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Turn on the lights, party’s over

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Jody Vance: BC’s curve is ramping up. And the worst part? It’s completely avoidable. Enough is enough.

We all know someone who’s ignoring health guidelines.

Not the denier — no tinfoil — but one who really thinks they’re keeping their bubble tight, and really aren’t. The social butterfly, the party planning, throw caution to the wind, want-what-they-want-when-they-want-it type who doesn’t truly grasp what this state of emergency is about.

The want to gather is within us all, which made saying no to these party-planners painful.

Until now.

“If your friends invite you to a party, and it doesn’t feel right, don’t go. THERE IS NO BETTER EXCUSE THAN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC, to be able to do the right thing and encourage your friends to do the right thing too.” — Dr. Bonnie Henry

This is one hell of a powerful statement. A simple fact-based directive can remove the strain many feel when faced with “wanna come over?”

I think, deep down, those misguided super social souls know Dr. Henry is right.

For the rest of us, it’s easier. Just say “sorry, I’m not coming.”

Look, who doesn’t want this pandemic to magically disappear? But now is not the time to let peer pressure influence decisions that could have deadly consequences.

COVID-19 means social choices aren’t personal, but very much public.

Now is not the time to bend our resolve, but rather stay firm with what’s worked. Let’s commit to re-up on our provincial pledge to bend the COVID curve back down in a safe direction.

Today’s Middle offers five million reasons to recommit to cranking down the COVID curve. Please: spread the word, not the virus.

Let following Dr. Bonnie Henry’s carefully crafted guidelines be something we celebrate, even reward – and ensure those who put us all at risk be held to some account. What that looks, I’m not sure, but it feels like we’re there. A warning, a penalty for re-offenders, and then escalation

If that’s you – and you know who you are — stop it.

Hold your eye-rolls at the friend standing firm. “No, we will not be attending your party in a pandemic” is a full sentence. Do not shame good behaviour.

To the party host or hostess … the answer to “omg, why are you so strict” is strict is the right thing to do. Because strict works. We have proof that it does.

We need to get back to that flat curve that lulled us into this false sense of security. Our Provincial Health Officer has provided us with the pass, let us all commit to using it — often.

Whether it’s visitors, your next door neighbour, or family member — there is no room to “just let” people insist health orders are overblown.

Whether it’s at a restaurant, bar, private home, or wherever, we must get back to basics: keep groups small, keep your distance, be vigilant with hygiene, stay home if unwell. These layers of protection are in place because they work.

Dr. Henry has flagged these next two weeks as critical. We know what to do, so why wouldn’t we do it? Ask yourself: “Do I really need this party that bad if it puts everything at risk?”

I’m guessing the answer is no.

We have been an example of how to pull together to drag down the COVID 19 numbers. We need to be that example again.

Jody Vance is a born and raised Vancouverite who’s spent 30 years in both local and national media. The first woman in the history of Canadian TV to host her own sports show in primetime, since 2011 she’s been working in both TV and radio covering news and current affairs.

SWIM ON:

SWIM ON