Stay Put

In order to come back to their country of Canada, my sister and her small son have to present a negative COVID test that’s less than 72 hours old at the border.

They are citizens. Yet they cannot enter their own country on the strength of a passport. Citizens aren’t allowed into their own country. What meaning does the word “country” have anymore?

My sister is fully vaccinated and the kid is 5, so it’s not about that. There’s absolutely nothing they could have done to avoid what follows.

So this is what unfolded. My sister makes her travel plans, gets tested, and. . . the test comes in inconclusive. This means her travel plans are in the toilet, the airplane ticket is lost, she’ll have to get re-tested, all of the plans for the week have to be remade. And she has no idea when she’ll be home.

None of this is a big deal for people of leisure and a lot of money. But for people with jobs and no servants, travel becomes untenable. If you have no idea how long a trip will last, how much it will cost, and when you’ll get back, it becomes easier not to travel.

An additional problem is that if you are going to Canada and have a connecting flight, you will lose it. Customs takes hours. Many hours. It just goes on and on because, apparently, it’s very good for public health to keep all of the people you subjected to the rigorous COVID testing confined in a small crowded space for hours.

The only solution is to get a private jet.

Zygmunt Bauman wrote this sentence 20 years ago that I could never understand. I’m quoting from memory but it goes something like this: the government’s role is no longer to look out for the well-being of the citizens but, instead, to keep global travel pathways free for the unimpeded, fast travel of the supranational elite. The part about travel was what I couldn’t figure out.

Now I get it.

23 thoughts on “Stay Put

  1. In a conversation with a co-worker (not Polish) a couple weeks ago she mentioned a couple from her country (Asian) had bought tickets to Warsaw and on to Budapest (and back). They had all the documents they thought they would need…. but no one asked for anything at any any of the three airports they were flying in and out of (2 in Poland one in Hungary).

    One of the… interesting things about these new measures is how uncoordinated the restrictions are and how uneven enforcement is, not only between countries but within countries and especially at ground level.

    It still sucks for your sister to be living in one of the countries most devoted to the idea of worshiping a supranational elite.

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    1. The unpredictability is part of it. And also the humiliation of getting all the paperwork together and then finding out that it wasn’t needed. Pointless restrictions, constant humiliation – it’s all part of the blueprint.

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  2. It’s the same way for Americans btw. I know because my husband is now getting ready for a trip to the old country to see his mother. He’s an US citizen, but there is a chance he might not be able to get in if his test randomly comes out positive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is correct. It has been like that since about the end of January 2021. The actual policing is done by the airlines who will not let you board the plane without a negative test. The US immigration had no interest in the test or the questionnaire they asked you to fill out to enter the country.

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        1. “In Canada, it’s the government.”

          Yes and no.

          I do understand your frustration, am deeply sympathetic to your sister’s situation, and sincerely hope she is able to go home soon. You have summarized the situation perfectly in saying “pointless restrictions, constant humiliation.”

          But please don’t forget that these sorts of barriers to travel – both international and inter-provincial travel – have been hugely popular with the public. A survey taken earlier this summer indicated that only 29% of Canadians wanted to open the US border either immediately or by September. And I have read reports of cars with out-of-province plates having their tires slashed in both British Columbia and Nova Scotia and no doubt this has happened in other provinces as well.

          So politicians have to be thinking about their next election when they impose these pointless and humiliating restrictions.

          It’s theatre, virtue-signalling – but Canada’s COVID mania can’t be attributed solely to top-down imposition. For every Québecois and Québecoise who marched yesterday against vaccine passports, I’d wager that there are significantly more than 10 who think vaccine passports are a swell idea along with another 2-3 who would favour the immediate re-imposition of another super strict lockdown because, well, variants.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s exactly what my sister says. Every time I start on about the evil government in Canada she says exactly what you do. The people want it. There are no two ways about it. These measures are insanely popular. And this is where my brain turns to mush because I can’t process it.

            My sister and you would really hit it off. 🙂

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            1. “The people want it.”

              I’m afraid they actually do. There’s no point denying it.

              But this begs the question of why do they want it?

              There’s a long answer here – book-length probably – but my short answer is that historically most Canadians trust their elites – and their elites in the last decade, pretty much to a person, have become woker than woke. Counter-narratives are neither spoken in polite company nor heard.

              Btw I really do understand why your sister might feel humiliated by being treated like this. But at least she’s currently with family and not forced to camp like a supplicant refugee on the border in an overpriced fleabag hotel. I’d like to travel overseas this coming fall but have been avoiding making concrete plans not because of fear of COVID but because of fear of the COVID police.

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  3. I don’t even care about travel, these days. Haven’t been able to afford it in years.

    But this morning, I packed up the kids (no small feat with my husband at work) and took them to church. And the church was locked. Because COVID safety measures.

    It is hard to overstate how discouraging this is. We just uprooted our family and moved to a new area, and church was the one thing we could count on for getting back into some semblance of normality, routine, maybe meeting some people in the area, and, you know, going to liturgy. I don’t care that they’re broadcasting on the internet: sacraments can’t be digitized.

