Researched, Curated, Fact-Checked Covid-19 Information for Osoyoos, BC, Neighbours and Neighbors
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.
As the coronavirus shows signs of starting a comeback in B.C. and Alberta and it rages out of control in the U.S., a fundamental question remains confusing for some: “How is the virus spread and what can be done to stop it?”
It doesn’t help that especially in the early days, considerable misinformation and contradictory information was put out by organizations we rely on for answers – the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
I don’t believe for one minute Donald Trump’s recent retweet from a game show host, Chuck Woolery, who claimed the CDC and others are “lying” to the American people.
The B.C. government released new statistics on June 23 to bolster the case for moving to Phase 3 of reopening, now that Covid-19 cases have been reduced to a manageable level.
Phase 3 permits non-essential and recreational travel to other parts of the province as the summer season gets underway. In reality, people have been doing this kind of travel for weeks anyway as there never was a legal ban on non-essential travel in the province – just a recommendation.
The Osoyoos Festival Society had to cancel the July 1, 2020 Cherry Fiesta and Canada Day celebrations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Instead, they’ve decided to hold a “virtual” celebration to mark the usual all-day event, producing a short video in which Mayor Sue McKortoff calls on people to find their own way to celebrate safely.
The video features members of the Festival Society at Gyro Park, including President Lyn Motkoski and Ken Baker dressed as giant cherries. It was filmed by Richard McGuire.
As Susan Dodd sings an a capella O Canada, images of the crowds and events at previous Cherry Fiestas are shown. Annette Star of the Fireworks Committee invites people to attend a bigger and better display in 2021.
Click the four-arrow icon to the left of “Vimeo” on the bottom right to watch in full-screen mode. (Runs 2:54 min)
Members of Artists on Main Osoyoos show their paintings in the June “Life Goes On Virtual Gallery.”
This is the third “Virtual Gallery” offered by OsoyoosPersists.ca and featuring the work of local artists. The Art Gallery Osoyoos has been closed since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The gallery now plans to open on June 13 for its Summer Artisan Market, but opening hours will be restricted and other measures aimed at keeping the public safe will also be implemented. Continue reading “Life Goes On: Artists on Main show their work in Virtual Gallery”
Haynes Point (swiws) Provincial Park is one of the most pleasant places to walk or bicycle in Osoyoos.
Along with other provincial parks, it was closed throughout most of April and early May in part because people on the Lower Mainland were crowding into parks in that part of the province and failing to physically distance.
Haynes Point reopened for day use only last Thursday, May 14.
As B.C. and other jurisdictions around the world begin to lift physical distancing measures, how will we know how well it’s working?
Human behaviour never exactly mirrors the measures implemented by governments. Some people defy guidelines to stay at least at least two metres apart in public. On the other hand, just because a nail salon or gym opens again, it doesn’t mean people will return in pre-Covid-19 numbers. The public makes its own judgments about what is safe.
It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I would argue that a map is worth much more.
Can maps provide valuable information about the coronavirus pandemic? Absolutely.
I’ve had a fascination with maps since I was a young boy and used to buy topographic maps with my allowance. I enjoyed geography in school and when I studied political science and political economy in university, I took courses in human geography and statistics. Later, in one of my jobs, I used geomatics to analyze public opinion data.
Geomatics is defined as a “discipline concerned with the collection, distribution, storage, analysis, processing, presentation of geographic data or geographic information.” It’s related to GIS (geographic information system), which pertains more to the software used for this analysis.
Barbershops were among the businesses ordered to close in B.C. on March 21. My regular barbershop closed about a week earlier just as I realized I badly needed a haircut.
At the time, I joked that I would have to grow hippie hair. But by early April, my hair was growing wild and out of control and the extra weight was starting to hurt my neck. OK, that’s exaggerating a bit, but I wanted a cut.
Potter Darlene Fillion and her daughter Tracy Fillion were originally scheduled to open an exhibition on May 2 at The Art Gallery Osoyoos titled “Textiles and Clay: Kindred Hands.”
With the gallery closed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Osoyoos Persists Life Goes On Virtual Gallery is featuring some of their work, just as last month we featured Focus 2020 from the Osoyoos Photography Club.
In recent weeks attention has shifted from the primary goal of containing the spread of the coronavirus outbreak to asking whether it’s time to start reopening the economy and relaxing restrictions.
The rate of new Covid-19 cases has been leveling off in B.C., fewer people are being hospitalized and even fewer are in intensive care.
People who have been staying at home and physically distancing in public are getting antsy – especially those with young children underfoot.
And while some businesses are doing well in these unusual times, overall the economy has slowed to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Workers are laid off, and many businesses that were already struggling may not recover, even when the virus is gone.