Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams. Mirror file photo

Mayor shocked by Campbell Riverites not taking pandemic serious enough

‘You have to assume that it’s in our community and if you’re not, you’re not paying attention’

Mayor Andy Adams says Campbell Riverites have to step it up when it comes to mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic in this community

“I’m shocked,” Adams said. “and disappointed at the lack and the level of following the directives and precautions that are required.”

Adams said he does a limited amount of driving around the community, mostly he’s trying to self-isolate, and what he’s seeing around the community is not good.

“If people…I don’t know where they’ve been but they need to get out from whatever rock they’re under and wake up to what actually is going on,” Adams said. “You have to assume that it’s in our community and if you’re not, you’re not paying attention. And you need to be following the policy directive of social distancing, hand-washing, separation, so diligently because this is a pandemic.

“And what I am seeing is that there are far too many people that are not taking this seriously and just for the sake of their families, their kids, especially their parents and grandparents, and the community at large, you need to take this seriously and you need to follow the directives that have been given. To think that this is normal is completely irresponsible to everybody. And I would just plead and implore the community to do what they can to help everyone get through this safely.”

Adams sees people being cavalier about basic actions. People walking side by side, holding hands, not using wipes or gloves at the gas pumps. He sees one person grabbing the pump nozzle or doing the touch screen and another person coming right after to use the pump or screen when they have no idea if the person before is symptomatic of COVID-19. The person before probably doesn’t even know if they have COVID-19 and they won’t know for four or five days, Adams said. Some people may not ever exhibit symptoms, they may be a carrier.

“To assume that the person in front is fine and you’re fine is so misleading. I don’t know what it is going to take but when you look at what China and Korea and now just the horrific situation in Italy, the extreme measures going on in California and New York…That’s what’s going to come here if we don’t smarten up.”

RELATED: Doctors of B.C. urged to stand behind official messaging, as some say response is lacking

Campbell River is “extremely fortunate” in that we are somewhat remote and we do have vast open spaces and our population is not so dense but it can spread as quickly here as it can anywhere else, Adams said.

“I just can’t emphasize enough how people need to really take this seriously and step it up.”

There are alternatives to going out to the grocery store to get groceries, Adams said. Online shopping is available. He suggest you consider other ways to conform to pandemic directives.

Meanwhile, this is going to be a tough period for the local economy with everybody self-isolating, so the mayor asks people to do what they can to make use of local skills and services provided by individuals or small businesses.

“There are a lot of businesses and people that are going to be suffering from this,” Adams said, “so wherever and whatever can be appropriate where you can get some contracting work done…if there’s a single handyman or an arborist or someone to paint your fence or something like that that is no contact but can create local employment and keep the economy stimulated…”

For example, the mayor points out that many local restaurants are closing their dining rooms and are switching to take out.

“Those are all the small little things that will at least help keep some people afloat and help keep the financial economy limping along.”

Adams said local medical professionals are doing an “amazing job” and he is very appreciative of the work they’re doing.

RELATED: Victoria-area youth at house party tell police they are ‘immune’ to COVID-19

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