The Nanaimo Beacon’s Beacon Buddies program, meant to find volunteers to help with errands for self-isolating neighbours, signed up nearly 350 people on its first day Sunday. (Nanaimo Beacon image)

Nanaimo satire website connects community during COVID-19 pandemic

Nanaimo Beacon signs up more than 600 volunteers to help those who are self-isolating

The novel coronavirus is no joke.

Those behind the Nanaimo Beacon, a local satire website, went outside their usual mandate this past weekend to try to build community connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The website launched an initiative called Beacon Buddies, with a goal of connecting volunteers willing to run errands for neighbours who are in self-isolation or quarantine.

“There’s not a lot more behind this other than we just want to help,” the Nanaimo Beacon told the News Bulletin in an online interview. “We figure we’ve got a reasonably sized platform, so let’s do something good with it, instead of our usual mediocre, low-effort satire.”

Less than a day after publicizing the Beacon Buddies program, the site had signed up more than 600 volunteers from Duncan to Campbell River.

The program’s guidelines indicate that the self-isolating individuals should pre-pay for things like groceries and prescriptions, and suggests that volunteers should refuse to pick up “hoarding levels of supplies like toilet paper, bleach, sanitized wipes, etc.” The Beacon shared a few common-sense tips for meeting buddies, but said it will leave health-care advice to professionals.

The Beacon Buddies program is in line with B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie’s call last week for neighbours to help neighbours and try to ensure a support system for elderly British Columbians who may need extra help during the pandemic.

The Beacon usually sticks to satire; for example, last week it published a piece advising that Nanaimo’s annual Lick the Mayor event was being cancelled due to coronavirus fears.

“Once this crisis has passed, we hope to just go back to writing [crappy] jokes about the mayor’s muscles,” the Beacon said.

For more information about the Beacon Buddies program, click here.

READ ALSO: Courtenay doctor confirms Comox Valley’s first case of COVID-19

READ ALSO: VIU suspends classes as a COVID-19 precaution

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CVRD calls for continued COVID-19 vigilance, asks visitors not to come to Valley

With warmer weather, Easter holidays, district fears residents may become lax

Weather forecast for the Cowichan Valley sunny and mid-teens

Lots of sun expected over next two weeks

Some Cowichan schools to reopen for children of essential-services workers

Cowichan Valley will open 8 elementary schools this week

Island Health “humbled” by work of Cowichan’s Project Draw Breath

Health authority eager to explore partnerships during COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19 world update: Joy in Wuhan as lockdown lifted; Pope denounces profiteers

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news items from around the world

Mid-Island Panago locations offer free pizza to first responders

First responder can get free pizza at Panago in Parksville, Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Duncan, and Mill Bay

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Comox spring training cancelled for Snowbirds next month

The team announced that due to ongoing travel restrictions they will not be training in the Valley

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

Physiotherapists turn to technology to reach patients during COVID-19

Just because services, jobs, and socializing have been put on hold, it… Continue reading

Most Read