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Letter to the Editor: Enclosed ski-lift gondolas are no place for the unvaccinated

'Irrespective of my medical condition, I would feel this way, and I know many other healthy skiers who are equally apprehensive.'
Peak to Peak Gondola Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler Blackcomb's Peak to Peak Gondola.

(This letter was addressed to health minister Adrian Dix and Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and shared with Pique.)

Whistler Blackcomb (WB) has recently published its operating procedures for the upcoming 2021/22 ski season. It seems that WB intends to load gondola ski lifts to capacity without any requirement for proof of vaccination.

This implies to me that if I choose to ski at WB [this] season, I risk sharing a very enclosed space with one or more unvaccinated people, multiple times a day.

I think it is fair to say that most people tend to ski in groups of like-minded friends. Hence, sharing a gondola with one unvaccinated person may likely mean sharing it with two, three or four unvaccinated people.

I am a cancer patient receiving regular chemo treatments. I have had two COVID-19 jabs, and am looking forward to receiving a booster shot but God knows the state of my immune system and the level of immunity I enjoy. Certainly my blood test results are far from normal.

If unvaccinated people are allowed unrestricted access to ski lifts, then I expect many unvaccinated visitors from Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as from points throughout B.C., will choose to ski at WB.

I am a life-long skier who has skied regularly at WB for more than 40 years. I have purchased a ski pass for this upcoming season with the hope of sharing one more season with my grandchildren. However, if the proposed operating conditions prevail, I will significantly curtail my participation. I feel the risk is too great.

The B.C. government has required proof of vaccination for most “optional” activities in indoor settings. I strongly believe that gondola ski lifts have been an oversight.

I strongly urge [the health minister and the public health officer] to add enclosed gondolas to the list of settings where proof of vaccination is required.

Irrespective of my medical condition, I would feel this way, and I know many other healthy skiers who are equally apprehensive.

L H Brown // Delta