Ian Mathieson spent Monday morning looking for snorkelling masks in China — though not because he wants to go swimming.

When an outbreak hits a community, one of the most urgent things people want is information. This is human nature, as information allows us to protect ourselves, our families and our loved ones.

We really need to find the silver lining in this mess. We have few alternatives.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on provincial government finances. Prior to the onset of the pandemic, virtually all of the provinces were in relatively†sound fiscal positions.

Today, I ventured out to the grocery store to get some fresh produce. There’s only so much freezer- burned corn and canned baked beans my colon can handle. I found a can of haggis in my pantry, but the expiry date was sometime in the ‘90s and I remembered someone had given it to me as a gag …

We’re starting to get a better picture of what learning will look like for B.C.’s K-12 students as school resumed this week, following a two-week spring break in most school districts.

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We’re starting to get a better picture of what learning will look like for B.C.’s K-12 students as school resumed this week, following a two-week spring break in most school districts.

This week, after some delay, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced more information on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program, which will require the recall of Parliament before it can be implemented.

On the Moon, the sky is black and if you shade your eyes from the bright Sun and Earth; you can see stars in the daytime.

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Across the border, U.S. President Donald Trump has been criticizing reporters for asking dumb questions and berating the “lamestream media.”

The requirement to stay at home — and given my age and the fact that I am diabetic, staying at home is not only advisable but also mandatory — has several unintended consequences.

Many words can be used to describe Dave Shunter — educator, principal, musician, booster, volunteer and elected official.

A detailed plan was explained last week about how the entire hospital system is being reorganized on the fly to cope if a surge of pandemic cases arrives.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to interview Beverley McLachlin, the former longtime chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

My grocery store has a sign up at its cash registers: ““Due to the COVID-19 virus, we no longer accept reusable grocery bags.”” Instead, they’ll give away free plastic bags.

It is said that a person’s true character is revealed in times of crisis. If this is true, then it may be disheartening to watch the worst in us emerge as the current coronavirus crisis unfolds.

As I write this week’s report from Ottawa, we have just finished a special all-night session of Parliament passing Bill C-13, "An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19."

Our local coverage of COVID-19 has been described as both “alarmist” and “Pollyanna” in phone messages left on my answering service over the past seven days.

Over the past week, schools have shut down, events have been cancelled, borders have closed, restaurants and gyms have shut their doors and thousands of workers have been laid off. 

It appears we are going to be stuck at home for the foreseeable future. We better all hunker down for some Netflix and make sure our pantries are filled with non-perishable goods.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Okanagan Weekend welcomes Kelowna resident Phil Collins (yes, that’s his name) to our pages as the new Focus on Faith columnist. Phil, who hails originally from the U.K., replaces Tim Schroeder, who was with us for more than 15 years.

I have been working the past week in my offices in Penticton and Kelowna, trying to live by the six-foot rule and regularly sanitizing my work station and hands.