I don’t know about you, but to me, yesterday’s announcements from the Province felt heavy. We’re now more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and just when we thought things were looking up, it feels like we’re moving backward.
The news that cases are once again surging in Whistler, with a cluster of the P1 Brazilian variant taking hold, is alarming, and not what any of us wanted to hear.
The Province’s decision to order Whistler Blackcomb to close for the next three weeks, along with the warnings to avoid all non-essential travel within the province and prohibitions on indoor group exercise and indoor dining have hit our communities hard. And we – like so many others – were already struggling.
When things are difficult, we often talk about resiliency, and how challenging times can have positive implications because they help to make us stronger. While I appreciate this sentiment, I feel like we’ve had more than enough lessons in resiliency over the past 13 months. But as frustrating as the current situation may be, it’s also a reminder that this virus remains a threat and we can’t back down in our fight against it. As BC’s Health Minister, Adrian Dix, told us yesterday, “it’s us, and the vaccines, against COVID-19.”
You may think that the provincial health orders are too strong. You may think that they are too weak. But regardless of your position on this, we must now, more than ever, heed the advice and orders of the Province. Please follow the orders that are in place, and encourage others to do the same.
BC’s public health officials are strongly recommending that all social and recreational travel be avoided in British Columbia until further notice. This means: do not travel for vacation, do not travel to vacation properties within or outside the province and do not travel to visit friends or family outside of your household or core bubble. Remember, also, that many First Nations have declared a state of emergency for their communities and enacted COVID-19 community protection bylaws and travel advisories for non-residents and non-essential visitors. It is important to respect these restrictions in addition to the province-wide travel advisory.
Restaurants, pubs and bars are closed for indoor dining until April 19, 2021 at midnight; indoor exercise classes are prohibited. Working form home is recommended, whenever possible and those who feel ill or show any sign of illness should stay home (do not go to work or school).
We are truly in this together, and it will be our collective efforts that carry us through to the other side of this pandemic.
Chair, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District