LETTER: Provincial parks decision not the right one

Can anyone explain why the B.C. government closed all local provincial parks?

It can’t be for safety reasons because of the coronavirus.

If it was, why would this province allow gatherings of up to 50 people, which is the highest level in the country? Or allow people to travel on the ferries from home to the Gulf Islands, which are places with limited health facilities?

There is a website showing what is allowed in all the provinces, and when it comes to B.C., the government said it would watch what was happening in the provincial parks and any closure would be on an individual basis depending on safety concerns such as people getting to close to one another. And it also said it was alright if we went out to exercise.

I have been in a lot of parks in this area since early March and despite many families using them, I noticed no problems with people getting too close and it was the same walking on city streets. I felt safer at times out hiking than in grocery stores.

READ MORE: Scofflaws ignoring temporary closure at Rathtrevor Park in Parksville

What I noticed over the Easter weekend, was signs up saying the provincial parks were closed, but despite that, there were lots of cars parked on the side of the road and nobody sitting in them, which likely means people just jumped the fence. It is a good indication that people have lost faith in government decision-making, which is not good in a pandemic as it can result in people taking the situation less serious in other areas.

The local provincial parks need to be reopened immediately, as it will spread out people more to allow them to exercise safely. It will mean less people exercising on city streets, which makes it safer for those seniors with mobility issues.

There are already serious indications that people are drinking alcohol more and family violence is on the rise. Depression is likely the cause and it is only going to get worse and one way to prevent it is exercise. Seniors need to exercise on a regular basis to stay healthy, and if they are stuck in their homes, they could be a major drain on the medical facilities in a short while as their health deteriorates.

Yes, we need to keep safe, but treating us all like children is not the way to go.

John Pritchard


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