OsoyoosPersists.ca, website on surviving the pandemic in our community, officially launches

Richard McGuire

A new website, OsoyoosPersists.ca, has launched to provide the Osoyoos, B.C. community and area with localized information about the Covid-19 pandemic.

The non-commercial site is the project of Richard McGuire, a semi-retired journalist and photographer living in Osoyoos.

The site, which “soft-launched” on Friday, March 20, will provide researched, curated and fact-checked information with a focus on this community.

“I plan to complement and work with existing media,” said McGuire, who worked as a reporter and later editor at the Osoyoos Times between 2012 and 2018.

“Professional news sources like the Osoyoos Times, Oliver Chronicle and EZ Rock radio are best able to do day-to-day reporting,” said McGuire. “And for public discussion, the Osoyoos Loop Facebook page is a well-run forum used by thousands already. I’ll direct people to those sources where appropriate, as well as to public health and other official websites.”

OsoyoosPersists.ca will provide information on such topics as survival tips, mental health, finding help and community resources.

“The priority now is to provide links to essential public health information,” said McGuire.

“But the pandemic will likely last longer than many people realize. The next focus will be to provide tools and ideas to help people live as normally as can be done safely under the circumstances.”

For example, the Osoyoos Photography Club was preparing for an exhibition in April at The Art Gallery Osoyoos. That exhibition was cancelled, but OsoyoosPersists.ca will be hosting a virtual gallery so that people can see the exhibition online.

“Last Friday night, I watched local musicians Wildfire Gypsies livestream an informal concert over YouTube,” said McGuire. “There’s no reason to stop living our lives, but we need to adapt to be safe. Technology like this provides a way.”

McGuire is reaching out to others in the community to network about ideas.

“At this time my focus is to build the site and provide links to essential information,” said McGuire. “Going forward though, I’ll be looking to people with relevant expertise to contribute content.”

The site remains in development as content is added.

By working together as a community, we can persist and get through the pandemic, McGuire said.

Author: Richard McGuire

Richard McGuire is an Osoyoos photographer who worked at the Osoyoos Times between 2012 and 2018, first as reporter and then as editor. He has a long career in journalism as well as research, communication and management at the House of Commons in Ottawa and in the federal government.