The Coronavirus; is this how we die? No! Wash your damn hands!

The Coronavirus; is this how we die? No! Wash your damn hands!

Full disclosure, I am not a doctor or a healthcare professional, but I am very well read and informed. I also travel (on planes) for work a lot; and have lots of friends who also travel for work, so I do feel that I have some valuable precautions to share.

First of all, let’s put things into perspective; statistically speaking if you live in North America you’re more likely to die from a shark attack or a snake bite than you are from the Coronavirus. That being said, it’s freaking scary to hear how fast it’s spreading every time you turn on your computer or the television.

There have been 80,026 ish cases reported in China so far, which sounds like a lot, but to put things in perspective, again; the population of China is estimated at over 1.428 Billion!!

And if you want something to be afraid of; here are some stats that should scare the shit out of you! The US CDC estimates that influenza, which is the flu that goes around every year, has affected (made sick) 9 million to 45 million people since 2010! Of those 140,000 to 810,000 needed to be hospitalized and between 12,000 to 61,000 have died… from the regular flu!

Can you imagine what life would be like if CNN started keeping count of everyone who was hospitalized and died from the flu? People would never leave their homes.

So let’s all calm the F down a little, because here’s the thing; the Coronavirus numbers are just going to keep increasing as more people are tested. So let’s chill out a bit and see what we can do to protect ourselves from the actual flu and not just the Coronavirus.

Wash your damn hands!

It maybe a bit frustrating to be told that over and over again; but even with all of our advances in science, the best way to prevent ourselves from getting the flu is still to wash our hands.

Here’s a shocker; most of us aren’t washing our hands properly. That’s right, most of us need a reminder on how to properly wash our hands! A squirt of soap and a few seconds under the tap isn’t going to cut it anymore.

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You should be lathering up for at least 20 seconds! And get a cloth ready so that when done, you don’t have to touch the dirty faucet with your clean hands.

DON’T use bathroom air dryers!!!

If you only retain one thing from this post, please let it be this point! I speak from experience on this one; I got the nastiest flu a few years ago while traveling and I am convinced I got it from bathroom air dryers.

Think about it for a minute; the air dryer pulls air from the bathroom and heats it up, then spits it out onto your freshly cleaned hands! This may give you nightmares; but do you know what floats around in the air in bathrooms? Fecal particles and other funky bacteria are floating around in there! And the heat from the dryers just makes all those things grow faster.

Some air dryers now have HEPA filters that will cut down some, but not all, of the funky stuff growing in the dryers. But how do you know if the mall’s air dryer has a HEPA filter? You don’t! So wash your hands and get the hell out of that bathroom, with your hands dripping wet, as quickly as possible, lol.

I’ve starting hoarding napkins in my purse; if I encounter a bathroom with air dryers only, I am all set! I’ve also started carrying a packet of disinfectant wet towelettes with me; which leads us to our next tip.

Disinfectant Stuff

I have never been paranoid about germs and I still don’t think we should be overly obsessed; but I do think we need to create new habits for our new reality. One of my new habits is that I carry a plastic baggie in my purse that contains wet wipes and a small bottle of hand gel sanitizer. Make sure that the ones that you buy contain 60% alcohol. You should probably also throw in a small tube of hand lotion; all that washing and sanitizing is going to dry out your hands.

As mentioned above, I keep a small stash of napkins in my purse as well; perfect for drying my hands or if I need to touch something that looks gross, lol.

When Flying

A few weeks ago I shared a post on how to not get sick while flying; here is the link if you want to read: https://oui-liette.org/2020/01/27/how-to-not-get-sick-on-a-germ-infested-airplane/

Part of my new flying habit is that before getting settled in my seat, I wipe down every possible surface around me; window, tray table, arm rests, head rests… with an extra large Lysol pack that I have in my travel bag; on my last flight, I shared with my seat neighbor, he was very thankful.

I also have a baggie in my purse with latex gloves; yes, my purse is filled with various baggies, lol. I try really hard to avoid having to use the washrooms on board, but if I do need to go, I am ready! I put on a pair of latex gloves; I leave the bathroom without washing my hands; I remove my gloves and put them in a separate baggie and then wipe my hands with my towelettes. Latex gloves would also be a great option for really scuzzy bathrooms, not just airplanes bathrooms.

