Frog in my Throat

“A Frog in my Throat”

I have been invaded by a virus. I have a runny nose, a scratchy ‘frog’ in my throat, and a dry cough. I don’t know if I encountered the virus while still in Alberta, or if it caught up with me during the three day drive from Alberta to Arizona. I don’t know if it is a common cold or if it is one of the Covid variants like Omicron.

I do know that medical advice in both places says stay isolated at home for 5 days after the start of symptoms and don’t clog up the medical system unless the symptoms are well beyond what I’m experiencing. In Alberta, PCR tests are not available unless you are deemed to be severely sick. I’m assuming the situation is similar here in Arizona too.

What isn’t the same in the states we traveled through to get here, is mandates. In Canada, we have been ‘mandated’ up to our eyeballs. Today, if The Car Guy or I wanted to get back into Canada, our vaccine status alone would not be good enough; nor would a promise that we would drive immediately to our home and quarantine for 2 weeks. No, we would also have to have proof of a negative molecular test OR we will be fined $5000 per person. (When we crossed into the USA from Canada we didn’t have to provide any proof of even having been vaccinated. The restaurants and motels we used did not have mask mandates, though some had mask recommendations that few people were following.)

To put this difference between Canada and the United States into perspective (recognizing there are state/provincial/municipal differences), I’d like to start with  a section of a post from Mike Rowe (Mike Rowe Works Foundation):

How much more mandating are we willing to endure to avoid a virus we’re all going to get?

…I’m worried that we’ve become irrationally averse to risk. I’m worried that mask mandates will lead to vaccine mandates, and vaccine mandates will lead to vaccine passports, and vaccine passports will lead to QR codes on our phones, which we’ll all need to present at every restaurant, every gym, every library, every theater… everywhere we go.

Yes, I’m also worried about overcrowded hospitals and stressed-out healthcare workers. And of course, I’m worried about those who won’t survive this thing. But I’m more worried about the path we’re headed down… and that path is paved with mandates.

In my province (as in most Canadian provinces) Mike Rowe’s fears have mostly all come to pass. We have to wear a mask to enter all public settings and workplaces. We need to show our vaccine passport (with a QR code) to enter restaurants, theatres, concerts, fitness facilities etc that want to operate at normal capacity. We can’t board a plane or train without our vaccine passport… and we can’t enter our own country without a vaccine passport…

“I’m worried that we’ve become irrationally averse to risk. – Mike Rowe. Graphic Source: https://xkcd.com/

On a safety spectrum, I’d say much of Canada is highly Safety first. Some parts of the USA – maybe not so much. Which makes it kind of funny that the
Canada Travel Advisory is to Avoid Non-Essential Travel to the United States; the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory: Canada – Level 4: Do Not Travel Due to very high level of COVID-19…

My post on A Safety Third Philosophy in a Safety First World

30 thoughts on “Frog in my Throat

        1. Cough and sniffles gone, but tired. The Car Guy is out buying groceries right now and if he brings home Safeway’s carrot cake, I’ll perk right up…

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    1. I see the UK is going to lift all mandatory restrictions soon. Good to see that one country is going to chart the waters of living with another endemic virus. Somebody has to be gutsy enough to lead – and it sure isn’t the leaders of Canada or the United States these days.

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  1. Sorry to hear you have a “frog”. Enjoy your winter down south. You couldn’t get us out of the country for any reason right now but I am counting the days until we can head to the cabin!

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  2. Very interesting comparisons. Down here in Oz we’re being quite cautious and things are slow to get back to some sort of normality. Masks are mandatory in shops though since Omicron arrived most people wear masks on busy streets. QR Codes are second nature. The state of Western Australia refuses to open up to anyone. We’re beginning to wonder if they’d rather secede from the nation. Enjoy your winter break and I do hope it’s only a sniffle.

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  3. I had a scratchy throat, mild headache, and near-debilitating fatigue early in the month. I did not get tested. My doctor (when calling to report on some earlier bloodwork tests and when I mentioned my symptoms) said, “Assume you have it, stay home and get plenty of rest. Get tested only if things get worse.” (NOTE: Tests are nearly impossible to come by here in southern Ontario and there’s a huge backlog on results.) I was “out of commission” for around 10 days (but feeling better now). I’m used to wearing a mask (although I hate them) and understand the need for vaccinations (my booster is scheduled for Feb. 4). However, all the shutdowns, etc. seem excessive. I worry about the kids losing another year of their education. I wonder how strict future “passport” rules will become. I despair that we’ll never be able to travel or go out for a quiet dinner or enjoy a leisurely ‘staycation’ ever again. There’s no way of knowing if we’re overdoing it (or underdoing it). Only time will tell. Enjoy Arizona (its -20 here today with a windchill of -28. I envy you!)

