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Coronavirus: Is it 'morally wrong' for my B.C. teen to party?

Last Updated Aug 14, 2020 at 10:34 am PDT

FILE - Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (Courtesy B.C. Government, Flickr)
Summary

You can get together with friends, if you follow COVID-19 protocols

Parties in B.C. have been linked to clusters of coronavirus infections

NEWS 1130 is working hard to get you the information you need about the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are responding to your questions in a segment we call NEWS 1130 Gets Answers.

Question:

Patricia: “Our teen has attended a couple of so-called socially-[distanced] get-togethers. These were hosted by kids who assured us that their parents worked in health-care and protocol would be followed. We were very disappointed to see group photos on social media of the attendees clearly not following social-distancing protocol. Our teen brings a chair, and reminds the friends to keep six feet away. We feel that with the numbers in B.C. being so much higher now, that it’s morally wrong for her to attend these irresponsible parties. [She says] she is practising social distancing, so it should be OK. Who is right, us or her?”

Answer:

We’re hesitant to play referee in disagreements between parents and teens.

So we’ll leave it to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to provide some general advice for young partiers in the time of COVID-19.

She has said it’s OK to have small get-togethers if everyone is following coronavirus protocols.

But it’s become clear that not everyone has been getting this message, with a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in B.C. being blamed, in part, on parties mainly involving people in their 30s and 40s.

“We’ve seen it across the province, where people have been coming together and having group gatherings with different people and not maintaining distances, safe distances from people they don’t know,” Henry said on Aug. 10.

“We know that when alcohol is involved for many the precautions that we would normally take can diminish. So, your friends invite you to a party and it doesn’t feel right, don’t go.”

Ahead of the B.C. Day long weekend, the province released Dr. Henry’s Good Times Guide, with the tagline, “Spread fun – not COVID-19.” The guide advises anyone thinking of partying to stay home if feeling sick, hang out in small, familiar groups, not to pass around smoking devices and stay outside.

“If your friends invite you to a party and it doesn’t feel right, don’t go,” Henry said. “There’s no better excuse than a global pandemic to be able to do the right thing and encourage your friends to do the right thing, too.”

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