Do you need a mask?

Authorities are telling us no; and that we should stop buying them so that they are available for medical workers. Most of the masks that you see people wearing don’t actually block the virus out anyway; only the N95 masks will actually help prevent you from getting sick.

I have an N95 mask, my local pharmacy had a bunch on display the other day so I grabbed one. I will keep it in my travel bag in case of an emergency. What will constitute an emergency? Maybe someone sitting next to me who is clearly sick?

Other precautions

  • Don’t touch your face; this one is a tough one for me. I am forever touching my face, but am trying to be more mindful.
  • Stop shaking hands; chances are the person you are shaking hands with doesn’t really want to shake your hand either?
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow, a tissue; just cover your mouth with anything, but your hands. Then just to be safe, sanitize your hands after anyway.
  • If you do get a cold or are not feeling well, stay home!
  • In addition to creating a plastic baggie of disinfectant stash for your purse or travel bag; it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to create a mini survival kit for your home.
    • If something happened that you would need to stay in your home for a week or two; what would you need?
    • This is something you should have for natural emergencies and disasters; not just for this darn virus. Being prepared is never a bad idea!

I hope this post helped put a few things into perspective and has helped to calm your fear, just a bit?

Thanks for reading; feel free to share! And please, wash your damn hands!!! No seriously, go wash your hands…now!! And when was the last time you disinfected your phone or keyboard??

Muah!

Liette

 

The Other Vegas – My love letter to this great city!

The Other Vegas – My love lettre to this great city.

It’s already been two months now since my big move from Las Vegas back to Canada; and although I am happy to be back home, the past three and a half years there were a great adventure!

A common reaction when people find out that you live or lived in Las Vegas is always; oh I could never live there. Or, it’s fun for 3 days, but I couldn’t handle living there.

Yes it’s a party city if you’re visiting and staying on the strip; but for those who live there it’s a normal town with lovely people…ok, sort of normal.

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In this post, I would like to give you an insight of what it’s like to live there and what makes Las Vegas so special; aside from the casinos, amazing entertainment and world class restaurants. But before we get started, let me just say one thing; I didn’t leave because I didn’t like living in Las Vegas. My master plan was always to stay 3 to 5 years. I came for an adventure and to further my career; done and done!!! I am very much a Canadian and a Maritimer down to my soul, so there was never any question in my mind that I would stay in the US permanently.

Where will you live?

Ok, let’s move on! When you decide to move here all the locals want to know if you will be living in Henderson or Summerline? It’s very serious business; each side tries to convince you to move to their area.

Driving from one area to the other is maybe 25 to 35 minutes? Which doesn’t seem very far right? But the weird truth is that once you move to one area, you rarely venture to the other side; and when you do, it’s a big deal, lol.

Las Vegas is the most convenient city ever! It doesn’t matter what area you move to, everything you need can be found within a 5 mile radius; everything!!! Your hairdresser, doctors, grocery store, pharmacy….most everything you need is literally a 3 min drive; so there is no need to leave your hood.

Full disclosure, once I settled in and had a friend from Moncton moving to Las Vegas; I too became one of those people who tries to convince new people to move to their area. I believe my exact words to my friend Sean were; “you can move to Summerline if you want, but I won’t go visit you; you’ll have to come to me in Henderson!”

Get back to nature!

When you think of Vegas, I bet that enjoying nature isn’t the first thing that comes to mind? But there are amazing, like freakishly amazing, things to see and do there. Most people that visit and stay on the strip don’t even notice that Las Vegas is in a valley; it’s surrounded by mountains on all sides, which means that there are lots and lots of hiking trails!

The hills are not exactly alive with the sound of music, but they are beautifully colorful! There’s plenty of reds, whites and sometimes pinks and purpleS. Red Rock is a 20 minutes ish drive from the strip; it has amazing trails for hiking and rock climbing.

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But my personal favorite spot to bring friends when visiting was The Valley of Fire; which is approximately 50 minutes from the strip. It really feels like you’re on another planet. There is a zen vibe that you will feel as soon as you arrive. You can even see petroglyphs; how many of you have seen petroglyphs??

