Why I Should Ignore COVID-19 and Why I Won't

hnob2t7oSalmon fishing in the Margaree River

My wife Marie and I are a mixed couple. She's Canadian and I am an American. For the past 15 years we have spent our winters in Florida and our summers in Nova Scotia.

We are not that unusual as there are lots of Canadians wintering in Florida and many Americans living in Canada. You can even buy a Canadian French-language newspaper in South Florida and get grits with breakfast in Canada if you know where to look.

Earlier this year, as an American, I was barred entry into Canada because of COVID, even though we knew we were clean of the virus as we had gone into self-imposed quarantine the first week of March while in Florida. Since we are retired and have a small online business, we have the luxury, not afforded to most, of staying at home and out of danger from the pandemic, regardless of location.

Old Dog New Tricks

Why I Should Ignore Covid-19 And Why I Won't

COVID didn't inconvenience us much, as we tend to stay home a lot anyway, but it did require learning a few new tricks. Being somewhat familiar with biological warfare from my military days, we used that information to establish our new routine.

Since we were in an Orlando suburb, we were able to have supplies delivered in or we could pick up curbside at many locations. We set up a table in front of the garage for deliveries and then disinfected everything with hydrogen-peroxide. I even took the precaution of using the leaf blower to dissipate the air around the table if it was necessary to retrieve items like frozen goods immediately in the 90F Florida weather.

When we went for curbside pick ups we wore a mask when lowering the window. And when the attendant at Home Depot pulled down his mask to talk to me, I quickly raised the window. It was a case of mask down, window up, mask on, window down, mask down, window up, and so forth.

Was all this effort overkill? Probably. But we had less information then than we do now. We now know that the virus doesn't spread as easily on surfaces as once thought, but it still spreads that way. Spittle travels generally less than 6 feet but aerosols spread much further and hang in the air much longer. Granted, aerosols are less of a problem outside, where the air is moving, than inside -- but they are still a problem outside.

And lastly, viral load must be considered. The longer you stay exposed to the virus particles the more you inhale and the less chance your immune system can deal with them. So what would I do differently now that I know more? Nothing! I would make the same choices and take the same precautions.

Making The Right Decisions

Decision-making has two major parts, probability and consequence. Or, what is the probability an event will happen and what are the consequences if it does or doesn't happen. If you live in an area with many active COVID infections and you eat all your meals at indoor restaurants, hang out in bars and nightclubs at night, and go to church on Sunday where attendees sing elaborately and march up and down the isles, the probability of catching COVID is very high. Anything else is a crap shoot.

If you think wearing a mask is for sissies and you are 70 years old, overweight, have diabetes and heart disease, suffer from COPD but still smoke, and are downwind from pollution or a forest fire, then there's a high probability you might die from COVID. And we have learned, if someone catches COVID but has no symptoms, they can still have long term damage to organs and we know little about that so far. So the consequences of catching COVID can be quite severe.

Cape Breton Or Bust

Why I Should Ignore COVID-19 and Why I Won't

Let's fast forward from March 2020 to November. This year, we arrived later in Canada than usual. In June, the Canadian government relented and allowed spouses and immediate family of Canadians to enter Canada as long as they quarantined for 2 weeks. So off we went in our RV. We wore masks and gloves at the gas pumps. We stayed at our usual campgrounds along the way without having to actually go inside to register and had no contacts with anyone until we reached the US/Canadian border in St. Stephen, New Brunswick.

At the border crossing, the Canada customs agent instructed us to go directly to our destination and stop only for gas. We were not allowed to enter into any establishments and then, once home, had to strictly quarantine for 14 days. These were really no different than our own self-imposed rules in Florida or along the way. He told us we would be contacted by health officials during quarantine to make sure we were behaving ourselves. And we were each contacted twice, by phone, during the 14 days.

When passing from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia we went through a Nova Scotia checkpoint to see who we were, where we were going, why we were going, and don't stop except for gas and go to quarantine immediately. That was not because we were coming from the States but because we were entering Nova Scotia. We did as instructed. This was prior to the setting up of an Atlantic bubble where people within the 4 Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland) could travel freely within the bubble. 

Please Get To The Point Already

Why I Should Ignore Covid-19 And Why I Won't

OK! Nova Scotia has a population of just below one million and Atlantic Canada about 2.5 million. It has, like the rest of Canada, public healthcare for all. Thus, they have the incentive to keep their residents healthy. It's much less expensive that way you see.

