In the neighbourhood: Folks in B.C. just want you to stay away until it’s safe again

There’s widespread support for Dr. Bonnie Henry’s latest directive, in which she for the first time specified staying in your own neighbourhood

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There’s coronavirus fatigue, then there’s the general weariness and frustration of saying over-and-over for 13 months now: Stay home!

There was an enough-is-enough feeling from people who got in touch with Postmedia News, reacting to the latest directive from Dr. Bonnie Henry to not venture out of your own neighbourhood unless it’s necessary.

“For over a year our neighbourhood has been swarming with people who clearly do not live here,” White Rock’s Shelley Morgan said.

She has to drive to 0 Avenue to get to her home and passes Peace Arch park on her way, a patch of grass between the U.S. and Canadian border that on nice days can have a Lollapalooza atmosphere, there are so many people mingling.

“Every weekend you will see a sea of tents as if you were at a festival,” Morgan said. “It’s jaw-dropping.

“Do I want these restrictions? Yes! You can speak to anyone in the vicinity of Peace Arch park and the conversation is the same. We’re fed up with the disrespect to our homes and health.”


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On Monday, Henry told B.C. residents to stay in your immediate neighbourhood as much as possible.

Shane Constantinescu lives in Langley but has a place near Salmon Arm. He went there during the past week because his mom was admitted to hospital.

“On my drive back on Sunday, I noticed a crazy amount of Alberta cars on the Coq headed west,” he said. 

Some stores, he added, cater to the Albertans who have recreation property in the area with signs stating: ‘We won’t judge your licence plates’.

Some said Henry hasn’t been firm enough, others that she sends out mixed signals.

Why, for instance, are airports open? Chris Wilkinson wondered. The new variants weren’t introduced by someone hiking or meeting a friend for lunch inside a restaurant, he said.

“For a lockdown to be worthy of public respect, there needs to be a believable outcome where it’s successful at curbing the spread of COVID-19,” he said. “In our case, our governments have granted exemptions to airlines, shopping malls, big-box stores, ferries, bus companies, liquor stores, K-12 schools and public transit.”

He’s not disputing whether exemptions are right or wrong, he said.

“But what I will say is that locking down small business or asking people to not go hiking or to a park in another health region simply won’t move the numbers either way.”

In Squamish, they’re worried that the COVID-19 outbreak that happened previously in Whistler will happen there next, Nikki Rotmeyer said.


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“Squamish is literally overrun with people from out of the region every weekend, its brutal,” she said. “We’ve called for checks on the highway but that’s falling on deaf ears. Many of us literally sit in our homes all weekend until Monday when we can do our shopping, etc. It’s not just provincial, many plates are from out of the province, out of the country.

“This is so wrong and no one seems to care.”

In Kamloops, hiking enthusiast Amanda Davidson raised the concern of physical and mental health.

“Dr. Henry needs to stop tiptoeing around and just shut the province down again, but accept that people will go camping to get out in the fresh air,” Davidson said. “She is not supporting those with mental issues, but is creating more turbulence for them.

“If Dr. Henry wants us to stay in our ‘hoods, camping needs to go. She keeps saying no indoor gatherings, so we meet everyone outside. This is where the confusion lies: One day do this, but the next day don’t.

“It has to be one way or another.”


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