Column: Shopping bravado won’t help flatten the curve

Column: Shopping bravado won’t help flatten the curve

The View From Here by Martha Wickett

A plywood company gives its entire supply of face masks to Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver where at least three staff tested positive for coronavirus.

A family in the Lower Mainland buys up all the face masks it can and then sets up a stand, selling them for $20 each.

This has been COVID-19, a pandemic of contrasts, where people are kind and wildly generous, and people are thoughtless and greedy.

It’s easy to see why people take more than they need, leaving others with nothing. It’s based in fear. Few of us have lived anything like this before. Somehow bathroom cupboards bulging with toilet paper must bring a sense of security and control.

But it’s the people who dismiss the danger who are truly alarming. Those whose bravado includes standing close to other people at the grocery store, carrying on as if nothing is different, ignoring directives.

Read more: World COVID-19 afternoon update: Trump lashes out at critics, grim milestone for France

Read more: Interior Health cancels day programs, priorizes admissions to protect seniors receiving care

Read more: Too much information? Here is a compilation of Salmon Arm details so far

If B.C. manages to ‘flatten the curve’ and keep the number of people who get the virus a gradual incline rather than a steep spike, it’s these people who will be the first to say, “See, everyone panicked for nothing.”

The truth is, it is not panic that closes schools and offices and businesses and tells people to stay home or, at least, two metres away from each other. It is an informed, knowledgeable and rational strategy for limiting the spread and preventing a long-term crisis. People with no symptoms can carry the virus. As of March 21 there were 1,430 confirmed cases and 20 deaths in Canada; 424 in B.C. and 10 deaths, with 27 of B.C.’s confirmed cases in Interior Health. As of March 23, there were 294,110 confirmed cases worldwide and 12, 944 deaths.

People around the world have been celebrating health-care workers, the heroes in this pandemic, who give everything to help others. It is these health-care workers and the system they operate in that the person with a swagger who dismisses all directives should take a minute to think about.

They are already overwhelmed with demands. What happens when thousands more are suddenly sick? What happens to health care? What happens to the economy then?

The smugness of the person who thinks they know better than the top doctors just might falter when their parents or their friend or their kids or they get sick with coronavirus. If, for whatever reason, they need a doctor, medication, a hospital bed or maybe a ventilator – there may be none.

Please. Self isolate. Keep six feet away from others. Wash your hands.

It’s that simple and it’s that important.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#Salmon ArmCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Canadian Mental Health Association Shuswap Revelstoke’s homeless outreach coordinator Carly Shipmaker and practicum student Sarena Bryden take a turn on Thursday, May 6 on the stationary bike. They were cycling under the blue sun canopy outside the CMHA thrift shop to promote Mental Health Week and to prepare for this year’s Ride Don’t Hide event in June. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Getting the wheels turning for Salmon Arm’s Ride Don’t Hide event

Canadian Mental Health Association awareness and fundraising campaign to run throughout June

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

Interior Health provided updated data breaking down the vaccine administration totals in communities throughout the region on Monday, May 3, 2021. (File photo)
Nearly 40% of Shuswap adults vaccinated

More than 12,000 people in the Salmon Arm health area received their first COVID-19 vaccine

Ian Syme gets ready to swing the bat during skills training and picture day for Salmon Arm Minor Baseball 6U players at the Hillcrest Elementary field on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Young Salmon Arm ballplayers in training

Salmon Arm Minor Baseball Association seeking sponsorships for batting cage

The monthly totals from Jan.1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 show COVID-19 cases for most Local Health Areas in the North Okanagan-Shuswap, other than Vernon’s with the largest population, staying well below 400. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)
16 months in, COVID cases in North Okanagan-Shuswap areas stay under 1,000

Vernon, with the largest population, hovers under 900 cases since January 2020

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

The Primary Urgent Care Centre on Martin Street officially opened on March 31, 2021. (Brennan Phillips)
Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District reverses funding decision on care centre

Approval now granted to fund $1 million for Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Penticton

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin checking drivers on BC highways

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
New temporary outdoor shelter in Kelowna opens

The new area on Richter Street and Weddell Place replaces the Baillie Avenue site

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read