There is a lot to report today but I’ll try to keep it succinct. Unfortunately not a lot of it is great news.
First up, the government of BC is looking into re-opening schools for the children of essential workers. The plan is to make sure there is enough space so the kids all keep a minimum of 2 metres for physical distancing. There is some concern that many children will not follow distancing procedures, and that in turn could lead to essential workers becoming infected and needing to isolate. There are also plans being worked on that would involve online learning. More info can be found here.
Keeping on the theme of stuff the BC Government is doing, the renters relief of up to $500 per month is looking more and more like it will be per rental location, and not per person. This is based on confirmation that the payment will be made directly to the landlord. If this is true, it means that multiple room mates in a shared accommodation will only be able to receive up to $500 combined relief for their total rent.
More local news: Vancouver is now seeing a significant increase in commercial break-ins at businesses closed due to COVID-19. In some places number have nearly quadrupled what would otherwise be considered normal. Many businesses downtown have begun boarding up windows to help prevent future theft. More info can be found here.
In the GOOD news department (sorry there isn’t a lot today), Translink is now designating roughly half the seats on their buses as being “unavailable” to better enforce social distancing. This comes quickly after a few unsettling photos began circulating of uncomfortably full buses with every seat occupied, due likely in part to reduced bus service during the pandemic. More info can be found here.
Moving now to general Canadian news, reports are now coming in from Canadian travelers returning from abroad that they feel they must conceal their symptoms of illness (if they have any), as it is their only way of returning home to Canada. More info can be found here.
Looking to our neighbors to the South now, the USA is now the country with the most known total cases of COVID-19. Worse than that, hospitals in several states are now openly discussing a shift in policy to a generalized “Do No Resuscitate” order for COVID-19 patients, in the hope that this will stem emergency care givers becoming infected. More info can be found here.
And now some international news. Iceland has made the decision to test a very large portion of their population, in the hopes of learning more about COVID-19 and how it spreads. With approximately 3% of their total population now tested, they believe they have determined that possibly 50% of all COVID-19 cases may be asymptomatic. More info can be found here.
With all that has been going on lately, I would like to encourage everyone to touch base with your friends and loved ones, and see how they’re doing. Take a short walk outside when nobody else is around, or maybe take a relaxing bath. Take the time to treat yourself to whatever self care you need. These are difficult times, and it looks like it’s still going to get worse before it gets better. But it WILL get better.
Stay safe, and stay healthy everyone!