BBC: Tensions at Canada-US border (COVID-19)

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#1 nintendoboy16
Member since 2007 • 41562 Posts

BBC

As the pandemic continues to sweep the US, Canadians are getting more and more concerned about what American visitors could be bringing with them over the border.

Built directly on the border of Blaine, Washington and Surrey, British Columbia, the Peace Arch is a 67-foot high (20 metres) testament to the close ties between Canada and the US.

Inscribed on one side are the words "May these gates never be closed", a reminder of the nearly 8,891 km (5,525 miles) of un-militarised border that separates the two nations.

For almost 100 years, those words have been heeded - until the coronavirus pandemic effectively shut the border indefinitely.

The closure came into effect on 21 March, and was agreed upon by both governments. After being extended several times over the summer, it remains in effect until 21 August - although most expect it to be extended again.

"I never thought I'd be sitting here mid-August and that border is still closed," says Len Saunders, a dual citizen who lives in Blaine.

"It just seems to be dragging on and on and on with no end in sight."

While the border closure has had significant economic and personal repercussions for the millions of people that live along it or have loved ones on the other side, the vast majority of Canadians want it to stay shut.

A July poll by Ipsos Reid found that eight in ten Canadians wanted the border to stay closed until at least the end of 2020.

And as the pandemic has continued to spread across the US, so have tensions between American drivers and Canadian residents.

While non-essential travel is forbidden, commercial drivers delivering goods and people who work across the border in essential services are permitted to cross.

People with American licence plates have reported being harassed and having their vehicles vandalised, even if they have every right to be on the Canadian side.

Mr Saunders, an immigration lawyer who has many clients who cross the border regularly in order to work, says many people are afraid.

"They're all scared of driving their cars in the lower mainland because of vandalism, dirty looks and just getting treated as some 'horrible American'," he told the BBC.

One of his clients, an architect who was allowed to practise in Canada during the shutdown, says he was told to "go back home" because of his car.

The tensions are so high that British Columbia Premier John Horgan suggested that Canadians with American licence plates should take the bus or ride bikes instead.

In the Muskoka region of Ontario, where many people have summer homes, the hostility has garnered police attention.

Ontario Provincial Police say a Canadian in the town of Huntsville filed a complaint after two men allegedly accosted him over his Florida licence plate.

"Most recently this weekend, there was a gentleman up towards Huntsville getting gas in his vehicle, and two gentlemen approached him and said, 'you're American go home.' And he said, 'I'm Canadian. I live here.' And they literally said, no, we don't believe you show us your passport," Phil Harding, the mayor of nearby Kuskoka Lakes, told CP24.

"It just becomes a little bit aggressive, and they fear for their lives a little bit."

Tightened border security has also led to some notable arrests.

In Grand Forks, British Columbia, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police spent over two hours chasing a man, who allegedly had crossed illegally in a stolen vehicle on 24 July, down a river. The "float chase" ended where the river narrowed, when police, with the help of bystanders, were able to wade into the river and escort him back to shore.

Charges are pending, but anyone caught breaking the border restrictions can be fined up to C$750,000 ($566,000; £434,000) and be sentenced to six months in jail, or C$1m and three years if their actions "cause risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm".

Those hefty fines aren't just for wilful rule-breakers.

On Wednesday, police warned Americans participating in an annual float down the St Claire River near the Michigan border that even accidentally crossing into Canada could lead to a hefty fine. In 2016, during more carefree times, Canadian police congenially escorted about 1,500 floaters back to the US side after winds blew them off course.

Still, the effects of the border closure on the small towns along either side are not insignificant.

Before coronavirus, around 300,000 people crossed the border every day, including Canadians who routinely made daytrips to score a deal at US outlet malls or petrol stations, and American tourists exploring the wonder of Niagara Falls.

Since March, non-commercial land border crossings to Canada have dropped by nearly 95%, according to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

"It's going to decimate everything up there," Mr Saunders says.

But the economic impact of closing the border to travellers is nothing compared to what would happen to Canada if another wave of coronavirus forced a second shutdown, says Ambarish Chandra, a professor of economics at the University of Toronto.

"This travel does have a lot of economic impact on the communities where travellers go to," he says.

"But given the pandemic in the US, and the number of cases there, it makes sense to restrict travel to the US - potentially indefinitely."

Prof Chandra says government should provide aid to border towns whose economy relies heavily on foreign tourism, but hold steady with the border closures until the pandemic is over.

"In the long run it's way cheaper to bail out all of Niagara Falls, Ontario, than to close down Toronto for even another three or four weeks," he says.

After months of shuttering most businesses, Canada's coronavirus cases are dropping and the country is in the middle of re-opening its economy. Daily cases have dropped from a high of 2,760 on 3 May to a few hundred.

Restaurants and shops have been open for at least a few weeks in most major cities, and so far, cases are still trending downwards.

