The Nanaimo Beacon’s Beacon Buddies program, meant to find volunteers to help with errands for self-isolating neighbours, signed up nearly 350 people on its first day Sunday. (Nanaimo Beacon image)

Nanaimo satire website connects community during COVID-19 pandemic

Nanaimo Beacon signs up more than 600 volunteers to help those who are self-isolating

The novel coronavirus is no joke.

Those behind the Nanaimo Beacon, a local satire website, went outside their usual mandate this past weekend to try to build community connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The website launched an initiative called Beacon Buddies, with a goal of connecting volunteers willing to run errands for neighbours who are in self-isolation or quarantine.

“There’s not a lot more behind this other than we just want to help,” the Nanaimo Beacon told the News Bulletin in an online interview. “We figure we’ve got a reasonably sized platform, so let’s do something good with it, instead of our usual mediocre, low-effort satire.”

Less than a day after publicizing the Beacon Buddies program, the site had signed up more than 600 volunteers from Duncan to Campbell River.

The program’s guidelines indicate that the self-isolating individuals should pre-pay for things like groceries and prescriptions, and suggests that volunteers should refuse to pick up “hoarding levels of supplies like toilet paper, bleach, sanitized wipes, etc.” The Beacon shared a few common-sense tips for meeting buddies, but said it will leave health-care advice to professionals.

The Beacon Buddies program is in line with B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie’s call last week for neighbours to help neighbours and try to ensure a support system for elderly British Columbians who may need extra help during the pandemic.

The Beacon usually sticks to satire; for example, last week it published a piece advising that Nanaimo’s annual Lick the Mayor event was being cancelled due to coronavirus fears.

“Once this crisis has passed, we hope to just go back to writing [crappy] jokes about the mayor’s muscles,” the Beacon said.

For more information about the Beacon Buddies program, click here.

READ ALSO: Courtenay doctor confirms Comox Valley’s first case of COVID-19

READ ALSO: VIU suspends classes as a COVID-19 precaution

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sarah Simpson Column: Creativity, and smoke, yields two new ‘computers’

My son opted to empty the recycling bin of all its boxes and create stuff.

Arts & Entertainment column: A new book, an art prize, and an AGM

Here are a few of the things happening in Cowichan’s arts and culture scene.

Cowichan golf pro Jackson up for provincial honour

Cowichan Golf Club mainstay is already the only two-time winner

Tube Shack’s annual clean-up shows how far river has come

Less garbage than previous years, owing to years of clean-ups and weekly patrols

BCHL approves back-up plan for 2020-21 season

Without gate revenue, league will rely on player fees, government and business support

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read