A message from Mayor McCormick - March 21st, 2020
There is no way to have a short opinion post today!
Uncertain times call for calm and reason. As uncomfortable as that feels.
Let’s not try and be the smarter people in the room. It is not true and it is not helpful. And there are no conspiracies. Until the scientific community discovers specifics about COVID-19, things will remain uncertain. We need to give these people the slack they need to get their jobs done. Once we have certainly about the behavior of the virus, the plan to recovery – health wise and economically – can begin. Until then we need to be patient and follow the direction of the Provincial and Federal Health officials.
Make no mistake, those who are less than 50 years old are a big part of the problem unless they too quarantine. In Kimberley, 23% of our population is 65 or older. That is 1800 people. Add to that those younger than 65 who have compromised health conditions – cancer, asthma, arthritis, heart disease, etc, and we can add at least another 1000 or so people to the ‘compromised’ list. Those are big numbers in our community. Our biggest health risk is spreading the virus to those that are compromised, and all 8,000 of us are possible carriers.
In the last few days, the futility of being out and about has hit home. It is impossible to clean or disinfect every surface, every aisle or can in the supermarket, every dish or fork in a restaurant, every chair inside or out. The 2 meter social distancing, while helpful, does not even come close to making things safe. Identified cases are from testing, which realistically is a very small subset of what is really in our communities.
I trust Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC's Provincial Health Officer, implicitly. We need to do exactly what she is telling us to do on all levels. It is becoming increasingly difficult as the restrictions tighten, but it is exactly what we need to do. The City of Kimberley is taking its direction from the Provincial and Federal health authorities. Our first responsibility is to our staff. Second is ensuring that core City services are available through whatever this crisis brings. You can see specific measures and status by regularly checking the City Facebook page, our website and the various media channels. Staff are working hard to communicate all we know in a timely manner.
I appreciate that we are all down a path that is causing economic grief. Once the virus is no longer a mystery, and the path to minimizing it in place, we can deal with economic recovery…whatever that might look like.
Until then, stay informed; stay calm; be supportive…and we will successfully ride this out!