April 7, 2020 COVID-19 Message #4
Remembering All That Is Good
To the community of Gibsons:
In preparing this update and message to the community, I initially struggled to find a theme or purpose. Like you, I have been reading the papers and watching the daily briefings by the Prime Minister and others, often while sitting with my computer in my lap and scrolling through emails and other reports, each one dealing with a different aspect of the COVID-19 Pandemic. I keep looking for the good news, for the announcement that the end is in sight and that soon we will return to our previously normal lives when we can visit friends, hug or shake hands, and sit together for coffee, as opposed to having Zoom calls.
As frustrating and stressful as this is, I am encouraged and occasionally amazed by all of the goodness that I see in the work that is being done in our community. At the top of the list, must be our health care workers, who continue to provide many services at the hospital, at care homes or to people who require daily support in their homes. These people are at greater risk of infection and must take precautions with every action or service they perform, yet they continue to do it to keep us safe.
I also see the teachers and education assistants who continue to work with our children and students to maintain their education and provide continuity of learning, while distracting them from the stress of the situation around them. In some cases, teaching assistants are also providing day care support for the children of our health care and other essential workers, so that they can continue to work and protect us.
The RCMP, ambulance workers and firefighters, many of whom are volunteers, are also working hard. This enables us to sleep better, knowing they are ready to respond to local emergencies or to support our health care workers who, while keeping us safe, must also take care of people for whom the stress is too great and who need also need help. In addition, a volunteer group is coming together to organize a ‘Business Watch’ to patrol our commercial areas while many of our stores are closed and owners or employees are self-isolating.
Daily, I see people continuing to provide services in grocery stores and other businesses that ensure we are able to access life’s necessities. These include food, gas for our vehicles, items for repairing or fixing our homes, and prepared meals. Others keep working so that all the services we normally take for granted carry on – the ability to post a letter or package and receive our mail, using our water and sewer systems, having our garbage collected, our public transit continue, and our lights stay on.
As well, I have become aware of the many volunteers and volunteer groups that have organized to ensure that people are able to get the support and services they need. The Sunshine Coast Task Force, for example, consists of many people using their local knowledge and skills to develop a network of service providers for food, transportation, pick-up and delivery of items and other things. In addition, in Gibsons, the Harmony Hall Seniors are preparing meals twice a week, at cost, for people in need in our community.
Technology like cell phones and computers are also keeping us connected. Our youth are organizing chat groups to stay in touch and to plan activities. Our elected leaders are meeting regularly via Zoom to discuss current issues and the constant updating of news and events. Our senior administrators are coordinating via the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to respond to service requests and to develop plans for new or expanded community services, such as public washrooms, showers and accommodation for homeless and vulnerable people in our communities. As well, we are able to participate in regularly scheduled conference calls with leaders from other communities throughout the province and to be briefed on the most recent information from the Ministry of Health and the Public Health Officer.
People are also using technology to get together for coffee, to play games, chat and, in some cases, to pray together.
I am also very gratified to see neighbours, families and children getting out on their porches at 7:00pm each night to yell and bang pots in honour of the health care workers and others in our community who continue working to keep us safe. In my own neighbourhood, I refer to this as the “Parkland Neighbourhood 7:00 O’Clock Band”…what a noise and clamor we make! (Thanks, Cathy, for leading the band each night.)
In short, even though we have a lot of concern and stress about our situation and the impact that the pandemic is having on people and communities everywhere, we also have a lot to be thankful for.
Additionally, we can take comfort in the fact that countless people, including many of our neighbours and friends, are still out there, working to keep us safe and our daily lives running as normally as possible.
Let’s remember to thank them.
It’s Your Turn
Tell us what is happening in your life and how the pandemic is affecting your day-to-day activities.
Where do you find good in our community at this time?
Do you have a thank you to send to someone or some group in the community? Let us know and we will pass it on.
Please share with us your story and photos of how you or our community have been affected by this unprecedented event. Email: email@example.com.
On Behalf of Council,
Mayor Bill Beamish
Town of Gibsons
To stay up-to-date with the latest news on how COVID-19 is affecting Gibsons, please visit: gibsons.ca/covid-19
To read the latest bulletin from the Sunshine Coast Emergency Operations Centre, please visit: scrd.ca/covid-19-updates
To learn how to attend Town of Gibsons Council meetings and committee meetings online, please visit: gibsons.ca/online-meetings
Talk of the Town: Mayor Bill Beamish on Preparing for Wildfires – January 2020
Talk of the Town: Mayor Beamish on Being Bear Aware – December 2019
Talk of the Town: Mayor Beamish Education of Local Govt Key to Reconciliation Efforts – November 2019
Talk of the Town: Mayor Bill Beamish on the Importance of Hearing from All Residents – October 2019
Talk of the Town: Mayor Beamish on Joining the Fight Against Climate Change – September 2019
Talk of the Town: Mayor Bill Beamish on Building Community Trust Through Dialogue – August 2019
Talk of the Town: Mayor Bill Beamish on Living Wages – July 2019
Talk of the Town: Youth Councillors on Climate Change – June 2019
BB Response to CAO Statement June 2019 FINAL
Talk of the Town: Mayor Beamish on the CAPETOWN CHALLENGE – May 2019
Talk of the Town: Mayor Beamish – Small Businesses Shell Out More Than Taxes – April 2019
Talk of the Town: Mayor Beamish on Developing Gibsons’ Vision Statement – March 2019
Talk of the Town: Mayor Bill Beamish on Open Government – February 2019
Talk of the Town: Mayor Beamish on Donating to the Town – January 2019
Mayor Beamish Inaugural Speech Final – November 2018
Talk of the Town: Mayor Wayne Rowe on Small Business Week – October 2018