Welcome to Cowichan This Week! This is your essential reading for staying connected to what’s up in the Cowichan Valley. We update this page every week with current news and events. If you want to receive this information straight to your inbox, sign up for our Cowichan Valley newsletter.
The long weekend is nearly upon us, and the forecast is warm and sunny. Normally, this would be a time to gather with friends and family and to go out and explore the beautiful land we call home.
But this weekend, the message is clear: We must stay home. We must continue to connect with our communities virtually, as we have been learning to do over the last few weeks.
All federal parks and B.C. provincial parks are closed. North Cowichan and CVRD parks and trails will stay open if people can respect physical distancing guidelines, North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said on Facebook. He asked that people go to the park closest to home, if they go to one.
The coronavirus spreads when people move around. We don’t want an influx of visitors from Greater Victoria, and we must likewise commit to staying in our home communities and avoiding non-essential travel.
So, we can all admire the gifts of spring in our own neighbourhoods. We are lucky to live in a place with so much nature so close. Whether you are celebrating Passover or Easter or the return of warmth and light, I wish you and your circles a happy weekend and the best of health.
Looking for a fun long weekend activity? The Discourse Cowichan is holding a photo contest. Whether you’re busy with a hobby, bored at home or exhausted on the front lines, we want to see what COVID in Cowichan looks like through your lens. No non-essential travel allowed!
Share your photos and tag #COWvid19 on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Or, you can send them to me by email with #COWvid19 in the subject line. You can submit as many entries as you like. We’ll feature our favourites and announce a winner in this newsletter next week. Top prize is a $25 gift card to a local business you like.
Please spread the word, especially to any young people you know who might want a creative task to focus on.
The deadline is 11:59 p.m Tuesday, April 14. Happy shooting!
- Island Health is sharing information on how you can support the healthcare response on COVID-19. Whether you want to volunteer, donate supplies or send a message of thanks and encouragement, here’s the place to start.
- Statistics Canada is collecting information about the impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians. Responses to the short survey will help the government understand what help is still needed.
- The federal government has opened applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, to support people who have lost income due to COVID-19. The government says help is on the way more Canadians who do not yet qualify for support. Here’s more information on accessing federal support and provincial support.
News of the week
- Doctors have new powers to prescribe pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs to people who are addicted and at risk of contracting COVID-19. David Minkow, with The Discourse Cowichan, reports.
- Some Cowichan Valley schools will reopen this week to supervise the children of essential workers without other childcare options, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports. Parents in this situation should contact their school principal.
- Island Health has announced that it will open a new Wellness and Recovery Centre on York Street, near the Duncan core. The centre will bring together treatment and services related to addictions and mental health. The Duncan Overdose Prevention Site will move to that location.
- BC Ferries has suspended the Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay and Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay routes. BC Ferries has asked residents to avoid non-essential travel. Transport Canada requires that ferry staff conduct a health screening of all passengers on trips longer than 30 minutes.
- Sewage systems on Vancouver Island are being overloaded by an increase in flushed wipes and rags, CHEK News reports. Local governments are reminding people to flush only toilet paper.
- To support first responders through the COVID-19 crisis, Panago Pizza locations between Mill Bay and Parksville have offered a free small pizza to healthcare workers, firefighters and police officers, Parksville Qualicum Beach News reports.
The community events section will now include scheduled events that take place online or by telephone. Planning something? Send me an email to let me know.
- Every day: 🏋️ Ladysmith Recreation is sharing daily videos with workouts and activities. Check out the schedule.
- Friday, Apr. 10: 🎵 Amy and Tafadzwa Matamba of Duncan’s Little Zimbabwe Farm will perform live on Facebook at 5 p.m.
- Sundays, Apr. 12-26: 🎤 The Lila Music Centre is hosting a virtual Big Community Sing Song, with special guests. Register in advance.
- Monday, Apr. 13: 🕵️♀️ Want some help wading through all the COVID-19 information and misinformation? Join journalist Alia Dharssi for a virtual training session on verifying online information. Journalists for Human Rights is offering many sessions of this training this month.
- Mondays, April 13-27: 🎹 Check out A Streetcar Named The Blues with David Vest, a live weekly performance of story and song streamed to YouTube from the Duncan Showroom, 5 p.m.
- Tuesdays, April 14-28: 🎸 Eugene Smith shares stories and songs of life on the road, streamed to YouTube from the Duncan Showroom, 5 p.m.
Photo of the week
In these difficult times, it’s so important to savour moments of delight. I was delighted by a photo and post by Genevieve Singleton on Facebook this week. She writes:
“My heart is hurting with the deaths and illnesses of my loved ones and their families. Today I found T’uqwun’, Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) and laughed aloud through my tears since the leaves on this plant are nature’s toilet paper! Mind you they have to grow bigger than the wee reddish gorgeous leaf at the bottom. Soft, not itchy, kind of flannel feeling.”
Thanks so much for sharing, and bringing light into this world.
In your words
Last week, Jared Qwustenuxun Williams wrote about how First Nations elders are coping through this crisis. Thanks to all who replied with words of encouragement and support.
“Big thanks Jared to you for your nourishing, medicinal words and actions. All these meet our needs for food and medicine, respect and love,” Linda wrote.
Thanks, Linda. And thank you all for being here with us on this journey.
That’s it for this week. This information is for you. Help us make it better by sending your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. And, please help us spread the word by sharing this story.