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It is said that a person’s true character is revealed in times of crisis. If this is true, then it may be disheartening to watch the worst in us emerge as the current coronavirus crisis unfolds.

With all that’s going on in the world today, people are talking about health now more than ever. And while some folks make health a priority everyday, there are many who wait until something happens before making any changes. And still others are doing things they think are beneficial, but r…

Before the coronavirus restrictions on large groups, Garry Norkum, owner of Cyclepath in Kelowna, invited members of the Okanagan Slow and Steady Hikers ( to a free bike clinic at his 2169 Springfield Rd. business.

As I write this week’s report from Ottawa, we have just finished a special all-night session of Parliament passing Bill C-13, An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19.

Over the past week, schools have shut down, events have been cancelled, borders have closed, restaurants and gyms have shut their doors and thousands of workers have been laid off. 

It appears we are going to be stuck at home for the foreseeable future. We better all hunker down for some Netflix and make sure our pantries are filled with non-perishable goods.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Okanagan Weekend welcomes Kelowna resident Phil Collins (yes, that’s his name) to our pages as the new Focus on Faith columnist. Phil, who hails originally from the U.K., replaces Tim Schroeder, who was with us for more than 15 years.

I have been working the past week in my offices in Penticton and Kelowna, trying to live by the six-foot rule and regularly sanitizing my work station and hands.

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The warning signs were there, but by Feb. 27, those signs were a little too frequent and it became apparent that it was time to suck it up and head to a hospital, never my favourite destination.


Some readers might remember SARS of 2002, or H1N1, and various other outbreaks over the years. It is reminiscent of the Spanish flu of 1918, during which all events with more than 10 people were cancelled. Now it is COVID-19.

When I first wrote on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) three weeks ago there were 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada with 20 in Ontario, 12 in British Columbia and one in Quebec.


Revelstoke this week became the first community in the Interior Health region to have a publicly confirmed case of COVID-19.

Former B.C. reporter Shane Woodford is ahead of the story. Eight hours ahead, in time zones, since he lives in Denmark. And Denmark looks to be a few days ahead of Canada in terms of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it. So his experience might be instructive as to what…


Here we are, several weeks into the coronavirus pandemic and shoppers are still panic buying and raiding the grocery store shelves.

I emigrated from Ireland to Canada at age 17 and worked for two years in Toronto and Port Alice on Vancouver Island. Then the urge to go and see the world hit me again and so I travelled to San Francisco, Hawaii, Fiji and New Zealand, where I worked six months on the Wellington docks.

This has hardly been a serene week. The COVID-19 virus has quarantined whole nations -- imagine Rome without crowds, Venice without tourists, and  soccer games with empty stands!

The world suffered a pandemic a decade ago of a different sort. It was the banks that got sick, not people. But some of the impacts of the economic meltdown brought on by the banking collapse in 2008 might turn out to be similar.

There is very little the government can do to prevent the coronavirus from damaging the economy. The usual tools like tax cuts and stimulus spending won’t restore cancelled conferences, concerts or sporting events.

Have you ever encountered a situation in which you knew an organization was being unfair, but you weren’t sure what to do about it?

Insurance companies are going to be reaching a bizarre balance point this year, if they haven’t made it already. The fortune they’ll make by jacking up condo insurance premiums to a breathtaking degree will be matched by the staggering loss of goodwill and reputation.

By now it is no secret that after a 41-year career as a pastor I have announced a slight adjustment to my life course. I have resigned my role as a local parish pastor and will be leveraging the next era of my life as chaplain to the RCMP.

The grad and beach-party season has always been a risky time for teens, but with our contaminated drug supply, it’s never been more dangerous.

The dominant news story of the last few weeks (aside from U.S. obsession with the Democratic primaries) has been the spread and effects of the new coronavirus, officially dubbed COVID-19.


A government at the federal level has two main ways to influence the economy. Fiscal policy works by spending and taxing. The other method is by managing the supply of money, the cost of borrowing (the Bank Rate) and, to a limited extent, the level of the national currency in terms of other …

They had to screw the hand-sanitizer dispenser to the church wall. With all of Italy desperate for disinfectant gel, and the dispenser tantalizingly close to the front entrance, passing sinners were bound to succumb to temptation.

In years gone by, it might take days, plus a visit to the doctor, before you got the results of blood or urine tests. Now, with a new online portal, Island Health has largely done away with that.

The dominant news story of the last few weeks (aside from U.S. obsession with the Democratic primaries) has been the spread and effects of the new coronavirus, officially dubbed COVID-19.