It’s difficult to believe that tomorrow is May 1. This time of year, Whistlerites are usually looking forward to hitting our parks and restaurant patios and enjoying longer, warmer days with friends. This year, May will look a lot different in Whistler.
Like you, I know how challenging and trying it is for each of us and our families to continue to self-isolate and practice physical distancing. You are not alone if you are overwhelmed and it feels like we have been doing this forever.
On the Whistler Podcast this week, I spoke with Greg MacDonnell, a registered clinical counsellor here in Whistler. His advice for mental well-being includes taking up a new hobby. He said when we have a broad base of things that give us joy, it is something that psychologically protects us. When we only have one thing that defines us, and COVID-10 prevents us from doing that one thing, it can trigger depression and anxiety. Or, if you aren’t up to starting something new, start your day by making your bed as soon as you get out of it. He said this is an act of “orderliness” because it sets the intentions to find rebirth and order in things when chaos persists.
If you are struggling, please reach out to our community social services. You are not alone and there are people you can talk to.
Yesterday (April 29), Premier John Horgan announced that the provincial state of emergency will continue for two more weeks. The message was clear that physical distancing will continue for some time to come. I know it’s tough but we need to stay vigilant with physical distancing so that we do not see the number of new COVID-19 cases rise. This would mean COVID-19 restrictions will be in place much longer.
The premier also announced the province will provide details next week about a phased-in approach to re-opening and re-starting certain industries. Common protocols and guidelines will allow more businesses to re-open and most importantly, do so in a way that the public feels that they their safety is a priority and that they can practice physical distancing while patronizing these businesses and industries.
When it is safe to do so, we are looking to re-open our parks and municipal facilities with protocols in place and clear guidelines for users.
Already, the RMOW is able to provide most of our services on-line or virtually. While our buildings remain closed, our staff are at work and you can reach out to any of our departments for what you need, whether that’s a planning inquiry, a business permit or paying your property taxes. We are open for business.
Many other businesses in Whistler are finding ways to open in a safe way and allow for physical distancing. I encourage you to buy local whenever possible and support our local businesses that are trying to keep their doors open and continue to serve our community and visitors when we are able to welcome them back. Thank you to all of the essential workers who continue to go to work to provide us with the services we need.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for each of us to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Get outside with your immediate household and do not leave your home if you feel unwell. Continue to practice physical distancing and wash your hands.
We’ve come too far to fall behind now.