Stay safe. Stay at home.
That’s the message from British Columbia authorities. There’s an emergency health order in effect advising people not to travel for non-essential reasons.
Stay inside your health region. Another blow to struggling tourism businesses.
I haven’t done an update for awhile on British Columbia and the coronavirus pandemic, so here’s what’s going on in my part of the world.
No Christmas gatherings
There’s an emergency health law that has been in effect since November 19, 2020 and was extended to January 8, 2021.
That law prohibits social gatherings at your house for people who do not live there.
You can not have visitors and guests and host any parties!
No Christmas dinners for people who don’t live in your household.
No gatherings inside the house and not in the yard either.
Christmas events like the Stanley Park train and Cloverdale’s Santa parade were cancelled.
The restrictions went into effect to reduce Covid-19 transmissions and flatten the curve.
What about singles?
If you live alone, like me, you’re allowed to have one or two people visit your home.
This could be your significant other, a friend, or a relative. This should be a person or two that you consider inside your core bubble.
A single can also meet up with another person and go for a walk.
On November 19, 2020, it also became mandatory to wear face coverings inside places like shops, banks, restaurants (except when eating), offices, malls, and other business places that are open to the public.
If you refuse to wear a face mask or shield, you’re subject to a $230 fine. Now that would be if someone called the cops and you weren’t fast enough to book it out of there! Ha ha!
You’re also subject to a $230 fine if you refuse to mask up after being told by law enforcement and if you’re being belligerent in a public place.
In other words, someone can get fined three times by $230 for one incident.
US/Canada land border still closed
Travelers are still not able to drive their cars back and forth between Canada and America.
That applies to visitors and shoppers.
The land border is open to essential travelers.
The order does not restrict air travel in and out of British Columbia, but a two week quarantine period is in effect for people arriving by plane into B.C.
New coronavirus cases in British Columbia have been high for several weeks. About 500 to 800 new cases daily.
Since the pandemic started, there have been over 45,000 cases and 724 deaths in our province.
That’s the other sad thing. Deaths have been in the double digits lately, mostly residents in long term care nursing homes.
I expect I’ll have a few months to go before my age group will be eligible to receive a vaccine.
Canada is expected to recive 168,000 doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine before the end of December, 2020.
BC Recovery Benefit
The province of British Columbia announced some financial assistance to residents.
A one time payment of $1,000 to families or $500 to singles with incomes lower than $175,000.
Uh, that would probably be most of us!
I think the threshold should have been a lot lower. Do people earning over $100,000 really need an extra thousand bucks?
It would sure be nice if the payment was higher for low-income residents. Or ongoing for a few months.
At any rate, I applied for my $500 and hope it hits my bank account soon.
If you’re a resident of British Columbia, use this link to apply: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/recovery-benefit