By Conly Watson
Times are changing, even though we know well that times have been changing for a long while now. Covid-19 is still an issue in the world, as the leading health experts try to derail the virus. Frankly, it’s interesting to notice the differences between Whitehorse and Vancouver, but it isn't at all how you imagine it. When I was living in Whitehorse, having never been to the city was intimidating. Vancouver is one of the bigger cities, with many kinds of people. Along with the low number of cases in Whitehorse compared to other parts of Canada, the thought of what the cities are like is scary. While I'm not trying to say that Covid isn't serious, it is a severe problem that we need to figure out how to address, there is a dramatization as to what the city is like to live in.
The hustle of the city is incredibly true, unless you're someone that truly never feels rushed. Everyone in the city has a pace to them, and even the cars that drive by have a strong sense that they need to get where they're going. I've always been someone that walks with purpose so this wasn't as shocking to me. In fact, I quite liked the adjustment. In the city, always having that speed and driven mindset helps me at least get things done. However, I'm also incredibly lucky to be living right downtown, so everything that I could need is within walking distance. People are much more intense down here though, and many people will say that Vancouver is the most Americanized city, since people will tell you how they feel when they want to.
British Colombia in particular has surprising tax rates, and even as someone that usually tries not to pay attention to that stuff, I would strongly suggest that you have savings before moving here. Notably, if you have a spending problem, the taxes here on top of how pricey everything is can be straining on the wallet. I still have not been able to find a job that I can work at with my school hours, so I've had to be particularly careful with how I spend money. Black Friday recently has been taking a toll on me, because I've been dying to Christmas shop, but it just isn't something that I can hold in my budget currently. Roommates are a big thing too, since housing is insane in Vancouver. That part is not over-exaggerated at all, and having some friends that you get along with will make all the difference!
Owning a car, unless you're rolling in dough is not worth it. The insurance is insane and people drive like retired super-spies here. Plus, parking if you're lucky will be around twenty-five dollars a day. Transit and the Sky-train take a day or so of getting used to, but it's so convenient in the city, plus masks are mandatory on all transit and subways, which gives a slight peace of mind considering the high traffic zones. It’s the same with schools, with only some staying open right now, with very strict regulations. For example, my school has us seated six feet apart with plexi glass between us all, and masks are mandatory. That kind of seriousness is needed during times like these.
Most people here are very good about masks, and being mindful of others. Unfortunately, occasionally there will be an anti-mask parade and numbers will spike again in B.C. This can be infuriating, but it's times like these where you establish your routines. Keep your mask on go to school and take in as much information as you can. If you're low on groceries head to the local grocer, get your stuff and head home to wash up. Really if you stick to yourself and bear with it, you'll be keeping safe. I had this really strange idea in my head that the city was going to be like one of those apocalyptic zombie movies, but I couldn't have been farther from the truth. There's just more caution in the world and for good reason, but if you keep to yourself and stay hygienic, then you're more than likely going to be in the clear.
I am excited to experience the city without Covid-19, since this is my first experience living away from home and it is an interesting one. I have been learning lots from it and I certainly will have stories to tell my future kids, to bring up that when I was their age I had to go to school with Covid, so they have no excuses. I think we really just need to remember we're all people and we can make it through this together, it's so easy to get caught up in the little things and the gossip of the world. But if we take a step back and really acknowledge where we're at in the world, I think it'll be a great start for what we need to do next. We can make it through this and bring things back to how they were, because I know for a fact people have been missing that.