Brian Kirschner on COVID-19

The start of spring at the Lido was to be a rockin' charitable good time.

The 100 Women Who Care group was to meet March 31 for its biannual $10,000 fundraiser in support of a worthy local charity. The next night, East Coast legend Matt Minglewood and his band were to be on stage with a set of songs from a 50-year repertoire of bluesy country rock. And on April 4, the Wild Sheep Society of BC and BC Wildlife Federation were to meet for dinner and hear from UNBC instructor and researcher Roy Rea about the latest in wildlife management.

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Those have all been postponed until sometime after Easter. But an empty stage doesn't mean proprietor Brian Kirschner has empty hands.

"I'm going to buy a whole bunch of lumber and renovate the Lido," says Kirschner.

Kirschner, as with everyone else, is adjusting to the strange new normal of these pandemic times.

Public health orders have closed the city's rec facilities as well as its schools, and most businesses have either closed to the public or reduced services to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 viral infection. Social distancing and flatten the curve are the buzzwords, international travel has been severely curtailed, and few, it seems, know what to expect next.

On COVID-19:

I think people need to take it more serious than they are currently because the worst thing that can possibly happen is they don't actually believe it can happen to them and then it does, or maybe not so much to them, but to someone else in their immediate family. I think taking all precautions would be wise.

It comes does the seriousness of the situation. We don't know everything and what was known Friday of last week has changed consistently every day. I think the federal, provincial, municipal governments need to put a little bit of hurt on everybody in the sense that we need to do what's best for us, which means we need take extreme measures now to stop this.

How he's adjusting:

I think we're doing everything we can here in the sense of cancelling all of our events. Am I self-isolating? I kind of am, because we have nothing going. It's very easy for me because we can come here can work, we can continue to build the operation, we can continue to book events, just not knowing when they're going to happen, or if they're going to happen.

We're going out there and stocking up on a few things but we're certainly not buying incredible Costco quantities of anything. Everybody should do the same. It's almost like they should return some of the things they bought for crying out loud. Leave something for someone else.

At Save-On Foods, the canned goods are ridiculously picked over. We bought blueberries, there was one package. We normally get a kilogram of blueberries that lasts us for a week or two. This time we had to buy the only box they had so we put it in the deep freeze.

The trucks are still coming, the food is still coming. I don't understand why we're creating such a fear, and I guess that's our nature. We are gatherers. We are selfish people. We want what we want when we want it, and it would be nicer if we did a little more kumbaya.

Personal precautions:

The distancing. It's hard not to handshake. I grew up, you look a man in the eye and shake his hand. We were intending on going to Mexico, we've since cancelled that. I was intending to go see my son's concert at the Biltmore on April 15 and that's cancelled. Everything's cancelled.

I have a Honey due jar at home and I have Lido due jar here, and I'm just going to tackle some of those things. People will be going crazy. Divorce lawyers are going to be really busy … I'm kidding.

How are you helping out in the community?

We put it out there that if anybody needs help with anything, even to find it, we would encourage them to contact the Lido and leave a message who you are and what you're having trouble with. We will treat it confidentially. We want to help everyone. We're all in this community together; we're in it together so we can get through it together.

How long do you think this will last?

I believe we're going to be going through the summer, I don't think things are going to ramp up until maybe September. We pride ourselves, and like roll up our sleeves and get things done: 'I can fight the flu.' We can't. This is something we have never seen before. I think the speed in which Justin Trudeau did not act, we're going to suffer for that.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca. 

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