No Man is an Island…

Maybe not, but then, John Donne never lived through Covid-19. In 2020, we’re all bobbing corks in a sea of germs, desperately trying to steer clear of each other.

As the world pries open the prison doors, nothing looks the same as it did before…

Like this young woman at La Grande Motte in France, you may have to reserve your spot on the sand this summer.

Dining out? How do you feel about a romantic dinner for one?

At Bord För En, you have a Swedish meadow to yourself. The food comes to you on a pulley, no humans anywhere in sight. Rasmus Persson and Linda Karlsson’s restaurant, 350 kilometres from Stockholm, is a Coronavirus-free zone.

Sweden a little far for dinner? What about Virginia? Patrick O’Connell, chef and owner of The Inn at Little Washington has come up with an imaginative solution to the empty table syndrome social distancing rules demand—mannequins.

Okay, your fellow dinners are made out of fiberglass and plastic, but they’re quiet, and they’re not contagious 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

Covid Creative

Still stuck in the house? Sitting in the backyard with a pint just not as much fun as it used to be, when friends and neighbours could drop by? Not into bird watching?

No problem.

Make friends with the critters who scamper up and down the trees. Let them entertain you…

Daryl Granger

With some extra time on their hands, thanks to Covid-19, photographers Daryl Granger and his wife, Karen have found a new hobby. They stage photo shoots for the squirrels in their backyard. Coffee in hand, they sit back and watch the show.

Daryl Grange

And sometimes, they get in a little bird watching.

Daryl Granger

Aimer at Amazon

Hollywood: A Fantasy

Ryan Murphy has put his own spin on Tinsel Town’s dream machine. In Netflix’s new series, Hollywood he gives us a show about what could have been if…

I was going to give this one a miss. I didn’t see the point of visiting a version of Old Hollywood. Not without the old time stars, but—

Jim Parsons? Now, you’ve got my attention.

Naked men? Where’s the remote?

This weekend you’ll find me on my couch, looking for the pool scene Jim was telling Ellen about…I mean watching Hollywood to see what could have been 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

Helping Hands: Robot Style

Humans are busy. They get distracted, they get tired, and as we’re all well aware these days, they get sick.

Robots don’t.

Hospitals are waking up to the fact that robotic immunity to this delightful little virus can save wear and tear on humans. In Tokyo, Covid patients whose symptoms are too mild for hospitalization are greeted in hotels by Pepper, a mask-wearing, big-eyed robot. “Let’s get through this together.”

Reuters

Pepper does his best to lighten the load on medical staff, and at the Circolo hospital in Varese, Italy, so does Tommy.

Flavio Lo Scalzo/ Reuters

Tommy, on guard by an ICU patient’s bedside, can monitor blood pressure and oxygen saturation. He and his fellow robot nurses, reduce the health risk to human doctors and nurses, by reducing the amount of direct contact with Covid-19 patients.

Also, Tommy and his high-tech companions, don’t need to sleep. A change of battery and they’re good to go.

Helping Hands 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

Drive-By Laughter

Rainbow drawings are springing up everywhere these days, taped to windows, and sketched on driveways. Crayon messages of hope that say, “Hey, we haven’t killed each other in here, yet.”

If you’re in the neighbourhood, (Uplands, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) stop by Graeme Parsons’ place on your daily mental-health reprieve from the prison you used to call home. Stop by, as in stay on the sidewalk where you belong. Don’t even think about ringing the doorbell.

There’s no one to greet you, not without a mask and a hazmat suit, but sitting in the driveway is a whiteboard with Graeme’s gift to his fellow sufferers…

—his pun of the day.

Instagram: its_a_pundemic

If you don’t live in the neighbourhood, Graeme’s collecting followers on Instagram.

its_a_pundemic

As Graeme’s father, John says, “There’s a lot of darkness in the world and it’s nice to be able to shine a light when you can.”

Aimer at Amazon

Window Pane, Keep Me Sane.

In the space of a few weeks our priorities have changed. The small aggravations of daily life, the larger worries that used to keep us up at night, seem trivial now.

Stuck at home, staring at our screens and each other, we redefine important. Find the things that matter to us, that make this drag of days easier, that make us smile.

For the most part, these sanity savers aren’t new. They’ve been right there under our noses, visible but unseen, ignored in the hustle and bustle that used to be our lives. Only now, do they step onto centre stage, now that our world has shrunk to four walls.

Prior to the Covid lockdown, windows didn’t play a big role in my life. I walked past them without thought. Raised a blind in the morning, lowered it at night, and never stopped to look.

I look now.

Aimer at Amazon

Annie, Get Your Gun

While most of us are hunkering down, glued to the news or binge watching Netflix and Amazon Prime, trying not to get each other sick by practicing social distance and self-isolation, some of us are out there, braving the virus to protect our family.

How?

By buying guns and stocking up on ammunition. Makes sense, right? Shoot a bullet, kill a germ. Isn’t that what the experts at CDC are advising?

Gun stores are reporting a surge in sales and lines around the block.

Ringo H.W. Chiu/The Associated Press

Sorry, my mistake. This people aren’t arming themselves against the virus. They’re arming themselves against each other.

Ed Turner of Ed’s Public Safety in Stockbridge, Georgia attributes his increase in sales to Covid-19. “This is panic. This is ‘I won’t be able to protect my family from the hordes and the walking dead.'”

Asian Americans, worried about being blamed for the Coronavirus, are arming themselves. I’d like to say their fears are unfounded, but they’ve got televisions. They’ve heard the President speak.

Canadian gun and ammunition sales are also up, but that’s mostly due to the fact that 90% of the ammunition sold in Canada comes from the U.S. and hunters and target shooters here are concerned that the increased demand south of the border means a decrease in supply north of it.

It’s an ill wind…

Aimer at Amazon

Better Than Real

Tired of dragging your ass luggage through airports? Schedule too full to hop across the pond for a meeting? Rather stay home than take that six hour drive to Montreal?

I hear you, and so does ARHT Media. The Toronto company’s got your back—and the technology to make your life easier.

In a Sci-Fi swirl of lights, ARHT can beam you to your meeting, conference, or convention, in the form of a hologram.

thestar.com

Life-sized, this almost three-dimensional version of you looks slightly translucent, but the sound is crisp, clear with none of the digital hiccups that plague teleconferencing. Is the hologram as effective as you would be?

Better.

ARHT’s clients were surprised to find the impact of presenting as a hologram is, “actually greater than if they were there live.”

“I can do a trip to Singapore in two hours instead of four days…that’s compelling,” says one client.

It’s hard to argue with a bit of wizardry that saves your sanity, your wallet, and the environment. Not to mention the OMG, how-cool-is-that factor.

Now, if I can just get my hands on a self-driving car…

Aimer at Amazon