Tuesday, July 26, 2022

How Covid-19 changed things for a lot of people


Covid-19 or the latest pandemic has changed the life for a lot of people around the world. It isn’t something that just happened in one or two countries, the entire world was effective by this. In March 2020 things here in Canada changed and as I am writing this in July 2022 things are still different for a lot of us.

2020

This is the year that the world seems to lock down and there was no real travel and even going grocery shopping and visiting family was such a challenge. Masks were something that we were all wearing, and the rules and restrictions changed quite often while we all tried to manage what was going on around us.

For companies, a lot of them implemented the work from home and the only people that were going into the workplace were those that had to such as construction works, and health workers. Even a lot of family physicians started to do appointments virtually so that they didn’t have to see patients in person unless it was vital.

Schools at least here in Ontario were doing virtual learning where the students attended classes on their computer and that is how they spent the year learning. Graduations were cancelled and parents had to think of various ways to celebrate the event at home.

2021

The world started to open a bit as the number of cases started to come down only for new variants to appear, and then different countries once again locked down their borders. For us, it was a roller coaster of being able to go out, and then another restriction happened, and life changed again.

Vaccines started to be rolled out in early 2021 which was good, and a lot of people rolled up their sleeves to get it when it was their turn. Sure, there may be some side effects from the vaccine, but for me, I can handle those if it means that I don’t get a bad case of the virus. A third booster was also offered to those that wanted it.

Workplaces still asked staff to work from home possible and schools were still doing a lot of virtual learning. Once again, all the graduation ceremonies were cancelled here in Ontario and parents again figured out how to celebrate at home or at least in smaller groups. By the fall of 2021 schools reopened in Ontario and students were able to go back to in person learning if that is what their parent decided.

2022

The world was opening more, and then another variant appeared, and things were a little harder again. Stores limited how many people could go into them at once, and masks continued to be so much part of our lives. Masks wearing started to be optional more and more, but even as I write this blog some places such as long-term care and senior residents are asking visitors to wear a mask.

Schools finally went back to in person, with some families deciding to continue with the virtual learnings. Celebrations at the end of the school year were in person and group events were larger, and the world started to look more normal.

Some workplaces are now asking staff to start to return at least two or three days a week if possible. Some companies are saying that you must return to work 5 days a week in the office, while other businesses have figured out a method that works for them.

A fourth vaccine or 2nd booster was offered to those over the age of 60 in Ontario and especially those living in facilities such as long-term care and senior residents. Now, as I am writing this, Ontario is starting to talk about offering a 2nd booster to those under 60 years old as another variant has been discovered and the number of cases are starting to increase.

Of course, now that we have all lived through a pandemic, things will have changed for a lot of us moving forward. Large events are fewer, and more conferences are offering virtual versions of them so that people don’t have to travel.

Summary

Things around the world have changed and all those just in time deliveries that we all relied on in the past aren’t working right now, and they may take a long time to get back to normal. Stores are having issues getting stock and life is still different for most of us. Masks will still be around for quite a while, but at least currently they aren’t mandatory in most places. Covid-19 changed things for a lot of us but one thing I know that I learned through all the various lockdowns is how much I enjoy spending time here at home, at least when someone isn’t telling me that I must stay home.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Ian Hamilton - Author

Here is an author that I have loved all his books, and the first book I discovered from an ad on the TTC many years ago.  Of course, when you mention Forensic accounting to me, you will get my attention because I love digging into accounting issues. The series follows Ava Lee, a Forensic accountant, as she pursues bad debts.

Now, Ian Hamilton has been writing these books for many years (since 2011) and I am always happy to see when there is a new book coming out. He makes you feel like you are so part of the adventure of Ava Lee and those around her.   Ian now has another series that is about one of the original people in the first series, so that is nice. This second series is Uncle Chow Tung and the fourth book was just released on July 5, 2022.

I know in the Ava Lee series there are 14 books as well as a prequel and in early 2023 there will be the 15th book in the series. If you are like me and like some mystery and adventure, I would say this is a series that is worth trying. Yes, for someone with an accounting background, it makes it more interesting during some investigations. Ava Lee tours parts of the world, and you get to be part of her adventures.

Ian Hamilton knows how to catch your attention and take you on an adventure with each book, and leaves just enough unanswered that you can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I know that there have been times that just waiting for the next book has been difficult because I just want to see what happens next and where the story goes.

