New Burgee with Tekton
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 Volume 12 No. 15
Pollen Clare Island
Fresh Pollen Before It's Released and Blown Off the Branches

It's been a hot and 'yellow' weekend in PaB and thanks to Andrew Vanderwal, we have a glimpse below for us all to see! The pollen was spraying down all over everything - and no rain for a while to wash it all away.

Please be aware that the fire rating has been upped to HIGH so that the conditions say the fire danger is SERIOUS and only contained fires for cooking are allowed and NO FIREWORKS!. ( Please know that you can always click on the fire logo to check what the ratings mean. If reading this eBlast on your computer, the logo is found in the upper right hand corner; if you are on your mobile, it would be found UNDER the closing signature ).

So let's hope it rains a lot harder than it did yesterday, both for the fires and as a way to clean off our decks and boats and windows - so we don't have to!

And finally, please find a long letter from Mike Evans, M.D., and PaBIA's Medical Chair, regarding Pointe au Baril & COVID 19. Mike has worked extensively with WHO, Contact Tracing on a world wide basis as well as with the Federal and Provincial governments, and I believe you will find what he has to say well worth the read. Not only is it full of links for further information, but it is extremely practical as we live our lives this summer at the Bay (or wherever we are).

Summer is upon us! Let us enjoy it to its fullest!
Pollen Falling Vanderwall
Photo compliments of Andrew Vanderwal
In this eBlast:
  • Pointe au Baril + COVID-19
  • GBBR Kids in the Biosphere
  • Finding New Life in PaB
  • GBLT Landmark Speaker Series - June 27th
  • EdCom: Here Be Dragons!
  • GBF What's Holding Up YOUR Dock?
  • PaBIA Non Competitive Sailing - June 27th 1 pm
  • GBLT Kids Conservation Quest - Begins June 29th
  • GBLT Properties Reopen to the Public with restrictions
  • Lake Michigan-Huron Water Levels June 22, 2020
  • Lost and Found: Found: One Swim Dock
Latest Updated Calendars for
July ( 6.23) and August (6.23)
Pointe au Baril + COVID-19
From Mike Evans, M.D., PaBIA’s Medical Chair
Involved with World-Wide Contact Tracing, WHO, CDC, Federal and Provincial efforts
Hi all.
So things are different this year. Waters up and...we have COVID-19 and all the things that brings: new protocols, protecting the vulnerable, cancelled camp, people working from home/cottage, border issues for our brethren from other countries, north-south/urban-rural concerns, good information, misinformation, kids, more mature people, judging, lots of anxiety, and just different perceptions of risk. That’s just to name a few.
There is a lot of uncertainty here, and we all deal with that in different ways. It feels like many of us have a bit of “alarm fatigue” with vague and one-size-fits-all guidance. We’ve collectively done well; we’ve made some mistakes, but things are getting better. As a doctor/science type, I would throw in the thought that this is a very new sneaky virus with poor and immature data to guide best practice. And, of course, this is all in evolution.
Going forward.
So, I thought I would just outline some of our advantages, challenges, some science and common-sense behaviours that you might want to think about while in PaB. I am trying to base these comments on best evidence; but still, a great deal of this is an educated guess based on what we know. Most of our calculations thus far has been about things that are easy to count, such as COVID cases, deaths and job loss, but PaB is a lot about the things that are suffering and hard to count: social connectedness, mother nature therapy, family relationships, work separation, and so on.
Same Storm. Different Boats.
The reality is that we are all in the storm, but we are in different boats. Some of us are dealing with young kids, others are healthy seniors, others have teenagers, some of us have risk factors, and so on. We will all have to make our own plans and adapt them as we juggle optimism with realism.

None of the suggestions below will reduce risk by 100%, but hopefully there will be some acceptable trade-offs as you navigate the summer. I have hyper-linked to evidence if people are interested in more or to statistic pages that will change with time.

