Squamish will survive COVID-19, to be sure, but whether we will be OK or not, that is up to us.
So far, it has been a mixed bag. Tensions are high and locals aren’t always being their best selves.
With the mass panic that has spread through town in the wake of recent COVID-19 news, there’s been mass buying of groceries, but avoidance of other businesses.
Even in the most extreme cases around the world, food stores and pharmacies have remained open.
If we want to come out of this and thrive, we need to think of each other and be rational. After all, though we may be physically distanced, we need each other now, more than ever.
Here are some ideas, for those who are healthy enough to do so, to support our businesses while they need us the most, .
Shop for groceries, but just what you need and a bit for the food bank. They really need it.
Buy gift cards to local stores for later.
Why not grab a coffee — or kombucha, this is Squamish after all — and take-out from any of our fantastic eateries in town that are still open and go to a lake or Newport Beach and stare at the water?
Send flowers from Squamish flower shops to those who are stuck at home, or to Hilltop House or to grocery store staff, or to your doctor’s office.
Stock up on local chocolates or hostess-type gifts and drop them off at the door when you know someone is extra stressed.
Getting cabin fever at home? Why not get some supplies from one of our hardware stores and do a cheap reno?
Get your car or truck or van cleaned at local car washes.
Buy outdoor gear and take to the mountains for an adventure off the grid (following Adventure Smart guidelines, of course.)
Pick up pet supplies and drop some off at the SPCA.
Shop for birthday gifts ahead of time.
Hit up a gym that is still open.
All indications are that local businesses are upping their game to the extreme and offering safe places to work off some of our collective anxiety.
The Centre for Disease Control says, “We encourage people to engage in their usual activities, including shopping for food and other items, while practicing common sense approaches to prevent infection and transmission.”
“Retail therapy” is a capitalist trope, but there’s truth in it when buying something local makes you feel better, and keeps a neighbour’s store open.
Social distancing is key. Stay one to two metres from other people. But don’t stop living altogether.
All indications are we will come out of this, and we want our local businesses to stay open and employees to be able to carry on as well when this crazy time passes.