Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

Here we go again.

No doubt that’s what many of us are thinking as we go from the relatively low anxiety months of tiny provincial COVID numbers into a second wave reminiscent of those stressful months of spring.

I took a brief moment Tuesday to contemplate the details of a renewed lockdown — back to overly stocking the freezer, do I have enough booze?, is my home personal space comfortable enough to sit in for days at a time? — and soon realized that really the biggest challenge is the mental one. Not this shit again. But, there’s no getting around it, so buck up, buddy, and get it done. Hopefully, if we all chip in and tighten up, the numbers will decrease again and in a few weeks we’ll be back to summer-like low anxiety; otherwise we’ll ride it out and wait for vaccines to show up in the late Spring. We can do this. I can do this.

So, then it was back to concentrating on work.

The Examiner has a dedicated and talented team of reporters who can capably get into all things COVID, so I threw open the gates yesterday: let’s get creative and find more ways to cover the second wave. Already the ideas are flowing in. We’re on the story.

Of course, we need your help. If you value our reporting, please support us with a subscription. Or, if you’d like, chip in a few dollars more.

You make this happen.

Thank you.


News

1. COVID-19

Yesterday, the Department of Health announced 16 new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, all in Nova Scotia Health’s Central Zone. There are now 102 known active cases in the province. One person is in hospital with the disease.

A few hours later, potential COVID exposure advisories were listed for 19 locations:

Anyone who visited the following locations on the specified date and time [are] to immediately visit covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. People who book testing because they were at a site of potential exposure to COVID-19 are required to self-isolate before their test and while waiting for test results. You can also call 811 if you don’t have online access or if you have other symptoms that concern you.
  • Oxford Taproom (6418 Quinpool Rd, Halifax) on Nov. 17 between 12 noon and 3:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 1.
  • Bearly’s House of Blues & Ribs (1269 Barrington Street, Halifax) Nov. 19 between 9 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
  • The Auction House (1726 Argyle St, Halifax) on Nov. 19 from 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
  • *Corrected time* Mary’s African Cuisine (1701 Barrington St, Halifax) on Nov. 19 between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
  • ROGUE Fitness (6331 Lady Hammonds Rd, Halifax) on Nov. 19 between 6:45 p.m. and 9 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
  • RIO Pilates & Yoga Studio (2470 Maynard St, Halifax) on Nov. 19 between 6:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. and Nov. 20 between 6:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • Uncommon Grounds (1030 South Park St, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • The Roxbury Urban Dive Bar (1743 Grafton St, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 9:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • The Midtown Tavern and Lounge (1744 Grafton Street, Halifax) on Nov 20. between 8:45 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • The Split Crow Pub (1855 Granville Street, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • Mary’s Place Café II (5982 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • Chop Steakhouse & Bar – Sutton Place Hotel (1680 Grafton St, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 8:30 p.m. and 12 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • Tony’s Famous Donair & Pizza (2390 Robie St, Halifax) on Nov. 21 between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 5.
  • *Corrected date* Sea Smoke Restaurant and Bar (1477 Lower Water St, Halifax) on Nov. 21 from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 5.
  • *Corrected dates* Hermitage Restaurant (1460 Lower Water St, Halifax) at any time between Nov. 18 and Nov. 21. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 5.
  • [SMU Rink] Dauphinee Centre, Saint Mary’s University (934 Tower Road, Halifax) at any time between Nov. 18 and Nov. 22. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 6.
  • The Stubborn Goat Gastropub (1579 Grafton St, Halifax) on Nov. 22 between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 6.

I’ve updated the advisory map, including all corrections. Click on the icon to see details; some of the locations have multiple times, so make sure to read the entire description:

I’ve also updated the graphs, adding a seven-day rolling average (which tends to flatten out the noise of the daily numbers) to the new cases graph for the second wave:

And here’s the Active Cases graph for the entire pandemic so far:

Remember the positive cases being discovered now are people who contracted the disease last week. We will see relatively high numbers for another week or so until (and assuming) the restrictions implemented this morning have effect.

Rick Cameron, COVID survivor. Still from the Zoom meeting

All is not bleak. Yesterday, Jennifer Henderson attended the virtual fundraiser for the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation, in which COVID survivor Rick Cameron told of his experience with the disease, having been intubated and in a coma. Learning from such experiences, as well as working through the glitches of virtual care, has advanced the state of the medicine such that it has improved readiness for the second wave.

