British Columbia

Silver linings and small comforts: How British Columbians are dealing with physical distancing

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the province indoors, but some British Columbians are finding there are upsides to being stuck inside. 

Some are turning to comedy television, others are making magic in the kitchen

A heart pasted on the window in Vancouver’s West End earlier this week, showing support for the community and healthcare workers. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the province indoors, but some British Columbians are finding there are upsides to being stuck inside. 

Silken Laumann, an Olympian and motivational speaker, dedicates much of her time to promoting physical and emotional wellbeing. Her book and online series, Unsinkable, are about inspiring true stories.

People are stronger than they realize, she said. 

"We're being faced with so much adversity and so many people out of work," she said.

"But what we're finding out, I think, is that we actually really care about one another." 

For Laumann, it's been important to find a balance between caution and positivity since the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

At the beginning, she said she had a sense of shock and disbelief that it was real. 

"Over the last few days, I've really understood what I can control and what I can't control and almost been getting into a rhythm of a new normal for right now," she said. 

Around B.C., people are getting into the swing of a new normal during abnormal circumstances. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Call-out for small comforts

CBC's B.C. Today and On The Coast put out a call to hear what small comforts are helping create a sense of normalcy during extraordinary times.

These are some of the positives British Columbians are focusing on. 

Annie Smith, who lives in Harrison, is trying to laugh more. 

"My agenda is usually quite busy but now that I don't have an agenda at all, I have embraced comedy television," she said. 

"Television isn't big on my list as a rule but it's worth a try for everyone out there: just switch it on ... and laugh up a storm."

She's also been calling up neighbours to exchange jokes and funny stories, she said. 

For Bindu Mohan, the silver lining is not having to commute an hour to work. 

"Now I have time to exercise and do things I enjoy. I hope corporations and employers change their perspective around working from home (when possible)," Mohan said. 

For Doug Boulter, his phone's gone silent — in a peculiar way. 

"On a usual day (pre-Covid-19 crisis), I would get my first scam/robocall at about 7 a.m., and another between 3 to 6 p.m. every day. In the last week they've stopped," he said. 

"It is a relief, and definitely a silver lining."

Vancouver's No 5 Orange strip club displays a sign promoting hope amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Jenn Swanson is enjoying the extra time with her family, especially the "wizardry" happening in the kitchen. 

"Our teens have taken turns with us parental units in making deliciousness in the kitchen," she wrote. 

"Tea biscuits (that actually tasted like real tea biscuits), chocolate brownies that just screamed for ice cream, cauliflower buffalo wings that disappeared fast, lemon garlic broccoli pasta, and loads of creamy humus."

Swanson's family is also working off all the delicious food together. 

"We even had a family workout session in the living room led by the kinesiology student in our midst," she said. 

For Catherine Spence, the silver lining of not being able to go out is all the extra time she has to complete online Spanish classes and take advantage of free education resources from the library. 

"There's lots of personal enrichment and also professional development," Spence wrote. 

"Next up, either drawing or web page design."

With files from On The Coast and B.C. Today


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