As I filled out yet another form for my doctor verifying that I have not been out of Revelstoke nor exposed to someone with COVID-19. I SCREAMED. What’s the point of asking me if I am staying “local” when the rest of Canada is flooding our town?
Like much of B.C., many of us in Revelstoke have been isolated, locked down, wearing masks, minimizing contact, getting take out, not having church except by Zoom, not going to our work places and not skiing at our hill for fear of getting exposed to the virus in the busy lift line, restaurants or gondola.
Yet we are overwhelmed with tourists from B.C. and more so from Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan and Alberta coming into Revelstoke to stay, ski, and especially snow mobile. Scores of sledders from Alberta and Saskatchewan come here for a weekend – in the middle of a pandemic?
Who is encouraging and organizing this non-sanctioned travel? People are also coming for the weekend from Vancouver and Kelowna – to Revelstoke to play, hike, ski and recreate. This is not essential travel. They are asked to stay at home. The businesses appreciate the extra income but employees and Revelstoke residents are at greater risk. It’s really difficult for Revy locals to stay COVID-19 safe – especially in the last few weeks and with spring break coming. I see no way we will make it out of this pandemic without another nightmare third wave this spring, even though some of our most vulnerable have been vaccinated.
There are many many more who have not been inoculated including a friend who will turn 87 this week. I want her to be safe. I feel these outsiders coming here to play risk her health and that of many others in my town, including me. I am very much discouraged.
However, I am very supportive of the accelerated vaccination plan, and think Dr. Henry is on the right track immunizing every one once as fast as possible. I hope we can accelerate to have all immunized by Canada Day and that we will get more vaccinations available by June, once the U.S. has vaccinated all its citizens as expected by May. I am not confident many of us will make it that long as the influx of outsiders into Revelstoke that has increased lately. I know we are all frustrated and tired of this pandemic, but please respect our town and stay home, and play locally, and be COVID-19 safe. Please come back when the pandemic is over.