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Henderson, where I chose to live because it’s way cooler than Summerline, 🤣😆, is 20 to 25 minutes from the Arizona boarder. My friend and I discovered some amazing and really challenging trails on the Arizona side of the boarder.

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Our first hike was to Liberty Bell, truth be told, we got lost on that first hike so it took us a bit longer than planned. It’s amazing to walk up and down, and up and down the trails to eventually happen upon this enormous rock formation!

The main trail eventually splits into two; one leads to the Libert Bell and the other leads you to the hot springs. Again as you walk these trails, you feel like you’re on another planet; especially if you’re from the east coast where everything is green.

Water fun!

I am from Atlantic Canada, my house was a 15 minute drive from the beach. When I moved to the desert I never imagined that I would be buying my very first kayak there…in the desert.

Like most of my activities, I discovered Willow Beach via Pinterest; I would search fun things to do in and around Las Vegas and go do them.

Willow Beach is less than an hour’s drive from Henderson; and like The Liberty Bell, its on the Arizona side and it’s the most amazing place that I’ve ever experienced.

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Full disclosure the water is cold, that being said, it’s never stopped me from jumping in! It’s in a valley surrounded by mountains; so while kayaking we’ve seen grazing mountain goats and bald eagles flying overhead. The water is so crystal clear that you can see fish swimming under your kayak; pretty big fish.

There’s an area called Emerald Cove where the water is the prettiest color of green. There are a few areas that you can beach your kayak and enjoy a picnic and swim.

I bought a kayak, but you can also rent them; it’s actually easier to rent them. You can also rent pontoon boats, which I haven’t done yet, but it’s on my list.

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No kayak? No problem! In July and August, it’s actually too hot for a lot of physical activities. But if you leave early in the morning before it gets too hot, you can float.

In honor of my Canadian heritage; I bought an inflatable beaver instead of a unicorn or swan. If I am being honest, the main reason I got it was to be able to say that my beaver and I went to the lake, when asked what I did on the weekend. Come on, that’s pretty funny!!

Anything is possible in Vegas!

A few years ago, I made a bucket list; one of the items on my list was to ride a camel. Since Las Vegas is in the desert, I figured there should be a place nearby where you could ride camels? And I was right!! An hour and twenty minutes from the strip is a place called Camel Safari.

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I brought my nephew with me and we had so much fun! I had heard that camels can be assholes, so I was a tiny bit apprehensive; but the camels at Camel Safari were very well behaved. Now I am not a camel expert, but I think that they were so chill because they are happy and well taken care of; they have lots of room to roam with their camel friends when not on safari.

Funny story, some of my coworkers, who have lived in Vegas for a long time, would see my Facebook posts and ask me on Monday morning; where the hell were you this weekend? Lol, I did a lot more activities in my first year there than most locals have done ever.

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Another activity on my bucket list was to go up in a hot air balloon, and guess what? You can do that there too! Please note that they don’t go up during the heat or the summer because of the crazy winds; Las Vegas is freakishly windy…who knew??

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I was a bit nervous that this would be scary, but the feeling of floating was very peaceful and the views were spectacular!

Don’t bet against Las Vegas!

I feel that Las Vegas is like your friend who has super high self esteem and thinks that he/she can do anything; so they basically figure out a way to do everything!

Outdoor skating in the desert sounds ridiculous right? Well never bet against Las Vegas, because they will figure it out.

My friend Lynn asked me if I knew how to skate one cool day in November? Hello! I am Canadian, of course I know how to skate. We ended up skating on the roof top of the Cosmopolitan Hotel overlooking the strip.

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And Vegas doesn’t do anything half assed, the skating rink included fire pits for roasting marshmallows and for making s’mores; chocolate martinis, mini grilled cheese sandwiches with hot tomato soup and snow!! It was pretty magical!

Turns out there are outdoor winter wonderland villages throughout the city that pop up in November and stay open until January.

People laughed when Vegas announced that they would be getting their own NHL hockey team; yeah, they didn’t laugh for long!

