My isolation period started later than most, but the thirty-day mark is coming up soon.

On paper this should be perfect for me – not having to go to work, not having to worry too much about money quite yet, and so much of what I like about night photography is its vast social distance. I'll use very dark filters in the day to empty the streets of traffic and people, and now most of the work there is already done for me. But that hasn't been how it's worked at all.

Instead – and I know I'm not unique in this – a sense of generalized dread has kept me subdued. The uncertainty, both immediate and long-term, has squelched my interest in just about everything. And while introversion and social anxieties has always meant that I didn't want to leave the house if I'd be around people before, now that apprehension is tripled.

I've picked up a camera a few times, and with a Macro lens on one of the Fujis even spent an enjoyable forty minutes exploring things around the house. But then I stop. And it's gone.

It was Penny who put together how I can do what I enjoy. I'm fairly pleased that I've kept a similar schedule to what I used when working – I'm up around the same time, and as weekends have lost all meaning, I've even stopped sleeping in. But she pointed out that I don't need to do that, and I could actually get up earlier, which is something that just wouldn't have occurred to me. So if I find myself awake at five a.m., instead of going back to bed I could go out and take photos instead.

So today I did. That's me in the photo of the museum entrance, above.

It worked. I was out of the house in time to hear the dawn chorus, which I've never experienced in the city before. And Bloor street, which remains too crowded in the afternoon even these days, was nearly empty. Next time I'll try to be out even earlier.

Small gear is still the requirement. These photos are from my XF10 (the garage exit here is cropped to my favourite 5:2 panoramic ratio) which I finally found after several months of looking for it, and my Theta V, which was only slightly easier to locate again after a long period of disuse. Similarly, I've also brought out my Ricoh GRDiv and Olympus XA as pocket cameras for my short morning walks around the vacated university grounds, but those aren't photographic occasions the way this was.

This might be the best time, in my life at least, to have a panoramic camera. I've tried mucking about with my GRDiv on some quiet streets before this, but the results look like nothing. Empty sidewalks could just be a quirk of good timing. With the Theta there's no question; even for 6:30 on a Sunday morning these streets are very quiet. No long exposure trickery here.

I'll admit that I've been looking at reviews for the Theta Z1, but while it's a huge improvement over the S and V models that I own, it would cost me more than I paid for my second-hand Nikon F6. One could last the rest of my life, the other's a novelty item.

But speaking of novelty items, my toy panoramic film camera should be arriving in a week or so. I'm thinking of pushed HP5 for the first roll, but I have no idea when I'll be able to get the results processed.

When I finally write my epic "Why I'm Leaving Toronto" rant this will feature heavily in it. I still can't believe that we destroyed such an iconic building so that Mario "my past behavior has been deeply inappropriate" Batali could open a cafeteria for people who think the problem with Whole Foods is that it's not expensive enough. (Yes, I heard that he sold his stake in the company recently, but the damage remains.)

And while I'm still thinking of it, the ad-wraps around TTC vehicles will also make my list.

Back to happier subjects: that's me in the photo again. The Theta's sitting on a mail box, using my Gitzo Mini Traveler tripod. I've adjusted this photo in post to give it the upward angle; I also tried a couple of versions with Ricoh's editing software, but prefer the 'flat' rendering to any of the spherical projections.

I was out for a little over an hour, making this my longest consecutive time outdoors in a month. being able to spend non-anxious – okay, minimally-anxious – time outside with a camera has vastly improved my mood and my outlook. I won't do it again soon, but maybe next Sunday I can be out of the house even earlier. I'd like to have more time before sunrise, and after 7am he city gets a bit too busy for comfort.