Meanwhile, the US is trying to tame its outbreak, which reached a peak of 75,821 on 17 July and is seeing about 40,000 new cases a day.

Those numbers are what's fuelling the unease many Canadians have with American travellers.

"Montana is directly south of us, is having a second spike of cases right now, and I don't feel sorry for anybody that gets stopped at the border, let's put it that way," says Jim Willett, the mayor of Coutts, Alberta.

"I'm afraid if we opened up the border too soon, we might have more of a problem like what's going on down south."

His town is one of the five border towns where US residents travelling to Alaska can enter Canada, since the CBSA cracked down on the so-called "Alaska loophole" at the end of July.

After the border closed, many have expressed concern that drivers have been exploiting the loophole to explore some of the country's most scenic places, like Vancouver Island and Banff, Jasper, and Lake Louise.

In June, RCMP issued seven tickets worth $1,200 ($906, £694) each to Americans who broke the rules by sightseeing in Alberta.

"Do not pass go. Go directly to Alaska," Premier Horgan said during a news conference in July.

Complaints about the loophole and the lack of enforcement led to the crackdown.

At the end of July, the border authority announced that Alaska-bound travellers had only limited points of entry, must take the most direct route to their destination, and should display tags in their vehicle identifying them as US drivers going to the northern state.

They are also limited to a "reasonable period of stay" in Canada, and are forbidden from visiting national parks, leisure sites and other tourist destinations, with rule-breakers facing the stiff penalties.

Since the tougher rules have been enacted, Mr Willett says he's not "too concerned" about the traffic coming over the border.

"[We] get quite a few people through all times of the day and night. Most of them are quite co-operative," he says.

So Canadians are doing to Americans as to what Americans did to Asians (especially Chinese) when COVID broke. Donnie brought this! He wanted "America First" and he screwed up handling on COVID to the point where WE dethroned China in being the hotspot.

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#2 mattbbpl
Member since 2006 • 23046 Posts
Loading Video...

Don't worry aboot it, guy.

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N64DD

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#3 N64DD
Member since 2015 • 13167 Posts

Canadians must be racist.

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#4  Edited By HoolaHoopMan
Member since 2009 • 14724 Posts

Maybe the Canadians should round them up and put them in camps.

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mrbojangles25

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#5 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 58421 Posts

@n64dd said:

Canadians must be racist.

Hah!

I know they exist, but I have a hard time imagining a racist Canadian.

Wait wait wait....I got it

Loading Video...

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deactivated-5fab1400b2fcc

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#6 deactivated-5fab1400b2fcc
Member since 2020 • 2126 Posts

Canada should close the boarder forever

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Watch_My_6

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#7 Watch_My_6
Member since 2007 • 297 Posts

Trump was one of the first people to support a travel ban.

Biden called him xenophobic for it: “We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”

And I'm 100% for the wall 2.0. In fact, let's invade past the 49th parallel - get back what is rightfully ours.

Last part is sort of a joke ;)

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br0kenrabbit

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#8 br0kenrabbit
Member since 2004 • 17878 Posts

@Watch_My_6 said:

Trump was one of the first people to support a travel ban.

Biden called him xenophobic for it: “We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”

And I'm 100% for the wall 2.0. In fact, let's invade past the 49th parallel - get back what is rightfully ours.

Last part is sort of a joke ;)

You do realize that the democrats problem was that Trump initially ONLY included China in the travel ban, even though the virus by that point was raging in Europe?

Of course you left that bit out. Of course you did.

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Watch_My_6

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#9 Watch_My_6
Member since 2007 • 297 Posts

@br0kenrabbit said:
@Watch_My_6 said:

Trump was one of the first people to support a travel ban.

Biden called him xenophobic for it: “We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”

And I'm 100% for the wall 2.0. In fact, let's invade past the 49th parallel - get back what is rightfully ours.

Last part is sort of a joke ;)

You do realize that the democrats problem was that Trump initially ONLY included China in the travel ban, even though the virus by that point was raging in Europe?

Of course you left that bit out. Of course you did.

I would not include that in my post because it is 100% irrelevant. It would also imply that Trump banned Chinese foreigners because they are Chinese. - WHICH IS ASININE.

It was where the virus originated.

You are comparing a continent to a country.

As we have already learned, China was less than honest [READ: STRAIGHT UP LIED] about the virus.

Your argument doesn't even make sense. It would only make sense if Biden's tweet read "China is a good start - we need to close off our borders from other countries too." That was not what he was going for and everyone knows that - he just wanted to pout and find another baseless reason to call Trump racist.

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#10 LJS9502_basic
Member since 2003 • 178858 Posts

@Watch_My_6 said:

Trump was one of the first people to support a travel ban.

Travel restriction. Not a ban.

