The coronavirus came with stranger things

Keeping track of the trends to date

Nature is healing” because of COVID-19, which has also brought celebrity status to chief medical officers and their sign-language interpreters. It also led dogs to honk in honour of frontline workers, among other matters unique to the past month:


Deeper than Zoombombing

Citizen Lab, based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, is credited with changes at Zoom that include paid users picking which data centre video calls are routed through. (Free users won’t be routed through China.) It was just one thing the laboratory found wrong with Zoom’s original standards for privacy.


Fear of a pandemic power grab

Physical distancing warnings have gotten harsher in Ottawa, which emerged as a hotbed for reported confrontations with bylaw enforcement officers. Complaints about people flouting the guidelines dropped in Toronto, but the fines handed out in the city went up. The Canadian Civil Liberties association has been watching the watchers:


The social distancing machine

The creation by artist Daniel Rotsztain was meant to show how some downtown Toronto sidewalks are too narrow to abide by a two metre rule, with the hope that politicians would notice. The mayor has no plans to ban cars, fearing pedestrian overload—but he’s amenable to designated one-way sidewalks.


“Due to COVID-19…” signs

While a ubiquitous salute to Honest Ed’s got caught in controversy in Toronto, the city dominates the website collecting the signs of these times, although submissions are welcome from everywhere. Local churches bring their own brand of signalling hope:

Signs from various churches in Toronto. Photos by @hyfen, @shawnmicallef, @lolalandekic, Patrycja
April 5, 2020

The snobbery of sourdough

Making bread in quarantine turned into a thing that trend pieces were made of, as demand for flour and yeast rose to proportions of toilet paper, so that more bakers could show off their starters. It’s also started to show something about society:


Finally, what a terrible image

“Speaking Moistly” were the words that Justin Trudeau instantly regretted using to promote a new masked normal. But the term was then used by Andrew Scheer with a relatively straight face to deflect accusations of breaching health guidelines. The song it inspired will play in our brains until all the corresponding circumstances are over: