Letter to the Editor – COVID


Dear Editor,

Where I’m at with COVID.

I live in a “jewel” of a village that, so far, has been fairly safe. It’s an historic village and mecca for tourists. As much as I’d like our businesses to prosper, I am concerned that now, during this pandemic, the-powers-that-be have seen fit to advertise a welcome to visitors “from far and wide” for our scaled down annual “Christmas in Merrickville” celebration on December 5 & 6. They advise all to take the usual precautions “…so that Merrickville doesn’t become known as a super spreader”. And that the shopping celebration will now be two days instead of one, “to hopefully spread out the number of visitors… to make sure the stores aren’t overwhelmed with shoppers”. I wonder how visiting shoppers coming from far and wide will be cognizant of that, and somehow coordinate their numbers over two days. What this plan really does is allow for a greater number of visitors, and therefore greater risk.

Having said all that, I do welcome all to enjoy our village, once there’s a handle on COVID and the vaccine has rolled out. Merrickville has so much to offer and excels at entertaining visitors.

Perhaps the safest thing for a resident (or someone considering to visit) is to not take part in the event. And to hope that safety and common sense will prevail among visitors regarding the wisdom of travel to other villages to shop during this pandemic, especially for goods that are not necessities. We’re forgetting to treat our stores like our homes, pandemic-wise. It seems that I must choose to isolate myself from the village amenities, and perhaps even the little bubble of friends I’ve been blessed with, for the required time after the event. I can become an on-line/delivered-to local shopper, so that the village can invite visitors from far and wide, which is basically what our elected official suggested when contacted with my concerns. Well, we all have our priorities.

My son is a designated essential worker whose workplace, he told me this morning, has just been designated as a red zone in itself. His work is essential for others. Also, my brother was taken to hospital having contracted COVID last week. They live outside our area, and, needs be, our contact has been mostly virtual for some time. The pandemic is very real for us. I truly hope it does not become more real for the village and visitors after Christmas in Merrickville. Pouring rain or cancellation would be nice solutions, but, sadly, I’ve no control over that.

And so, that’s where I’m at with COVID.

Jan Schryburt


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