Joel Adams, director of finance for the Vancouver Island Regional Library, at the front of the large crowd assembled for the Chemainus library grand opening. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Endurance test hits two months

Period of restrictions likely to have some lasting effects

Two months ago on March 7, a large crowd gathered for the grand opening of the Vancouver Island Regional Library’s new Chemainus branch.

That was about the last significant crowd of any size in Chemainus, as COVID-19 restrictions started to take effect in this area about a week later.

We might be starting to sound like a broken record, but that seems like a long time ago.

Two months in the grand scheme of things isn’t a long time. But it’s been an eternity for businesses shut down for that duration and many owner/operators, not just here but around the globe, have seen lifetime investments go up in smoke.

People have said we should have been better prepared and shut things down sooner. It’s all hindsight now, but plenty of high-profile individuals like Microsoft’s Bill Gates issued warnings long ago about a pending pandemic that predominantly fell on deaf ears.

But let’s face it, it’s like preparing for an earthquake. Experts continually warn us the big one is coming and, yet, if you did a poll of the local population you’d probably find less than 10 per cent have really taken it seriously and made the necessary precautions.

Same with a pandemic. It sounded so far-fetched, no one really felt a great need to launch a readiness plan into action.

But here we are, now all the wiser for not making a better effort to heed the warnings.

Disasters or serious issues don’t usually hit on a global scale, making COVID-19 all the more unique in that respect. No one certainly ever thought every person on the planet would have to adhere to the same guidelines at the same time.

So now we’re faced with how to open up and get our lives back on track without a potential larger outbreak of the virus than what we’re dealing with right now.

We keep hearing about the “new reality” and what shape that will take remains to be seen.

Writing about COVID-19 every week and being inundated with it on television newscasts is getting exhausting. But we are truly all in this together and need complete information and teamwork to get through this without taking out a large chunk of civilized life as we know it.


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