March 29, 2021

Published by Victor Barr on

My lovely wife and I had dinner at the Bullwheel last night.  The Bullwheel is a restaurant at Big White that always satisfied our culinary cravings. We enjoyed a great meal. With the safety protocols for covid in full effect, we felt very safe. We sat alone, separated from other tables by plastic walls. Dining out is a special treat in the coronaverse. Little did we know it would be the last time eating at the Bullwheel for the season. 

Our beleaguered restaurants were handed another shocking piece of news today. BC provincial health authority ordered all indoor dining services to cease.

Tonight at midnight.

No warning, no chances, close em down. More wasted inventory, more frustrated business people, and more staff now out of work. It was a reaction to the increased case count of Covid in the last week. Much like the sudden change of closing times on New Year’s Eve, our restaurants were handed a sudden alteration in the way they needed to do business.

I wish it made more sense.

I understand the case count jumped recently, but the death rate is very low. Is the hospitalization rate high? Whistler Blackcomb was also ordered to shutter their doors after a ski season to remember.  Fear has mounted for our health experts. If cases keep going up then something may break soon.  What will break first? The economy or the health care system? I would like to think they could analyze the situation on a case-by-case basis. I hoped they could have solved this without shutting things down.

They just don’t have the resources.

Many places have spent a lot of money and time ensuring they met or exceeded the safety protocols laid out by BC health. Other places have done the bare minimum. The problem arose from those that have been slack with enforcement.

A bigger problem has been created by an outbreak at Whistler Blackcomb.

It felt like a knee-jerk reaction when they ordered the mega-resort to close without warning. Lumped into the closure of Canada’s largest ski area they shut down fitness centres and indoor dining. I wish they could provide statistics that show eating in a dining room increased the spread of the virus.

Then again much of the reactions have been just that – reactions. I hope we can see the end of our amazing season at Big White, despite the reactions of our health officials. I wonder who decided these new restrictions. I wonder why? The problem is too many people are left wondering. 

I may be wrong to question the logic of all this. Perhaps I should continue following the expert’s recommendations. It’s hard when they have been changing so much over the last year. The system is designed to over-react, to protect us from ourselves.

Yet one day they say take Astra Seneca vaccine then the next day they tell us it’s unsafe for people under 55. Meanwhile, they offered the vaccine to people at our mountain home. So few people elected to take it they opened it up to everyone that dropped in. The next day they warned us it was unsafe for recipients under 55… what does that mean to all the young people on the hill who took the shot last week?

Today I made the most of the last day of restaurant dining. I picked up my teenaged ball of growing hormones and we decided we should go out for my birthday dinner early. We wouldn’t be able to go out on my birthday-again. Just under a year ago, we skipped my fiftieth birthday, it was delayed a year due to covid.

Now it looks like my birthday celebration will be delayed again. I guess birthday’s come whether we want them to or not.

Unfortunately, it will be without my traditional dinner out. It’s another first-world problem.

I hope BC’s restaurants will survive another three-week shutdown. I hope the restaurants at Big White can survive another extended off-season.  Hopefully Big White can stay open until the scheduled end of the season on April 11.

In three weeks we will find out if the restrictions will be extended and the restaurants will reopen. In three months we will find out if the vaccine rollout is successful. In three years we will look back at these times and take all that we learned and grow. I wonder how many restaurants will still be alive?

Categories: Daily Journal


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