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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers Jan. 14

A nurse injects a flu shot in Ottawa on November 2, 2009. - Pawel Dwulit
’Tis the season to get your flu shot. — SaltWire Network file photo

Cheers: to getting your flu shot. Do it now. And if you’ve done it, good for you. Pediatric hospitals across Canada are seeing a surge in admissions due to flu cases in children: numbers at this point in the flu season are double what they were last year, and three times what they were in 2016-17, according to national public health officials. One piece of good news? That the flu virus that’s most active this year is the H1N1 strain, which the flu shot works well against. Another good thing? This year’s flu is apparently not hitting older people who are frail, who are more susceptible to dying from the illness, as much as some other strains do. It may not be here in full force just yet, but even being on the island portion of the province is no protection, not when thousands and thousands of airline passengers make their way to this province every week. So just get it done.

Jeers: to not seeing the debt monster coming. The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy is reporting some eerie numbers — across Canada, more and more consumers are looking for debt relief through insolvency proceedings. In November, the number rose by five per cent; October and November combined saw almost 23,000 filings, the largest number for those two months combined since 2011. Interest rates are rising, and more and more consumers are finding they can’t manage the increased costs. Alberta saw the biggest percentage jump in insolvencies, with its rate rising 16 per cent. Among all the provinces, only Prince Edward Island hasn’t seen an increase, managing to stand pat. In this province, comparing November 2017 to November 2018 saw an increase of 15.5 per cent.

Jeers: to the world we live in. OK, hold onto your hats for this one. In the United States, new congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was derided by right-wing critics after a high school video of her dancing on a rooftop was released publicly. The attack failed, though, as Ocasio-Cortez actually gained popularity. Then came an Instagram photo that claimed to be of Ocasio-Cortez, with her feet at the end of a bathtub and her naked breasts reflected in the taps. The photo was debunked as a hoax — but here’s where it gets wild. The debunking was apparently done by the use of a website known as Wikifeet — a website that collects photographs of famous people’s feet for the online foot fetish crowd. A user on the site cross-referenced the tub photo with pictures of Ocasio-Cortez’s real feet in sandals and open-toed shoes, and determined the feet were not hers because of a bend in a second toe — a fact confirmed when the real person in the photo came forward. When a foot fetish website is our new arbiter of the truth, we are truly at the end of days.

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