Let’s start with what we have going for us.
We are largely outside. Analysis of Hong Kong spreader events shows of 318 spreader events, only one was outside (which spread to two people), and this was typically in a more urbane environment. The risk of transmission outside is very, very low (doctors never say impossible). Closer to home, two crowded international events, a dental conference and the Rugby Sevens, at the beginning of COVID in BC, had very different spread dynamics when tracked. The rugby crowd saw virtually no illness whereas the dentists, who were largely inside, often in small rooms, saw much more COVID-19
We don’t have a Super Spreader Event set up . In my opinion, this concept hasn’t got as much play as it should. Historically, in infectious disease breakouts, 80% of the spread is typically done by 20% of the population. The data so far shows this is the case with COVID-19.

We think of a super spreader as one person. The classic is “Typhoid Mary”. Actually, typhoid is a bacteria, and Mary was asymptomatic; and this, combined with poor hygiene, led to her literally handing it on to 51 members of the families she worked for.
However, viruses like SARS-CoV-2 are different, and it’s actually more of an “event” than an individual - an event where multiple accelerants come together at the same time. Imagine a campfire where “accelerants” are added simultaneously and then it becomes a bonfire. In the case of COVID-19 the accelerants might be a person with actively shedding virus, crowding, no hand washing, a propellant (singing, sneezing, yelling, poorly placed fan or a/c..), limited air flow, an enclosed space, reduced immunity (frail elderly, on chemotherapy, etc.), extended time of contact, and so on. When a few of these accelerants come together at once the campfire becomes a bonfire. Bonfires can account for 80% of the spread, whereas campfires only 20%. You can see how a nursing home or the elderly choir practice in Washington or the dorms in Singapore can be a bonfire. The point is we are well set up to break this Super Spreader Event chain in PaB. 
  • We have all been isolating. Hopefully. Pods are breaking down a bit, but most have done a good job. Ontario has just launched the Social Circles program recognizing the importance of social connectedness to our health. You can now establish a family or social circle of up to 10 people who can interact with one another without physical distancing. This is different than “social gatherings” which can now be up to 10 people in Ontario, but social distancing applies.

  • Transmission is maybe harder than you think. When we look at household contact transmission of SARS-CoV-2 thus far, it is a common pathway because most of us cohabitate, but the actual infection rate is low. In Korea it was 7.56%, in China it was 11.2% and 16%. In the USA it was 10.5%. Put another way, despite spending all our time together (sleeping, hugging, sharing food, close proximity, etc..), if somebody tests positive in a family, 84 - 92% of the time they did not pass it on. 
  • We have a low rate of vulnerable people in PaB. Kind of. We do have lots of healthy seniors (see below in challenges), but very few frail elderly. We are not a nursing home or other institutional setting. Approximately 82% of the deaths in Canada have been in nursing homes. Maybe another 5% in other institutions (prisons, homeless shelters, etc.). One of the things that bugs me is putting all older people in same bucket. There are many shades of grey.
  • We don’t have a lot of inside time with strangers. Most contact tracing systems worldwide are putting higher risk when “face to face” for more than 15 mins or in an enclosed space for more than 2 hrs.. This is an inexact science and, of course, falls apart when somebody sneezes in your face, but most of our interactions are short and outside.
  • Local rates (Parry Sound) of SARS-CoV-2 are low, at least from those tested (11,161 tests, 30 cases, 28 resolved, and 1 death in North Bay-Parry Sound region at time of writing). This is helpful if we, who are coming from more endemic areas, don’t increase these local rates. Most people who get tested don’t test positive. The Canada wide rate of positive tests is 3.9%.
  • We are on islands or secluded. There is definitely travel between islands, but visiting is a discrete event where risk can be mitigated by common sense. See below in challenges “visiting”. 