I was particularly struck by this part:

During very dark days last spring as the virus raced through Northwood Centre in Halifax claiming the lives of 53 residents, geriatrician Dr. Sam Searle managed to find a gleam of hope that could inspire change should the virus invade long-term care homes again.

Searle was seconded from his research at Dal to help organize a rehabilitation unit at a Dartmouth hotel for Northwood residents who were recovering from COVID-19. It was staffed with people from Northwood as well as volunteers and support from the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

Searle told people attending Wednesday’s virtual breakfast that isolating and caring for infected elderly residents in a hotel was an innovative response that hadn’t been tried anywhere else in Canada. The unintended and hopeful consequence, according to the doctor, was that the physical and emotional well-being of the elderly residents improved. Staff, who had arrived at the new location exhausted and discouraged after so much death, also eventually got a boost to their morale.

“Residents did have health issues and were lonely but we worked with each individual to find out what would make their lives better,” said Searle. “it might be helping learn to walk or find creative ways so they could maximize time communicating with family. Getting out of bed to eat a meal. Once we turned our attention from reacting only to COVID, many of the healthcare workers started to feel better about coming to work and the vast majority of residents ended up functioning better.”

Click here to read “Finding hope in the pandemic.”

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2. Sue Goyette

Sue Goyette

Episode 7 of The Tideline, with Tara Thorne is out.

This week Tara is joined by Halifax poet laureate Sue Goyette, who offers insight into her process creating her new book Anthesis, reworked from her nearly 20-year-old debut novel. Their wide-ranging conversation touches on bearing witness to the agave in the Public Gardens, Fiona Apple’s comeback and the record only she could make, feelings, late bloomers, smashing systems, and tough times. It’s really good.

The Tideline is advertising-free and subscriber-supported. It’s also a very good deal at just $5 a month. Click here to support The Tideline.

My plan is today to ditch the former podcast service we’ve used (we’ve had problems, long story) and move over to a new one. And then, we’ll make all previous episodes of The Tideline free for all, so you can hear what you’ve been missing. But you can subscribe now, without that!

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3. Lobster: the last, best fishery

V-notching the tail flipper of a berried female is a conservation measure used to identify it as a known breeder and protect it from being harvested in future.

Joan Baxter and Linda Pannozzo introduce their latest two-part series on the lobster fishery as follows:

Lobster stocks in Atlantic Canada have been flourishing in recent years, ironically not just because of conservation measures, but also because of two ecological disasters — the collapse of groundfish stocks and climate change. But can the lobster fishery survive with current rates and rules for harvesting as waters continue to warm and ecosystems change? In this, Part 1 of a two-part series, we look at what is known about lobster stocks, some of the pressures on them, and some of the measures being taken to manage the fishery and protect them.

Click here to read “Lobster: the last, best fishery, Part 1: Stocks are healthy, but why?”

We’ll publish Part 2 tonight.

We’ve left all of the articles about the lobster fishery free to for all to read, but of course it takes considerable resources (time and money) to produce them. If you support this work, please subscribe.

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4. Rent control

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Chuck Porter during Wednesday’s teleconference. — Photo: Communications Nova Scotia

“After resisting requests for rent control for months, the provincial government is implementing a cap on rent increases and banning evictions for renovations — but the measures are temporary and it’s unclear how they’ll be enforced,” reports Zane Woodford:

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Chuck Porter made the announcement in a teleconference with reporters on Wednesday: rent increases are capped at 2% annually, retroactive to Sep. 1, and renovictions won’t be permitted.

Click here to read “Nova Scotia caps rent increases at 2%, bans renovictions during COVID-19 state of emergency.”

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5. CBRM council

Mary Campbell reports on the inaugural meeting of the new Cape Breton Regional Municipality council, and as usual it’s a thorough, in-depth report.

I wanted to dive into Campbell’s reporting on the Port of Sydney, but it’s so detailed I don’t know how to excerpt it. Instead, let’s just look at her coverage of the award of a minor contract:

Things kicked off with an in camera meeting to discuss the awarding of the food and beverage contract for the Miners Forum in Glace Bay. Optically, I have to say, this was not a good look, even if you accept that such deliberations cannot be carried out under the watchful eyes of the nosey,  nosey public (and I, for one, think this is precisely the sort of discussion that should be held in public so we can understand how council reaches decisions like this.) As it played out last night, council didn’t explain its decision or even discuss its decision — it just voted on it. And it voted to award the contract to a numbered company — 3341020 NS Ltd.

