We are now several months into the COVID-19 pandemic response, in the middle of summer and with a long weekend just around the corner.
BC Day (celebrated this year on August 3) was established as a holiday in 1974 as a way to commemorate this great province and it always provides a wonderful excuse to spend some time exploring our own backyards, maybe those of our neighbouring communities or perhaps taking a trip beyond our area – maybe a road-trip north, an escape to the Island, or an Okanagan getaway.
This year, however, as you set about your long-weekend and holiday plans, please remember, wherever your journey may take you, to tread carefully and lightly.
Sadly, we are seeing increased community transmission of the Coronavirus, with the number of new cases going up and a thousand people reportedly in self-isolation due to potential exposure, related to events in the Okanagan.
For months we have followed the rules to bend the curve. We hunkered down. We isolated from family and friends. We have kept out bubbles small. And the results paid off. We bent the curve and were able to enter into the next phase of our restart plan.
But these growing numbers show us that, despite all of that hard work, this virus is still among us and can flare up and rear its ugly head at any moment, putting us all at great risk, and challenging our hard work.
Our Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has shared her “travel manners” to:
- Know before you go;
- Have fewer faces in bigger spaces;
- Stay home if sick;
- Wash your hands;
- Keep a safe physical distance;
- Come prepared, bring supplies; and
- Respect travel advisories.
And local tourism authorities are reminding us to “explore responsibly” so, if you’re a resident staying close to home in the Sea to Sky Corridor, if you’re visiting another community in our great province, or if you are a visitor to one of our towns, please remember this advice when you’re planning for your trip. And please, if you are in, or close to, a First Nations community, be respectful of their requests and be extra vigilant with regard to safe distancing.
As the good doctor has said, don’t let COVID 19 steal our summer.
Chair, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District