My wife and I live across the road from the waterfront walk in West Vancouver, on the North Shore of Vancouver in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. A thoughtful council has provided the West Vancouver sea walk with many park benches as rest spots along its length. These little oases give strollers the opportunity to rest legs and meditate on the great scenic eye candy that Vancouver provides. As well as the beautiful Vancouver mountains, snow-tipped in winter, there is English Bay with many sailboats and shipping coming and going, Stanly Park, (Vancouver’s answer to Central Park NY), Vancouver Island just across the Georgia Straight, snow-covered Mount Baker in Washington State to the south and the Univerity of BC across the water, itself almost a small city. Somedays, the sea is as calm as the local pond, and other days big rollers crash against the seawall sending up spray that soaks the unwary.
The bird watching is awesome. There are a variety of birds that feed along the tide line and due to the latitude Vancouver is located on, we are blessed with a great variance between high and low tides at certain times of the year. When the low tide drops to around two feet, masses of birds feed on seaweed, and the barnacle-encrusted rocks, mussels, starfish, and clams. They include eagles (who often feed on the seagulls) crows, Canada gees, bufflehead ducks, and a wide variety of other ducks as well as grey and blue herons and other sea birds I have yet to identify.
The “seawall” is it is commonly known is a favorite with runners, joggers, moms with strollers, old people with walkers, casual strollers, and those who just love to nab one of the many park benches and enjoy the vista. On warm days and evenings, the seawall becomes crowded, and if an evening in the summer months is particularly warm, the seawall is a place or be avoided if you don’t like crowds.
And speaking of crowds, it has taken the locals and visitors many weeks to get accustomed to the new habit of “distancing”. At its widest, the seawall is about 10 feet across. At the east end, there is a narrow bridge that crosses a creek. With the advent of the Covid pandemic, this bridge became a contentious issue as it was impossible to distance, and at any time, people stood on the bridge, gazing at the water rushing underneath where in the fall, occasional salmon returning to spawn can be seen. The local council succumbing to pressure from locals placed notices at each end of the bridge requesting one person on the bridge at a time. The signs are very visible, nailed to the entrance at each end of the bridge.
I am constantly amazed at the number of people who walk right by the sign and onto the bridge while there is another person already on the bridge and walking towards them. What is this? Is this stupid? Is it “I don’t care”? I’ll give you that not everyone reads English but this kind of behavior is exhibited all the way along the seawall.
At the west end of the seawall, the path narrows down to about six feet, therefore distancing is impossible if walking side by side. So, the council placed notices at each end of this narrow path requiring people to walk a single file. I would say about 80 percent of walkers take notice. The other 20 percent, the terminally stupid, just doodle along and look either angry or mystified when someone takes them to task.
Take the distancing rule as an example. When it comes to this very clearly presented requirement, I can only guess that many people out in the world have no idea what 6 feet is and if bought up in the metric system, it has not occurred to them to bring out their smartphone and look it up. Stupid? Yes. Best stay away from them.
After a confrontation this morning on the seawall with a couple of women in their 60s who were just ignoring the rules and the raised eyebrows of the many people they were walking by, my wife and I resolved not to allow our world to be affected by terminally stupid people anymore. We are changing our walking times and our routes so as to encounter as few people as possible.
I think the following quote says it all.
And, lastly, I love this news clip:
Post Image Credit: redbubble.com
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