    But it’s closed for our safety. Indefinitely.

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    1. Oh, that sucks, oh God. Unbelievable.

      What about the safety of your soul? Isn’t that important? Shouldn’t that count for something?

      For those who don’t know, our faith is based around liturgy and sacrament. We aren’t protestants. No criticism implied but we have to be in church. It’s very important.

      I’m so sorry this is happening! This is horrid!

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      1. “Shouldn’t that count for something?”

        You’d think. All’s not lost. I think we will get up early and make the hour-plus drive to the nearest non-GOA church (after verifying by phone that they will be having services that we can go to…). We had actually visited the currently-locked church twice, since the move, and were discouraged by a lot of things. We were thinking, maybe we should try visiting the other 3 orthodox churches in somewhat-reasonable driving distance. But, you know, I’m not Protestant anymore, and I don’t like the idea of church-shopping. Maybe we should stick to the closest church like burrs until they realize we’re not going away. It worked at the last parish. I’m conflicted.

        So I asked for a sign. And this morning, we were locked out of the church. Maybe that was our answer.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If they are closed when other parishes are open, I’m not sure they are truly Orthodox. Our priest is 71 and in frail health but he reopened the second it was possible because he says that the health of the soul is even more important than the health of the body. We have been fully open with no mask mandates for months. We even have our communal meals back and all of the charitable events.

          So yes, it might be a sign.

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          1. There are four parishes we can get to from here. Not easily, but we can do it. Three of them are GOA, and the fourth is Antiochian. I am getting the vibe that GOA is much more concerned about public image than the other jurisdictions. The next-nearest GOA church is also online-only right now. The Antiochian church is not GOA, but also, it’s across the state line from here, so… I think our odds are better there. But we’ll verify before we make the trek. Gas isn’t getting any cheaper.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. “I don’t like the idea of church-shopping…”

          Yes, I get it.

          But sometimes it’s the right thing to do for everyone concerned. And, then, by exploring your options you may find, God willing, the parish where you feel you should be.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. I am so sorry! One of the most incomprehensible things to me in this pandemic is the behavior of churches, in my specific case the Catholic Church. One would think that in the middle of a horrible pandemic one would need more access to sacraments, not less. I do not want to think about how many people died without the access to Confession, the Last Rites, or the Eucharist. This has never happened before. Even during the horrible plagues in Europe Masses were celebrated outside on the city streets so that people could be present and the priests visited the sick. Because a person’s immortal soul has infinite value. TV does not cut it. But of course, liquor stores and Walmart were open at all times… To me, that was the biggest giveaway that this is not simply about some respiratory virus, but there is more to what we are going through than meets the eye.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In the early years of the church, when the rich were all fleeing Rome to try to escape the plagues, the Christians were the ones staying and tending to the sick and the dying. When did we become such cowards?

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  4. I no longer understand any of it. We are brainwashed into getting the vaccine not because it protects us but to “save lives”. If by being vaccinated, I am indeed protecting others by not carrying the virus, then why do I need to be tested? Oh I can still be contagious? Then what lives am I so righteously saving? Why a test within 72 hours? It’s an impossible deadline to meet when there is the option of an “inconclusive” result. I am vaccinated. My kid recently had Covid and completed his quarantine. Why can’t we return home and need to instead cancel the flight and figure out what to do + where to stay with a 5 year old while I find a place that’s open on the weekend and can re-test me? Oh there is no such place. I took this shot to be able to travel and come home; I am young and healthy. I would not have felt shittier with Covid than I did with my vaccine side effects. I’m still having them. And now the Canadian government is forcing me to vaccinate my kid as soon as she turns 12? Otherwise she won’t be able to continue competitive dancing which is a huge passion of hers. It’s better for her health to quit sports? Why does she need to be vaccinated? To protect others? Clearly the vaccine doesn’t do that or I wouldn’t still be blocked from coming home. To protect her? She already had Covid and we wouldn’t have known, had it not been for an obligatory test. None of these rules make any sense whatsoever. A lot of stupid rules in the US also but it is paradise or sanity compared to Canada. At least nobody is calling you every two days to question you when you’ve “been in contact with” and nobody is showing up at your door to police you when you’re quarantining. I am desperate to go home and loathe the idea at the same time. Rant over. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The absolute bloody worst thing about it all is that so many people are taking medication that don’t want or need only to earn back some basic freedoms that were taken away from them. This is so wrong. It’s immoral. Nobody should put medication into their bodies for non-medical reasons and under coercion. People should be a lot angrier than they are.

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    2. “A lot of stupid rules in the US also but it is paradise or sanity compared to Canada.”

      Historically, I think that most Canadians would have preferred to chew off one or more of their own fingers rather than to make such an admission.

      But I have to admit you have a point. As bad as the wokester revolution has been in the US, they have not yet been able to silence their critics as totally as the woke have in Canada.

      And, yes, the ones I worry about the most are the children like your daughter – denied school for months on end, denied organized sports and normal social events with their peers, told to hide in their basements and shun human contact by public health morons fixated on the nonsense of the ‘COVID zero’ folly. So, rant on!

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