If Squamish residents were strict societal rule-followers we would all be living in the Big Smoke wearing suits and sporting shoes that pinch.
Instead, those who chose to make this place home are usually a little outside the box thinkers and doers.
We prefer comfy clothes, start innovative businesses — rec and green tech companies spring to mind — or are self-employed (16%, according to District data).
We are also generally younger, healthier — and drink a little too much (even pre-pandemic we were drinking 4.3 drinks per day versus the Canadian average of 1.5 per day, according to the 2016 report for the Centre for Addictions Research of BC).
We hurl ourselves down mountains or off cliffs, fly above Howe Sound on kiteboards or cling to rock faces hundreds of metres above the ground.
Our live-by-our-own-rules quality has a lot of positives, but it can also mean that we resist being told what to do by the “establishment.”
(Who hasn’t heard the long-time Squamish mantra of do it first, ask for permission later?)
The B.C. COVID-19 Survey is a provincial government initiative to gather the information that will help inform the government’s response to the pandemic.
Dr. Bonnie Henry has been promoting it at each daily briefing.
It is vital Squamish residents fill out this 10-minute survey.
Yes, it asks personal questions about your health, stress level, and attitude toward COVID-19.
It also gives residents an opportunity to participate in a forthcoming serology survey and possible contract tracing.
But fill it out anyway.
Squamish sometimes seems ignored and misunderstood by the provincial and federal powers that be, with us either lumped in with the Lower Mainland and North Shore, or with our resort neighbour to the north.
We are unique in culture and needs and this survey, which asks for our postal code, offers an opportunity for our needs to be heard.
This will be helpful with the expected second wave of the virus when assessing what resources Squamish requires and what we worry about.
More than this, it puts Squamish’s reaction to COVID-19 on the record.
Because we are in the midst of it, it is easy to forget we are living and making history.
Rarely has Squamish been so impacted before by an illness.
Of course, Squamish endured other global pandemics, including AIDS most recently, the 1968 flu and the 1918 Spanish flu, for example.
But this is definitely the first time in history Squamish residents moved their school and work online at home due to a pandemic.
Generations that come after us will study what we did and how, so let’s make sure Squamish residents are included.
Find the survey here: www.bccdc.ca.
The deadline is May 31.
If it makes your Squamish free spirit feel better, wait till the last minute.
Heck, you can do it on your phone from the trail, or before jumping in the water or heading up the rock.
Just do it.