Guest Comment: A pandemic survival guide for B.C. wineries – How to weather the coronavirus

Grapes ripen in a vineyard of the South Okanagan. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

By Al Hudec

Introduction

Surviving Covid-19 requires that winery owners be quick to comprehend the overall severity of the pandemic, accept the economic reality of the situation and adjust their business plans accordingly.

The immediate impact of the pandemic has been a significant increase in overall wine and liquor sales, coupled with a seismic shift in distribution channels. Consumers in isolation are both increasing consumption and stockpiling in the face of ongoing uncertainty. Sales through the tasting room and restaurant channels have collapsed; replaced by dramatic increases in direct delivery/internet sales and in the liquor retail and grocery sales channels.

Recovery will be mostly up to us – our hard work, persistence and innovation. But government needs to help by reforming some of the rules that have slowed industry growth and which will now impede our recovery. Examples include the restrictions on the interprovincial shipment of wine, the prohibitions on secondary tasting rooms and the unavailability of wholesale pricing to restaurants in the hospitality industry. Removal of these restrictions would do much to aid the recovery. Continue reading “Guest Comment: A pandemic survival guide for B.C. wineries – How to weather the coronavirus”

As border closure extended, Canada and U.S. take very different approaches to pandemic

Closure of the Canada-U.S. border to non-essential travel has been extended for another 30 days. The two countries have taken very different approaches to the Covid-19 pandemic based on their different political cultures. (Richard McGuire Photo)

When U.S. President Donald Trump mused last week about reopening the Canada-U.S. border, there were gasps from many Canadians, fearing an influx of Covid-infected Americans.

At a time when most Canadian provinces – Quebec and Ontario being the exceptions – have been gaining some control over the spread of the novel coronavirus, the situation in the U.S. is raging out of control.

But Trump has no more power to unilaterally open the border than he has to force states to scrap their social distancing measures. And Canadian authorities quickly responded that it was too soon.

Today, Saturday, April 18, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the two countries had agreed to extend the closure a further 30 days. Continue reading “As border closure extended, Canada and U.S. take very different approaches to pandemic”

VIDEO: For 75th birthday, Brock Paton gets a rare surprise that’s special in the time of Covid-19

Osoyoos resident Brock Paton got are rare surprise for his 75th birthday on Friday, April 10. Dozens of friends drove by the home of Paton and his wife Cathie to deliver a gift that’s hard to find in the time of Covid-19. (© Richard McGuire for OsoyoosPersists.ca)

Osoyoos resident Brock Paton got are rare surprise for his 75th birthday on Friday, April 10. Dozens of friends drove by the home of Paton and his wife Cathie to deliver a gift that’s hard to find in the time of Covid-19. (© Richard McGuire for OsoyoosPersists.ca)

Play video below. Click the icon with four arrows to the left of the word “Vimeo” to view at full screen.

Getting exercise is essential, but don’t forget physical distancing

A senior couple takes a quiet walk at Haynes Point (swiws) Provincial Park on Tuesday, April 7, one day before all BC provincial parks were closed. Physical distancing was easy with a wide roadway and the few people who were there were good about physical distancing. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Getting exercise and fresh air is essential for your physical and mental health, even during these times of physical distancing and isolation. More accurately, especially during these times when many people are under stress.

Walking is great exercise that most people can do. It restores the mind and body. I find I sleep better if I’ve had a chance to take a good walk.

But mixed messages from public health authorities have left many people confused about what they can and can’t do to get exercise.

Some interpret the message to “stay home” a little too literally as meaning you shouldn’t step outside your door. Worse, these people sometimes make it their mission to attack others who might go out for fresh air.

But health authorities have been clear that getting outside and exercising is necessary, although you need to adhere to guidelines on physical distancing. Stay at least two metres apart from others and don’t congregate in groups. Continue reading “Getting exercise is essential, but don’t forget physical distancing”

Canada, U.S. agencies reverse advice on homemade masks, now supporting their use

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now providing advice to people on how to wear homemade masks. (Credit: CDC)

Health agencies in Canada and the U.S. have now done a 180-degree turn on their previous advice that healthy people should not wear homemade face masks.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s public health officer, in the past has opposed the use of homemade masks, arguing that they give people a false sense of security and that people might spread infection when they remove the masks. She continues to make those arguments.

But facing pressure as a growing number of countries introduce requirements for face covering in public, along with growing evidence that homemade masks can help when used in conjunction with physical distancing and hand washing, Tam relented on Monday (April 6). Continue reading “Canada, U.S. agencies reverse advice on homemade masks, now supporting their use”

How are you managing with social distancing? Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert makes a difference

For introverts, who know the pleasure of reading, isolation isn’t so bad. For extroverts, it’s a struggle. (Photo: ESB Professional licensed from Shutterstock)

Most of us are worried about ourselves or a loved one getting sick with Covid-19. But are you paying as much attention to your mental health?

We worry about illness, losing wage income, and for some people, losing small businesses they’ve spent years building.

But for some people isolation can be the biggest cause of stress. We’re used to being around people and some of us don’t know how to deal with being alone.

It can make a big difference if you are an extrovert or introvert. Extroverts are energized being around other people. Introverts often enjoy people, especially one-to-one, but they need time alone, especially to recover from intense social situations. Continue reading “How are you managing with social distancing? Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert makes a difference”