I am disappointed to see COVID -19 cases rising to record levels. I had hoped it would have been over by now. On Vancouver Island, we have been lucky to avoid the worst of the outbreak, in part due to the closing down of the ferries, being an island, good weather, lots of outdoor space, stores who enforce masking, distancing, hand hygiene and people who have been deligent about social distancing.

I have posted a link to coping strategies as we see more quarantine months ahead of us. I had a chat with my fellow blogger/zoomers about strategies to cope and from that discussions I made 3 lists: things I want to keep on doing, things I don’t want to do anymore and new things I want to do. This was helpful because I was beating myself up because I have abandoned painting and the clarinet for the time being. Since I have been on my own most of my adult life I am used to amusing myself. I started working from home in 2013 and started teaching online is 2017 when I retired. By now now most of us are experts at amusing ourselves and our families. Most of my friends are retired and they already has adjusted to life “at home”.

So the new thing I wanted to do was buy a new camera with a zoom lens. I bought a Canon Powershot SX 70. However, I forgot that there is a vertical learning curve with all new products and a 150 page manual to download. What was I thinking? I have an aversion to instruction manuals.. too much information, overwhelming, fine print etc. I have tried to keep this in the quarantine project mindset and take a couple of pages a day. What else do I have to do right? At the same time I just went out and started shooting.

I did not realize when I moved to Courtenay that there is abundant bird life and I have found myself fascinated to discover so many varieties of birds within walking distance. It is intriguing to see the details of colour and patterns on the birds. Now I have joined the ranks of the people with their zoom lenses who often stop to chat with me. So here is my first round of photos without doing much reading of the instruction manual. The camera is wifi enabled so the photos can be easily uploaded to my computer and iphone. I also found a Facebook group called BirdFanatics Vancouver Island and a couple of bird identification apps.. another good activity to eat up more hours of my day. Ebird, Merlin Bird ID and Smart Bird IQ. I feel I have fully joined the ranks of the retired now.

I am new to bird identification so any corrections welcome.

Pandemic winter dread is real. Here’s how to conquer it. – Vox

Pandemic winter dread is real. Here’s how to conquer it. – Vox
— Read on www.vox.com/platform/amp/future-perfect/2020/10/14/21508422/winter-dread-covid-19-pandemic-happiness-psychology

Face Masks Against COVID-19: An Evidence Review[v1] | Preprints

The science around the use of masks by the general public to impede COVID-19 transmission is advancing rapidly. Policymakers need guidance on how masks should be used by the general population to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we synthesize the relevant literature to inform multiple areas: 1) transmission characteristics of COVID-19, 2) filtering characteristics and efficacy of masks, 3) estimated population impacts of widespread community mask use, and 4) sociological considerations for policies concerning mask-wearing. A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is likely via small respiratory droplets, and is known to be transmissible from presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Reducing disease spread requires two things: first, limit contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and contact tracing with appropriate quarantine, and second, reduce the transmission probability per contact by wearing masks in public, among other measures. The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at stopping spread of the virus when compliance is high. The decreased transmissibility could substantially reduce the death toll and economic impact while the cost of the intervention is low. Thus we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation.
— Read on www.preprints.org/manuscript/202004.0203/v1

Places to shop for masks. 

Fine Art America