Some Challenges
Local hospitals do not have the ICU capacity of urban hospitals. Yes, older people with risk factors are overwhelmingly the people hospitalized, but middle-aged people can get sick with COVID19, especially if they have risk factors like significant heart disease or diabetes.
o   Action: If you’re sick or test positive, especially if you have risk factors, and isolation is possible, consider retreating to your home early.
Kids as vectors. The COVID-19 impact on kids has been much less than on adults (picturing Matt Damon starring as pediatric virologist in a future movie who figures out why). The question is whether kids are vectors. The data has been back and forth, and the truth is we still don’t know . Data so far doesn’t suggest that they are super spreaders but it’s too early to say. The Iceland data shows lower rates in the under 10 crowd which is encouraging. It’s tricky as younger people have more to lose from isolation. Child care is opening in Ontario with restrictions. We will soon learn more as kids are now going back to schools in different low risk regions. Sick Kids just summarized the research of health trade-offs with COVID and recommended return to school in September. It is getting some critique from infectious disease epidemiologists, but what I like about it is that they are at least looking at the trade-offs of losing socialization on the early childhood brain and other negative impacts relative to increased infectious disease risk.
o   Action: Distancing is still prudent. Kids are not good at this, so if there is proximity, suggest keeping outside in shade and handwashing before and after. Sick kids should be isolated while ill. BYO snacks. No sharesies. I’d have wipes ready. They are unlikely to get sick themselves, but I would think about their contact with people vulnerable to COVID and plan accordingly.
Inevitable that there will be visiting? I could say no visiting and be giving the most protective health advice; but we are social beings, so if it’s going to happen, consider a harm reduction model with a protocol.
o   Action:
  1. Think about it, especially if there are any high-risk individuals involved. If high risk, wear a mask. As you know, there is asymptomatic transmission, so you need to play it safe.
  2. Social distance, stay outside, don’t go if you are sick.
  3. Have sanitizer, soap, or soap on a rope in the boat. Wash hands before and after.
  4. BYOB and food as much as you can. Buffets are a bad idea.
  5. The new Ontario guidelines are to keep groups to 10 people or less (but still social distancing)
Variable practice. Let’s take masks. Places where mask-wearing are part of the culture have done better in COVID. I would wear a mask if I was sick, in a public place like a busy store where I can’t control proximity, or if I was near somebody who was vulnerable. I wouldn’t wear a mask if I was walking outside alone or driving a boat or hiking with my family. Others might feel differently or just less anxious/more protected in a mask or, because of the evidence above, feel we should be wearing more. I think we have to allow for variable practice. Those who want to be more protective and isolated are certainly encouraged to do so. Not sure what to do if somebody engages repeatedly in high risk behaviour. Hopefully we can have some constructive community support.
o   Action: Be kind.
Many of us, but not all, are coming from areas where COVID is more endemic than Pointe au Baril. Our individual risk may be low, but it’s important to recognize local people don’t know that; and we need to be respectful of their concerns and be committed to keeping local COVID rates low. We need to protect people who live in Pointe au Baril. Local businesses have had to comply with shifting government guidelines with limited staff (some staff still do not feel comfortable returning) and compromised supply chains due to COVID. Everyone is doing their best to provide the excellent service we are used to, but this year has been extremely challenging to local business as they balance health needs of employees, customers, and business demands. Please be patient, try to give as much warning as you can for requests, and social distance.
o   Action: Minimize contact with locals and let them guide us.

Missing the big picture. I am worried that, because of COVID, we will miss other much-more-common health concerns. I am worried about things like teenage depression, isolated older persons, or people not going to ER for fear of COVID-19 when they need to. For example, at-home cardiac arrests have gone up 300% in Toronto since COVID (personal communication). People will still need stitches, will get sick, will get sunburned, will have strokes, will make poor decisions…; and we need not lose sight of that. Being aware of COVID is important but its not nearly as common as some of the examples I am giving. Some of which are actually escalating in these times.
o   Action: If you’re sick, seek care. Be on the lookout for problems that are worse with COVID such as mental health, loneliness, and chronic disease management. Check in.

