•   
  •   
  •   

Canada Riding out the pandemic on Lake Ontario

11:50  07 february  2021
11:50  07 february  2021 Source:   cbc.ca

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 29

  What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 29 CBC Ottawa's latest roundup of key updates during the coronavirus pandemic.In-person school is back for boards in eastern Ontario on Monday, but parents, teachers and students will notice a few changes since December.

a group of people on a beach holding a surf board: A chilly winter means the surf's up on Lake Ontario. © Katie Nicholson/CBC A chilly winter means the surf's up on Lake Ontario.

The pandemic has driven many Canadians deeper into their winter burrows to binge watch shows until warmer weather returns, but some have decided to plunge headlong into frigid water to wash away their COVID stress.

Sporting a puffy jacket and toque, paramedic Kristina Heino surveys the shoreline on Hamilton Beach, about 66 kilometres southwest of Toronto.

The winds have whipped up Lake Ontario's gunmetal gray water. It's -7 C, but it feels at least 10 degrees colder.

"We're going to shred some cold waves," she said. "Hopefully not get hit b bergs."

Coronavirus: 2 deaths, 44 cases in London-Middlesex; 1 death, 10 cases in Sarnia-Lambton

  Coronavirus: 2 deaths, 44 cases in London-Middlesex; 1 death, 10 cases in Sarnia-Lambton Health officials in London-Middlesex said the two deaths reported Friday involved two women in their 70s and 90s who were both associated with a long-term care home. Health unit figures show that at least 2,230 cases have been reported in the region since the beginning of the month. Roughly 1,655 cases are active in the region, according to the figures. Read more: Travellers to pay ‘more than $2K’ for new mandatory COVID-19 hotel quarantine, Trudeau says Of the 44 cases reported Friday, 38 are from London, while three are from Middlesex Centre, two are from Strathroy-Caradoc and one is from Thames Centre.

Heino's made a point of hitting the water with her surfboard, in all kinds of weather, to get her blues-busting fix of the lake since the pandemic began.

Catching waves

"The stress kind of accumulates over time, especially during a pandemic, and when I look at the surf report and I see waves or strong winds blowing, I get so excited." she said.

Heino, who lives in Grimsby, about 84 km southwest of Toronto, is part of a loose-knit community that keeps a constant eye on the weather for opportunities to catch waves. They travel between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario depending on the wind direction.

a person wearing a hat: Ice clings to Kristina Heino's hair after her weekly surfing date. © Katie Nicholson/CBC Ice clings to Kristina Heino's hair after her weekly surfing date.

Some, like Heino, are front-line workers. Others are dealing with the stress of being unemployed because of COVID.

Coronavirus: 2 deaths, 44 cases in London-Middlesex; 1 death, 10 cases in Sarnia-Lambton

  Coronavirus: 2 deaths, 44 cases in London-Middlesex; 1 death, 10 cases in Sarnia-Lambton Speaking to reporters outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reflected on the fourth anniversary of the deadly shooting at a mosque in Quebec City. Mamadou Tanou Barry, Ibrahima Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Azzeddine Soufiane and Aboubaker Thabti were killed and five others wounded shortly after finishing evening prayers at the Quebec City Islamic cultural centre on Jan. 29, 2017.

Sam Macsai lives in Port Colborne, about 150 km southwest of Toronto, and works in the food-service industry.

"This is my second time being laid off. So I also work in the fitness industry. I'm a fitness coach, so I'm unemployed from both my jobs right now," Macsai said.

"It's been hard not being able to make an income and being at home all the time and being so isolated socially."

Surfing helps both women with their mental health.

"There's so much serenity in surfing and being able to escape all the outside problems and this whole pandemic and everything that's going on in your life." Macsai said.

a woman wearing a hat: Surfing once a week during the pandemic has helped Sam Macsai deal with COVID-related stress and social isolation. © Rob Krabavc/CBC Surfing once a week during the pandemic has helped Sam Macsai deal with COVID-related stress and social isolation.

It also provides a chance to socialize while social distancing on the shore and in the water.

"It's just so beautiful to see such an amazing community of people to come together. We're all here for the same reasons, everybody so welcoming and so friendly," she said.

