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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ADAM OLSEN -- COVID-19 is real ... it is a devastating disease and it must be taken seriously

If you are a Facebook friend of my mom then you may have seen her post announcing that her partner Tex has tested positive for COVID-19 and she is a presumptive case.

The novel coronavirus has disrupted every part of our lives. It’s not just a community state of emergency, it’s global. Up until they received their diagnosis a couple of days ago, for our family COVID-19 was a disease that was affecting other people.

Like most British Columbians we have been hearing the recommendations and orders from Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s Chief Medical Officer, and taking them increasingly seriously. My family has been restricting our movements and limiting our interactions with others. Other than a quick trip to the legislature I have been limited to our property for the past week.

My mom and Tex attended a conference in Toronto and returned two weeks ago feeling unwell. Thankfully over the past few days they are not getting much worse, however they are also not getting much better either. Living with COVID-19 is a story that I will leave for my author mom to tell when she has the energy.

Thankfully they took those early recommendations of the public health officer to self-quarantine very seriously.

They live near the airport and other than a quick trip to my sister’s house to pick up their dog they went home and have not left since.

The people at the BC Centre for Disease Control have been an incredible support. They continue to investigate the situation but they have completely cleared the single brief interaction at my sister's house. Other than through the phone and video conferencing, nobody has had any interaction with my mom and Tex. I and my immediate family feel fine.

It is a surreal time for our family and all British Columbians.

We are proud of our freedom and liberty that in the past few weeks have been dramatically restricted.

Everything that once seemed reliable is now in question.

The emerging public health emergency, is also a growing economic emergency.

Our entire society and way of life has been turned upside down.

I’m sharing this story about Tex and my mom because COVID-19 is real. It is a devastating disease and it must be taken seriously. As Minister of Health, Hon. Adrian Dix, stated emphatically in his response to my question in Question Period, the public health orders to stay home are 100%.

Other than essential business, 100% of British Columbians should stay home 100% of the time.

If you do have to go out, maintain physical distance from the people around you. Make sure you wash your hands often, wash them thoroughly following all the guidelines for hand washing.

As my mom said, when she and Tex were telling their grandkids on a video conference that their grandparents have COVID-19, if they had not taken those orders seriously nearly two weeks ago, then they would have been responsible for spreading this awful disease to their entire family.

Thank you to everyone who has read my mom's Facebook post and reached out to us to extend your well wishes. Our family appreciates you keeping them in your thoughts and prayers just as we are keeping all the people who are struggling with COVID-19 in our thoughts and prayers.

Please listen to the updates and follow all the recommendations as if you have no other option. Our government does not want to have to force further restrictions and we are hoping for broad social acceptance.

We can limit the spread of the novel coronavirus by each one of us doing our part.

Thank you for doing your part to keep us safe. For medical questions please call 811 to speak to a nurse.

For non-medical COVID-19 questions (i.e. childcare, financial support or travel) call 1-800-COVID-19. Information is available in 110 language between 7:30am and 8:00pm.

If you are not well and think you need to be tested, check out the provincial government self-assessment tool at COVID19.THRIVE.HEALTH.

For employment insurance inquires please call Service Canada at 1-833-381-2725.


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