My First Father’s Day Without My Father

Hari and Dada, crossing the street hand-in-hand.

Today (well, technically yesterday) is a complicated day for some people. It’s Father’s Day. For many, it’s a day to watch something fun on TV with their dads. For others, it’s resentment that they did not know their dads, or indeed wish that they did not know them. For others still, it’s a time of great loss. (more…)

Monkeypox… More Than Just an Excellent Name for a Band

by Raywat Deonandan, PhD
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
University of Ottawa

(I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one… But wait! This is not a COVID-19 post.  And yet…. the credentials still remain relevant here. Sigh.)

As the title suggests, today’s topic is monkeypox. My inbox is blazing hot with dozens of media requests to come on-air and talk about this disease. So I thought I’d get ahead a bit and write what I know first, as I am certainly not a monkeypox researcher or expert.

I remember when I first gave monkeypox more than a passing thought. It was when reading a paper listing the likely candidates for a world-stopping global pandemic. The paper was written before the COVID pandemic. I wish I could find it now!

As of today, there are 36 suspected cases in Europe (UK, Portugal, and Spain), one in the USA, and a whopping 13 in Canada. (UPDATE: since I wrote this sentence a few hours ago, the disease has spread to Italy and Sweden.)

So, what is this disease, and should we be worried?  Let’s break it down. (more…)

Sic Semper Tywattis

Oh look, another non-COVID related post! These things do happen, you know. The disease is still with us, infection rates are still sky high, but we are two years into this thing and I suspect many of you are tired of hearing me pontificate about the bloody virus.

Related to my media commentary, though, was this tweet that one of my automated web search bots revealed to me:

Apparently, advocating for rational public measures to save lives and preserve our health care system is “tyranny” –despite the fact that some of my colleagues have in the past described me as a “free choice and free speech evangelist.” In fact, at times I have literally chosen unemployment over attempts by employers to constrain my free speech. I exercised my legal and ethical freedom of choice to do so.

So that’s what I advocate for the rest of society: we need certain mandates to control public health threats, but always maintain a safety valve for individuals to choose not to comply, but at a personal cost –a cost that I personally have been willing to pay several times in the past. It seems my detractors are simply unwilling to pay that personal cost –e.g., leaving a job that requires vaccination- or any cost, for that matter. (more…)

Medieval (F)art

Not everything is about COVID, okay?

This past week I discovered the wonderful world of bad Medieval art. Here are some gems and what they look like to me.

(more…)


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