Fortunately for me, I have access to a magical service called “the internet,” so I looked 3341020 NS Ltd up in the NS Joint Stocks registry and discovered it is owned by Angela Houston. I then googled Angela Houston and found out she’s director John Houston’s daughter, known for her portrayal of Morticia in The Addams Family movie. I then realized Google was talking about Angelica Houston and that Angela Houston is the owner of the Talo Cafe Bar on Commercial Street in Glace Bay. Why her name could not be spoken aloud in council baffles me.

You don’t get such quality reporting snark just anywhere — you’ve gotta subscribe to the Cape Breton Spectator! Click here to purchase a subscription to the Spectator, or click on the photo below to get a joint subscription to both the Spectator and the Examiner.

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Views

1. False fronts

“Recently we were driving back roads in the Ardoise district of Hants County with our friend Beth, who knows the lay of that land,” writes Stephen Archibald:

I called for a photo stop when we came upon this former garage, because I’m fond of buildings with stepped gables. Beth remembered when the business was still in operation (not that long ago).

Photo: Stephen Archibald

Imagine this little building with its red brick pattern, asphalt siding all fresh and twinkling, accented with a few bright signs advertising oil and spark plugs. If you enjoy looking at this sort of multi-layered derelict, “palimpsest” is a useful word to have in your vocabulary.

Photo: Stephen Archibald

This delightful little encounter encouraged me to assemble more photos, taken over the decades, of this style of gable.

That introduction leads to a fun photo essay of false fronts, faded Main Streets, and a comparison of Lower Water Street in Halifax to a streetscape in a Vermeer painting circa 1658.

Click here to read “Step This Way.”

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Noticed

Sheldon MacLeod

I’ve been part of the weekly “Municipal Matters” segment on News 95.7’s Sheldon MacLeod Show since 2014, and what a long ride it’s been. But yesterday was my last appearance, as Sheldon has been laid off, part of a much larger slimming down at the station.

I can’t imagine doing talk radio. I’m much more the “I’m going to read this same document 20 times and then go think about it for a few hours and call that work” kind of reporter. Sheldon, on the other hand, has done a four-hour daily show for years, spending much of the day prepping and lining up interviews, then working on his feet as he speaks with guests and fends questions from callers. It exhausts me just thinking about it.

But despite that hectic workload, Sheldon has always been prepared — more prepared than me, usually. More important, he’s always been a gentleman, emphasis on the “gentle” part of the word. Even at his most challenging, Sheldon has taken the time to check in, to see where I’m sitting emotionally when I’m working on difficult stories, and to cut me slack when I’ve been a bit of a dick, which happened more than a few times through the years.

I’m not the only recipient of that caring attitude. I’ve witnessed it in all of Sheldon’s work. He honestly cares deeply about the subjects he covers and the people he talks with. Given the breadth of the show, there are some interviews with people I would find, shall we say, less than interesting, but Sheldon manages to take those people seriously on their own terms, and gives them the dignity and time they deserve. That’s a real talent; it’s not something one can learn, but reflects a gracious and caring soul.

Which is to say, Sheldon has played an important role in our community. In those afternoon hours, thousands of people have tuned in while working, while running errands in their car, while sitting at home, and with a kindly Sheldon MacLeod guiding them through, they’ve learned a bit more about the city and province they live in. We’re better off for it.

Sheldon’s a talented and energetic fellow. I’m certain he’ll land on his feet eventually, but for the moment, there’s a gaping hole in our community.

Tomorrow’s Sheldon’s last day on the job. Give him a call and thank him.

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Government

City

Thursday

Transportation Standing Committee (Thursday,1pm) — virtual meeting

Joint Halifax and West Community Council and North West Community Council (Thursday, 6pm) — virtual meeting with live webcast

Province

Thursday

Human Resources (Thursday, 10am, Province House) — Kelliann Dean from NS Office of Immigration; Kevin Orrell, Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness. Info and CART link here.


On campus

Dalhousie

Thursday

Reclaiming Power and Place Virtual Read (Thursday, 10:30am) — a group reading of Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2019). More info here.

Project (Thursday, 12pm) — architecture lecture with Telmo Pievani from University of Padua, Italy, and Alessandro Melis, University of Portsmouth, UK. More info here.

