Clipped Wings

Snowbirds in the era of Covid.

If you are over 60, then you know at least a couple of Snowbirds who spend time south every winter, and you likely spend time south as well. It doesn’t matter if it is a couple of weeks at an all-inclusive in Mexico, or at a favorite vacation spot in Florida or Arizona, the goal is to spend as much time south as possible.

Soaking up warmth and sunshine, while meeting new people and enjoying the company of old friends is exactly what the doctor ordered. Then Covid-19 changed everything.

Countries shut their borders and travel and tourism ground to a halt.  Winter is fast approaching, and travel is restricted for the foreseeable future. It doesn’t look good for Snowbirds.

I have noticed an interesting thing about our friends that are affected by this change. Some roll with the new challenges, while others are trying to figure out to circumvent the border restrictions and head to the sunny south. Everyone has to manage their own level of safe during Covid, so what can you do if you hate winter but don’t want to risk leaving Canada?

 The whole point of going south is to enjoy warmth and sunshine. To counter the loss of the sunny days, consider a light therapy lamp, to provide a replacement for some of the sunlight you crave.  They are safe, effective and free of ultraviolet light. Theralite Aura Bright Lite or TaoTronics light therapy or Verilux Happy Light are just a few examples.   

 Turn on your light-therapy lamp and engage in some low impact exercises like yoga or workouts through a You Tube channel. There are hundreds available for every level of ability, and exercise enough to encourage the release of feel-good endorphins and keep the winter blues at bay.  FREE.  

 It’s a good time to bring back ‘game nights’ within your social bubble: Card games like Euchre or Hearts (with a  new deck of cards) or board games like Monopoly or Scrabble with close family and friends, playing a game or two around the dining room table after dinner.  Laughter and conversation over a simple game can have lasting memories.  FREE.

Take a trip through a museum.  There are some excellent choices, such as Canada’s Virtual Museum:   , or the MET Museum: , or the Louvre:, or Ontario’s McMichael Gallery: Any museum or gallery you can think of will probably have a virtual tour of some kind.   FREE.

Learn something new through Coursera, an online link to courses available from a variety of educational resources: . Just enter a search term such as “Art History”, “Archaeology”, or “Ecology” or whatever may interest you, and a list of available courses will appear, most of them offered for FREE .

 Since we live in Canada, you can just embrace our winter season and try something new.  Every province or territory has a travel and tourism site. Imagine booking a week at a resort and heading outdoors to try snowshoeing, snowmobiling or dogsledding. Check out Ontario resorts at    Cost is according to the type of resort and guest experience you would like to try. Many of them supply equipment, so if you ever wanted to try a snowmobile, here’s your chance.   Following your day outdoors, head inside for dinner and craft beer by the fireside.

The plan is to stay safe, stay healthy, keep moving forward.


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