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Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

Honoring (or better yet Honouring) Canada Day!

To celebrate one of my mother countries, Canada, in honor of her 143rd birthday, I thought I would give you some interesting facts about her (just as I gave some interesting facts about the U.S. in my little diatribe on the census):

Originally called Dominion Day, July 1 is when Canada celebrates becoming a unified country- having brought together the 4 founding provinces.

The word Canada comes from, Kanata, the St. Lawrence-Iroquoian word for "village" or "settlement."

Even though Canada is the second largest country in the world (behind Russia), it is the 9th least sparsely populated... not surprising when the mean annual temperature in someplace like Yellowknife is 22°F(-5.4°C).

On that topic, North America's lowest recorded temperature was -81.4 degrees F (-63 C) in the Yukon Territory on February 3, 1947.

Alert, Canada is the northernmost, permanent settlement in the world. (Google maps barely knows what to do with it!)

Some important inventions made by Canadians include: kerosene, insulin, the IMAX film system, the snowmobile (not shocking), and the electric cooking range.

My sister might be pleased to know that her (actually our) fascination with cheese may come from the fact that Canada is a major consumer of cheese. In 1997, Canadians ate an average of 23.4 pounds per person. And according to Canadian Geographic, Canadians consume more macaroni and cheese than any other nation in the world.

I found it an interesting fact that on an official government website celebrating Canada's Cultural Heritage, you can download a colouring book. (didn't come across that in my US facts search...)

Canada has only ever once participated in a World Cup, Mexico's in 1986. However, Canada has won the gold in ice hockey, its national sport, 5 times (from what I can tell... hard statistic to find for some reason).

And last but not least, if you mistype Canada (as I am strangely prone to do) into Google and spell Canda instead, you come up with a city in the northeastern part of... guess what country... ITALY! So all roads do lead to Rome/Italy.

But really, I won't take the spotlight off of Canada, an all-too-underestimated, but completely wonderful, country!

Still want more facts?