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N64DD

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#11 N64DD
Member since 2015 • 13167 Posts

@LJS9502_basic: and the democrats were telling people to go to parties.

Good times.

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br0kenrabbit

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#12 br0kenrabbit
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@Watch_My_6 said:

Your argument doesn't even make sense. It would only make sense if Biden's tweet read "China is a good start - we need to close off our borders from other countries too." That was not what he was going for and everyone knows that - he just wanted to pout and find another baseless reason to call Trump racist.

You haven't looked past the headlines, have you? Read the articles, and why people were calling Trumps China travel ban racist and shot-sighted. Democrats wanted travel restrictions on all nations showing signs of COVID, and this is why when Trump closed travel to everywhere except, you know, the UK, democrats were still URRRRG WHY NOT UK TOO?

And why am I not getting notifications when people reply to me? My bell doesn't turn red.

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#13 sakaiXx
Member since 2013 • 15954 Posts

Regardless, that border must be closed till we find a cure.

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mrbojangles25

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#15 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 58421 Posts

Border? I hardly knew her!

@br0kenrabbit said:
@Watch_My_6 said:

...

...

And why am I not getting notifications when people reply to me? My bell doesn't turn red.

Yeah, happening to me too on occasion.

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SOedipus

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#16 SOedipus
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I've seen some vehicles with American plates and they had notes on them saying things like "We're here visiting and have been here pre-Covid" and shit like that. Basically, "please don't vandalize my car!" It's pretty sad that people were doing that. It just makes things harder for everyone.

Americans traveling to Alaska can **** off though :P Just go straight to your shitty state. Don't take a detour to Alberta to take photos of our wildlife and infect us.

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#17 br0kenrabbit
Member since 2004 • 17878 Posts

@SOedipus said:

I've seen some vehicles with American plates and they had notes on them saying things like "We're here visiting and have been here pre-Covid" and shit like that. Basically, "please don't vandalize my car!" It's pretty sad that people were doing that. It just makes things harder for everyone.

Do they fine them for that in Quebec if the French lettering isn't three times larger than the English?

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#18 SOedipus
Member since 2006 • 14815 Posts

@br0kenrabbit said:
@SOedipus said:

I've seen some vehicles with American plates and they had notes on them saying things like "We're here visiting and have been here pre-Covid" and shit like that. Basically, "please don't vandalize my car!" It's pretty sad that people were doing that. It just makes things harder for everyone.

Do they fine them for that in Quebec if the French lettering isn't three times larger than the English?

They'll execute you on the spot if you have English and French lettering together on the same thing.

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br0kenrabbit

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#19 br0kenrabbit
Member since 2004 • 17878 Posts

@SOedipus said:

They'll execute you on the spot if you have English and French lettering together on the same thing.

Oh, shit...

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Watch_My_6

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#20 Watch_My_6
Member since 2007 • 297 Posts

@br0kenrabbit said:
@Watch_My_6 said:

Your argument doesn't even make sense. It would only make sense if Biden's tweet read "China is a good start - we need to close off our borders from other countries too." That was not what he was going for and everyone knows that - he just wanted to pout and find another baseless reason to call Trump racist.

You haven't looked past the headlines, have you? Read the articles, and why people were calling Trumps China travel ban racist and shot-sighted. Democrats wanted travel restrictions on all nations showing signs of COVID, and this is why when Trump closed travel to everywhere except, you know, the UK, democrats were still URRRRG WHY NOT UK TOO?

Link me.

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Sevenizz

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#21 Sevenizz
Member since 2010 • 6462 Posts

The border shut down has more to do with Canadian’s hatred of President Trump than the Wuhan virus. The mostly government funded media (paid by the Liberal party) prints hit piece after hit piece on a daily basis against anything to the Right of them. Canadians are literally brainwashed with this sentiment. The PC party (Progressive Conservative) can barely get any press and when they do, it’s a thrashing by the media. The one Right leading media outlet (National Post) is on the dole too and it’s obvious they’ve signed a Liberal attestation because their content now leans Left.

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#22 Sevenizz
Member since 2010 • 6462 Posts

@sakaixx:

‘ Regardless, that border must be closed till we find a cure.’

What about travellers from China, Europe, and everywhere else on the planet still struggling with the virus? Because they’re still coming in without mandatory quarantines.

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Zaryia

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#23 Zaryia
Member since 2016 • 21607 Posts

@Sevenizz said:

The border shut down has more to do with Canadian’s hatred of President Trump than the Wuhan virus. The mostly government funded media (paid by the Liberal party) prints hit piece after hit piece on a daily basis against anything to the Right of them. Canadians are literally brainwashed with this sentiment. The PC party (Progressive Conservative) can barely get any press and when they do, it’s a thrashing by the media. The one Right leading media outlet (National Post) is on the dole too and it’s obvious they’ve signed a Liberal attestation because their content now leans Left.

Satire?