I attended the second home game and it was wild! I’ve seen NHL games in Montreal, Boston and Florida; I also spent most of my childhood in rinks, so not to brag, but I know hockey. Believe me when I say that there is nothing like seeing a game in Las Vegas!!!

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Can the opening “show” be a bit tacky? Yes, but it needs to be, it’s Las Vegas Baby! Each game is a party! As mentioned above; I attended the second home game against Detroit and I would say that 65% of the fans were Red Wings.

People come to Vegas to see their team play against the Knights; they actually plan their trip around the hockey schedule; and just a warning that every game ends up being pretty much sold out, so plan accordingly.

As that first season progressed, more and more of the locals began showing up in their Knights jerseys, myself included. But it’s still very normal to see a lot of visitor team jerseys in the stands; and what I love is that there are no crazy cat calls or rude behavior between fans. If you don’t know what I am talking about, try wearing a Habs Jersey to a Bruins game! Let me know how that works out for you, lol.

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That first season the Knights made it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals. I had to remind some of my friends that expansion teams don’t make it to the finals their first season…like ever! It’s like Vegas didn’t know that it was hard? Lol.

It was an amazing thing to see and experience everyone embrace the Good Ol’ Hockey Game…in the desert.

Hockey’s not the only winter game in town; do you ski?? Guess what? There is a ski hill 50 minutes from the strip. You can ski Mount Charleston in the morning and sit by the pool in the afternoon…ok the only ones sitting by the pool in the « winter » are Canadians.


You name it, you can do it!

Can you partake in a fancy high tea in Las Vegas? Yup! How about some dim sum in Chinatown? Not a problem!

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I seriously don’t think there is one thing that I’ve googled that hasn’t been doable in Las Vegas. It’s like each activity you search, Las Vegas says; yes, challenge accepted!!

The very best part!!

The absolute best thing about Las Vegas, by far, are the people who call it home.

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I’ve never experienced a community so inclusive and inviting. Maybe it’s because the majority of residents aren’t from here? So they know what it feels like to move here and get settled? Or maybe it’s because a vast majority of locals work in the hospitality industry? Whatever the reason is, they are as friendly as the people back home!

I knew a handful of people there when I moved, but not that many; two of my now closest Vegas friends worked at the same company as me, but I didn’t know them prior to moving there.
Lynn W invited me out for dinner my first week there and flat out told me that we were going to be friends; turns out she was right!
I met Shondra during a dinner with a bunch of service technicians; she also pretty much decided we would be friends forever; and I am blessed that she did!
My friend Staci and her husband, Aaron, took care of me as soon as I landed. They helped me get my huge king size bed home and quickly became my family away from home.
I had one close friend there when I moved; Claudia and I had been work partners for over 10 years prior to my big move. Who knew our bond could get even stronger? We got promoted together, visited NY and Paris together and celebrated our birthdays together.
And then there is Travis, Lynn D and Barney who I love and miss already!

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Thank you Las Vegas for welcoming a Maritime girl from the other side of the continent and making her feel right at home in the desert!!

And for those who visit and wonder who would want to live there? Awesome, fabulous people live there; that’s who! ❤️

muah!!!

Liette

 

Time for a quickie?

Time for a quickie?

This post is for my oui-liette subscribers, first of all THANK YOU!! I so appreciate that you took the time to sign up for my blog and that you are faithful readers.

In the next few weeks I will be sharing a post called, You’re So Vain. Which is really, I’m So Vain, but You’re sounds better, lol.

I’ve had a skin cancer scare, I am fine, but I do look like I’ve been in a bar fight; and in my fake bar fight, I won of course, lol.

So I just wanted to give you a heads up, if you are at all squeamish, you may want to skip it, as I will be sharing a few pics that show what I looked like right after my procedure. Which really isn’t that bad, but I have a friend who can’t even listen to someone talk about getting stitches or blood without almost passing out, lol. I want to be sensitive to “those” kind of people.

If I am being honest, my first instinct is to hide away and resurface when I am all healed up, but that’s not real life, blah!!! Ugh!!! Lol.

