Opinion: New West tells runners to stop ‘gross’ spitting during pandemic

Chris Campbell

Joggers - also known as “runners” or “people in far better shape than me” – have been the subject of many letters to the editor and messages to me.

The complaint is that some of these sweaty beasts are getting way too close to people during the COVID-19 pandemic, or they are spitting.

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I agree.

And I’m not the only one noticing.

Earlier this week, the New Westminster Parks and Recreation Twitter feed sent out this message:

“We’ve been receiving reports from the public about parks and running track visitors spitting while being active. Please use your ‘COVID sense’ and refrain from this unsafe (and let’s be honest, gross) behaviour!”

I have been out for walks lately with my mask on to such places and each time I’ve been out, I’ve had at least one jogger glide by just inches away – not six feet.

Deer Lake was the worst. Some of the trail is quite narrow and instead of slowing down and waiting for a wider stretch, these joggers just barged on by. I could even feel the sweat drops hitting me. I exchanged words with a couple of them and, to their credit, they didn’t act defensive.

I’m not the only one this has happened to.

Look, I used to be a jogger myself until my right foot realized it was more than 40 years old. Many joggers are respectful and follow the rules.

But some are causing problems during a pandemic so they need to check themselves before they wreck someone else.

“Sharon in Burnaby” also agreed with my column about “Tom in Burnaby” wanting to publicly shame people.

“What I have witnessed since the phase 2 rollout has been appalling. On Saturday I was in a butcher shop in Burnaby. There are signs stating social distancing and the amount of people allowed, tape on the floor. I had three senior men all standing right beside me, talking over my head and not a clue about space. I was the only one wearing a mask and accepting the complimentary gloves. I did ask them to back up, and was met with a barrage of anger. I work in health care and, to be honest, the grocery store is more dangerous than an ER. I think we should all have to wear masks inside places and mandatory hand sanitizing before entering. There is no vaccine and I do not want to see more people suffer because of the stupidity and complacency of others.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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