat COVID-19, including potential vaccines and treatments.
  • On March 23, Canada announces new measures to support local farmers and agri-food businesses in Canada facing financial hardship due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • On March 18, Canada announces financial help, through the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, for Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • On March 18, Canada implements a ban on foreign nationals from all countries, except the United States from entering Canada, Canada-U.S. border closes to all non-essential travel, and redirects international passenger flight arrivals to four airports in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
  • On March 16, Canada advises travellers entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • On March 13, Canada advises Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
  • On March 11, the World Health Organization declares the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic.
  • On March 9, Canada confirms its first death related to COVID-19.


From his salt-and-pepper beard to his questionable brown shoes, Justin Trudeau’s appearance has long drawn wonder and ridicule.

But since he began his daily televised coronavirus briefing three months ago, the Canadian prime minister’s lengthening mane has stolen the show.

Day after day millions have watched as his locks have slowly grown. Now getting in his eyes when blown by the wind, he occasionally brushes them aside, sending squeals of delight across a bored nation. Footage of him doing so has even been set to music and posted online.

Mr Trudeau, 48, a progressive champion, has legions of fans worldwide, but in Canada his critics claim that he is a lightweight obsessed with spin. Nevertheless, the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed his approval rating to a three-year high.

He is no doubt aware that it would not look good to summon a barber

However, fans of Mr Trudeau’s tonsorial style could soon be disappointed: yesterday barber shops reopened in Ottawa. -13/6/2020







More Tales of lockdown