COVID-19 Update

My Covid-19 Rules

As of January 18, 2022 BC has apparently decided to abandon any scientific approach to Covid-19 and its Omicron variant. As a pharmacist and cancer survivor, I am still going to follow the science to be able to protect myself. So here are my current Covid-19 Rules. I will list them first, and if you are interested in my reasons, you can scroll down, I will explain below.

  • If you have a quilt top that you would like me to quilt for you, please contact me. We will discuss options, patterns, colours, pricing etc. via phone and/or email and set up a time for you to drop off your project.
  • I request that you put your top, backing and batting (if applicable) into a bag or other container that can be placed on the ground. Please make sure that you write your name on the bag or put a note with your name into the bag.
  • We will still be conducting business outside, and I request that customers wear a mask, even though we are outside. Please step back a few steps after ringing the doorbell. This only applies to fully vaccinated customers including booster shots. (If you haven’t received your invitation for a booster shot yet, please let me know, and we’ll figure it out on a case by case basis).
  • If you are unvaccinated, please be honest about it. I am not going to lecture you but I expect you to respect my decision to avoid all unvaccinated people to protect my health. I am not concerned about catching Covid from your quilts, it is an airborne virus and doesn’t survive all that long on surfaces. We can arrange for a contactless drop off/pick up. I might ask for proof of vaccination if I have any doubt.
  • If you are a close contact of a person with a positive Covid test, do not schedule any drop off or pick up with me within the next 10 days. I don’t care what the province says, I don’t care if you have symptoms or not. Isolate from me for 10 days, please, to make sure you are not an asymptomatic carrier of the virus.
  • After looking at the quilt and measuring everything, I will send you an email with quilting suggestions and address potential problems.
  • When your project is ready to be picked up, I will send you an email with my invoice. At this time I request online payments whenever possible to minimize all personal contact and avoid the need for me to go to the bank. Please do not bring cash. I accept online payments via Square and eTransfers. If these options don’t work for you, I can process debit and credit cards in person but I require you to be fully vaccinated and to wear a mask in this case. There will be no exception to this rule. Please remember that you are protecting me by following these rules, and I appreciate your help.

Everybody has been very understanding during all of this, and I would like to thank all my customers for their kindness and support. Let’s continue to work together to keep all of us as safe as possible.

As for my reasons, most of you who know me also know that I am a breast cancer survivor and went through Lyme disease a few years ago. On top of that I just finished my last of six chemo treatments for NLPHL, a rare type of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As you can imagine, my immune system is still severely compromised. I am fully vaccinated, including a fast track booster shot. But Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system, and no one knows how effective the vaccine is in my special case, and I’d rather be safe than sorry. Thank you for understanding.

Now for the soap box part (read at your own risk):

As for the new provincial guidelines, they just defy any scientific approach. Letting the Omicron variant run wild through the community will lead to lots of unnecessary deaths, Long Covid cases and also potential new variants that might be even more dangerous. Omicron is an airborne virus, and it is about 3-4 times more transmissible than the original Covid-19 virus. Omicron is not “mild” in the traditional sense of the word. The definition of “mild” in this case is “not requiring hospitalization”. While it is true that Omicron cases require about 25% less hospitalizations than Delta cases, by that definition the original virus would have to be considered even milder than Omicron. Also with the much higher transmissibility of Omicron, we will see about three times as many hospitalizations in absolute numbers because of the much higher number of infections. Fraser Health has already announced that they are going to put Covid-patients into the same rooms as non-Covid-patients, simply because they are out of beds in their Covid units.

We are almost two years into this pandemic, and we don’t have enough capacity for PCR-tests, we don’t have rapid tests, we don’t have access to N95 masks, and we apparently don’t have enough hospital beds. Yet the province thinks it’s a great idea that no close contact has to self-isolate anymore unless they have symptoms. Everyone else can go around and happily spread the virus at work and school if they are asymptomatic carriers. This is especially dangerous for children under 5 who cannot get vaccinated yet and all of us in any of the risk groups.

Dr Bonnie Henry announced that she was hopeful that Omicron was the beginning of the end, and it seems to me that she is trying to force this point. Unfortunately she is disregarding all infectious disease specialists and virologists who agree that herd immunity cannot be reached with Omicron. While vaccinated people have a smaller chance of requiring hospitalization or dying from Omicron, they still shed the virus and can infect other people. Antibodies against any coronavirus do not last long in the human body. This has been known for decades, many common colds are caused be a coronavirus, and the antibodies disappear over the course of approximately six months. Which is exactly the reason we need a Covid booster shot. So without a vaccine that specifically targets Omicron and ensures that infected but vaccinated people can’t shed the virus anymore and infect others, this will be a neverending cycle.

Header Photo: "Third Weekend in October" Pieced and Quilted by Beatrice Rieske, Design by Ruth Powers of "Innovations"
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