RP: SubStack Oct 23/23 -Races, Novels, and Bears
RP: SubStack -Flip-flops, Girl Guides, and Food Banks

RP: SubStack -Oct 24/23 -Consumers, Cuffs, and COVID

Note - I’ve always been aware of a variety of both newsworthy and quirky subjects passing by every day, and now I may have found a nice spot to share them. I note them in passing, then spend a couple of hours collating and composing. Thanks for the comments so far.

Grocery store profits - From CBC, Canada's top grocers post above-average profits with little transparency, study says.

Photo-1533167751327-4091607cecc5 Their margins are still around 3-4 %, but consumer prices for groceries went up 11.5 % this September, compared to the year before. They claim increased costs, but we can’t get any real details, as they don’t want their competitors to know. And they lack transparency as to where their real profits are, since bundled in with groceries are things like drugstores, clothing, booze, garden centres, and makeup.

A few weeks ago the heads of the major chains were called to Ottawa and told to come up with plans to stabilize prices by Thanksgiving. There's not much yet from them- maybe they thought he meant the American Thanksgiving. They did talk of price freezes on some items until after Christmas, discounts, and price-matching campaigns. All of which they do already, so they are being called back. We now want their plans by November 2. We request, not demand the plans, as we can hint at regulations but there are a lot of powerful businesses there, a lot of lobbyists and campaign backers. It’s just politics.

Just buy more lentils and beans, They’re a cheap protein, and they can help heat the house.

It’s cuffing season - Yes, apparently it’s a thing, according to various sites, including the Cleveland Clinic.

Photo-1586543195744-2cc6a4f110d6 They describe it as “that magical time of year during the colder, winter months when people are more compelled to start relationships”. So furry BDSM cuffs are optional, it’s just an increased need for companionship based on darker days and a drop in serotonin. They suggest dating as a way to deal with these blue days, as opposed to just hunkering down with a box of wine and some movies. But they do caution the season is a fall through winter thing, so that convenient hookup that sort of turned into true love may be gone by the spring. Or not. Depends if you both weathered the holidays - such as family at Christmas and of course Valentine’s Day.

But how do people meet up now? Through actual in-your-face MeetUp activities? Through online sites like Plenty of Fish, LavaLife, eHarmony, Tinder, Grinder? Trendy bars? Mosh pits? Drag Queen shows? We all socialize a bit less after COVID lockdown and a switch to more work from home. Personally, I’m not that pro-active anymore, I am still open to propositions but I can’t be bothered to go out and join the hunt.

COVID has not disappeared - Not yet.

Photo-1592671748854-2e0ed15b0441 The numbers changed over the summer because infections dropped, and we stopped measuring some things. And we worried more about the polls and the economy - better to lose a few shoppers to COVID than have no shoppers in the stores at all, n’est-ce pas? But it’s fall now, a time for cooler days, colourful leaves, and respiratory illnesses. The numbers are up already, close to last year’s at the same time, and there are new variants. Of course, as long as there is a population of infections evolution and natural selection will carry on. Omicron BA.2.86 and FL.1.5.1 are more immune evasive but the symptoms are thought to be not more severe. And the newest COVID boosters are expected to be effective.

Check when your last shot was, check with a doctor on your risk factors, then get another booster. And a flu shot, your pharmacy can usually do a two-for-one deal, one in each arm. Covered by your provincial health plan. And maybe a shot against Respiratory syncytial virus or RSV. It usually causes a mild illness, but a few people may be at a higher risk. As usual, check with a doctor. My own clinic has advised us all that while Health Canada has approved the RSV vaccine ‘Aresvy’ in Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has not released their scientific recommendation. That process will take until 2024, so in the meantime, check with your doctor there f you think you need it. They can arrange a shot but for $270.

So get out and socialize a bit, just with caution. Get your shots, mask up in a crowd, don’t lick any stranger’s faces.



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