COVID-19 IS A media bonanza. Whether it is online, in print, on TV or over the radio, media has been doing an amazing job covering the story from every angle. And, just like many, I’ve been taking it all in.
I spend hours reading COVID-19 updates online or in the newspaper. Daily, I take in the latest facts, figures, and opinions.
Again and again, I read basically the same things. Wash your hands. Stay home. Things are getting worse but should eventually get better. There are some amazing people out there helping us all get through this. Loss and grief, hope and recovery. And the economy.
What I read online and in the newspaper is enough for me. I’ve stopped listening to the talk radio or watching TV news. It’s not that TV and radio aren’t doing just as good of a job covering the COVID-19 story. It’s just that otherwise, almost my entire life would be engulfed in COVID-19 news and experts.
But the messages I appreciate most right now aren’t being sent by the media. And the messages aren’t online or in a newspaper. Or on TV or radio.
When I need a break, I take a walk. And along the way, I see the most amazing messages.
There are paper hearts, clipped from the local newspapers taped to front windows and fences. There are small hand coloured rainbows and hearts too.
Along the way, I see messages of encouragement written in chalk on the sidewalks.
The chalk drawings on the sidewalks make me smile a bit, knowing that City of Kamloops bylaws forbid them. Whoever is doing the drawings, and I assume it is mostly children, likely doesn’t know they’re breaking bylaws. I’m very glad that the messages of hope continue to spring up on our sidewalks despite the bylaws.
At the entrance to the hospital are hand painted banners of encouragement to the healthcare workers. There are probably rules against putting signs up in front of the hospital, too, but those rules have been forgotten.
The paper signs, chalk drawings and hand-made banners say so much about our community. The kindness and well wishes we have for each other. The hope we have as well.
The deluge of news on COVID-19 on every media platform gives us every possible piece of information that we need.
But the news I look forward to most is what I find on my daily walks. It’s the news of kindness and encouragement, hope and well wishes. It’s the message that we’re all in this together.
Pick yours up on your next walk through your neighbourhood too.
Nancy Bepple is a former City councillor of Kamloops with a strong interest in community building projects.