AS WE ENTER the ninth month of COVID restrictions in British Columbia, things don’t seem to be getting any better. The number of infections and the number of deaths mount.
Everyone has been affected in some way. Most worrying is the health and well-being of our frail and elderly, who have been hardest hit.
I have never seen so many families, including teenagers and young children, out for walks and hikes together. The outdoors, even in these brisk winter days, is a place to escape the restrictions. It is wonderful to see families spending time together in the great outdoors.
Online knitting groups, singing groups, and worship groups keep us together even when we’re apart.
The dogs and cats of our lives are big winners. They could never understand why we left them home so much. Pets might not understand COVID, but they appreciate that we’re home more now. Dogs are particularly happy to have their dog walkers available more often.
If my street is any measure, the holiday lights this season will be stunning. Every day, another house on my street gets a festive brightening.
One thing that amazes and impresses me is the number of people opening businesses during COVID times. Since the start of COVID, there have been 30 to 40 or more new business licenses issued by the City of Kamloops every month.
From food stores, to distilleries, to construction trades, to health providers and more, businesses continue to open during COVID. Hats off to the entrepreneurs willing to take the risk to make our community a better place during uncertain times.
As much as restaurants have lost business because of COVID restrictions, they have taken on the challenge of delivering top notch takeout and delivery. Grocery stores and pharmacies have upped their services of delivery as well. It is easier than it has ever been to get door-to-door delivery in Kamloops.
Business after business has found ways to adapt. Some require appointments in advance. Others have markings on the floor. Others send out newsletters to keep us informed.
As much as we’ve adapted, we all know that the rules will keep changing again, probably multiple times. Just when we figure out what to do, we will all have to pivot and change our behaviours again.
COVID may get worse before it gets better. Our dear frail and elderly still need all of us to be as vigilant as possible.
But vigilant does not mean joyless. Whether spending time with family, or linking up online with friends we’ve found ways to connect. Whether supporting a local restaurant, or a new business we are all helping our community get through the worst of the economic impacts of COVID. Whether lighting up the neighborhood or creating new holiday traditions, we’ll find ways to celebrate the season.
The COVID health toll may get worse. But our strengths will help us find positive ways to get through it.
Nancy Bepple is a former City councillor of Kamloops with a strong interest in community building projects.