OPINION: Going to Whistler to ski during a pandemic is not essential

Feb 12 2021, 10:07 pm

This article was written for Daily Hive by Rebecca, a Whistler resident.

Everyone seems to have their own idea of what “essential” means. It is almost impressive how creative people can get when convincing themselves that going on a weekend vacation to Whistler is “essential.”

The provincial health order asking people to stay in their own communities and ski on their local hills was blatantly ignored this season as visitors argued how Whistler was their local hill although they lived in Vancouver or its surrounding area.

Following this idiotic outburst of individuals claiming they are somehow connected to the Whistler community, Dr. Bonnie Henry explained that the Vancouver area has three local mountains, of which Whistler is not one.

The public simply closed their eyes and booked their rooms.

The fact that you love Whistler, that you’ve been coming here for years, that you have an Edge Card, does not make you a local and does not make this your local mountain. But it would be unfair to not acknowledge the creativity going into the excuses for why this is your “local mountain.”

There were no implications for visitors as they stated that it was “just an advisory,” not an enforced rule or law. But I suppose that is on the provincial government for having faith that people would be considerate human beings who care for the safety of others more than they care for themselves and getting a photo at the Olympic rings or a table at Longhorn.

Despite the fact that Whistler had more cases in the first month of 2021 than in all of 2020, the number of visitors coming into our ski town remains steady.

BC currently only has a travel advisory in place that states: “At this time, all non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of BC and between regions of the province.

This leaves it up to the people of the Vancouver area to decide if they are going to ignore the fact that there is a pandemic impacting every single other living person on this planet, or if they’re going to get a picture of them walking on a frozen lake.

As a Whistler local, I acknowledge that this is a tourist town, but not right now.

If you are one of those creative individuals who have convinced yourself that it is “essential” for you to come to Whistler because you are going crazy at home and need a change of scenery, please at least acknowledge that this is a selfish act.

If you are turning a blind eye to the news headline stating “500+ COVID Cases in Whistler,” please at least acknowledge that you care more for your leisure time than for the frontline workers in our community (which is also apparently, according to you, your community).

If you’re tired of this pandemic and you want it to go back to normal, everyone does. But it is not going to happen if people continue to put their wants before others’ needs. It is not going to happen if each person has their own definition of “essential.”

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