Residents of Mill Springs Village have worked out a simple but effective way to help each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Citizen file)

Cowichan Valley strata using yellow caution tape to tie neighbourhood together during crisis

A simple but effective solution to helping each other despite social distancing

Typically, when you see yellow caution tape it means stay away, that something bad has happened on the other side of the tape. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the residents of the Mill Springs Village strata neighbourhood in Mill Bay have come up with a simple but potentially effective plan to use that tape to prevent those types of unfortunate events.

“With the spread of COVID-19, there is concern that the most vulnerable within Mill Springs Village community may need assistance in the days and weeks ahead,” explained strata manager Melissa Ruyter. “As the situation unfolds, some of our residents may be reluctant, or unable to ask for help when help is needed.”

That’s where the yellow caution tape comes in. Rolls of it have been placed at the four community mailboxes and residents are encouraged to tear off a two-foot strip and bring it home. The purpose?

“If, in the times ahead, affected residents need urgent help acquiring medications, supplies, etc, place the yellow caution ribbon on your front door or somewhere it can be seen from the road. Write your phone number on the ribbon. Someone from the community will call and try to assist,” Ruyter explained.

Community members out for a walk or driving by can keep an eye out and the community can look out for each other despite staying safely apart.

The Shawnigan Lake RCMP has been notified of the initiative and will also keep an eye out during their patrols.

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Strata council president Kevin Little said the council was just trying to come up with ways to help the community “in the midst of all this mess that’s going on.”

With 267 homes in the strata development, not everybody knows their neighbours.

“We are a community with a lot of seniors and a lot are single, a lot are terrified. How do we let them know they’re not alone?” Little said. “Not everybody has emails. Some seniors just don’t participate. We’ve asked everybody, if you have a neighbour who doesn’t use the internet or email to take the ribbon to them and explain [from a distance] how the program works.

The yellow tape solution seemed easy enough.

“It’s simple and it should work,” Little added. “I would hope other communities would pick up on it. It’s just so cheap and easy to do.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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