Kelowna during the Corona crisis has, like many communities, been a beacon of innovation.
We’ve been in lockdown for about 3 weeks now. Days are blending. Memories of normalcy and the luxury of travel are now surreal and feel like fairytales. We long for our friendships, family members, to get back to work, to play, to eat, to live.
It has been fascinating to see what each country has made of this crisis. I won’t speak about the chaos of the USA. I checked in with a friend living in Brooklyn with more than a few roommates. She seems centred limiting her news intake to NPR podcasts, keeps her head down with work and gratefulness for her health and that of her family. With this I am content.
In Paris, France, for example, you are limited to a 30 minute walk in your neighbourhood. Bakeries are essential services. Parks are flooded with laissez faire youngsters perhaps not as keen on the 2 meter rule as others.
Meanwhile in Kelowna during Corona, and throughout Canada, many are flocking to the nearest hiking trail making it impossible for social distancing on narrow hike paths. Even my neighbourhood kids aren’t making it easy as they congregate on bikes and won’t move off the sidewalks for those with dogs or strollers.
But the kids have also been gracious in leaving painted rocks with messages of hope and love. In my parents’ neighbourhood someone decorated a few trees with Easter eggs and ribbons for children to find. Liquor stores remain open. Local wineries are either open or offering free shipping. My favourite locally owned restaurants are offering innovative ways to gain some kind of momentum, albeit slower than usual, in a stagnant time.
From locally delivery and curb side pickup to drive-in experiences from days of old. I have been truly impressed by my city and its food scene and the support of its natives. I myself am trying to do my part with a Foodie Box delivered to the doors of Okanagan foodies needing something to look forward to. I hope to make it a monthly event.
While many local businesses are open some have needed to close in order to develop a game plan. Many shops closed in order to do the right thing knowing their location isn’t suitable to maintain social distancing or because they were forced to do so by the government. Some news reports in Vancouver focus on a few business owners who try to stay open without obeying any form of the government recommendations ending in public chastising on social media or worse.
It is so odd to see empty streets and open parking along Kelowna’s Pandosy Village.
While Stuart Park was devoid of anyone while I took this shot, the nearby walking path overlooking the Yacht Club and marina had many bikers, joggers, and flâneurs.
Meanwhile, the marina has never been so full with moored boats on a warm spring afternoon.
The only thing really helping us all keep our sanity is the promise of spring. The orchards are on the cusp of blooming, vineyard vines are starting to drip dew from the freshly severed limbs. Nature perseveres.