Sunset Beach April 20 420, Vancouver during coronavirus pandemic

I’ll admit, there are two reasons for writing this post. First, to highlight British Columbia’s plan for a return to normal life. Second, to document that this is actually happening, that we are slowly being released from lockdown during a global pandemic.

Wherever in the world you live, you’ve been affected. This isn’t something we’re reporting from Vancouver, BC, Canada that’s completely foreign to readers in Asia, India, Europe or Australia. We’ve all been through one big world scare together!

BC Premier John Horgan
[BC Premier John Horgan]

Here in BC, our Premier John Horgan set the stage for the “BC Restart Plan”:

This month, we’ll see elective surgeries, medically-related services, dentistry, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, physical therapy, chiropractors and speech therapy services reinstated into society.

Prado Cafe

Following this group, hair salons, restaurants, cafés, in-person counselling, museums, art galleries, libraries, childcare, parks, beaches and recreational sports will begin to open. As far as dining, drinking and coffee dates go, those venues will need to work out distancing measures in order to serve customers. For now, we’ve still got takeout to enjoy at home.

Railtown Cafe Granville media opening-1

From June to September, hotels and resorts, film productions, movies, symphony, small concerts, K-12 and post-secondary education will see the light of day. Schools will be doing a mix of online and in-person education as classes become smaller due to distancing measures.

Down the road, the next set of challenges for the province will be how to safely open bars, casinos, night clubs and larger concert and sports venues.

COVID-19 Update
[Chief Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry; photo courtesy Province of British Columbia]

Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s top doctor, hopes and believes that citizens will continue to follow the guidelines as the first round of restrictions are eased following the May long weekend (Victoria Day falls on Monday, May 18). We’re taking small steps, the wise thing to do. Our social circles are to be re-opened with people close to us, being “mindful that if we have connections we are connected with their connections and that increases our risk”.

Fraser Valley-19

Hopefully our beaches and parks won’t be packed the moment the long weekend ends. It’s almost too easy with gorgeous weather and friends to re-connect with to slide back into normal (closer) distances to one other. We still won’t have large gatherings (concerts, conferences, sporting events) until a vaccine is available.

The plan to attain a new normal is obviously aimed at keeping the outbreak under control with the goal of maintaining a steady forward movement as restrictions are relaxed. Dr. Bonnie Henry added that these measures can be scaled back as needed if case numbers begin to spike down the road. Let’s hope we’ve seen the worst of it now!

Top image by GoToVan on Flickr.

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