Snow days in 2021

Well, the promised snow storm has hit parts of Ontario. As I type this, it’s about 7:30 on Tuesday morning and the snow continues. There are 1-2m drifts in front of both the front door and the back door so I can’t ignore it even if I wanted to.

And, I don’t really want to. I’m one of those people that put the ear buds in and walk back and forth across the driveway pushing the snow up on the sides. It’s a peaceful time. But, I’m no dummy. I will wait until things stop before I go out because I’m not wanting to do it twice.

As per normal, I was up about 4:30 and took a look outside while I was making morning coffee. It didn’t seem too bad at the time. Mental note; I should turn on the outside light to get the real story. I hadn’t heard any snow ploughs and really didn’t until about 7:00. I checked the school boards’ transportation sentinel and it reported nothing but then, it’s still early. I think they aim for 6:00 to make the call. Later on, the call was made and transportation has been cancelled.

That really didn’t come as a surprise; I checked Ontario511 and it wasn’t looking good across the promise.

Well, at least not good in southern Ontario. Black is bare; white is snow covered; yellow is parkly covered; dashed black is reduced visibility.

There are some interesting overlays to the map. One is the cameras that are all over the province. I took a look at a few. Even the 401 wasn’t bare so I could see that’s not a place to be. If it’s got issues, then most other roads will as well. It was a little bizarre that Essex, Kent, and Middlesex had the snowiest of roads. Normally, we dodge storms.

At least the ploughs were out.

Aviva Dunsiger was, of course, up and online at that time so we had a bit of a chat back and forth about the weather. Oh, and schools. Apparently, in her world, things aren’t revealed until 6:00 either. What to do on snow says is a controversy there. She shared this article from the Hamilton Spectator.

Snow day changes rebuked by Hamilton’s public school board trustees

Kudos to the trustees. Even in a good year, there’s something about snow days and just being a kid. It’s a great time to help out with the shovelling and then join friends for some tobogganing and skating. In this year, though, it’s particularly tough since you have to maintain social distances but that doesn’t stop kids. I have fond memories of toboggan bumper cars.

Today’s also the first day that most of the province moves from the lockdown to being slightly less locked down. Everyone has paid their dues over the past weeks and we will be careful but there should be a moment of relief. I mean, the lockdown has been lifted but you’re not going anywhere anyway. And, it’s Shrove Tuesday. The paczkis are calling.

I took a look around to see what was happening elsewhere. Toronto and area opens schools today. How are they handling it?

Heavy snowfall in Toronto-area forces some school boards to close in-person learning

There’s a mix there as to what happens today.

Around here?

It’s tough being a kid these days, never mind being a teacher of those kids bouncing from one mode of teaching to another. I remember the protocol that was enacted a few years ago; school buildings never close even if buses aren’t running.

It’s also interesting to turn to social media where #SnowDay was trending.

It just seems like there’s no way of winning no matter what decisions are made. There are always those that aren’t going to be happy or supportive.

It’s just been such a tough year on students. It would have been nice to have cut them a break today. Well, if not today, maybe sometime soon?

But it’s the year 2021. Things are not normal. It’s not business as usual. So, why wouldn’t we be all over the map even with something as special as Snow Days.

Oh, and as far as the driveway goes, my watch counted over 11 000 steps going back and forth across the driveway. I still have one big drift to attack but that’s for tomorrow.