I’m in Canada, where the COVID police are watching

And no swimming in the lake — a question I rashly asked one of the public health officers who telephoned almost every day to check on us.

“I’m sorry, but no,” he said. “It’s a public lake. You might run into someone out there. And if you got into trouble, someone would have to fish you out.”

“I’m really sorry,” he added. He sounded like he meant it.

But he also reminded me that the Ontario Provincial Police could show up at any time to make sure we weren’t breaking the rules — and that we could be fined the equivalent of U.S. $206 to $1,125.

He wasn’t kidding. In June, two Ontario men who violated quarantine after a visit to Minnesota were each fined about U.S. $850. Seven Americans who took an unauthorized hike in Banff National Park were each fined about U.S. $900.