Yesterday we learned that the provincial orders previously placed on the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions have been extended to the entire province and will be in place until December 7, at least.
Social gatherings continue to be prohibited, masks are mandatory and non-essential travel within the province is strongly discouraged.
I am sure that, like me, not long ago, you were thinking that the worst of COVID was over, even though there had been warnings for weeks that a second wave was coming. And now, here we are, with increased numbers of cases, hospitalizations and, sadly, deaths. Our healthcare system is strained and it is possible that we could face even stricter orders in the near future.
When we sit back and think about this and consider the science being used to guide our public health orders, I am sure that we can understand and acknowledge that what Dr. Bonnie Henry is doing is wise and justified. However, it doesn’t ease our disappointment and frustration that life is nowhere near getting back to normal.
I talked to some people this week and asked them for comments on how to cope during COVID. They made a few suggestions which will suit some people more than others depending on family circumstances: granny and grandad living alone have more time on their hands than their daughter with three young children. Whatever situation you are dealing with, make sure you take the time to look after yourself as well as others in your life.
Take a look at this list and check if anything works for you:
- Get exercise daily. Go for a brisk walk or maybe offer to take a neighbour’s dog for a walk. If you can’t get outside, dance to your favourite music in your kitchen!
- Eat sensibly to stay healthy. Include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit and have set meal times. Avoid the temptation to “graze” all day long! But do treat yourself to dessert now and again.
- Remember to regularly contact your loved ones by FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or another visual digital platform. Seeing a smiling face is better than a phone call.
- Go through your contact list: call a friend or acquaintance you have not spoken to for a while.
- Check on elderly neighbours: do they need groceries picked up, leaves raked, or help with some other simple task?
- Start a new hobby or learn a new language online.
- Reach out to those less fortunate. Find a community service agency in your community that is looking for support at this time of year.
We encourage you to follow all of Dr. Henry’s orders and suggestions because if we do work together, we will be able to flatten the curve again. And, as always, and as Dr. Henry says, “be kind, be calm, be safe.”
Chair, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District