The next thing that I wanted to share is that if you read my posts directly from your emails, this is what you see:

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Which is perfectly fine, but if you click on the title of the post, it will bring you to my site, which has a few extra pics.

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You will see my header, which changes by the season and my feature image.

And finally, this week I am moving my life back to Canada! I’ve been in Las Vegas for the past three and a half years and it’s time to go back. I will be sharing more posts about my little corner of the world, which is so lovely.

My little blog started off with a bang!! I had great momentum and then my father got sick and passed away. During that time, my blog kept me sane and kept my mind busy; I was pumping out content regularly.

For the past few months I’ve been less consistent; I guess I’ve been mourning and will be for a long time to come. But! The passing of my dad has only reinforced the theme of my blog which is, life is short, live it!!

That’s how my father lived his life and that’s how he would want me to live mine. So everyday, I get my butt out of bed and tell myself, today will be a good day damn it!

Full disclosure, it doesn’t always work, but that’s ok, at least I am trying.

My last, last thing, is that I’ve been on a weight loss journey and will be posting my results in the new year. You may have noticed my cheeks getting a bit slimmer, lol?

I decided that food had been helping me cope with what was happening in my life. Like millions of people out there I was/am an emotional eater. Which was obviously what I needed to do I guess, because I survived without taking a nervous breakdown, so yay me! In June, I decided that I was ready to start using other copping mechanisms, so stay tuned for that.

There you have it, you’re all caught up on my stuff! With the holidays creeping up on us, make certain to get your butt out of bed every morning and tell yourselves that it’s going to be a good day damn it!!! 😬

Merci, talk soon, muah!

Liette

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Dear America – a letter from your friend, Canada.

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Dear America,

I moved here in August of 2016; three months before your last election. Since then I have held back from sharing my personal political opinions; primarily because I feel that, as a guest in your country, it’s not my place and frankly, it would be rude.

I’m now preparing to leave the US to go back to Canada, but before I go, I wanted to share a few of my observations; as a friend.

Because, who are we kidding, Canada is your best friend; we know you better than any of your other friends. We’re your closest neighbor; we grow up watching your TV and listening to your music. We know you to be proud, passionate and at times a bit rowdy and rambunctious and we love you for it.

Although we know everything about you, we know that you know much less about us; and that’s ok, because we know that deep down you love us too! The truth is that when push comes to shove, we have always stood together! I would challenge anyone to find two countries who are closer friends and allies.

For the past three years, I have lived here among you; I’ve had a front row seat to all the changes that you’ve been going through. And I have to say that, as your friend, I am very worried for you.

I have friends who are Democrats and friends who are Republicans and guess what? Contrary to popular belief, you’re not that different! You love your families and want to provide for them. You aren’t looking for hand outs; you want to work hard and be paid fairly. You want to know that if your son, daughter, wife or husband gets sick, that they will get the best care possible; and while caring for them, you don’t want to have to worry about being ruined financially.

You love your country and your flag. You’re all thankful to those who serve and put their lives on the line to fight for your freedom. They don’t fight for the freedom of Republicans or the freedom of Democrats; they fight for you, they fight for America.

The core values of the majority of Americans are the same! And Contrary to what some would like you to believe, you are all Americans; no one group is more American than the other.

There are people in your country who want to make you believe that you are all so very different. They want you to believe that some of you are better than others. I think you need to take a step back and ask yourselves why? What’s in it for them?

How can that be good for you, America? Who is going to benefit from a fractured and fighting country? As an observer, I am perplexed and can’t see how this infighting is going to lead to anything positive.

I also want to talk about race for a moment, because it’s one of the ways that some people are trying to divide and break you. As a legal alien, yes, that is my official status, I think I have a unique perspective.

I am a white, middle-ish aged blonde Canadian with no recognizable accent. To those who are trying to divide you, I look and sound like the perfect American.

I was recently in a long line at the DMV and a few of us started chatting, A white, older man, asked the couple in front of me, who were of Latin decent, where they were from? They said California, to which he replied a bit surprised “Oh”. The white man wasn’t being rude, he was friendly and making conversation. But he didn’t ask me where I was from.

It made me wonder how many times they, or anyone with brown skin or a different accent, are asked that question? Would it get annoying or frustrating to feel that you have to justify or prove that you belong?

