By Breanne Massey
Special to the Pioneer
A sunny disposition can go a long way when one must live with uncertainty and change.
But Laura Kipp, a pharmacist and owner at Lambert Kipp Pharmacy, was proud to see how the Columbia Valley community has handled the COVID-19 crisis.
“What I think people should really focus on is being kind to one another and doing the things that we know are working,” Kipp explained. “We have great numbers in B.C. and we need to keep doing what we’ve been doing, and be kind to people. I think our valley has done that. It’s been extremely heartwarming.”
Staff pharmacists Irena Shepard and Èmilie Lamoureux have been on the frontlines, working alongside Kipp, to help support the Columbia Valley community throughout the pandemic.
Overall, the experience has been positive and respectful.
“I reiterate to the staff that they need to stay healthy and happy,” said Kipp, indicating that morale has remained high throughout the evolving situation of the novel coronavirus outbreak this spring.
“Smiles are also infectious. We could easily focus on the negative of this situation because anytime you turn on the news, there’s a lot of negativity out there, but we also
need to focus on the good. Our province is doing a lot of good … we’re going to get through it.”
She added the clients being served at the pharmacy and the storefront have been respectful and conscientious while tensions were running high.
“I’m extremely proud of our area,” she said. “I think everyone’s been doing the right things.”
The pharmacy has implemented safety measures such as markers outside the cashier and encourages the community to be mindful about practicing proper hygiene.
In fact, Kipp has been impressed with how the community behaves at the storefront.
“Everyone looks down the aisle and goes down a different one if there’s already someone in the aisle,” she explained, noting the only visible difference in daily operations has been that browsing the aisles has slightly decreased at the height of the outbreak.
But there have been moments where the stress felt by the community has been visible.
“I’ve certainly seen some anxiety, for example, with Albertans coming here,” Kipp explained.
“Anxiety gets you nowhere. Stress isn’t healthy. We have to stay healthy, and there’s no point in stressing over what’s out of your control. Do what you can to keep your distance, wash your hands and we’ll all make it through this together.”