The Editor’s Desk: Don’t give COVID-19 a free ride

The Editor’s Desk: Don’t give COVID-19 a free ride

Haven’t you been warned not to pick up hitchhikers?

I’d like you to take a moment and do something for me, if you’re able.

It’s easy. Just read to the end of this paragraph, then put down the paper or your device, or get up and step away from your computer; it doesn’t matter how or on what you’re reading this. Walk into the next room, wherever you happen to be, then come back and keep reading. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you.

Hello again, and congratulations! You’ve just done something wonderful, that’s also amazingly simple; something most of us take so much for granted that we don’t even think about it when we’re doing it. You moved from one place to another and back again under your own speed.

You know what can’t do that? The COVID-19 virus. Even though it’s sometimes described as a “wave” that’s “sweeping” across the globe, it can’t do that on its own. It needs us to help it, because the simple fact is that we can move around freely, but the novel coronavirus can’t.

Now, I realize that there are a good many other things that the virus can’t do. It can’t take out the garbage, feed the cat, send a text message, or (to quote Jason Statham in the movie Spy) take up piano at a late age. But this “can’t even make it from one room to the next by itself” business — a feat most toddlers have mastered while they’re still in diapers — is the big one.

In order to get to someone to infect them, the COVID-19 virus has to travel to that person somehow, and it needs help. Our help, to be specific. So as much as your mom probably taught you that it’s good to be helpful, this is one time (possibly the only time) I’m going to tell you not to listen to your mom. Don’t worry, she won’t be angry. Au contraire; if you don’t help the coronavirus get to her, she’ll be very happy indeed.

It’s Tuesday evening as I write this, and earlier today there was confirmation from Interior Health of a positive case of the COVID-19 virus involving the Subway restaurant in Cache Creek. Anyone who visited the site on March 25, 26, or 27 is being told to self-isolate for 14 days. Do not pass go; do not collect $200.

This matter-of-fact advice has, however, caused a flood of phone calls to the Ashcroft medical clinic. I’m not entirely sure what people are hoping they will be told: that they don’t have to self-isolate? That they probably don’t have the virus? That they can get a test? The clinic has asked that a plea be put out on social media: please don’t call. They’re swamped as it is, just trying to deal with the normal volume of patients that they see on any given day.

Call 8-1-1 if you’re worried, or use the online COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool ( If you’ve been exposed to the COVID-19 virus — and if you were at the Cache Creek Subway on the dates above, then you were — you probably don’t need a test. The trained 8-1-1 health care professionals, who are available 24/7, will let you know if you do.

Some are also asking if the person who tested positive was passing through or is a local resident. Really, does it matter? Two weeks ago I was at a meeting where a health care professional said it was a question of when — not if — the virus got to our area. It’s definitely here now, and probably has been for some time. If people in our community who have tested positive for COVID-19 aren’t shouting it from the rooftops, it’s possibly because they’re worried about the reaction from others. Fear can make people do ugly things.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Be kind. It’s one of our greatest weapons. And don’t give the COVID-19 virus a ride anywhere. Picking up hitchhikers can be dangerous. You listen to me, now. After all, I’m a mom.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

A Quesnel resident receives a shot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month. (Photo credit: Cassidy Dankochik/Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
IH says COVID-19 vaccines safe despite claims of Lytton physician

Doctor makes unsubstantiated claims about serious side effects of Moderna vaccine

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/ screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read