On the surface “where are you from” is not offensive; it’s a harmless question, but in my three years in Las Vegas, I’ve never felt like I needed to explain or justify who I am or why I am here.

I feel that I am automatically considered more American than a lot of real Americans. Is that a form of white privilege? Maybe in its most simplistic form? I get the benefit of the doubt automatically.

As human beings, our life experiences form and shape our views. I think some white people take offense to the notion of white privilege, because they feel that nothing has been handed to them; that they too struggle and that being a white American doesn’t automatically mean that they’ve had it easy. This is 100% true, you can be white and struggle.

We should sympathize with those of us who have been less fortunate and who have had less opportunities because of a number of different factors, black or white. But I suspect that those of color are faced with an additional set of challenges right out of the gate. Challenges that, those of us who are white, can’t fully comprehend because it’s not part of our life experiences.

As a white Canadian, I have discovered that I don’t have the same “cultural baggage” as some white Americans. This difference is apparent when the topics of Black Lives matter and the NFL players taking a knee are brought up. There seems to be an inner resentment of black Americans who take a stand; who peacefully protest, that killing their sons and fathers, whose only crimes are being black or brown in the wrong place at the wrong time, is unacceptable.

Some really nice white people, seem to go on immediate defense mode when these topics come up; and in my outsider, I don’t have a horse in this race, point of view, it’s very confusing to me.

Let’s be real, it doesn’t matter what color you are, if your son went to the store and got shot for no reason, you would be angry and want justice. So why aren’t all American mothers and fathers heartbroken regardless of the color or race of the child?

I recently asked a friend what it was about Black Lives Matter that was so upsetting? The response I got was that blue lives matter too. I agreed with them; I 100% believe that blue lives matter too. I admire people whose career choice puts them in harms way on a daily basis to protect others.

Have you ever wondered why someone becomes a police officer? I can guarantee you that it’s not the promise of fame and fortune! They sign up because they want to make the world a better place.

That being said, Black Lives Matter doesn’t mean that Blue Lives don’t. Are there bad police officers out there? Yes, every profession has some people who do a horrible job. I know a few people who are in my field who are absolutely horrible at their jobs. But how much harm can a bad marketer do in the grand scheme of things?

My point is that we can and should be as outraged at the injustice of an innocent person being harmed because of the color of their skin, as we are when an officer is harmed because he showed up for work to help keep us safe. Both scenarios are unacceptable and we should be outraged. This shouldn’t be what divides you, in both scenarios, these are Americans.

The current woes of American are in no way the fault of white Americans; no more than they are the fault of brown Americans. But you need to know, that some people are trying to exploit your fears and insecurities in order to divide you. And it breaks my heart, friend, that it seems to be working.

We know you to have the biggest heart, but I fear that all the noise being bombarded upon you on a daily basis is making you hardened.

America, my dear friend, you are the most powerful country in the world; a true super power who’s slowing losing their super powers to those who are looking to divide and conquer you. Did you ever think that you could be conquered?

Your American values are being threatened, not by some far away foe, but from within. Like that scary movie where the threatening phone calls are coming from inside the house.

As your friend we need to give you a bit of tough love and let you know that you’re currently in a bad relationship. You’re losing yourself and what makes you truly great!

We need you to snap out of it; Canada needs you, the world needs you to be the strong, honorable, spirited, just and rowdy America that you have always been.

As your best friend there’s one thing about you that we know for sure; it’s that one should never assume that you are down for the final count. When times get tough, the tough get going. Well times are getting tough. It’s time to band together and show the world what we know you are made of.

Your enemies thought that crashing airplanes into buildings would break you; instead, it made you stronger!  Please don’t let bots on social media divide and break you; you got this! Your freaking America for goodness sakes.

Is it over simplifying things to think that by being nicer and more compassionate to each other is going to bridge the divide that’s been created to harm you? Perhaps? But, I’m certainly not going to be betting against the power of Americans.

We miss you, your bff,

Canada

(for those reading, if you have nothing nice to say, please don’t. If you are all about positive vibes, then please leave me your comments.)