Opinion: Burnaby trail user fed up with lack of distancing

Chris Campbell

When it comes to social distancing, people act one way inside and another outside.

Inside is still not great, as I see too many people in malls and stores not following Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidelines. But outside? People seem to think that because they are outside that the rules simply don’t matter. As though fresh air kills the virus.

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Doug in Burnaby agrees.

The avid trail user – who didn’t want his last name used because he feared being attacked by trolls for speaking out – says people using Burnaby trails are not showing enough respect for others.

“I hoped that during a pandemic the incessant reminders of social distancing would sink in and everyone enjoying the outdoors would be kind and respectful to each other,” Doug said. “Apparently not for about a third of people. On a Sunday walk around Burnaby Lake, I encountered about a third who were so engaged in conversation or just oblivious to the common courtesy of falling into single file as my wife and I did whilst passing oncoming or overtaking others in order to maintain social distancing. A group of about 10 runners pounded past side by side owning the path.

“On their second trip around, it was me who stood my ground and it was me who got the dirty looks because I wasn’t making room for them who were running side by side. We are in a pandemic and we are so fortunate to be living in B.C. that has extremely low infection and hospitalization rates. Can people just be kind and considerate to take two steps to their right or left so we may keep it that way? A couple of kind steps is all I’m asking for.”

I’ve seen the same thing and that has kept me away from certain local trails. They aren’t wide enough to handle people walking side by side, and so many walkers and runners refuse to walk single file.

Just because you are outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t pass on COVID-19. Stay away from others.

Sure, it’s a bit of a hassle, but this is what we need to do.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.



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