MScOS Confronting rhetorical framings of occupation as inherently “good” (Thursday, 12pm) — from the listing:

Recent scholarship resists implicit, dominant perspectives that exclusively frame occupations as socially valued and positively meaningful activities that contribute to health and wellbeing. This seminar opens discussions about complex experiences of occupation shaped by social, political, and economic contexts. Potential implications for broadening understanding of occupation will be explored.

Info and Zoom link here.

Affine Groups: Projections and Generalized Wavelet Transforms (Thursday, 2:30pm) — Keith Taylor will talk.

We discuss harmonic analysis on groups of invertible affine transformations of n-dimensional Euclidean space with a focus on the construction of self-adjoint idempotents (aka projections) in the Banach algebra of integrable functions on the particular group. These constructions led to the development of higher dimensional generalizations of the continuous wavelet transform. We will present several concrete examples that illustrate the deeper structure.​

Mathematics Zoom Room, info and link here. Bring your own idempotents.

reimagine NS Nova Scotia’s Promise, Reimagined (Thursday, 6:30pm) — panel discussion featuring Alice B. Aiken, Wanda Thomas Bernard, Danny Graham, and Lori Turnbull will

reflect on what we’ve uncovered and learned throughout the last five episodes and discuss how we, as a collective, can come together to keep moving forward, prosper and build a stronger Nova Scotia.

In an episode shaped around envisioning the future, our panelists will also explore the questions: What do organizations need to do to support a reimagined Nova Scotia? How can institutions like Dalhousie make a difference? What can policy makers and influencers do to contribute? And how can we as an individual take action?

More info and registration here.

Towards a Unified Field of Israel/Palestine Studies (Thursday, 7pm) — Derek Penslar from Harvard University will give the 2020-21 MacKay History Lecture.

Within universities the most visible aspect of the debate about Israel/Palestine is student and faculty activism, often associated with support for or opposition to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.  This activism rarely integrates the academic teaching and research that lie at the centre of a university’s mission. In this talk I examine the development of the academic fields known as “Israel Studies” and “Palestine Studies.” I discuss their contributions, their strengths and limitations, and whether they should remain independent or be united into a single field. I hope to show how thoughtful and rigorous scholarship can break down barriers and transform hostile rhetoric into productive conversation.

Info and registration link here.

Friday

Learning from the Past to Build for the Future: Challenging Discrimination from the Global to ​Local (Friday, 10am) — the first day-long Human Rights and Equity Conference. More info here.

Michelle Thrush. Photo: Twitter

A Masterclass in Performance Creation with Michelle Thrush (Friday, 1:05pm) — co-presented with the Prismatic Arts Festival. Info and Zoom link here.

Harnessing Chemical Potential from Light (Friday, 1:30pm) — Prashant Jain from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will talk. Info and link here.

The Passions of Solidarity: American Jews and the 1948 War (Friday, 3:30pm) — Derek Penslar from Harvard University will talk. Info here.


In the harbour

12:00: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Fairview Cove from Halifax to Saint-Pierre
15:00: Atlantic Sea, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk
15:00: Algoma Integrity, bulker, sails from National Gypsum for sea
15:30: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Pier 41 to Autoport
20:30: Augusta Sun, cargo ship, arrives at Berth TBD from Moa, Cuba


Footnotes

There’s a post-cabinet virtual scrum with reporters today at around noon, and I’ll be “there” on my phone. Which I promise to mute!

Oh my. https://t.co/5XfNjCef5o

— Tim Bousquet (@Tim_Bousquet) November 25, 2020

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Tim Bousquet

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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6 Comments

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  1. Amidst the COVID news and the laying off of another valued local journalist, Stephen Archibald once again comes through with some aesthetic relief. I did, though, have to read “with its red brick pattern, asphalt siding…” several times before I figured out what Stephen was describing. This is a case where hyphens come in handy for a compound modifier: “red-brick-patterned asphalt siding”

    Just a little comma relief during these trying times.

    Keep up the great work, Stephen, Tim, Tara, and all the folks responsible for the fine offerings featured here.

  2. Rogers made the wrong decision once again. Losing the Sheldon Macleod Show and Todd Veniotte Show was not a good idea at all . Sheldon was nice

  3. Yes Tim, Sheldon will be missed. I caught part of a conversation he had with Mike Campbell a few days ago. Something about starting a ‘CKDU for adults’?

  4. Yet another battle in the war on responsible journalism has been lost. While I wasn’t able to listen to Sheldon’s show often enough, he did a great job and provided great service to the public.