In separate statements, Langley City mayor Val van den Broek and her Township counterpart Jack Froese issued public appeals for civility during the current COVID-19 crisis, saying the spread of panic buying, while not surprising under the circumstances, needs to stop.
“We’re asking people to stop hoarding supplies, like diapers, cleaning supplies and toilet paper,” van den Broek said.
Those inclined to hoard should remember that a lot of people are on fixed incomes, van den Broek warned.
“People need to remain calm,” she added.
Mayor Froese said it’s not surprising that, under the circumstances, people are anxious and trying to stock up for an unknown future, but that doesn’t make it right.
“I totally understand that, but we are asking people not to take more than they need,” Froese said.
Both mayors were encouraged by reports of people stepping forward to help, by setting up online support groups and free shipping services, of businesses opening early just for seniors and people with compromised immune systems.
“This is a really good pay-it-forward time,” said van den Broek, who is urging businesses in the City to take steps to limit bulk buying that deprives other customers from getting much-needed supplies.
“We’re all in this together and we need to work together to ‘flatten the curve [slow the progression of the pandemic],’ van den Broek said.
“I’m seeing a big shift,” Froese commented.
“People are beginning to understand how serious it is.”
There is, he said support for measures like closing rec centres and public pools.
“I hate to do that (close public amenities), but people are understanding.”
Van den Broek said residents should remember to support the food banks, which are remaining open during the outbreak.
“Don’t forget to donate to the food bank,” van den Broek said.
Langley City is advising people who fear they might have the virus to complete the BC COVID-19 Symptoms Self-Assessment Tool (https://covid19.thrive.health/)
They can also call 811 or the dedicated coronavirus information line: 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or text (604-630-0300) for non-medical information.
The line will be manned by service representatives from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, and information will be provided in more than 110 languages.
Concerned people can also contact their health-care provider or local public health office.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate at home and not come in to practice or the Emergency Room. (https://www.divisionsbc.ca/langley/news-events/community)