Osoyoos Persists is about helping residents of Osoyoos, B.C. and visitors to live as normally and safely as possible.
We are entering a pandemic that we will most likely need to live through for many months — not just until April or summer. It’s not going to be easy, but if we can work together, our community can persist.
I’m Richard McGuire. Many of you know me from my work at the Osoyoos Times from 2012 to 2018 where I served first as a reporter and then as editor. Some of you may be familiar with my landscape photography and photojournalism.
Fewer of you know that along with my career in journalism, I also worked 14 years in Ottawa, both at the House of Commons and as a political staffer plunked into the federal bureaucracy. I was working in government during the SARS epidemic of 2003, not in the bureaucracy, but communicating with an MP’s constituents.
I don’t have a public health or medical background, but I know where to find reliable information and how to present it factually in a way that informs readers. I will be drawing on the vast knowledge of experts.
A few things to note:
This site is my gift to the community during this crisis. It is not a commercial venture.
I want to add to the information available, rather than replace anybody.
I support the work that Sannah Fletcher is doing with her Osoyoos Loop Facebook page to create a discussion forum for the community. That’s the place to go for wide-ranging community discussions and posts from people in Osoyoos and nearby.
I will not be doing the kind of reporting that Editor Dale Boyd and Reporter Sophie Gray do at my old home, the Osoyoos Times. But I will be applying my journalistic skills.
And hats off too to other local media — Brock Jackson at iHeart Radio to name just one among others.
As this website unfolds, I will be inviting more community participation. This site won’t host the freewheeling discussions you can find on Osoyoos Loop. But it will welcome content from knowledgeable members of the community, and there will be a place for thoughtful public discussion.
My idea in creating this site is to encourage community resiliency and persistence. But in my opening paragraph, I suggested this site is about helping people to “live as normally and safely as possible.”
These are stressful times and nothing will really be normal. But locking ourselves up in total isolation isn’t fun and can be bad for people’s mental health. Part of this site’s focus will be helping people to find activities and services that keep them in contact with each other — while maintaining appropriately safe social distancing.
I have ideas and I welcome yours. Stay safe and healthy.