BARRY MANILOW is a singer, songwriter, actor and producer. I’m not any of those things, but we do have self-quarantine in common. Says Barry – “In the first couple of months I was OK with it. I’m in that 70-year-old world, so I won’t want to tempt fate. But as time has gone on, it’s been rattling all of us. Restaurants are closed, theatres are closed, movies are closed. There’s nowhere to go.”Barry continues – “I’m lucky that I don’t live in a one-room apartment. I used to when I was younger (Barry was in a Brooklyn slum; and your’s truly in a studio on Eglinton Avenue East in Toronto). I know that plenty of people are living in one room. After all these months it must be very difficult to play by the rules.” – Barry Manilow’s Bubble, NYT, October 18/2020.As for me, during this ongoing lockdown: both the city and the house have never looked so clean; ‘torontosavvy’ needs everyday attention; I’ve written two personal books; we spent 14 summer afternoons doing driveway talks with friends and neighbours. They supplied their own wine and we set out the tables and chairs; I made good use of Kanopy and its huge collection of free movies; got my haircut twice; exercised and walked often; had one of the best gardens ever; broke in my new camera; looked forward to reading ‘Toronto Life’, the Globe and Mail, and the Sunday NY Times; became a regular e-mail correspondent; and I kept up-to-date on what’s happening south of the border. (That would be enough for two quarantines). Indeed, there’s misery all around us, but look on the brightest side possible. As Barry Manilow puts it – “I suffered for all of you. None of you need to suffer anymore.” <PHOTO – Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto – Mirvish Productions>
QUEEN ELIZABETH II visited Porton Down on Thursday, October 15/2020, and surprisingly she wasn’t wearing a mask. I’m certain everyone in that room was checked for the virus before Her Majesty entered. Front Page – THE DAILY MAIL, October 16/2020.Donald Trump zoomed thoughtfully with his base . . . . editorial cartoon by AISLIN (aka Terry Mosher), The Gazette, MONTREAL, October 16/2020.
Before the pandemic, the city boasted 280,000 jobs in the fine and performing arts. Between April and July 153,000 of those jobs disappeared, as well as for costume designers, lighting technicians and musicians. The industry supported about 97,000 jobs across the city, and overall contributed $14.7-billion annually. Broadway is already into seven months of shutdown, the longest in its history.PETRINA BROMLEY, a Newfoundlander who plays a Newfoundlander in Broadway’s ‘Come From Away’ musical said “We can never go back to before.” She grabbed her two terriers, and fled to St. John’s, Newfoundland’s capital city. There she will have public-funded health care, and is now teaching, working in television and spending her retirement savings. Ms. Bromley told The New York Times – “Newfoundland has felt really safe because there’s no community spread (of the virus). It feels almost normal, except everybody is wearing masks.” <PHOTO – Darryl Murphy, CBC>
Fortunately Jo had her camera in hand, and took the above photo of Mr. Stink. Jo’s partner, George, said “Stink Bugs are an invasive species and that’s one of them. It’s a bit smaller than my thumbnail. We get quite a few in our back yard and most of them are very small. Does it stink? Only if you squash it, which we didn’t.”When a Stink Bug invasion took place in TORONTO’s Annex over two years ago, Metro News columnist and resident of that neighbourhood, JOHANNA SCHNELLER, said: “They emit this really disgusting smell, like rotten leaves. It’s pungent, it lingers in the air.” SQUASHING ONE – Ms. Schneller didn’t think much of them until she squashed one. Her disposal method – get a wad of paper towel, squish the bug (don’t open your hand), then swiftly flush it down the toilet.JO said – “Famous last words – I’m going to hit one of those to see what it smells like.” DAVE said “It’s a flying skunk.” ROSS said “Don’t flush paper towels down the toilet, Stink Bugs or no Stink Bugs. It will clog your drains. Toilet paper is best.”
<PHOTO – City of Toronto Archive>
LISA WOLFMAN’s letter to the Globe and Mail – ‘INSIDE THE BOX’ – was to the point, and I read it at least three times. She wrote: “I am slated to be in a portable classroom with 26 students in a split class of grades 4 and 5. It will be impossible to put 26 desks at two metres apart. My board’s policy says that portable classroom doors are to remain locked at all times, and COVID-19 protocol is for fans to remain turned off to prevent possible spread.” <PS – THAT IS NOT Ms. Wolfman above.> “Imagine what it’s going to be like wearing a face mask for 300 minutes a day in these conditions. I cannot. If the Ontario government still feels it is unsafe for all Members of Parliament to return to Queen’s Park, how can it be safe for 26 children and one teacher to be confined to such a small space.” – Lisa Wolfman, Toronto, Globe and Mail, August 22/2020
‘COVID-19’ by SHARON SMITH
May this quarantine be over soon,
‘Cause I’m getting as big as the moon.
My hair is growing long and grey,
I’m hoping the salons will open in May.
Trump suggested Lysol would do the trick,
If upon you this virus decides to stick.
I didn’t follow his advice to the letter (not at all) ,
Figured wine would taste so much better.
Have a safe and happy day, and keep the coronavirus at bay!
Native Newfoundlander, TOM POWER, is now a runner. He spoke about this to Gayle MacDonald of the Globe and Mail. “It’s a shock to my family and friends, but I’ve started running. I’m doing it out of sheer anxiety about my immune system. The life of a radio host isn’t the healthiest. We sit all the time, and I love chips. I run in the bike lane, facing away so I can see if bikes are coming and jump back if need be. I’ve been seeing alleys and streets around my neighborhood that I’ve never seen before, all because I want to be respectful and stay away from people.” <PHOTO – Toronto Star>