People continue to gather at English Bay despite social distancing rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. (Gerry Green/Twitter)

Smithers woman in Vancouver says more needs to be done to crack down on the spread of COVID-19

Ms Bork was shocked when she got to YVR and saw people not obeying provincial health doctor’s orders

A Smithers woman spending time in Vancouver is calling on the provincial government to enforce strict rules to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Michaela Bork had to fly down to Vancouver last week for surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital.

She flew Air Canada and said her plane only had a handful of people on it.

But when she got to the city, she was surprised by how many people were not listening to the calls from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to keep at least two metres apart from other people.

“I came here by Canada line from the airport and there were groups of young people standing together in the train to waterfront station,” she said. “They were chatting and laughing about people taking this virus thing so seriously. I was shocked how they laughed about something as serious as our health. I went to Costco, for some items I needed for my hospital stay for surgery and again shocked how crowded it was and no physical distancing at all, especially at the cashier station. Things were there like on a regular Wednesday afternoon. No masks, no sanitation areas, no sanitizer for customers to use.”

Bork took extra precautions such as wearing gloves and a mask while she was travelling. Also, her husband stayed in Smithers because of the unknowns of the pandemic. She wishes other people were also being just as careful.

“Downtown areas were busy with people walking, checking if restaurants are open or coffee shops. Some even asked me for cigarettes. Unbelievable. My opinion is the Health Minister should enforce now stricter rules to get this under control. To save us all from the virus spreading as well as from the anti-social behaving citizens.”

Bork said the province needs to implement rules to keep everyone safe.

“It was crazy. I was upset to see how unprotected people go on to everything, how they touch everything. I was in the food section (at Costco), I didn’t even buy anything. People were grabbing the bags with fruit in them and then putting them back. If someone has it [COVID-19] and then the next person grabs it, they have it to. I didn’t feel comfortable there. There was nothing to sanitize your hands with in the store. I was shocked. I expected more safety and control in Vancouver.”

However, at the hospital she is in good hands, she said,.

“Every person that comes into the door is checked, they have their hands sanitized and are measured for a fever. I feel safe. The care here is amazing. Everything is calm. The ward I am in is calm. They aren’t doing elective surgeries, so it isn’t as busy as when I was here in January. The only people who really need surgery are here, like me whose wound didn’t close. [from her previous in surgery.]”

Bork has to stay at the hospital to recover from her surgery for at least the next ten days. She hasn’t booked her return flight home yet but will now have to travel to Terrace and have someone pick her up from there because the Smithers airpot has been shut down for the month of April.

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