There are many healthy seniors in PaB . Technically at risk, but very individual. Accessibility issues to PaB does mostly screen out super frail elderly.
o   Action: If you have seniors in your pod, especially frail seniors, make a COVID plan. It’s up to you as not being able to hold a grandchild is painful, but so is COVID-19. A plan would have options like distancing, masks when in proximity, early escape plan if sick, not sharing food, and so on.
What do I do if I am worried that I have COVID-19?
We want to try and do this remotely so the following steps should work.
  1. Go to the COVID-19 Self-Assessment site and fill out the risk questionnaire. The site will give you advice based on your score. The bar in Ontario is very low now; and if you have any symptoms at all, it recommends self-isolation and going to a testing centre. 
  2. If you have more questions and no access to your own family doctor, the province (requires an OHIP card) provides a digital consult for non-urgent COVID-19 related concerns. 
  3. Another option is calling the North Bay Parry Sound District COVID-19 Call Centre. This service is taking calls Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-563-2808 option 5.
  4. If the advice is to get tested, the local testing centre is located at the West Parry Sound Health Centre Assessment Centre
o   Testing: Appointment only
o   To book an appointment: 705-746-4540 ext 5030
Location: 70 Joseph St., Parry Sound Unit 105-106, entrance at the back door, please ring doorbell at the time of your appointment and stand back past the sign as directed. It’s at a back entrance to an empty mall.
o   Age restrictions: Must be 2 years old or older to be tested
There is  a website to see your results , but the public health officials only follow up with you if your test is positive. The will also tell you what to do about contacts.
On a more local note: I talked to Jared Bonis, the Nurse Practitioner at the Nursing Station in PaB. They are still open for business, but as you would imagine protocols have changed (extra time required for cleaning, personal protective equipment, etc.) and so they are really trying to avoid walk-ins unless it’s super urgent. Please try and phone ahead to make an appointment (705-366-2376).

No doubt policies and practice will evolve over the summer. COVID19 is a moving target and my info will be out of date soon. Getting to PaB improves our health; and so, it’s worth taking some simple precautions to preserve that.
I will miss our friends from other countries, hopefully for not the whole summer, but I am sure they would be first to second me prescribing going for a paddle, hitting a tennis ball, and watching a sunset.

Take Care
Of Interest
EDCom Logo

Here Be Dragons

Squadrons of dragonflies have appeared in the skies of Georgian Bay. The sky in the lee of the closest cedars looks like the busiest airfield imaginable, with masses of them hovering, zigzagging, climbing and diving as they feed and mate on the wing.

Like sharks, the near perfect design of the dragonfly has survived unchanged for about 300 million years. With two sets of wings and nearly 360 degree vision, they make highly maneuverable and voracious winged hunters, eating mosquitos, flies, grasshoppers, butterflies, and even other dragonflies. 
Like little helicopters, dragonflies will sometimes rev up their wings to fly. Being cold blooded, they need to warm up their flight muscles on a cool morning and do this by either basking in the sun or “wing whirring”, a rapid vibration of the wings that causes heat to be generated. On a hot day I’m sure you have seen them cool off and maybe hydrate a little by skimming over the water, often touching the surface three times in quick succession.

Dragonflies are carnivores and may consume up to 1/5 of their body weight per day. Their eating habits are not delicate- larger prey (such as butterflies!) are subdued by being bitten in the head and carried off to a perch, where the wings are “discarded” and the rest ingested headfirst. 
These bold and beautiful insects are important barometers of water quality, as they live most of their lives- up to 5 years, depending on the species- as nymphs in lake bottoms and riverbeds. Dragonfly nymphs, or naiads, moult underwater several times before climbing out for their final short-lived transformation.
Moulted dragonfly
If dragonflies are fearsome in the skies, the story of their aquatic phase is even more…fantastic. Underwater, their hunting prowess can be attributed to their ability to clench their behinds and produce speed and power any engineer would marvel at. For more, have a look at this gleeful yet informative article from Wired magazine, of all places…I hope you it makes you smile!
Calling all Kids in the Biosphere!

