Coping with Covid-19 in BC

Sunday, April 19, 2020 - By: Jack NG, Ellis ‘21

As the Brentwood community prepares for their fifth week of online schooling, there is talk of isolation restrictions being lessened in the coming weeks. That said, nothing is sure just yet, and COVID-19 is still having an immense impact on the world surrounding our school - Mill Bay - and throughout the province.

After speaking with some of my peers who reside in British Columbia, I came to the conclusion that just about all places, big cities, and small towns alike, are being affected the same way. Will M, Privett ‘20 explained that his hometown of Revelstoke was seeing major changes: “Downtown Revelstoke used to be busy and lively, but now is very dead.” Will shared. “No one is out anywhere.”

Revelstoke, situated in the southeast of BC, sits on the banks of the Columbia River, and is best known for its skiing, mountain biking, and tourism. With the mountains open virtually year-round for winter skiing, and summer riding, it is safe to assume that plenty of people would be attracted to this picturesque city. As you could imagine, the removal of all these visitors would leave the town rather quiet and empty. “Skiing is usually open until April, and then mountain biking opens in June” clarified Will. “It all depends on when the trails are dry enough, but the resort is open most of the year.”

Slightly closer to home for most Brentonians is the largest city in our province. Vancouver is home to Chloe C, Allard ‘21 who had much to share about the situation in her city. “We have had to be more cautious because more break-in and more small crimes have been reported lately. Some stores have been boarded up.” she reported.

Chloe then reminded me to look on the bright side, while she explained how the community has become closer over the course of this difficult period. “Seeing supportive messages painted on the roads, and the red hearts outside of people’s homes in support of the health workers makes the sense of community in a city this big feel much stronger.”

Home to us all as recently as March 5, the campus of Brentwood College has been changed drastically. After my 550 peers and I left campus at the start of the March Break, Mill Bay has taken a hit. “Rusty’s is serving coffee from outside, and Thrifty’s has had a huge lineup outside the door because they only allow 50 people inside the store at once.” Abby S’ Mackenzie ‘21 recalled.

The Brentwood community still holds strong on campus, however, as the staff families living on campus are able to spend time together every day - following social distancing guidelines, of course. It is not uncommon to see Davis P, and Dylan G, Whittall ‘23 out on the blacktop working on their game, or Mr Barrett out kicking a soccer ball on the pitch. Barbecues and small get togethers often come about as well, for Noel P, Whittall ‘21 and Mr Barrett can not go long without a taste of a ‘Drew-dog’, courtesy of Mr Langer’s skills on the grill, while the Sullivan family makes an appearance on Gillespie Field for a round of Spikeball versus the Pettit gang - with everyone wearing gloves!

Covid-19 is having menacing impacts on communities around the world, but British Columbia - with declining rates of new cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities - seems poised to lead the national charge back to normalcy.

That said, it remains essential that Brentwood stay connected as a community, and that we keep focused on our goal to be back together as soon as possible. We must continue to heed the advice of Dr Bonnie Henry - BC’s Provincial Officer of Health - and keep social distancing.

We must all keep a positive attitude, and know that one day - hopefully very soon - we will all see each other again.

Stay safe Brentwood.

Jack NG, Ellis ‘21

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