British Columbia

Vancouver man has drawn a 'COVID card' nearly every day to distract himself from pandemic

David Laird said he started drawing the COVID cards on the day B.C. first began lockdown in March 2020, and has continued making them nearly every day since. 

David Laird uses art as a way to keep his mind off the world's troubles

David Laird says every card has a number on it to represent how many days it's been since the pandemic started. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

One Vancouver man decided to beat his pandemic boredom by starting a new art project, where he draws 'COVID cards' to represent the number of days it's been since the pandemic began. 

David Laird is a land development planner and engineer, but in his free time he paints and draws. 

Laird says he's had an interest in art ever since he was a child. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone into their homes in March 2020, Laird decided to pick up the old hobby to fill his time. 

"It was just purely just to, you know, amuse myself and distract myself from the world," Laird told CBC Vancouver.

Laird said he started drawing the COVID cards on the day B.C. first began lockdown last March, and has continued making them nearly every day since. 

Laird in his Vancouver studio on Thursday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

"I didn't know how long I was going to do it, but, you know, COVID continued on and obviously still is. And with the help of my neighbour, I decided to go 150 days," he said. 

Laird says every card has a number on it to represent how many days it's been since the pandemic began. He says the design pictured on the front of the card changes every day, depending on his mood. 

In a previous interview with CBC, Michelle Winkel, an art therapist in Victoria said she believes art can help people cope with the anxiety many face from the pandemic.

"Obviously with COVID, life is pretty stressful," Winkel said, "I believe that art-making is therapeutic," Winkel said. 

Winkel says she has seen first-hand through her patients, the success art therapy can bring in relieving stress and anxiety.

As for Laird, he says he uses his art as a way to escape from negative news and the current reality the world continues to face. 

Laird says he uses his art as a way to distract himself from distressing news. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

"These were starting to take three, sometimes four hours in the morning because I have nothing better to do. They're completely whatever comes into my mind." Laird said.

Laird says after 150 days passed and the pandemic still wasn't over, he decided to continue on with his drawings. His neighbour assisted him in making little boxes to stores the cards. 

He says the art has become a habit and something he'll continue to do until the pandemic is over.

"Hopefully you won't come back to see me in a year because we'll all be well."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brittany Roffel is a digital journalist with CBC Vancouver. Get in touch with her on Twitter at @BrittanyRoffel or at brittany.roffel@cbc.ca.

With files from Leah Collins

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