I had the opportunity to meet Ian Hamilton during one of his book launches at a book store in downtown Toronto, and it was wonderful getting to meet him. I did tell him about how I found out about his books and how a simple ad on a TTC train got me very interested in his books. He was happy to see how an ad that there weren’t sure if it would work turned out to work, at least for me.

If you are like me and enjoy digging into accounting issues and some adventures and mystery, I would say that you have to pick up the first Ava Lee book and read it. I don’t think you will be disappointed because the adventures are wonderful, and the stories will catch your attention.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Children in Hotels

 We have been spending some time at hotels and have noticed quite a few children are travelling with their parents, which is great. The one thing that did come to my attention is how parents and children interact while at hotels.

Here are some examples of what we have seen: 

1. Children playing in the breakfast areas. Parents are travelling with other families and the kids are left to entertain themselves in the breakfast areas. We arrived in the breakfast area to find four kids running around and crawling around the seating area. This made it dangerous for other people to be walking around because you never knew if you were doing to be tripping over a child or having a child run into you. The parents didn’t seem to care that the children were running around and possibly causing issues. It is always nice to get more than one family travelling together, but the parents also need to make sure that they are paying some attention to the children as well.

2. Children sitting and playing in the halls of a hotel. Here is something that does bother me because the children have a room that they are from and if the children are from multiple rooms, why can’t they all go into one of the rooms to play instead of playing in the halls and possibly disturbing other guests. Sure, the parents might be trying to get a younger child to bed or packing to leave the hotel, but the children shouldn’t be playing in the halls.

3. Children respecting the areas. Some children seem to be able to respect that they aren’t at home, and they are very well-behaved. It is always nice to see even very young children understand that they are out away from home, and they need to walk in the halls and not run, and they also have to respect others and not talk in a very loud voice. These are the children that make travelling good because it shows that they are learning about different places and also getting the experience of travelling.

I think it is very important that children can travel and see and learn about different places and experiences. I know that I travelled when I was younger and loved getting to see new places. Children need to experience other places, and they also must learn to understand that hotel halls and breakfast areas aren’t for playing in. I don’t expect children to be silent or anything like that, but parents need to help their children learn how to travel and be in the various places and respect other people as well.


 

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

People on a roof

A couple of nights ago, we were sitting outside, and we noticed something rather odd. I thought at first there was something stuck on one of the towers on an apartment building near us, but then it moved, and I figured out it wasn’t something stuck it was a person climbing the towers that are on the roof of a building.

It was a Sunday evening, so that meant that it shouldn’t be someone trying to do repairs because most people will either do it during the week or at least in the middle of the afternoon on a weekend. This happened just before 8 pm, and it looks rather odd. What also made it look strange was it looks like the person might have had a selfie stick and was taking pictures from the top of the towers and stepping on the antennas. The person descended the one tower and then immediately walked over and started climbing a second tower on the roof without any safety harness. We continue to watch this while trying to figure out who to call to notify the building of the issue. While trying to find phone numbers, my husband decided to call the local police department to report it and was put on hold. We then saw someone on the neighbouring building which has the same owner, so two different people on two building roofs taking pictures.

After quite a bit of digging, I was able to find an emergency phone number for the buildings and let them know about what was happening on the roof of the two buildings. It was amazing when the immediate response that I got was that there couldn’t be anyone on the roof because the alarm hadn’t gone off, and it was a locked door. I ended up talking with the superintendent of one of the buildings, and he took me seriously and said that they would look into it. Yes, it was an issue as these people were climbing towers and possibly damaging the antennas just to get some pictures and videos.

What ended up being very interesting was the person that we saw on the second building disappeared only to appear on the first building with the other person, so we had two people on a roof running around with selfie sticks and taking pictures. This issue continued for almost an hour that we are aware of when suddenly, the two people disappeared, this was just when the sun was starting to set and an ideal time for pictures. We think we spoiled their fun and some great pictures. Hopefully they were caught by security because it was a dangerous situation, and they should never have been up there in the first place.

When you see something that looks way out of the ordinary, it is best to let someone know because you never know what could happen. We were worried that either the people would get injured or stuff on the roof would get damaged. Somehow these two people out for some fun got onto a roof over 44 storeys up without alarms being sounded. I think these two buildings will be investigating how that happened.