EDITORIAL: Be responsible now, save the world later

Editor Adam Louis stresses the need to protect yourself from preventable harm

It’s a grim duty to report a death, as I did this Monday (August 17).

I’ve worked as a professional writer in various capacities, mostly as a journalist, for going on 15 years. I have seen my fair share of ended lives, cut down long before any of us feel they should.

In recent weeks, my colleagues at Black Press and I have reported a number of drownings, and looking back on recent years, it was pointed out to me that there’s a disproportionate amount of young men who drown; this week’s drowning may be a young person as well.

I then take a look at what’s happening on the COVID-19 front, and it seems, again, a disproportionate amount of young people are getting ill due to behaviour that would have been normal prior to the pandemic but what is rightfully seen as reckless and short-sighted now.

RELATED: Two men who drowned in Harrison Lake were found in water just 16 C

I’m not going to use my short time on the soapbox to berate the young. I think a lot of that sort of talk comes from older folks forgetting who they used to be and it’s largely unproductive. If you find yourself scoffing at the young for no other reason than they’re young, it might be time to let that anger go. It no longer serves you and it’s an awful look for anyone.

Instead, let’s briefly seek to understand. We’ve all undergone a time in our lives where we felt our health was going to last forever. Some expressed that through sports (extreme or otherwise), others indulged in alcohol, bad food, unprotected sex and staying up till all hours, and some among us took darker paths involving drugs and worse.

Couple this sense of invincibility with the lockdown fatigue and cabin fever we’re all experiencing now, and it’s a nigh-inevitable recipe for disaster. I think we’ve all seen that clip going around online of a young man on spring break saying “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying.”

While this unfortunate commentary acts as an avatar of young foolishness, it should be noted that Brady Sluder, 22 at the time of his comment, has since apologized for his reckless attitude and by all accounts appears to have changed his ways.

Our present upward and concerning coronavirus course can be reversed. We’ve flattened one curve. We can and we will do it again. Men, women, all others of all ages, continue to wear your masks if you can’t physically distance, wash your hands and limit going out whenever possible. I don’t know when this is going to end, but the longer we can keep to the rules set forth by medical professionals who did not get their degrees at Facebook University or YouTube School of Medical Science, the better.

Dr. Henry’s orders are also mine: Be kind, be calm and be safe.

I don’t know the family of the most recent drowning victim of Harrison Lake as I’m writing this out on Monday. It breaks my heart, and the community grieves with you, whoever you may be. May you find peace and healing.

RELATED: UPDATE: Body recovered after weekend Harrison Lake drowning

Young people, you have the power and frankly the duty to change the world for the better. I wholeheartedly believe in the possibilities of upward momentum as a society, and sooner than you think, you’ll be in the metaphorical driver’s seat. Your potential is only limited by your imagination, but know this – in order to reach the best you can be, you need to protect yourselves and each other starting now. Death, injury, certain prevalent health conditions, all of it is preventable to some degree, and it all starts with being responsible and safe.

Even if the road ahead is long and foggy, we are on our way out of this harrowing time in our history. Take care of yourselves, not just for you, but for everyone.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

agassizEditorialsHarrison Lake

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

Just Posted

The paraglider pilot, while attempting to free himself, dropped 30 feet and sustained serious injuries as Kent-Harrison Search and Rescue members worked quickly to extract him from the trees. They were able to get him to a waiting ambulance at the end of a nearby forest service road. (Contributed Photo/Dave Harder)
Lower Mainland Search and Rescue saves paraglider in treetop rescue

Pilot tried to self-rescue but sustained serious injuries in a 30-foot fall

An original piece of artwork by Rosie Laponder, was stolen along with various art supplies from Julie Ann’s Art and Custom Framing in Chilliwack on Nov. 28, 2020. (Submitted image)
Thieves steal original artwork, art supplies from Chilliwack store

‘It kind of makes you sick to your stomach,’ says store manager

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
Violent crime spree involving knife ends in arrest in Chilliwack

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Hope Secondary School. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
Update: Fourth COVID-19 exposure at Hope Secondary School confirmed

Hope high school the only school in Fraser Cascade to experience multiple exposures

Abbotsford's Jada Klein
Abbotsford’s Jada Klein releases debut EP

Fresh off FVMA win, Robert Bateman grad’s ‘Always, Forever’ album arrives online

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
32 family members respond to Abbotsford care home’s plea for staffing help during COVID-19 outbreak

Menno Home asks for relief workers for food service, laundry and housekeeping

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Most Read