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    1. Glad to hear you are over the worst of what you had. I think there may be a ‘world of hurt’ coming as we all get exposed to the colds that we’ve been isolated from for two years. Our immune systems might be very busy until we get all caught up on seasonal viruses again… or maybe not. Who knows!

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        1. Yes, I saw that news yesterday. Not a problem – we are vaxxed to the max and have our QR codes in digital and paper format. (We’ve been with people whose digital QR codes wouldn’t scan right and with other people whose paper QR codes wouldn’t scan right. About the time the technology is perfected, hopefully we won’t need them anymore…)

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  4. Sorry to hear about your frog and other symptoms. Hope it is only a cold! And who knows where you got it! Here in Texas there are virtually no mandates and we are on our own to choose mask or no masks in most places other than medical facilities. I wear them only when I have to. Went to dentist office yesterday and no masks were required for patients. May this pass soon!!!!

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    1. Each time I have visited my dentist in the last two years, we always part by saying, “Maybe we won’t have to mask next time!” So far that day hasn’t come. (The Alberta Dental Association has higher standards than even my medical doctor has…)

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  5. I just heard the United Kingdom dropped everything virus-related: masks, mandates, vaccines, vaccine cards. I’m sure the decision wasn’t based on a dramatic improvement in their numbers but more likely on an acceptance of COVID into the stream of “everyday” maladies. It’ll be interesting to see whether a) the UK can maintain this decision, and b) how soon (not “if”, but “when”) other countries follow their lead.

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    1. I agree. As I mentioned in a previous reply, I’m impressed that the UK has taken the lead here… but not surprised. It sure wasn’t going to be Canada’s Trudeau or your Biden.

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    1. We will join the Snowbirds and migrate back to AB in April – at least that is the plan for now! It is nice to be here in sunny Arizona while my antibodies do battle with this virus. I think sitting in the sunshine is good medicine!

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  6. I’m always behind in Reader, so if it was COVID, you are likely feeling like yourself by now. Our stats in Michigan are horrid and staff are overwhelmed and coming down with Omicron themselves. We have had two federal teams of medical personnel in two local hospitals (each just five miles from me), as the area has so many cases, so suffice it to say, I mask up any time I step outside and have only been in one public place (besides walking at parks) since November.

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    1. While I am not feeling like myself yet, if it is omicron I consider myself fortunate that it is, so far, a mild case. I’ve read that the vaccine is doing a good job of keeping most people from getting seriously ill. I’m still masking when we go out in case I am infectious, but as soon as my ten days are over, I won’t be masking. I think we all have a date with omicron and I’ve either had that date, or will have it now that it is endemic!
      I know not everyone feels that way, but as the mandates start to drop we will all be able to choose our risk level instead of the government choosing for us.

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      1. Hope you’re back to feeling 100% again Margy. If I didn’t live alone with no family and all my friends live out of town, I would not worry so much, but even with the vaccines/booster, people get terribly sick sometimes, so I don’t want to take any chances.

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  7. I think I saw on the news yesterday that proof of vaccination is going to be required for entering the US from Mexico or Canada, but I could be wrong about that. But I absolutely agree with your post…we have let fear of the virus invade every aspect of our lives, and that’s worse than the virus itself! Who knows what the long-lasting effects will be, but I’m guessing they won’t be good. I was also sick recently with extreme fatigue and nasty cold symptoms. Luckily, I had several at home Covid kits (purchased before they became rare and when our third grandson was due to be born, because we wanted to be able to see him without worrying about Covid), and I tested negative at home twice and once when I was finally able to get an appointment at a walk-in urgent care. I did, however, develop a sinus infection which got a lot better once I started antibiotics. I hope you are feeling better! If you’re not, maybe try antibiotics? I know of someone who started out with Covid and also ended up with a sinus infection…..couldn’t hurt!

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    1. Good advice, Ann. I’m watching the symptoms carefully and am feeling almost normal except for being more tired than usual.

      You are right about the effects of the two years of fear. That can be as debilitating as getting a virus, I suspect. I have no doubt that part of my tiredness is a result of concerns unrelated to Covid. Fortunately we have about three months of Arizona sunshine before we head north again. I’m going to enjoy the weather and lots of free time to read and craft!

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