Nova Scotia has had 1,144 COVID cases in 2020, as of today (November 17, 2020). The vast majority of the cases occurred prior to May. Today there are 21 active cases in Nova Scotia -- most of them new. We live on Cape Breton Island, population 150,000 in the Eastern Heath Zone which has had a total of 55 cases since the beginning. and none active at this time. In fact I don't think there has been a new case since June. There could be an uptick in cases as the winter sets in and people congregate indoors, but I have confidence the governments of Atlantic Canada will work hard and make the right decisions to keep their people safe.

We can live a near normal life. We can now travel freely within the Atlantic Canada bubble without quarantining. But even so, Nova Scotians wear masks indoors in public places, practice social distancing and avoid large groups even though there are few cases province-wide and no active cases in Cape Breton. It's required by law. Want to know how they do it? Check out this page.

Why I Should Ignore COVID-19 and Why I Won't
Traditional music has a long history here in Cape Breton.

Yes, life is near normal here in Margaree Valley, with reasonable restrictions and we owe that partly to Nova Scotia health officials and the political leaders with the good sense to listen to the science. Though mostly, we owe it to the people of Nova Scotia who elected them and are friendly, loving, and caring for one another. But this attitude is also present Atlantic Canada wide. Who can ever forget the extraordinary hospitality of Gander, Newfoundland when international flights were grounded there on 9-11.

You see, I love both Canada and America. But I wish the USA and my fellow Floridians would learn something from their Canadian friends in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

See Why This Island is Canada’s Best Kept Secret

About the Author

jenningsRobert Jennings is co-publisher of InnerSelf.com with his wife Marie T Russell. InnerSelf is dedicated to sharing information that allows people to make educated and insightful choices in their personal life, for the good of the commons, and for the well-being of the planet. InnerSelf Magazine is in its 30+year of publication in either print (1984-1995) or online as InnerSelf.com. Please support our work.

 Creative Commons 3.0

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License. Attribute the author Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com

Also From The Editors

InnerSelf Magazine: April 5, 2021

InnerSelf Staff
As I write this, it is Easter weekend. Also the period of Passover. And we've just had the Spring equinox, and before that, the Chinese New Year. All of these are about rebirth, renewal, and new beginnings... but also the ending of something else. Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: March 15, 2021

InnerSelf Staff
One thing everyone can agree on, regardless of their religion, race, gender, etc., is that life comes with its set of challenges. This week we share insights into the navigation of life's challenges. We begin with... Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: March 1, 2021

InnerSelf Staff
Change can go in two directions... growth or decay, and they both serve their purpose. Some things must decay in order for something else to be birthed, and then grow. This week we focus on change that we can initiate within ourselves and thus within the world. Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: February 15, 2021

InnerSelf Staff
As I write this, it is Valentine's Day, a day that is associated with love... romantic love. However, since romantic love is rather limited in that it, usually, applies just to the love between two people, this week, we look at Love from a broader perspective. Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: February 8, 2021

InnerSelf Staff
There are certain traits of humankind which are commendable, and, fortunately, we can emphasize and increase those tendencies in ourselves. We are evolving beings. We are not "set in stone" or stuck at any particular stage of our life. This week we focus on things we can change within our own self... Continue

Is It Good or Bad? And Are We Qualified to Judge?

Marie T. Russell
Judgment plays a big part in our lives, so much that we are not even aware most of the time that we are judging. If you didn't think that something was bad, it wouldn't upset you. If you didn't think that something was good, you wouldn't feel any loss when it was absent... Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: January 31, 2021

InnerSelf Staff
While the beginning of the year is behind us, each day brings us a new opportunity to start again, or to continue along our "new" journey. So this week, we bring you articles to support you on your continuation of the "new chapter" of your story, chapter 2021, that began on January 1st. Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: January 24th, 2021

InnerSelf Staff
This week, we focus on self-healing... Whether the healing is emotional, physical or spiritual, it is all connected within our own selves and also with the world around us. However, for healing to truly occur... Continue

A Made-Up Controversy - "Us" Against "Them"

Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
When people stop fighting and start listening, a funny thing happens. They realize they have much more in common than they thought. Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: January 17, 2021

InnerSelf Staff
This week, our focus is "perspective" or how we see ourselves, the people around us, our surroundings, and our reality. As shown in the picture above, something that appears huge, to a ladybug, can be tiny for a two-legged human, or even a four-legged animal. Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: January 10, 2021