Are you ready for exploration and adventure this summer?

The Georgian Bay Biosphere will be offering the 8 th season of Kids in the Biosphere in partnership with the Township of the Archipelago. This free program provides participating families with activities to keep you outside and learning about nature all summer long. Kids in the Biosphere began in 2013 and has reached over 500 families!

What’s new with Kids in the Biosphere in 2020?

This season, GBBR staff have altered the delivery of Activity Kits to stay in line with physical distancing and COVID -19 recommendations. We will be mailing all Activity Kits through Canada Post to families who sign-up online. (According to Canada Post, the World Health Organization and Public Health Agency of Canada assure it is safe to handle mail and there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission on goods and packages).
Here is how it works:
  1. Sign up to receive your family’s Activity Kit; a reusable bag containing outdoor games, crafts, and a nature notebook.
  2. GBBR staff will mail your Activity Kit to the address you provide.
  3. Throughout the summer, check out online Photo Album of everyone’s findings and the Kids in the Biosphere Blog for weekly info on nature’s happenings and answers to your questions.
  4. Complete activities and keep track on your Summer Scorecard included in the Activity Kit (optional).
  5. Optional: At the end of the summer, or when you've completed as many activities as possible, email us a picture of your Scorecard. You will be entered to win one of three GRAND PRIZES! (The 2020 grand prizes are a 6-in-1 Solar Robot Kit, Owls Discovery Kit, and a Weekend Stand-up Paddleboard Rental from White Squall).

We’re looking forward to a summer of distant and safe adventures with you! As the GBBR office is currently closed, Activity Kits are only available through the mail. The sign-up form will remain active throughout the summer to reach as many families as possible. We will provide updates on the situation as the summer progresses. For more information, contact Delaina.
GBF Logo
What’s Holding Your Dock Up?
Take a look. It could be unencapsulated foam…and that becomes a serious shoreline litter problem and an ingestion threat to aquatic life as it fragments.
Many of us participated in shoreline clean-ups last year, where polystyrene (PS) foam was the number one type of litter picked up, and the most visible of this litter type was foam from docks (often blue). 2020 may be worse - pictures have been sent to Georgian Bay Forever(GBF) this spring and summer of huge and little blue foam pieces picked up by concerned citizens - seeming to indicate that high water and storms have probably wreaked havoc on existing unencapsulated foam docks.
For more information on this pollution and its relation to docks:  click here for the report , Problems with Polystyrene Foam. Environmental Fate and Effects in The Great Lakes, by Lisa Erdle for Georgian Bay Forever.
How to help
If you have unencapsulated dock foam, you're not alone - but, please investigate alternatives and make a plan to swap it out as soon as possible. It’s not easy or cheap to get alternatives for floating your docks, but most alternatives will last a lot longer, and help reduce shoreline litter and its effects in Georgian Bay. There is sadly NO dock that doesn’t have some impact to the environment, but if you email , we can provide ideas on alternates to investigate for your dock from the Say “NO” to Dock Foam committee. And, if you want, please share your experiences with a dock alternate(s) - your information and experience is very valued.
Finding New Life in Pointe au Baril!
Baby Turtle nest and turtle
Jane Wilkins shared these photos and comments: "There are always so many turtles in Leisure Bay's back bay and often we see them laying their eggs in the gravel around the docks.(The top photo shows a black hole is the nest the turtle digs, then lays her eggs and then fills the hole in again.) Usually the results are that the nest has been dug up and the eggs eaten....but we saw by the dock one hardy hatchling (bottom photo at the edge of the dock) who made it...he was about the size of a toonie. I remember our visiting turtle expert from a couple of summers ago told us that the chances of a turtle making it to maturity can be 1:15,000....
Hopefully this little guy makes it!"
Georgian Bay Land Trust Properties are Open COVID

