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We received the bad news that our house in Florida was broken into by drunken man. The Police captured the man a block or so away thanks to the quick thinking of our vigilant neighbour.  The man was too drunk or drugged up to walk, so the police called an ambulance and sent him to the hospital.

The police called me and give me two options: press charges – for this choice I would have to agree to appear in court in future to see the man given a suspended sentence; or, not to press charges. The man would be given a citation and if he is in the area again he will go directly to jail (without passing Go).  Using this police guidance, I declined to press charges.

No matter.  I had to see if any personal goods were stolen, or damaged.  This area is now an Exclusion Zone (like Chernobyl or Fukushima).  I could not drive to the house because the international border is closed due to the US, and more specifically Florida, being a danger zone of death.  But I can fly over the border if I am willing to accept a 14 day quarantine on my return. Not logical that one can fly but not drive, but I had to check on the break-in.

There are no direct flights to our Florida city. Only six designated destinations can be reached from Canada.  So, I had to fly through Houston.  The 2 ¾ hour direct flight was now a 10 hour flight and I had to arrive at the airport 3 hours before departure for immigration and screening.

Houston Airport

The flight was not too crowded. The flight to Houston alone was 3 ½ hours and longer than a direct flight to Florida.  Add in a 3 hour plus required layover because flights are limited.  Houston airport was empty in the late afternoon.  Empty.

Houston, we have a problem.

The totally packed flight from Houston left one and a half hours late.  Some passengers were wearing masks, for a while, then lowered or removed them.

Because we could not drive to Florida, we had to rent a car on arrival. We had to wait for an hour and more in a line up for our reserved Budget rental car. A line where family groups were also waiting. Never the mind sign next to the lineup asking them not to.

Finally, I got to the counter.  The woman at the desk looks up at me and says “Oh, you are the first Canadian customer I have had here since March!”  I am thinking – no wonder.

I got my rental car and left the airport to get on the highway.  Whoops, as soon as I got on the highway, I noticed the car had no gas.  I had to immediately exit the highway and buy some gas.

The next day, I phoned to complain about the lack of gas and on the fifth connection they say that that department is closed.

On Sunday I call again and finally get someone who doesn’t really know how to deal with the issue.  All they can say is argue with the counter people on returning the car.

In Florida, the danger zone of death, no one wears masks, except on their chins. Others wear them loosely over their mouths, not on their noses.  You must wear a mask to get into the big box stores, but once they are in the store, people let them slide to their chins. Social distancing is an idea, not a practice.

Florida is a place with very well protected chins.  Given the obesity rate, there are a lot of chins to protect.

One large grocery store had a Trump rally going on in the parking lot, so we did not stop.  They have a policy that all must wear masks.  However, I am told, if you are not wearing a mask, they will assume you are not wearing it for medical reasons due to a pre-existing condition and they won’t bother you.

When I ask about the COVID virus, people tell me that it is spread by young people and little kids can’t get it.  “No worry,” they say because it is spread by people not like them.

During my first two days in the danger zone of death the US hits record highs for infections.  “No worry,” they say, “we are turning the corner and besides, we are now working on reducing deaths and assume contagion will just keep happening.”  Responsibility is something for other people, not like them.

Oh well, too bad, so sad for the 230,000+ who were not included in the “reducing deaths” movement because their train had already left the station.  And this seems to be a train that is running on empty.

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