Mayor Walt Cobb, left, Williams Lake Willy and Paul French, Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce director, kick off Stampede Spirit in Williams Lake, Monday, June 22. While the Stampede is cancelled due to COVID-19 the community is still encouraged to display Stampede spirit until July 3. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - WIlliams Lake Tribune)

Editorial: Quiet weekend ahead

Normally we’d be gearing up for several events in Williams Lake

Normally Williams Lake and area would be bustling about right now as community volunteers prepared to host a number of annual events.

Had the novel coronavirus not emerged in 2020, the Williams Lake Stampede, Thunder Mountain Speedway, Williams Lake Rustlers Rugby, Canada Day in the park and the inaugural All Nations Pow Wow would have hosted 1,000s of out-of-town guests.

Daily breakfasts, steak dinners, a parade, and the events themselves, would have kept everyone super busy.

It will, instead, be a very quiet weekend for residents and a relaxing one for the many volunteers who put on those events each year.

With Canada Day, July 1, falling on a Wednesday, we are all short-changed of a long weekend.

During a Father’s Day walk in the woods, we saw how green the forests are compared to this time in 2017. Paths are still wet, the underbrush is lush and things do not feel dry. That’s certainly a consolation in times when other aspects of the future continue to be uncertain.

Read more: It’s a go: Williams Lake Garden Club prepares for summer garden tour

On Monday, June 22, Dr. Bonnie Henry reminded us to ‘proceed with caution,’ especially if we are going out of town to visit or camp in other parts of B.C.

“Some communities may not be ready to welcome others and we have to respect that,” Henry said, adding that if anyone is feeling sick they should not leave town. “Once away, the same three cautious Cs apply – closed spaces, close contact and crowds.”

In the words of health minister Adrian Dix, the largest number of COVID-19 confirmed cases were confirmed around the world on June 21.

“This is a world-wide pandemic that requires a world-wide response,” he said as he reminded how necessary physical distancing is.

Here in the Cariboo Chilcotin we are lucky to have wide open spaces where it is easy to maintain a distance. So as the summer unfolds make sure to enjoy that space to let your inner cowboy, powwow dancer, rugby player, stock car driver or plain old tourist take a deep, full breath.

Read more: Rotary Stampede Community Spirit Drive-Thru Breakfast planned for Williams Lake, July 4

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