An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
IT WAS SURREAL to walk downtown on Saturday through the throngs attending Hot Nite in the City. It actually wasn’t hot, with temperatures in the 20s, and it wasn’t night, since it wrapped up at 5, but it was certainly busy.
Really busy. The word ‘surreal’ applies because, while it was real, it was something we haven’t had a chance to experience for almost two years. Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, we’ve been used to avoiding crowds, staying away from each other. This was like old times.
So, surreal, yes, but also unsettling. There was hardly a mask in sight. Not a hint of social distancing. This was an opportunity to break out of the pandemic stew, and thousands did so.
Families, kids, old folks and dogs happily strolled Victoria Street and the side streets, admiring brightly coloured restorations, newer vehicles and contraptions the origins of which remain a mystery. Music and a sense of celebration were in the air.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.