A message from Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne, released by the city on March 25:
This message is an update for Parksville residents about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Council is aware we are in a provincial state of emergency and the next few weeks are critical in terms of the impact this pandemic has on our community.
I am hearing from many citizens in Parksville and area, who have ongoing concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. People are worried about their health, the health of their loved ones and in so many cases, also concerned about their jobs or businesses. We share your concerns. COVID-19 is the biggest challenge Canadians have faced since the World War II. With war, the impacts are far reaching but the challenges may not be felt so strongly in our homes. This pandemic has brought the fight to our doors.
We are working closely with Qualicum Beach to provide a co-ordinated response to COVID-19 and working closely with several provincial agencies to ensure we do everything at the local level to comply with and support senior governments’ response.
Every Canadian city is experiencing the same anxiety and fear about this deadly virus and the only way to come through this together is by physically staying apart. I realize this is a monumental change in your daily routines but there are no options. We are in a state of emergency and it is crucial everyone follow the orders and obey the law.
Parksville council is actively promoting compliance with the orders to maintain physical distance and city staff will increase patrols in public spaces as well as monitor business activity to ensure people are strictly following the rules. I sincerely hope that by now everyone understands these orders are not voluntary.
Many of our neighbours and friends in the region are at high risk for serious complications from this disease, including death. With our demographics, we need to be extremely vigilant to protect our community and reduce the risks of contracting COVID-19.
To combat the spread of this disease we must limit contact with people outside your household; minimize the visits made to stores for only essential supplies; stay a minimum of six feet or two metres from anyone when outdoors or in a grocery store. You are not permitted to leave your home for any reason if you are sick or if you have recently returned from outside of Canada. Wash your hands frequently, sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. Sanitize high touch areas regularly. Everyone knows what they must do but if you need a reminder, the city’s website provides information and resources, all in one place.
The city was forced to close playgrounds last week because it was obvious people were not following physical distancing. It then became necessary to close fields, racquet courts, skateboard park and off-leash dog park because people continued to breach orders and not take the distance requirements seriously.
Failing to follow the orders will force council to take further measures such as the closure of parking areas or the closure of parks entirely. We hope this will not be necessary; however, if we need to take more drastic measures to save lives; we will do so.
It is my wish to be able to say at the end of this pandemic that there were no deaths in Parksville and with relatively few cases, simply because we followed government orders.
I’m optimistic these extreme measures we are now taking and continue to follow, will increase our success in fighting this pandemic. This will not last forever and it is a small price to pay to stay at home and reduce your physical contact with others. This does not have to mean you need to lose social connections with your friends and loved ones. We are very lucky to have many technological options to maintain communications with one another. Continue to support each other while practicing the physical separation rules.
For ideas on maintaining wellness during this challenging time, please refer to the city’s website and Let’s Talk Parksville or post your own creative solutions to overcoming loneliness or boredom during this phase of the COVID-19 response. Please stay safe and look after one another.