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Just Stay the Fuck Away From Each Other

Yesterday was a very sunny Saturday, possibly the last one for a while. Michelle and I were pretty stir crazy, having kept our family in isolation for several days. So we took a drive around town. I wish we hadn’t. It was immediately clear that the very real threat of catching COVID-19 wasn’t getting through to people. We saw cycling clubs bunched tight together, a group of skaters sessioning a ledge, a circle of 20-somethings huddled together and brown-bagging beers and sharing joints on the beach — it was all pretty enraging. This was after the Vancouver Park Board asked citizens not in self-isolation to keep their distance from one another.

Tragically, many Vancouverites did not think those directives applied to them. Over the same weekend more than 1,250 COVID-19 fatalities were recorded in Italy. Read that again. Can you picture 1,250 Vancouverites? That’s not just a packed show at the Commodore Ballroom, but also the band, the opening act and a couple hundred more people milling about on Granville Street outside. I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say those deaths in Italy could have all been avoided if the people who infected them had just heeded calls to take this pandemic seriously.

So I’m going to say what the Park Board did not: The ones spreading it in Vancouver are the ones who think it’s no big deal; that they’ll dodge it because they’re young and invincible. These are the people to avoid the most. For the sake of your Mom, your kid, your elderly neighbour and our frontline of doctors, nurses and caregivers, do us all a favour and stay the fuck away from them.

I don’t know how many of us will get sick and die because of the selfishness on display over the weekend, but the number is not zero. This needs to change immediately. And it isn’t enough to operate under the assumption that everyone around us is infected with the virus. We should assume that we are infected as well, and behave accordingly with responsibility. Any person not operating under those assumptions is an asshole who isn’t interested in potentially saving the lives of their friends, family and fellow citizens.

There are 14 comments

  1. thank you for that – stay the fuck away from one another !
    It is WAY too peoplely out there !!!!!!

  2. Thanks for this Andrew. I’ve applied the “stay the fuck away from them” principle to all people who I don’t live with and would encourage others to do the same if they are having a hard time understanding what’s been asked of us right now.

  3. While I know I’m safe inside from them, there are so many who aren’t…
    I’m thinking we recruit a brigade of cars to patrol the streets, blasting our horns at all these idiots congregating outside!
    Kudos to Mr. Stewart to step up enforcement, Richmond needs to follow suit!

  4. Thank you! I think what some people are maybe forgetting or just not realizing is that there are people out there who have tested positive and have had NO symptoms. They were only tested because someone they had been in recent contact with became symptomatic and received a positive result, thus the chain of testing begins.

    So who the hell knows how many positive people are out there just spreading it to family, friends, coworkers, etc because they’re “not sick.” Best thing is to just stay the fuck home and only be around those that already live with you.

  5. Thanks for using your public voice, Andrew. I’m enraged as well. I trust that the people in my social circle understand and are complying so sharing repeated pleas on my FB page won’t reach those who are ignoring orders. This is the best I have come up with to feel like I am doing something to reach those people… British Columbia, if you are frustrated too, consider signing this petition. We are failing in our response to COVID-19 and need our leaders to enact stronger measures now. Lock me down if it means all the #covidiots will be locked in too! http://chng.it/MwYLgCgB via @CdnChange

  6. Couldn’t agree more so thanks for verbalizing what many of us are thinking. Share this article as well, which lays out the evidence-based statistical probabilities associated with various mitigation and suppression strategies – and if this doesn’t scare people into behaving responsibly, and behaving as though they give a shit about their families, neighbours, communities…then bring on the brigade.



  7. QUESTION: Why aren’t people working for the city and/or public service – such as bus drivers and park rangers – being held accountable for their egregious breaches of public safety??? I went out for a walk today, with my mental metre-stick in tow, wandering through mud and into city streets to maintain a safe distance from people (FYI fellow walkers, I’m not doing this for fun so PLEASE don’t respond by filling the gap)…but what REALLY infuriated me was encountering groups of park rangers (4 on Kits Beach) close together and approaching people too closely, as well as a huddle of bus drivers blocking a Broadway sidewalk, making it impossible for anyone to safely walk by. How the hell is ANYONE supposed to take these guidelines seriously when people of respect/authority are obviously not???

  8. Andrew, thank you for this reminder….although, I feel it could’ve been said in a kinder tone w/o the colourful grammar. It reminded me of something,Trump, would say as a knee jerk reaction – as opposed to someone more diplomatic like say, Obama.

  9. Kinder words were tried by many. Wasn’t working. As for the Trump comparison, ouch.

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