The Biggest Psychological Experiment in History Is Running Now – Scientific American

Wondering what’s going on with you? With your friends? Theses researchers found older adults are reporting the highest levels of positive experiences in their daily lives, often through providing support to others.
— Read on www.scientificamerican.com/interactive/the-biggest-psychological-experiment-in-history-is-running-now/

Canada’s data gaps hampered COVID-19 pandemic response, hurting vaccination tracking: report – The Globe and Mail

Canada could not track the spread of the virus as effectively as it needed to last year and is now struggling to keep tabs on vaccine effectiveness because of flaws in the system, the report claims
— Read on www.theglobeandmail.com/amp/canada/article-canadas-data-gaps-hampered-pandemic-response-hurting-vaccination/

Agency and Birdwatching in COVID-19

Gallery

This gallery contains 8 photos.

I bought a new camera as part of my COVID Coping Strategy and discoverd birds. Little did I know I would accumulate thousands of bird photos. Now Terry has posted a new challenge to prompt me to curate my bird … Continue reading

An Evidence-Based Strategy to Scale Vaccination in Canada :: Longwoods

Vaccination rollout efforts in Canada have been criticized for being slow to get under way. The results emerging from a national research study document the und
— Read on www.longwoods.com/content/26443/healthcare-quarterly/an-evidence-based-strategy-to-scale-vaccination-in-canada

This explains some possible factors in success/failure among Canadian provinces. Hard to statistically correlate factors with success. Nevertheless it is good to have someone capture system and structural factors the differ among provinces. Discussion of Quebec would strengthen theory.

19 Tips For Reading More This Year

19 Tips For Reading More This Year
— Read on www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/ariannarebolini/how-to-read-more-pandemic-2021

My favourite is the Chrome Extension so you can synch your Goodreads with the library you use. I also discovered Libby is the app to download for Vancouver Public Library and Vancouver Island public library not Overdrive.

Overcoming Zoomaphopia Part 3 How to set up a zoom discussion/support group

Zoom Room Meeting protocols:

This is the third part of a series of three blogs outlining how to set up and run Zoom social meetings. The first part is how to download and set up the Zoom App, the second part is topics for discussion and the third part is how to set up a zoom discussion/support group.

The Zoom Room experience has been fun and interesting. I think we and others broke new group during COVID19. I have made a list of some of issues that may came up and how your group might tackle them. Option 1 is to set up some meeting protocols at the beginning. Option 2 is to deal with protocols as you go along. Initially too many protocols can be overwhelming, but they can help to set some expectations about behaviour and help build stability during a time of rapid social change and unpredictability.

  • Structured vs unstructured meetings: Members will have different experience with speaking out in a group or in a video format. Some people will not want to show their face and just use audio. Some people like having a set time and sequence to speak and others like a more random conversation like at a cocktail party. Try out both modes and see what the group like. The unstructured mode can generate spontaneous discussions, but quiet people may need a prompt from the group leader.
  • Focus Be clear about the intent of the Zoom meeting, but this can morph over time.
  • Security: lots of people are anxious about the possibility of being hacked. Some general discussion might be helpful about how to protect privacy on Zoom.
  • Behaviour: There seems to be some unwritten code of conduct on Zoom. Some of these codes of conduct are about swearing, disrespect, grandstanding, interjections, people talking over each other etc. A group leader needs to attend to these behaviours so they don’t sabotage the meeting.
  • Privacy/confidentialityI have found that bonding occurs in most Zoom meetings. This includes my ESL students as well as friends and acquaintances. I have found conversations are quite deep and that people are open about self disclosure. As a result there is an assumed level of privacy, which is not often explicitly discussed in the meetings.Decide if you mind having family, guests or others in the Zoom room. Sometimes girl talk is private! Sharing the meeting content with people outside the meeting may come up as an issue. Find a level that is acceptable to most people. If you are a blogger and want to blog about your experiences with the group, get a pre-approval from individuals if you want to refer to their blog or post pictures. One Zoomer says ” What is said in Zoom stays in Zoom”.
  • Time out– Feel free to take time out or leave when you need to. Give the group the heads up.
  • New members/visitors/guest speakersThere may be subtle groups norms in your group. Its a bit like clique in high school. One group may want to keep the same members and others may welcome new members. In this moment of COVID 19, being open to new members may be the more altruistic approach but it may be challenging for new members to get up to speed. Getting some agreement about these issues early on is wise.
  • Zoom fatigue:-
    Many people who are working at home may be too Zoomed out to participate. This might lend itself to a once a month drop-in Zoom meeting with a guest speaker that doesn’t require a high cognitive demand.
  • Leaders:-
    constant vs rotating. Once members have learned the Zoom process, they can take on some responsibility for organizing meetings and being the discussion leader. Having the same facilitator is easy but rotating facilitators builds Zoom confidence and polishes up social skills in a time of isolation. Give people a few weeks to get comfortable with the format.
  • Leadership skills: Having a group leader which experience with organizing and chairing meetings can be an asset. Having a chair who understands meeting dynamics is helpful too.

Overcoming Zoomaphopia. How to set up and run Zoom social meetings. Part 1 Setting up Zoom

Summary

This is the first part of a series of three blogs outlining how to set up and run Zoom social meetings. The first part is how to download and set up the Zoom App, the second part is topics for discussion and the third part is how to set up a zoom discussion/support group.