COVID-19: PM announces sun destination travel shutdown as of Sunday; mandatory testing, 3-day hotel quarantine for all overseas travellers

  COVID-19: PM announces sun destination travel shutdown as of Sunday; mandatory testing, 3-day hotel quarantine for all overseas travellers What you need to know, at a glance Air Canada, Sunwing, Air Transit and Westjet have agreed to cancel flights to sun destinations The measures, affecting the Caribbean and Mexico, begin Sunday and last until the end of April. Travellers already in those destinations are being contacted to arrange a return to Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced travellers returning from overseas will have to take a COVID-19 PCR test at the airport Travellers will then quarantine in a designated hotel for three days at their own expense to await results.

"It's nice to be able to bounce off each other and just use each other as emotional outlets," Macsai said.

As the temperatures plummeted both women knew they were going to have to invest in gear to keep surfing in subzero conditions. They squeeze into thick neoprene suits, wool-lined booties and neoprene gloves in the parking lot next to the beach.

Once in the water there's an initial shock to their exposed faces.

"It gives you brain freeze," Heino said.

But then it gets better, Macsai said.

"It's the most adaptive part of your body ... after like 20 minutes, you're good to go for a while."

As the women make their way to the water they run into a man with a thick crown of ice formed around the hood of his suit. Jason Marshall has just emerged from the water.

a man carrying a surf board on a beach: Surfers walk over a crystalized bank of ice and sand to hit the waves on Lake Ontario. © Katie Nicholson/CBC Surfers walk over a crystalized bank of ice and sand to hit the waves on Lake Ontario.

"The waves were big and clean," he tells them.

This is the best time of year for surfing, Marshall said.

"When the winds are at their peak ... that's when the waves are the best. So, that's when we go," he said. "It's surprisingly not as cold as it looks," he said.

Coronavirus: 30 new COVID-19 cases in Middlesex-London; 1 death and 12 cases in Elgin Oxford

  Coronavirus: 30 new COVID-19 cases in Middlesex-London; 1 death and 12 cases in Elgin Oxford The region's COVID-19 pandemic case tally now stands at 5,642, of which 3,787 people have recovered, an increase of four from the day before. Health unit figures show that at least 2,260 cases have been reported in the region since the beginning of the month. Roughly 1,686 cases are active in the region, according to the figures. At least 175 people have died during the pandemic. The two latest deaths reported Friday involved two women in their 70s and 90s who were both associated with a long-term care home.

The surfers climb over an icy, crusted snowbank into the water, every now and then their legs sink through. Once in the water they wade in before making shallow dives into the waves and paddling toward the breakline. They last about 40 minutes.

a person posing for the camera: Jason Marshall's wetsuit hood is encrusted in ice after sub-zero surfing on Lake Ontario. © Rob Krabavc/CBC Jason Marshall's wetsuit hood is encrusted in ice after sub-zero surfing on Lake Ontario.

On the beach, icicles and frozen silt cling to their hair and suits. Their faces are red and stiff but they are smiling.

"No better way to wake up in the morning than a cold wave in your face." Heino said.

They head back to their cars and back to isolation to start scanning the weather forecasts for their next opportunity to do it all over again.

"I feel great. I mean, it's always a good day when you can surf and be with your friends," she said.

a man riding a wave on a surfboard in the ocean: A winter surfer braves plunging temperatures to ride the waves of Lake Ontario. © Rob Krabavc/CBC A winter surfer braves plunging temperatures to ride the waves of Lake Ontario.

Super Bowl 2021 live score: Chiefs vs. Buccaneers updates, highlights, results from Super Bowl 55 .
Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from Super Bowl 55 between the Chiefs and Buccaneers. Follow for complete results and more on the 2021 Super Bowl in Tampa.Kansas City is looking for its second consecutive Super Bowl under Andy Reid. A win at Raymond James Stadium would also mark the second such victory for quarterback Patrick Mahomes — an incredible feat for someone still on their rookie contract. That would also keep him within striking distance of Tom Brady for all-time GOAT status.

usr: 0
This is interesting!