A glimpse into coronavirus-riddled daily life in White Rock, B.C.

by Thyrza Cohen

It’s been at least four weeks now, or wait, maybe six or eight — time is very fluid these days — since my partner, Tom, and I started our stay-at-home regime. We’re lucky to live in White Rock, BC, a small city by the ocean (although we don’t have an ocean view), which is part of Greater Vancouver so certainly urban, not rural, but with a small-town feel.

What do we do with our days, each of which feels like Sunday? Tom has his routine: he walks down to the beach and then “up the mountain” as he calls it —the steep slope that brings him back to uptown White Rock where we live. I have not joined him in that adventure yet, content to walk around our area, social distancing all the while (most people are very good about it). There are lots of gorgeous views as long as it’s not raining: from our condo we can see the Cascades mountain range in Washington State. Speaking of rain, we haven’t had any for a few weeks so now I’m starting to worry about whether there will be a drought and also about the possibility of wild fire as the season is coming up? More things to worry about — something I’m an expert at.

Another highlight of our day is watching Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, give her briefing. With her calm and reasoned demeanor she makes us feel better even if there’s bad news. You just know she would be able to fix everything if she could. She is so adored that songs have been written about her, a wall mural painted of her, and now there’s The Dr. Henry fundraising shoe designed by John Fluevog!

In the early evening, at 7 p.m., neighbours bring out their pots and pans and other noisemakers and play a sort of cacophonic orchestral piece to express their thanks to the healthcare workers, first responders and whoever else is on the front lines. Our neighbourhood is very close to the local hospital and the fire and police stations are also nearby, so a few police cruisers and usually a fire truck parade up our street and sound their sirens as an act of solidarity at the same time.

So there you have it — a slice of life, at least our life, in our little “City by the Sea.”

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