Introduction

COVID 19 has brought many challenges to everyone, including loss of social contacts and social support. I have found Zoom (and Facetime) to be vital in keeping me connected to people around the world. I had a wide variety of Zoom experiences including teaching students in China online, a Zoom social group (ZSG), playing games with family, and several large business and social meetings. I have found some people are interested in setting up a Zoom meeting with friends and family, but they express anxiety at the prospect of doing so. I am writing this blog to take some of the mystery out of Zoom. The members of the ZSG have expressed a lot of positive comments to me about the value of the Zoom group over COVID19 and I hope that other people will share the Zoom group experience in their own way.

This blog is as of Jan 2021 but things change almost weekly so be patient and ask someone for help. My instructions are for a PC and not a MAC or IPAD or IPhone. You can Zoom on mobile devices, but the functions and settings are fewer.

For MAC users, there is a website with details about Zoom.

Zoom is free for 2 people and free for 40 min blocks for more than 2 people. Currently the paid subscription is $ 20 CDN mo.

Setting up the Zoom app.

If you are the group leader

  1. Decide on who you want to join the meeting and create a group in your email contact program. You will use this again and again. Send out an email to find out if people are interested. Some people will not be interested. Give people a couple of options for time. If you have multiple time zones, specify which time zone you are using.

Get familiar with the Zoom program. Download to your PC or Mac and open the program. Set up an account for yourself.

Schedule a meeting. Click on the Schedule a meeting Icon and open the screen and fill in the relevant information.

Send invitation to members. On the Zoom Home screen click on the 3 small dots and then click on Copy invitation.

Then open your email application and post the invitation.

Add the members from your contact list in the TO: line. Add any information about the meeting, topics or personal messages and send.


The meeting

Have a practice meeting is you are a beginner.

Leader – open Zoom and click on Start for the meeting you have scheduled.

Members- click on the invitation in your email, follow the instructions on the screen, wait to be let into the meeting.

Once you are in the meeting, go through introductions and topics for the meeting. You might have some ideas about the order of speaking, time for speaking, how to interject etc. You might discuss with members. Usually the first meeting is just getting used to Zoom.

Sharing pictures

Once of the most frequently used functions is showing pictures. For PC users there is an icon if you move the mouse over the bottom of the Zoom screen called Share Screen. Before you use the Share Screen you should save your pictures to a short cut on your desktop or task bar before the meeting so they are easy to find.

Click on the photo you want to share or use Control/click to choose more than one.

To exit, Click on the Stop Share command at the top of the page.

Technical Issues

If you do not have a strong WIFI speed, it is strongly recommended you use an Ethernet cable to your computer instead of the wireless network. A short one will cost about $ 25 US but usually one comes with your computer. Connect it from the port on your computer to your wifi Modem. A WIFI speed test is free online. A WIFI speed of 15 is adequate. A wifi speed of 5 or less may interfere with ZOOM transmission.

What not to do

  • If there is more than one household member on the call, it is better for each to have their own screen/device and mute if the other is speaking.
  • I don’t think social meetings of over 10 people work well.
  • Differentiate between a party with family and a discussion/support group. Some meetings are more fun or work better than others. Some can be chaotic, others didactic. Choose your meetings wisely.

PDF of Setting up Zoom Meetings

Christmas in Courtenay

This has been a challenging year for us all. I have been fortunate to end up in Courtenay on Vancouver Island where there have been few cases of COVID19. In past years I have spend Christmas in Hornby Island, Puerta Vallarta, Costa Rica, Phoenix, Ottawa, Algeria and London England. As I went down memory lane in my photos, I enjoyed the memories each picture brought. I am enjoying watching Rick Steves on PBS and trying to see if I recognize any of the places he visits. This year’s pictures don’t have people in them for the obvious reasons. I will be doing a Zoom Christmas as others will be.

My favourite things to keep my busy have been walking, reading, Netflix, and my instant pot. I have discovered cooking as other have and have tested a few recipes I would like to share.
https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/pho-recipe/
Slow cooker Spanish Stew
Jamie Oliver’s Pesto Recipe. Use fresh basil from Thriftys. I found a new pasta called pappardelle in a specialty deli which is like fettuccini which was not in stock at Quality Foods. Odd?

My Netflix favourites have been Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad and several series about politics: Designated Survivor (US), The Crown (UK). Borgen(Denmark) and Marseille ( France). These all captured my attention for many evenings over the past months. My favourite books of the year have been Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I’d read them all again.

Another activity that has kept me engaged has been a weekly zoom meeting with 7 other bloggers from across Canada and the US. We have met every weeks since March. We had an in person meetup with 4 of the bloggers on Hornby Island during the summer. It is a fascinating way to get to know people in a more intimate level than in person. I thank the bloggers for their fun and support over the year.

I thought I would share some pictures of the area and my new COVID pastime with my new camera. It’s been amazingly mild here and there are some great beaches for beachcombing and birding.

I wish a happy and safe 2021 to all my readers.

Birding

Harelquin Duck

Bufflehead

barrows golden eye

pine siskin

heron

kingfisher

green winged teal

red chested chickadee

white capped sparrow

bewicks wren

house finch