Happy summer! As parks across the province continue their reopening process, we're delighted to be able to welcome you back to the Georgian Bay Land Trust's conservation properties. All of our public-access properties are now open for daytime visits.
It is very important that visitors follow our updated Covid-19 Visitor Guidelines, which are posted at each property. These include maintaining at least 2 metres of distance between your group and others, and not visiting if you are sick or have been advised to self-quarantine. Please also understand that we may be required to limit the number of visitors to each property to ensure that proper social distance can be maintained.

Thank you for your cooperation with this! We will continue to monitor the situation as the summer unfolds, and may change our visitor policies as the situation demands. You will be able to find the latest information throughout the summer at .

Have a safe, happy, and nature-filled summer! 
Upcoming Events
SAiling FS
PaBIA Non Competitive Sailing
This Saturday 1 pm

Come one, come everyone who would love to just enjoy an afternoon of friendly sailing, putting your face to the wind and guiding your boat as you see the general direction of others like-minded folks. Everyone will meet around 1 pm around the Ojibway docks and decide the general direction of the sail depending on the wind direction!

Please see Stephen Griggs' report to the sailors!

From Our Commodore:

All organized sailing events in Ontario continue to be prohibited, including our weekly races. We are staying in touch with Sail Ontario, with the goal of having at least modified weekly races later this summer .  Our weekly Rendezvous events have been canceled for the summer.
Some of us would like to have a  weekly recreational long distance sail each Saturday beginning this Saturday June 27 leaving about 1 pm from Ojibway Bay  (weather depending).   Possible trips include out to the McCoy Islands, down to the Twin Sisters and out Empress Channel to the open and around to the Lighthouse. The safety crew will be around and we may use them for a "rabbit" course a few times.
Georgian Bay Land Trust's 
LANDMARK Speaker Series
Country Turtle, City Turtle:
Helping to keep them safe in a changing world
Presented by Dr. Pat Chow-Fraser

Saturday, June 27th, 10 am
30 minute interactive virtual presentation

Dr. Pat Chow-Fraser has conducted research in Georgian Bay’s wetlands and throughout the Great Lakes for decades, with a recent focus on at-risk turtles. She will talk about the way turtles use Georgian Bay’s wetlands and other habitats, the increasing threats that they face, and how we can use ecological knowledge to keep them safe.

All are welcome to join! Register here to receive a link to attend
Kids' Conservation Quest

Are your nature-loving kids looking for things to do this summer? The Georgian Bay Land Trust is offering a series of free, weekly at-home nature activities geared to kids ages 8-12. 

Starting next Monday and every Monday from June 29 - August 31, a new activity will be emailed to participants and posted online. Kids will learn about Georgian Bay's plants and animals, explore their environment, and discover how they can play a positive role in the natural world. Kids will have the opportunity to share their discoveries by email and have their results posted in a weekly blog. 

Example activities include:
  • night-time nature walk
  • bird song identification
  • build a butterfly feeder
  • and more!
Learn more about the program and sign up here .
Lakes Michigan/Huron Water Levels June 22, 2020
To better read the charts, please  click  on the chart for the
Daily or Six Month Forecast Water level chart and the corresponding websites
Daily Water Level Key 2020
Swim dock 148A
Found at Is. A148, swim dock approx 3 m x 3 m (10' x 10') with metal bracket for swim ladder and dock rings attached on decking. To claim, contact Nancy Rogers  or call her cell.
Yearbook Update
With each eBlast, we will provide you a list of names for those who provided updated information. The details of all the changes since the Yearbook's came out in April is provided in a printable format for you to print out and insert into your own Yearbook copy!

No new changes
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Pointe au Baril Islanders' Association 

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in accordance with the PaBIA Policy on Communications
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