City of Chilliwack councillor Jason Lum, seen at his home with his wife Sheila and their newborn son, Cedar, shared a message on social media about finding hope amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

City of Chilliwack councillor Jason Lum, seen at his home with his wife Sheila and their newborn son, Cedar, shared a message on social media about finding hope amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

It was one councillor’s way of getting through to the public about the importance of social distancing, and his message has since warmed the hearts of hundreds.

Last weekend, City of Chilliwack councillor Jason Lum shared a statement on social media acknowledging the fear people are experiencing right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, but at the same time also saying that this is hope.

It came just weeks after his son, Cedar, was born.

“I knew that I would be anxious about the regular stuff, baby stuff, neither [my wife] Sheila or I thought we would be welcoming our first child into the world on the day the WHO declared a viral pandemic was spreading across the globe,” Lum wrote on his own personal Facebook page on March 21.

“I realize there’s much more than fear and worry. There is hope, there is persistence, there is new life, and new growth, and there is community.”

His message came at the same time as video messages and words of advice were shared from his fellow councillors and the city’s Mayor Ken Popove. They’ve been sharing their own messages encouraging people to follow the directions of the medical health professionals to self-isolate and practise social distancing.

With a newborn at home, Lum and his new family have been doing exactly that since the beginning of the month. It’s been quiet at their house with no visitors to come hold baby Cedar.

Lum is hoping as a result of his statement people will feel motivated to help others, to reach out to their neighbours and ask if they need anything like groceries dropped off or medication picked up.

“It felt like the right message to write,” Lum said Saturday. “I thought I would acknowledge that it’s definitely scary, but there’s also a lot of beautiful things that are happening, and at the end of all this we are going to need to support each other and be supported. You can’t just be motivated by fear, you have to be motivated by a sense of hope.”

Here is Jason Lum’s message in its entirety:

“I, like many of you, have spent many recent nights awake anxious and worrying about the current situation. For the first time in my life, I worry about the future as I have never worried before. For the first time in my life, I am worrying as a parent. I knew that I would be anxious about the regular stuff, baby stuff, neither Sheila or I thought we would be welcoming our first child into the world, on the day the WHO declared a viral pandemic was spreading across the globe. So there’s that. Fear and worry can be motivating behaviours, but they can also be extremely unhealthy, and debilitating. Fear pulls us apart from each other, it makes us suspicious. Fear makes us act irrationally (makes us obsess over social media for hours on end, and hoard toilet paper) It is easy these days to succumb to fear and worry.

“But there is much more than fear and worry. As I sit here with my two-week-old son on my lap, smiling away, thoroughly unconcerned about anything but when his next meal is coming, as I listen to my neighbours girls rollerblading around the front driveway laughing and playing, as I check the new growth on the seeds I planted a few days ago, stretching toward the sunny spot on my windowsill, I realize there’s much more than fear and worry. There is hope, there is persistence, there is new life, and new growth, and there is community. And with all of these things comes a responsibility to act. To protect what we have, what we love. This is where I know people of Chilliwack will step up. I am sure of it. You already know what you need to do, keep your social distance, cough and sneeze into your elbow (something we are still trying to teach our baby boy who likes to sneeze right in his Dad’s face) practice excellent hand hygiene, stay away from crowds, only buy what you need at the grocery store. Take care of yourselves and your neighbours. Most of all – keep following the advice and instruction of the medical professionals who are working incredibly hard to keep us all safe.

“Although this isn’t really the way I had envisioned announcing the birth of our boy, Cedar Jeremiah Lum (born at Chilliwack General Hospital, 6 lbs. 4 oz.) I look forward to telling him the stories when he is older about how the people in Chilliwack stepped up and took care of each other in tough times, and he will be proud like his Dad is to live in this place with all of you. Stay safe. Stay smart. Stay connected. We will get through this together.”

RELATED: Chilliwack shares uplifting images in attempt to bring smiles to faces during COVID-19 pandemic

RELATED: Chalk it up to positivity


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

 

City of Chilliwack councillor Jason Lum, seen at his home with his wife Sheila and their newborn son, Cedar, shared a message on social media about finding hope amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

City of Chilliwack councillor Jason Lum, seen at his home with his wife Sheila and their newborn son, Cedar, shared a message on social media about finding hope amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Hundreds gathered at Surrey’s Holland Park Friday (June 11) in memory of the Muslim family killed in London, Ont. on Sunday (June 6). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Educating public ‘exhausting,’ says White Rock Muslim Association past president

Asad Syed says public needs to be more vocal in their condemnation

The City of White Rock turns 63 today. (file photo)
City of White Rock 2020 annual report available for review

Report to be discussed at June 28 council meeting

People were lined up around the fields at a drop-in vaccine clinic at Newton Athletic Park on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), which is one of the high-transmission neighbourhoods that are being given vaccine priority. This clinic was one of at least three to open in the city on Tuesday. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly cases continue to drop, push for 80% vaccination rate citywide

BCCDC reports 263 cases for Surrey the week of May 30 to June 5

Fleetwood Park Secondary School’s 2021 commencement ceremonies were held over the course of two days, June 10 and 11. Grads went through a small, distanced ceremony in groups of four, with up to four members of the grad’s household. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s 2021 grads find creative ways to celebrate in another year of COVID-19

This year’s Grade 12 students were unable to have any large-scale events

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read