Column: Expanding our bubbles with abundant caution

Opening Our Eyes by Nan Dickie

By Nan Dickie


The thing we are most certain about going through this pandemic week after week is the fact that uncertainty reigns in our individual and collective lives.

We are allowing ourselves finally, gradually, to think about where we might be in two months from now. Dr. Bonnie Henry has given us this hope, with abundant caution.

Last week, Dr. Henry invited us to very carefully expand our bubble.We can now, with due care and diligence, invite some close others into our personal space.

Some businesses will probably be opening in the not too distant future with very prescribed rules for safety. This will be a huge relief to workers, customers, clients—in fact to all of us. These moves are, on the one hand, a welcome opening up. On the other, for many people, it is increasing their anxiety about catching the virus.

Until last week, what we needed to do was abundantly clear, and what I have seen is that almost everyone has been following the rules handed down by public health authorities completely, explicitly. There were no half-measures, or “It would be a good idea if….”

There was comfort in knowing exactly what to do, and not to do, to minimize the spread of the virus. Decisions were made for us, and we followed through, willingly, but not without great effort to accommodate them.

We did it. We are now entering a long phase of “in between.” We know where we have been. We’ve witnessed a flattening of the curve in British Columbia. We see new political, economic, educational and social measures being put in place to slowly move our individual and collective lives ahead.

Read more: Column: What we are now experiencing is grief

Read more: Column: Running a long marathon no one asked to take part in

But so much remains unknown. No one can assure us (and no one is trying to do so) that, if we expand our bubbles, and increase business and other activities in the community, the numbers of people who become ill with COVID-19 will be reduced.

There is no crystal ball.

No one says we have to expand our bubbles. No one says at this time that businesses must open at any particular time.

We are each faced with two big questions at this time: “Should I?” and “What if?” How does one make the decision to widen one’s life at this time, or return to work?

It boils down to each of us making as wise decisions as we are able during this uncertain time. We base our individual decisions on what we hear from public health officials, and our own level of worry and anxiety.

This is a very challenging balancing act that we each face.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#Salmon ArmCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Houseboat company partly owned by Shuswap MLA withdraws controversial ad

The ad welcomed houseboaters from other provinces, contradicting anti COVID-19 measures.

Squabble between campers in North Shuswap leads to bear spraying

An argument over late night partying escalated into a fight which led to one person being sprayed

RCMP report a violent attack on a woman in the North Shuswap

Woman beat up on side of road in Scotch Creek, perpetrator fled

Recycling depot at Salmon Arm landfill back in operation

Full bins and a lack of bags led to two service disruptions in the month of May

Public workers step up for Shuswap non-profits

$5,000 donation to be divided among Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Enderby support groups

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Central Okanagan schools ready to welcome students back

Students are set to go back to school next Monday, June 1

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

Trying to inconspicuously drink on the beach could become a thing of the past

VIDEO: Flowers stolen from Vernon distillery

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery captured surveillance footage of the thief in a black car

Fundraiser launched for North Okanagan drive-in

Vernon resident seeks to raise $20K to save Starlight Drive-In

Unique ‘the Wedge’ development makes way back to Kelowna council

Council initially deferred its decision on the project in March

Most Read