There are worse places to spend a pandemic lockdown than Vancouver, British Columbia. In fact, it would be hard for me to envision a better place to hunker down during these strange times. Here are just a few of the reasons:
- Vancouver features a wide range of outdoor spaces and is on a quest to become the “Greenest City in the World”
- Our pandemic, though not without its tragedies – especially in long-term care facilities – has faced significantly lower cases and deaths than in almost all other major jurisdictions.
- We have the amazing Dr. Bonnie Henry as our Provincial Health Officer, and she’s led us through an incredibly efficient and effective process for managing the pandemic. She even has her own catchphrase: “Be Kind, Be Calm, and Stay Safe”.
- While none of us are perfect, British Columbia’s had relatively few morons running around “protesting” social distancing guidelines.
- Canada’s done quite a lot so far to mitigate the direct economic impacts on citizens. That doesn’t prevent there being tremendous hardship, but those measures are keeping most of those in need from slipping under water.
There are other vectors of privilege than where one lives, however, and those make a huge difference. My wife and I own our home, live in a lovely part of town and have a modest back yard. That means its easier for us to get a bit of time outside without compromising social distancing guidelines. We also have nice neighbours, so being around home all the time doesn’t increase stress from people shouting or banging the walls. Not everyone lives in such relatively idyllic circumstances, and it must take incredible amounts of will power and commitment to keep it together during these times.
I’ve become even more conscious lately of how fortunate I am to be able to make a good living writing books. During the pandemic, I’m able to write more novels (and have written just under 300,000 words in the first four months of the year), and while the economic impacts for novelists like me are likely to hit more profoundly in the second half of the year (because publishers pay out royalties 6-9 months after they’re earned), I’ve been fortunate to have two series that are successful in the digital markets as well as in print, and so that, too, mitigates some of the losses.
The only sad part for me is that my wife and I love to travel, and that may be out of the question for a long while to come. Still, we’re together and we have our strange and demanding cats to keep us busy.
Hope all of you are holding up and looking forward to better times to come.