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Sevenizz

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#24  Edited By Sevenizz
Member since 2010 • 6462 Posts

@zaryia: No, it’s education. You’re welcome.

Answer my question I posed in another thread...

‘Question: Are all Trump supporters ‘far right’ in your opinion? Also, what ‘far right’ sources have you gathered to make your assumption?’

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Zaryia

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#25  Edited By Zaryia
Member since 2016 • 21607 Posts

@Sevenizz said:

@zaryia: No, it’s education. You’re welcome.

Trump has a low global approval and a low US approval rating. Why blame most people instead of Trump on that?

It's easier to think Trump is simply just an unlike-able asshole rather than most Humans on Earth being brainwashed by Demons. My theory is more plausible.

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Sevenizz

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#26 Sevenizz
Member since 2010 • 6462 Posts

@zaryia: Answer my easy question above.

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deactivated-610a70a317506

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#27 deactivated-610a70a317506
Member since 2017 • 658 Posts

Can we get a statement from Stephen Aboutman, the head of the WGA, the World Canadian Bureau?

I guess this means the US can't get in to our attic?

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N64DD

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#28 N64DD
Member since 2015 • 13167 Posts

@thegreatchomp:

https://youtu.be/VAEfSHeH4Lc

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#29 Kadin_Kai
Member since 2015 • 2247 Posts

Minimum 14 day quarantine plus a test at the 14th day should resolve this issue.

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Zaryia

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#30 Zaryia
Member since 2016 • 21607 Posts

@Sevenizz said:

@zaryia: Answer my easy question above.

I answered that silly question in that thread. Stop avoiding my posts ITT by going off-topic.

@zaryia said:
@Sevenizz said:

@zaryia: No, it’s education. You’re welcome.

Trump has a low global approval and a low US approval rating. Why blame most people instead of Trump on that?

It's easier to think Trump is simply just an unlike-able asshole rather than most Humans on Earth being brainwashed by Demons. My theory is more plausible.

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#33  Edited By lamprey263
Member since 2006 • 44624 Posts

https://youtu.be/gS-4y7YAulM

Oh how prophetic, the dumbass who wanted to build a wall and keep people from shithole countries out has caused world to build a figurative wall around us.

These people are probably watching close to half our country call the virus a conspiracy theory that's either fake or caused by 5G and come to conclusion we are fucking nuts.

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#34 LJS9502_basic
Member since 2003 • 178858 Posts

@Sevenizz said:

The border shut down has more to do with Canadian’s hatred of President Trump than the Wuhan virus. The mostly government funded media (paid by the Liberal party) prints hit piece after hit piece on a daily basis against anything to the Right of them. Canadians are literally brainwashed with this sentiment. The PC party (Progressive Conservative) can barely get any press and when they do, it’s a thrashing by the media. The one Right leading media outlet (National Post) is on the dole too and it’s obvious they’ve signed a Liberal attestation because their content now leans Left.

Stop playing the damn victim. Canada is doing what it can to contain the virus and since the US is NOT interested in doing that with the joke in chief clearly in over his head, I can't say I blame them.

How much does Vladimir pay?

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Zaryia

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#35  Edited By Zaryia
Member since 2016 • 21607 Posts

@n64dd said:

@LJS9502_basic: and the democrats were telling people to go to parties.

Good times.

No one was as wrong as often, early, or as severe as Trump. Which is why most Americans blame him ;-)

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N64DD

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#36 N64DD
Member since 2015 • 13167 Posts

@zaryia: 4 out of 5 dentists approve! Appeal to authority!

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Zaryia

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#42  Edited By Zaryia
Member since 2016 • 21607 Posts

@n64dd said:

@zaryia: 4 out of 5 dentists approve! Appeal to authority!

Huh? You incorrectly use that statement when someone destroys you lol.

Trump was considerably more wrong than Democrats and when it mattered most. Nothing you say will change that. Even you went full QAnon with Covid at first.

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#45 blaznwiipspman1
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@Sevenizz said:

The border shut down has more to do with Canadian’s hatred of President Trump than the Wuhan virus. The mostly government funded media (paid by the Liberal party) prints hit piece after hit piece on a daily basis against anything to the Right of them. Canadians are literally brainwashed with this sentiment. The PC party (Progressive Conservative) can barely get any press and when they do, it’s a thrashing by the media. The one Right leading media outlet (National Post) is on the dole too and it’s obvious they’ve signed a Liberal attestation because their content now leans Left.

nonsense...when the US has 6 million covid cases, a literal hot bed of infestation and disease, of course its common sense to limit travel. The US has the highest number of cases world wide.

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Sevenizz

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#46  Edited By Sevenizz
Member since 2010 • 6462 Posts

@blaznwiipspman1: You actually believe Chia’s numbers? The country who has lied to the planet for decades - especially at the beginning of the virus?