Christmas in the time of COVID
Last year COVID lockdowns prevented us
from traveling so we had our first Christmas in our own
home. This year there was a lot of uncertainty - Omicron was
rising fast and while there were some lock downs (can't fly to
South Africa for while) and lot of barriers (you need to
quarantine for two weeks if you visit Hong Kong), the restrictions
were better this year than last year. There was guidance to
keep visits under 10 guests. We were all vaccinated (the
kids got their first shots in December) so we felt a lot better
(but no invulnerable) than last year.
Of course the world goes on beyond COVID. There was a
significant series of storms (now called atmospheric rivers) that
destroyed highway access from the lower mainland to the rest of BC
including shutting down pipelines. Sadly, much of abbotsford
was under water, damaging food production. Gasoline was
restricted to 30 liters a fill up and some gas stations had
lineups. My parents ment to come over but had to rearrange
their plans because of the difficulty in finding fuel in
Surrey. (Vancouver was fine). My parents did a make up
trip the next weekend and we took them to see the outdoor lights
The kids get two weeks off over Christmas break, but Helen and I
get less. My parents kindly offered to take the kids for the
week so we took them over on a weekend. We were early enough
for our 3pm reservations that they put us on the 2pm which gave me
the chance to try and do a timelapse from the front of the ferry!
Christmas in Victoria
Helen and I returned to Victoria on
Christmas Eve (it's hard working in a hospital) so we were there
for Christmas morning.
Christmas day is a bit of a weird duck for me. Clearly it's
about family but everyone seems to have their own ideas for the
day - perhaps start in on a new book or go for a walk. It
wasn't much, but I hung out on the back deck of my parents house
and watched the birds do their thing.
Later in the afternoon we drove to Goldstream Provincial
Park. Parking was reasonable.
Up Island for Boxing Day
My aunt kindly hosts a Boxing Day get together in Courtney where
most of my family live. Between the snow and the COVID
restrictions it looked a little doubtful for a while, but we made
it up island and arrived just before dinner.
John Hendry Park
A few years ago there was a two week
long cold period in Vancouver and people started playing hockey on
the ice of Trout Lake. There was warnings that the ice was
thin, but it got enough coverage that eventually huge crowds showed
up at the lake to see it.
This years cold streak
was going on two weeks below zero so I decided to head out to the
lake and check it out with the kids. Sure enough, there were
hundreds of people on the lake skating and having
fun. There were a few signs warning about thin
ice, but when there are hundreds of people breaking the rules, it
really hard to take the sign seriously. This bothered me
because the city is effectivly teaching people to ignore the safey
signs - not good.
In the summer Trout lake can have really high fecal coliform counts
and they close the small beach to swimming. Even if the
bacteria counts aren't above the limits, the city still publishes
the data for the beach and many other swimming locations around
Vancouver. My proposal is that the city should measure the ice
thickness here and post the results regularly rather than teaching
people to ignore safety signs.
We had a great walk - I wonder how many years it will be before the
lake freezes like this again.
Tags: dessert(4), Trout Lake(3), candlelight(2), beach(2), snow(2), biking(2)
People: Claira(12), Nara(10), Lloyd(5), Philip(4), Lexi May(3), Janet(2)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2021 to 2005 > December 2021
Last Modified Thursday, January 20th, 2022 at 22:49:52 Edit
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