Meanwhile, Abbotsford's school trustees are upset with the city's approach to a joint agreement
Friday, May 14, 2021
Friday is here!
It’s Friday! The weather is good. Don’t waste your time arguing about vaccines. When someone starts using sketchy statistics to try to convince you that vaccines are worse than COVID-19, just remember: every single day, thousands die within 24 hours of eating cereal for breakfast. Most agree: despite the mushy horror of bran flakes, cereal is probably not going to kill you. Neither is this vaccine. —Tyler Olsen, managing editor
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Half of all eligible British Columbians have now received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine 📸  Ball Lunla/Shutterstock
Smiles, tears, and the end of the tunnel

As thousands of people—thousands of you—get jabbed in the arm, those vaccinations are bringing a communal sense of hope that a measure of normalcy may soon reunite us with family, friends, concerts and dates. And that process is creating feelings. Heavy feelings. We asked you to describe them.

Brenda: My partner in life is Metis so she was able to get her shot a lot sooner than most our age (late 50s) so off she went to the hall on Promontory Road as I sat working from home, very sad that I could not get my shot also. Then she called[… ] she said: "Hon, throw some clothes on and get over here, they will give you a shot." I was so excited I dressed in the dark, threw on some flip-flops and out the door I went. I was almost tripping over myself to not miss out[…] I babbled at the person giving me the shot; I did not even notice it going in. I was over the moon, could not stop smiling, I felt invincible, like nothing could touch me, I was safe, I was halfway out of this mess. I then felt overwhelmed with relief and a little teary that now I did not have to feel so vulnerable to the "what-ifs." I cannot wait for everyone to feel this way. It is freeing and like a big warm hug to know you’re on your way.

Penny: I’m a pro-science fanatic, been pushing vaccines for many things, forever, but I actually didnt want to get it. Why not? Because Im OK. I work at home, I shop once a week, exercise outside and have wine ‘n zoom get-togethers with my peeps. I’m OK, I can stay here.

But my children! They should have gone first. My 20- and 22-year-olds, stuck in a limbo thats consumed what seems to them half a lifetime. I think back to myself at that age, all my plans and hopes and dreams, saturated with the urgency of youth, burning my patience at both ends, driving me to achieve things and go places. But they’ve nowhere to go, they follow the rules but we just keep asking them for more patience. One of them should have had my vaccine. The only reason I didnt bow out in the hopes of opening it up earlier for them was that I could choose the AstraZeneca vaccine[...] So yes, I was consumed with emotion when getting my vaccine, but not for the reasons everyone thought I was. It should have been one of my children in that chair.

Marnie: I remember walking past the COVID vaccination site at Chilliwack Mall when it first opened and wanting to cry because I was so happy to see it! This was actually happening!

I’m 66 and had my Moderna vaccination April 28 in Agassiz. It was very emotional for me for several reasons. First it was frustrating when I wasn’t able to make an appointment where I live in Chilliwack, however later that day I was able to book my Agassiz appointment. Relief! Driving to the Agricultural Centre was like driving to an event. Once there, the atmosphere was almost like entering a church, subdued but in a positive way. As if we were all embarking on the final leg of a very long journey. Once in the waiting area afterwards, those surrounding me were clearly feeling pleased, proud and pretty happy. Finally, what we had been waiting for was happening!

Arlene: I had my first vaccination a while ago and it was just as exciting as getting a new car! Getting vaccinated was a feeling of ultimate relief. My husband is housebound due to health issues and my worry was that I would bring something home to him. Having both of us now vaccinated, 2nd one due in June, we can feel a little easier in our day-to-day routines.

Julie: I was driving to where I got my vaccination. And I suddenly became very emotional because it felt like there was going to be an end to this thing at some point. And it was just a big step because I felt like soon I wouldn't have to worry so much.

I teared up a couple of times inside the clinic when the nurse actually gave me my vaccination. I got all teary-eyed and I thanked her for what she was doing. And then when I was sitting in the observation room, I teared up again, and this nice nurse came and talked to me because I think she noticed that I was tearing up...
The thing is it surprised me! Because I'm not a crier. And the very next thought was, ‘Oh my god. When do my kids get vaccinated?’ (One of Julie’s sons—the editor of this piece—was vaccinated Thursday.)

The Floor Is Yours: We weren’t able to include all your responses, but you can find more on our Facebook discussion post, where you can also share your own, if you haven’t already.
Need to Know
🚓 The body of a man whose body was found in Abbotsford last week has now been identified, and police say they are treating the death as suspicious.. [Abbotsford Police]

🚨 A man drowned after falling into the water near the Grant’s Landing houseboat community in Langley. [Langley Advance Times]

🏔 Othello Tunnels could open soon near Hope. But first, officials have to make sure it is safe [Hope Standard]

🐣 Blasting at a quarry that is home to a rare peregrine falcon nest has renewed worries. [Abbotsford News]

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The Agenda
Staff at the City of Abbotsford say the school district should start paying fees for the use of 2 parks by softball and baseball academies, creating tension between the two local governments. A joint usage agreement allows students to use city fields at no cost to the district, but city staff have now told the district that they no longer feel the contract applies to the use of ball fields by academy students, because the usage is much higher. City council must still approve the recommended change in policy. But while it would lead to only a small increase in academy fees, the proposed move and a lack of consultation has upset trustees. "I feel very strongly that city council can’t just determine that they are going to change their understanding of the joint use agreement that we have had in place for 10 years without our consent," Trustee Rhonda Pauls said.

Downtown Chilliwack is getting a little brighter, with the installation of 77 new ornamental LED lights. The installation began in January, and saw lights go up on First Avenue, Williams Street, Bole Avenue, Mellard Avenue, and Fletcher Street. The lights are now waiting to be connected to BC Hydro.
COVID latest
As optimism grows about the end of the pandemic, documents unearthed by SCMP reporter Ian Young show how many care homes delayed declaring outbreaks or releasing information to the public, patients, and even other staff members when an employee tested positive for the virus. Nearly 200 people died in such outbreaks.

Fraser Health
  • New cases: 365 / 396 average (down 12% from one week prior)
  • No active outbreaks at hospitals or in long-term care
  • School exposures: Abbotsford: 22 / Chilliwack: 4 / Langley: 16 / Mission: 5 / Fraser Cascade: 1
  • Workplace closures (May 12): 2
  • New cases: 587 / 598 average (down 14% from one week ago)
  • 413 hospitalizations (down 10% from one week prior)
  • 5 new deaths / 1,632 total
Your Favourite Patios
As summer approaches, we are showcasing 3 great patios from around the region each Friday! Here are the reader picks for this week:
Left: Fieldhouse Brewing, Chilliwack
Centre: Artful Dodger, Langley
Right: Abbey Road Tap House, Abbotsford

Do you have another favourite spot? Email us your go-to patio (and maybe send us a photo of you there!). You can also check out Chilliwack and Abbotsford specific lists created by others.

Around Town
👟 Chilliwack’s Hike for Hospice is asking people to join into teams for a socially distant hike, walk, or run on June 5 to raise funds for the Chilliwack Hospice Society.
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