Handwashing is one of the important COVID-19 precautions. (File photo)

Editorial: Time to knuckle down on COVID precautions

It would be foolish to think that we have not had any COVID cases in Cowichan until now

Until the last couple of weeks, Vancouver Island has been a veritable haven of health, with very low COVID-19 numbers.

Compared to other health regions in the province we are still tallying the lowest number of new cases each day, but there’s no doubt that our numbers have seen an alarming surge.

Thanks to the First Nations Health Authority, which is far more transparent about where COVID-19 cases are than the province has been (more on that later), we know for sure that the Cowichan Valley itself has seen a significant uptick.

We hope that means all Cowichan Valley residents are ready to knuckle down and reinstate COVID precautions they may have become lax about after the first wave.

It would be foolish to think that we have not had any COVID cases in Cowichan until now, but with the certainty of cases in the community we hope this is the nudge that people need to remember their physical distancing (2 metres or 6 feet); hand washing as you move from one place to another, or using sanitizer if you can’t; and when you are unable to keep your distance, to put on a three-layer mask. Another big one is to stay in your bubble, and minimize unnecessary contact with others.

We understand the privacy concerns that have caused the province not to specify where people with COVID live, beyond general areas within health regions. Just look at the despicable racism that has been expressed towards members of Cowichan Tribes after an outbreak was declared within the First Nation (though the roots of that racism go far deeper than a present-day COVID diagnosis). We join all of our community leaders who have spoken out in condemnation of this shameful rhetoric. This is not what the admirable open communication from the First Nations Health Authority and Cowichan Tribes itself should inspire. In fact we think the province should take page from their book.

Of course no individual should be singled out. However, we think it would be helpful for the province to be a little more specific, letting people know if there are cases in Cowichan, Comox, Parksville or Nanaimo. These are still big enough areas that people could maintain their anonymity, but would light a fire under those not taking their COVID safety seriously. There’s no doubt that for many it has to actually be on the doorstep before it feels real. And the pandemic fatigue is real.

We all need to come together, now more than ever, and stop the spread before it can really pick up steam.

CoronavirusEditorials

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

Just Posted

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in fatal Chemainus hit-and-run

Investigation expected to be lengthy and involved

The Cowichan Women Against Violence Society is planning on opening a child and youth advocacy centre. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Child and youth advocacy centre eyed for Cowichan

Cowichan Women Against Violence Society hopes to open centre later this year

CVRD to apply for a grant to improve a 4.85-kilometre section of the Cowichan Valley Trail near Shawnigan Lake. (File photo)
CVRD looks to improve section of Cowichan Valley Trail

District applies for $250,000 grant to widen, upgrade 4.8-kilometre section in Shawnigan Lake

Cowichan Valley writer Jennifer Manuel will headlining YakFest on March 1. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Cowichan Valley writer to headline next YakFest on March 1

YakFest is a B.C.-based monthly women’s event held online via Zoom

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour early on Saturday, Feb. 27. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 vaccination set to start for B.C. seniors aged 80-plus

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

This poster, spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19 restrictions, has been popping up in communities across Vancouver Island.
UPDATED: Poster popping up in Island communities falsely claiming COVID restrictions are over

Unattributed poster claims COVID restrictions ended March 1; Island Health responds

(Pxhere)
Compensation fund opens for B.C. students negatively affected by incorrect exam marks

Marks for 2019 provincial exams were incorrectly tabulated

Most Read