This weekend is the first for Calgarians since the city was able to join the rest of Alberta in Stage 1 of the province’s relaunch. On Monday, a variety of businesses – including dine-in restaurants, hair salons, museums and a variety of retailers – were allowed to reopen to the public in some capacity. After months of uncertainty and fear surrounding the spread of COVID-19, this is welcome news, but I urge you not to become complacent.

We’ve done well to limit the spread of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve” so far, but the threat of the virus is still very real. There’s a reason this is only the first of three stages in Alberta’s relaunch – we have a long way to go before we can stamp this virus out for good.

In the meantime, we all still have an obligation to help prevent the spread. Maintain physical distancing, wash your hands regularly and wear a mask in public spaces that may become crowded. Open bars and restaurants are not an invitation to flout public health guidelines by gathering friends from outside your household for a happy hour drink. Open retailers are not an invitation to head to the mall “just for something to do.”

We’ve made great progress since this pandemic began, but it can all be clawed right back if we do not stay the course.

Now that I’ve gotten that PSA out of the way, it’s time for the fun stuff!

This week in CREB®Now

Cody Stuart / CREB®Now

New poster campaign gives Cochrane residents a creative way to show support during COVID-19

Shout out to the Cochranites in the audience – this one’s for you! You can follow along with the new campaign across social media with the #CochraneSaysThanks hashtag.

Courtesy of the City of Calgary

City of Calgary’s 2020 flood preparations account for complications from COVID-19 pandemic

Ever since the 2013 floods, Calgarians can’t help but wince a bit when water levels in the Bow and Elbow rivers edge up during this time of year. The apocalyptic potential of catastrophic flooding on top of COVID-19 is a bit too much for my brain to handle right now after a few months of isolation (what’s next, a plague of locusts?), so it’s good to know the City has its ducks in a row.

Getty Images

Different strokes: how to navigate Calgary golf courses during COVID-19

Golf is one of the few summer pastimes deemed to be relatively safe during the COVID-19 pandemic (with several caveats), and Calgarians were quick to flock to courses across the city when they opened for the season. But it’s not exactly business as usual out there, so read this handy primer before you hit the links.

ICYMI

Speaking of golf, there’s no time like the present to revisit this deep dive on the complicated relationship between golf courses and housing, and the controversies that emerge when urban courses are shuttered for redevelopment:

Cody Stuart / CREB®Now

From fairways to families: how urban golf course closures are impacting communities in Calgary and across Canada

Here’s a hidden bunker from the First World War. They’ve changed a bit since then, but you get the picture.
Getty Images

Apocalypse now

Apparently, the doomsday bunker market is booming thanks to COVID-19, an unsurprising, albeit amusing, development. I guess this explains where all that hoarded toilet paper ended up…

Cody Stuart / CREB®Now

Close to home

Many Calgarians are outdoorsy by nature – it’s hard not to be when you’re surrounding by such beautiful scenery. That desire to get outside, whether to explore or just blow off steam, has only been amplified since COVID-19 disrupted our lives and destroyed our daily routines.

Nowhere has this been more apparent than at our typical Rocky Mountain escapes. The towns of Banff and Canmore, as well as several popular trailheads, have seen high volumes of visitors throughout the pandemic. So have a handful of popular parks within Calgary, which has led the City to ask that Calgarians avoid crowding the Eau Claire Promenade, Prince’s Island Park, Sue Higgins Dog Park and Nose Hill Park. We don’t want to have a Trinity Bellwoods situation on our hands…

During a public update earlier this week, Mayor Nenshi said, “We have a beautiful city that is full of green spaces, and there are great opportunities to get together in your own neighbourhood,” and he’s right! While the city has several beautiful “destination” parks, they are far from the only options available to us.

Last weekend, I made the short walk from my apartment in Mission to nearby Stanley Park and what I saw was heartening. On a warm Sunday afternoon that would normally attract visitors in droves, people on the pathways were respectful, groups gathered along the riverbank were small and spread out, and there was still plenty of wide-open space available.

So, if you haven’t already, get reacquainted with the parks and green spaces in and around your community. If we all work together and continue to follow public health guidelines, these remain perfect spots for a walk, a bike ride or a small (physically distanced) gathering of friends.

The funnies

What is going on with that oven?? This kitchen is like an MC Escher drawing – everything looks fine at first glance, but when you take a closer look you start to feel queasy.

Additional reading

Have a great weekend!