InnerSelf Staff
This week, as we continue our journey into what has been - so far - a tumultuous 2021, we focus on tuning in to ourselves, and learning to hear intuitive messages, so as to be living the life we desire... one step, one choice, one moment at a time. Continue

Taking Sides? Nature Does Not Pick Sides! It Treats Everyone Equally

Marie T. Russell
Nature does not pick sides: it simply gives every plant a fair chance to life. The sun shines on everyone regardless of their size, race, language, or opinions. Can we not do the same? Forget our old quarrels, our old grievances, our old prejudices, and start looking at everyone on earth as another person just like us... Continue

Everything We Do Is A Choice: Being Aware of Our Choices

Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
The other day I was giving myself a "good talking to"… telling myself I really need to exercise regularly, eat better, take better care of myself… You get the picture. It was one of those days when I was determined to do better and was giving myself what was supposed to be a "pep talk"... Continue

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

More Articles By This Author

You May Also Like


silhouette of a girl high on a swing at dusk over looking a foggy lake
Experiencing Elemental Beings: Truth or Fantasy?
by Thomas Mayer
How do you experience elemental beings? Can you consciously make it happen? And how do you…
group of people riding the rapids in a raft
The Power of Powerlessness: Riding the Rapids of Life
by Barry Vissell
What really works is for me to accept my powerlessness, my helplessness, that I really have very…
Observations From Nova Scotia To Florida And Back
Observations from Nova Scotia to Florida and Back
by Robert Jennings, Innerself.com
Nova Scotia is a Canadian province of around 1,000,000 people and our home county in Florida has…
How To Ensure That "Luck" Is On Your Side
How To Ensure That "Luck" Is On Your Side
by Marie T. Russell
"He's so lucky! She always wins! I'm just not lucky!" Do these statements sound familiar? Have they…
face of woman floating in water
How To Develop Courage and Move Out of Your Comfort Zone
by Peter Ruppert
Courage is not about being fearless in the face of a scary situation. It is the willingness to move…
chamomile plants in bloom
Horoscope Current Week: July 26 - August 1, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
Having The Courage To Live Life and Ask For What You Need Or Want.
Having The Courage To Live Life and Ask For What You Need Or Want
by Amy Fish
You need to have the courage to live life. This includes learn­ing to ask for what you need or…
man passed out on a table with an empty bottle of alcohol with child looking on
Can LSD Cure the 'Spiritual Disease' of Alcoholism?
by Thomas Hatsis
Beginning in the late 1950s, five hospitals (in the province of Saskatchewan in Canada) offered a…

Marie T. Russell's Daily Inspiration


hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil image of children
Death Denial: Is No News Good News?
by Margaret Coberly, Ph.D., R.N.
Most people are so strongly habituated to death denial that when death appears they are caught…
Having The Courage To Live Life and Ask For What You Need Or Want.
Having The Courage To Live Life and Ask For What You Need Or Want
by Amy Fish
You need to have the courage to live life. This includes learn­ing to ask for what you need or…
How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
by Jackie Cassell, Professor of Primary Care Epidemiology, Honorary Consultant in Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
The precarious economies of many traditional seaside towns have declined still further since the…
image of the planet Jupiter on the skyline of a rocky ocean shore
Is Jupiter a Planet of Hope or a Planet of Discontent?
by Steven Forrest and Jeffrey Wolf Green
In the American dream as it's currently dished up, we try to do two things: make money and lose…
spraying for mosquito 07 20
This new pesticide-free clothing prevents 100% of mosquito bites
by Laura Oleniacz, NC State
New insecticide-free, mosquito-resistant clothing is made from materials researchers have confirmed…
test your creativity
Here's how to test your creativity potential
by Frederique Mazerolle, McGill University
A simple exercise of naming unrelated words and then measuring the semantic distance between them…
two children reading a book with their father
Empathy Starts Early: 5 Australian Picture Books That Celebrate Diversity
by Ping Tian, University of Sydney and Helen Caple, UNSW
Early exposure to diverse story characters, including in ethnicity, gender and ability, helps young…
Why Communion matters in Catholic life -- and what it means to be denied the Eucharist
by Timothy Gabrielli, Gudorf Chair in Catholic Intellectual Traditions
The biannual U.S. Catholic bishops’ meeting received more than its usual attention in June 2021 due…

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration



New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.