Sept. 3, 2020
We’re coming up on six months since the pandemic began, and bit by bit, we’ve been learning and adapting. At the beginning, we learned about washing our hands, and then we learned about staying home and keeping our distance.
More recently, we graduated to masks. It’s the new way to be polite. You stand back, you don’t shake hands and you wear a mask – not necessarily to protect yourself, but to protect others.
For those who are doing all the right things, it’s been disheartening to see the uptick in COVID-19 cases in our province. You may be worried about what will happen once students return to school. You may be questioning the experts, and getting angry at people you feel aren’t doing their part.
After the challenges this year, it’s understandable to feel some frustration. I suggest we all take a deep breath – after putting on a mask, of course – and remember that B.C. is still doing a great job dealing with COVID compared to many other places in the world.
We got here by trusting the experts and following their recommendations, and we need to continue to do that. We also need to focus on the other lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic, like the importance of being kind to others and supporting our community.
It’s heartening to see so many residents making an effort to shop and eat locally to support our struggling businesses. I encourage you to also think about the local artists and non-profit organizations that are also experiencing hard times.
If you have resources to spare, consider sharing some with the people and groups who bring arts, culture and important social services to our community. Some have adapted with online or physically distant programs and fundraisers, and would greatly welcome your support.
Certainly, being adaptable is another important lesson we’ve learned from the pandemic. Some of our seniors were among the first to figure out how to socialize at a distance, by setting up chairs six feet apart in the parking lot.
As a city, Coquitlam has also had to adapt. Early in the pandemic we closed down our facilities and many services, and then gradually and safely, we’ve been bringing back modified versions of them.
You can now go swimming, skating and work out at some recreation facilities, and starting next week, even more programs and facilities will open up.
Yes, things will be a bit different. We’ll have to register for all activities – even ones that used to be drop-in – and follow a variety of health protocols. But we’ll be able get back to some of the activities we’ve missed, and people we’ve missed doing them with. Sign up for our Parks, Rec and Culture e-newsletter, and keep an eye on our website and social media for updates as more City services and programs gradually return in the months ahead.
The storm may be over, but the weather is still lousy – and will remain unpredictable. The way forward will be easier if we all continue to trust the science, to adapt, to be kind to each other, and to support our community.
PS: We’re always interested in hearing about people demonstrating their Coquitlam spirit. Please share your stories on social media and tag #CoquitlamSPIRIT.