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LETTERS: Saddened, not surprised by letter urging joggers to stay off promenade

Editor:

Re: Jogging on promenade not wise, Dec. 17 letters

I was saddened, though not surprised, to see the letter suggesting runners on the Promenade “go elsewhere.”

I’ve been running the promenade alone for many years, without incident. I run there because I love the ocean, and it is a safe place to run away from traffic.

But since COVID-19, I’ve been glared at, verbally harassed by walkers, called a “murderer” and “disease spreader” and even stopped by a woman with her cane not allowing me to pass whilst yelling obscenities at me.

I can only assume these individuals do not subscribe to the “Be Kind” portion of Dr. Henry’s plea. I have been inadvertently sneezed and coughed on by non-mask wearing walkers. Certainly, I did not call them names. To be clear, the vast majority of walkers are friendly, simply enjoying an afternoon stroll.

After being subjected to yet another tirade, I called RCMP, White Rock City Council, and spoke with the bylaws division. I had begun to question myself and wanted to ensure I was not breaking any rules.

I was told I had every right to run on the Promenade, and that I should report any further harassment. If our entrusted authorities do not have an issue with my presence, then perhaps runners are not deemed a threat to public health and safety.

Dr. Henry encourages us to exercise and socialize outdoors because the ventilation and other elements help to reduce transmission. Combined with social distancing, we are told this is a “safe” activity. But the number of people on the promenade has rendered social distancing a challenging task. So, I take responsibility to try to create distance from others.

It is common courtesy, and my way of contributing to the solution.

The fear of COVID-19 is legitimate, but I am not sure that banishing and demonizing a few runners is either fair, or helpful to alleviating concerns.

Megan Wickstead, South Surrey

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