It’s time to renew our COVID-19 vows

Editorials Opinions

Cases on the island are higher than ever, so complacency isn’t cool 

Graphic via Canva, made by Kate Korte.

Well ‘rona, we all figured we would be writing this eventually, we just didn’t know when. Everyone seems to have forgotten about you or put you in the backs of their minds, but you were never really gone, were you? 

You were on the sidelines for a while, but you seem to be coming back in a big way in B.C. You seem to be breaking new case records on the daily. Though B.C.’s outbreak is concentrated in the lower mainland, we can’t seem to avoid you on Vancouver Island either, where we are also seeing record highs

We’ve tried to resist you and we’ve tried to put you out of our minds. We tried to distract ourselves this summer, find a sense of normalcy, and forget about you. But, as the dark, lonely nights of winter approach — you’ve slipped back into our lives.

So here we are: we need to talk about our relationships with this COVID-19, known amongst youngsters and youths as the ‘rona.

It’s exhausting to put up with ‘rona everyday. The thing is, this pandemic takes a lot from us, and the only thing it gives us in return is sticky hand-sanitizer-covered hands. But even though we are over it, we all know, deep down, that we need to keep on sanitizing, following those damn grocery store arrows, and keeping our bubbles small. 

After all,‘rona is very clingy and always looking for the next person to latch onto. ‘Rona is like that bad ex, it’s possible to try and put them out of your mind, but when they suddenly come back and slash your tires, it might be time to cut off ‘rona completely. 

Remember the halcyon days of quarantine, when everyone was picking up their dusty musical instruments, or deep cleaning their home, or hosting digital game and movie nights with friends across the country? Sure, we were flying high on anxiety and fear, but what if we gave COVDI-19 guidelines that same sort of priority again?

It is hard. As areas of B.C. go back into partial lockdown, there has been some confusion about guidelines. Young people also don’t have it easy. Many of us are forced into bubbles with roommates, and have had to have difficult ‘rona conversations about boundaries. 

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s messaging of your “safe six” bubble doesn’t really apply to our lives neatly. A typical student might have three roommates and work part-time at a restaurant. In a perfect world, those roommates would have three other roommate friends that lived together and could form a tight six-person bubble together. But even then, part-time jobs expose us to more people outside of our bubbles. So, it can be hard to see how health guidelines apply to us. 

But we don’t want to mess around with ‘rona. Even if you get ‘rona and you don’t get terribly sick, you could still infect others and you’d also have to quarantine for two weeks. That would suck. 

There needs to be a return to the way things were at the beginning of the pandemic. Do a check of your own contacts and your bubble — a ‘rona vibe check, so to speak — and ask yourself if you can limit your bubble better.

After all, there are many ways we can still interact with our friends and loved ones, while also making sure we aren’t spreading the virus around. A few months ago, we were banging pots and trying desperately to flatten that curve. Now, it seems like we are all looking at that steep, rising chart, and shrugging. 

So take a minute to pencil in a video call dance party with your best friend tomorrow, or call up a family member that has a cute toddler or puppy to brighten up a rainy day. Instead of meeting up with friends at restaurants, challenge everyone to cook a themed meal and eat together over zoom. 

Put events in your calendar now, knowing that you can cancel them later if you don’t feel up to it. Reaching out can be a lot harder to do when you’re feeling down. Because just like during a bad breakup, you need support from friends and family even if they can’t be there in person. 

Finals are just around the corner and days are getting shorter, so “free time” may seem like a foreign concept at the moment, but protecting your mental health is more important than ever. Maintaining your own health ensures that you can provide support to friends and family when they need it. Self care is community care. 

In the end, we are all dealing with the ‘rona. It’s time to band back together and end this toxic relationship once and for all.