ROTHENBURGER – We must unite against COVID-19 – from a distance


(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

WHAT ARE THE THREE main symptoms of corona virus?

Answer: Sore throat, fever and an irrational urge to buy toilet paper.

Why should we stay away from Kelowna?

Answer: Kelowna virus.

A little humour is useful in times of darkness. The big question, though, is what we’ll do when COVID-19 reaches Kamloops.

Well, to answer a question with a question, how do we know it’s not already here? The little so-and-so could already be circulating, and we just don’t know it yet because it hasn’t broken out into symptoms.

And when it does, there’s no guarantee the Interior Health Authority will tell us. But the mayor tells us Kamloops will likely see COVID-19 fatalities, and he’s probably right.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8164 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – We must unite against COVID-19 – from a distance

  1. Frank Dwyer // March 15, 2020 at 1:45 PM // Reply

    This is a great time to nest, renew family (remember board games – with us it’s crib), read good (real) books, tend the garden, walk often, visit the outdoors and suport each other. Wave and smile – from appropriate social distance. Breathe the outdoor area – refreshingly there might be less auto fume pollution. For our 50th wedding anniversary (soon) we are going to take two days driving to Cranbrook, have a celebratory dinner with our son and family, play old fashioned board games with our grandon for a few days, and then drive back by back roads. And we are not going to worry the whole time. We are not even going to take toilet paper with us in the car , not as gifts or otherwise.

  2. One may conclude the toilet paper thing its a pandemic in its own right, a special kind of pandemic. Which it is not that hard to explain comes to think of. Along similar unreasoned examples we can peruse the local political scene (in general terms) and come to a similar explanation…that to call the electorate (again in general terms and with ample exceptions) belonging to a special species of upright-walking animals supposedly equipped with the ability of discernment called “Homo Sapiens” is a great misnomer. And as Facebook algorithms get even better “reason” has shrunk accordingly. Hang in there MR, we need you more than ever!

  3. John Noakes // March 15, 2020 at 6:31 AM // Reply

    Mel, thanks for your common sense approach to dealing with this virus threat.
    Some common sense things we can do on a personal basis:
    Support local businesses and buy things we need without feeling we have to hoard stuff.
    If a person does contract the virus and the symptoms don’t escalate to needing a stay in hospital, stay at home and make the best of things. Think positively …… once recovery comes, you realize that you now have an immunity to the virus.
    Find other things to do than hang around crowded stores “shopping” to occupy time.
    Wash your hands more often.
    If you are able, go for walks and keep your distance from other people.
    Call friends on the phone and keep in touch with family.
    Midst the doom and gloom media coverage, try and listen for a figure slipped out giving the number of people who have recovered from having the virus. I’d sooner think of myself as being one of them if the virus happens to find a home in my body.
    Imagine a world without a performing arts centre because we might not be able to pay for it.
    If you are a religious person, pray for others.

  4. Trish Keegan // March 14, 2020 at 6:40 PM // Reply

    Like a limit of 250 people in a cinema or theatre will do any good. One good sneeze from an audience member with the virus will likely infect several people. Even though officials have set that as a maximum gathering number, c’mon theatre and cinema people, use your common sense. And will all those who lament cancellation disappointments get with it. We’re in this together–no sense blubbering about what we can’t have.

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