The battle against COVID-19 continues. B.C. is continuing to see record-breaking numbers, with single day numbers far surpassing what had been weekend totals only a few weeks ago. Our curve is quickly rising and not flattening.
With this continued increase in COVID-19 in B.C., Dr. Henry has imposed restrictions on interactions in the Lower Mainland for the next two weeks. These include limiting interactions to only household members, stricter screening questions from employers, temporarily stopping of indoor fitness activities and limiting weddings and funerals to immediate family only, to name a few.
That is down south and does not affect us, you say? To a certain extent this is true. We do not have the population or the COVID numbers that the Lower Mainland are experiencing. However, Smithers now has direct flights to and from Vancouver four times a week. This is great for our town and our economy, but poses an increased risk as well. This direct link is very different from in the spring, when we as a community were relatively sheltered from what was happening south of us. Northern Health is also reporting higher numbers of positive cases than in the spring. These cases are being closely monitored by public health.
Public health has not extended these restrictions to anywhere else in the province, but perhaps we should not ignore what is being enforced elsewhere. Now is the time to learn from others, for each of us to examine our daily activities and strongly consider stopping or modifying ones that would be deemed higher risk without needing orders to do so.
Consider curbside pick up, doing take out instead of dining in and participating in events virtually. By making these changes and continuing to do our part to slow the spread is the best chance we have to keep our schools and businesses open.
Another reminder of something we all can do without directly being told to, is wearing a mask anytime we are in a public space. This is not an order, but an expectation of everyone. It is well documented now in this pandemic that if all parties are wearing non-medical grade masks the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is greatly diminished. We also know that being in a well-ventilated space, and minimizing the time you spend in enclosed spaces with others helps stop the spread.
The medical community continues to be here working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy and we need everyone to do their part to do the same. It has been a long, hard year and if we want to have the best chance of not repeating it in the new year, we must all continue to do our part to stop the spread.
As always wash your hands, stay home if you are sick, avoid high risk interactions as much as possible and stay safe.
And in the words of Dr. Bonnie Henry: “Be kind, be calm and be safe.”
Bulkley Valley Medical Community