Zooming the Pandemic - Ep 2 One Month In...

As the series continues, New Westminster writer Deni Loubert resumes her exploration of the impact of the present pandemic on both her own life and her friends in the area. While she looks at the time that has passed since the declaration of an emergency in British Columbia – she also gives some thought at how it may have affected her own life, both now and in the future.

Some basic questions are asked, such as what the impact will be on her province if people ignore Dr. Bonnie Henry’s call to not head out to small towns and cabins over the Easter weekend.  Will there be a price to pay if, as the papers suggest, too many ignore the warnings and head out on the ferries.

She also looks at how this continuing health alert has kept her home, watching the arrival of spring in all its glory from her window instead of outside. Masked visits to local grocery stores and the growing need to shelter in place to avoid contamination have become more pronounced. Even so, she rejoices in the reopening of the local farmers market and the ability to stay in touch with friends via Zoom.

This new technology will prove handy in the weeks to come as more and more interviews with friends are done over the internet. But the first interview, with local activist Mary Wilson is done in person both by the local Brunette River and downtown at the now deserted River Market. 

Mary talks about her memories of World War II and compares the rationing of that time to our own reactions to scarcity during pandemic. The interview continues with talks on how Mary’s work to promote walking is impacted and what she thinks the future will hold.

The next interview is with Connie Thorenson, a retired graphic designer and friend who went through a move into a new condo during the pandemic. She reveals the complexities anyone faces getting paperwork completed and talks about the sense of isolation she faces in a new place. The interview closes with talk about how seniors can bring a different viewpoint to those around them during trying times.

The episode continues beyond the interviews with a look at several questions the narrator is considering as we move forward into unknown times during this pandemic. She asks her viewers to consider how technology can be a good or bad influence when we are going through isolation. How will we continue to respond to our current situation? More importantly, as talk begins of opening up business again – the question remains of whether New Westminster is ready for reopening quite yet.

The episode concludes with an introspective look at how we compare with past pandemics. What actions can we do now to find comfort in this time; how can we reach out both to those we are living with and those we miss. She muses that the gift of learning to live slower and take the quiet as it comes is perhaps the most unexpected gift of all.

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