‘Let’s just get stronger’: B.C. restaurant owner vows to survive latest B.C. lockdown

“Let’s get new customers and let’s just get stronger.”

Inez Cook who owns the Salmon n’ Bannock Bistro in Vancouver says the new lockdown restrictions announced by B.C. are going to be a challenge.

“We had a fairly busy weekend and we ordered like $2,000 worth of groceries to be delivered and then all of a sudden we hear at midnight no more dine in – you know it’s heartbreaking,” says Cook, who is from Nuxalk First Nation.

Cook was a full-time flight attendant who flew internationally but was laid off due to COVID-19 in early March.

Now, she says this newest health order is adding to her worries.

“It’s already been a year of struggles and then getting hit with this! It’s too much.”

The variants

B.C., like other provinces, is struggling to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus – especially the variants that are showing up in younger people.

“Our goal throughout the pandemic has been to find here in B.C. our balance,” says Dr. Bonnie Henry. “We want to protect those that are most vulnerable.”

Calling it a “circuit breaker”,  Henry announced new measures until at least April 19 including pausing indoor dining at all food and liquor-serving premises and ending adult group fitness activities of any kind at gyms and fitness centres.

The Whistler Blackcomb ski resort was also ordered closed due to a cluster of the P-1 Brazil variant in that community.

Also banned are all indoor faith services.

Health orders

Henry says these health orders are necessary to break the chain of transmission of the third wave.

“We’ve had 329 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that have been identified as variants of concern,” she says.

Cook says she’s determined not to let this new restriction affect her business.

She has built a patio that seats four people and switched gears to cater to customers ordering on Uber Eats.

“We are getting more and more creative every day and rolling with the punches,” she says. “And I talked with the team and I said I’m not going to cut any hours; let’s just work on new ideas.

“Let’s get new customers and let’s just get stronger.”

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