Volume 50, Issue 16: Editor’s Desk
CARLO JAVIER // EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
“Too much change is not a good thing. Ask the climate.” – Michael Scott
We almost didn’t make it this week. After several days of sporadic snowfall, the Greater Vancouver area was finally struck by an absurd amount of snow on the morning of Friday, Feb. 23. By “absurd”, I mean in a relative sense to what we’re used to seeing around these parts.
Like the rest of Greater Vancouver – we were wholly unprepared. Every time a considerable amount of snow falls from the sky for an extended stretch of time, it seems like the entire Lower Mainland just stops working. Roads quickly become unsafe to access, buses start to fail and sometimes, the SkyTrain just straight up fails.
Around noon, the 239 Bus from Phibbs Exchange to Capilano University just gave up, forcing students who were still on route to the campus to take a long, treacherous trek to the University. Prior to that, commuters from Burnaby who take the 28 Bus from Gilmore to Phibbs were left to fend for themselves as some buses refused to drive up the small hill towards Hastings.
While there are ample amounts of drivers who drive with extra caution when braving the snow-laden roads, there are also an equal number of drivers who become the worst version of themselves. One peek at a busy intersection on a snowy day can show enough bad decision-making to last you a week.
We may be able to defend Vancouver’s gross unpreparedness regarding snowstorms with the general lack of heavy snowfall in the region, but is that really a valid defence for unpreparedness? We talk a lot about earthquakes and preparedness for when “the big one” comes, but if we can’t have a semblance of composure and strategy when it comes to a bit of snow, how the fuck are we supposed to survive a dramatic shift in the tectonic plates?
Emergency preparedness is a fascinating topic, especially because for the most part, we can be wholly unprepared even for non-emergency issues. Take for example – graduates. The general message is that life in university is a way to prepare ourselves for reality, for life outside the protective boundaries of academia. When I graduated from the School of Communication last spring, I certainly knew how to do things like press releases, a SWOT analysis and also damn near everything that revolved around reporting, writing and editing.
What I didn’t learn from school was that extended healthcare coverage from your parents ends when you hit 23 and when you leave school. Having been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2010, I’ve become accustomed to having my daily medication covered by extended health plan, never really considering the importance it would play in my life. For many years, I used a drug called Azathioprine to suppress my Crohn’s. This past summer, my doctor suggested switching over to Humira, a newer and safer medication that did not come with the potentially debilitating side-effects that Azathioprine did. Unlike the Azathioprine, Humira comes via pen that a patient would have to self-inject. It also costs about $20,000 a year. So you could imagine my fear when I realized that my extended health coverage had expired and the possibility of having to pay a little over $700 for two pens was looming.
While I have since learned how to fix my health coverage issue, the lesson I learned about preparedness is just as valuable as having the government cover my medical fees.
We can never really be truly prepared for anything. Whether it’s about something as unpredictable as the weather, or even something we had years to think about like post-graduation plans. I guess the least we can do is try and figure things out along the way.