Opinion: No - Burnaby ‘covidiots’ - this is not social distancing

Chris Campbell

The term “covidiot” hit the modern lexicon over the weekend in Canada and the U.S.

It’s an apt hashtag and not-at-all harsh in relation to the behaviour we’re seeing from people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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We all slapped our foreheads at all of the people down at the beach in Vancouver, but here in Burnaby, there were plenty of incidents of poor decisions made by adults.

I even have some photographic proof detailing how not to social distance.

The idea is that you should stay a significant distance from other people.

burnaby confederation park covid-19 social distancing
People in close contact at Confederation Park on Sunday. Social distancing recommendations for COVID-19 say people should be much farther apart than this. JENNIFER GAUTHIER/NOW

This is what the federal government recommends:

  • avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
  • avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes
  • limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health)
  • keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others, as much as possible.

Now look at the photo posted above from a Burnaby Costco. Those people are not keeping a safe distance away from each other. Also, the store has set things up so people in the lineup are passing right by each other.

I’m pulling my hair out looking at this stuff.

Now also look at the photo in the body of the text taken at Burnaby’s Confederation Park on Sunday. Here we see people all sitting together having some sort of picnic when they should be sitting farther apart or, better yet, staying at home instead of this “non-essential gathering.”

Finally, look at the photo from the Home Depot in North Burnaby. Now those people are lining up properly because they are keeping a safe distance away. However, it should also be added that people shouldn’t be shopping for home supplies during a pandemic. Like, is this really necessary? Is it really worth the risk of catching the virus or perhaps spreading it?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier today (Monday) was literally begging people to stay home if they don’t have to go out.

“Enough is enough. Go home and stay home,” said Trudeau, after appearing from self-isolation outside his home.

Reacting to continued calls to invoke the Emergencies Act and potentially force people to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister hinted that such talks could take place later today with Canada’s premiers.

burnaby home depot social distancing
People keeping far apart at the Burnaby Home Depot on Sunday. Social distancing recommendations for COVID-19 say people should be far apart. JENNIFER GAUTHIER/NOW

“If you choose to ignore (the two-metre safe distance) advice and get together with people, you’re putting yourself and others at risk, your elderly relative, your friend with an underlying health condition,” added Trudeau.

“They need you to do your part. I’ve seen the pictures online of people who think they’re invisible. You’re not.”

So think about this before you decide to go for a picnic in a local park or cram together in a store just so you can pick up another pint of ice cream you don’t need or a bag of nails for a home reno project.

Don’t be that covidiot.

  • With files from the Canadian Press.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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