The Nanaimo Beacon’s Beacon Buddies program, meant to find volunteers to help with errands for self-isolating neighbours, signed up nearly 350 people on its first day Sunday. (Nanaimo Beacon image)

The Nanaimo Beacon’s Beacon Buddies program, meant to find volunteers to help with errands for self-isolating neighbours, signed up nearly 350 people on its first day Sunday. (Nanaimo Beacon image)

Nanaimo satire website connects community during COVID-19 pandemic

Nanaimo Beacon signs up more than 600 volunteers to help those who are self-isolating

The novel coronavirus is no joke.

Those behind the Nanaimo Beacon, a local satire website, went outside their usual mandate this past weekend to try to build community connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The website launched an initiative called Beacon Buddies, with a goal of connecting volunteers willing to run errands for neighbours who are in self-isolation or quarantine.

“There’s not a lot more behind this other than we just want to help,” the Nanaimo Beacon told the News Bulletin in an online interview. “We figure we’ve got a reasonably sized platform, so let’s do something good with it, instead of our usual mediocre, low-effort satire.”

Less than a day after publicizing the Beacon Buddies program, the site had signed up more than 600 volunteers from Duncan to Campbell River.

The program’s guidelines indicate that the self-isolating individuals should pre-pay for things like groceries and prescriptions, and suggests that volunteers should refuse to pick up “hoarding levels of supplies like toilet paper, bleach, sanitized wipes, etc.” The Beacon shared a few common-sense tips for meeting buddies, but said it will leave health-care advice to professionals.

The Beacon Buddies program is in line with B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie’s call last week for neighbours to help neighbours and try to ensure a support system for elderly British Columbians who may need extra help during the pandemic.

The Beacon usually sticks to satire; for example, last week it published a piece advising that Nanaimo’s annual Lick the Mayor event was being cancelled due to coronavirus fears.

“Once this crisis has passed, we hope to just go back to writing [crappy] jokes about the mayor’s muscles,” the Beacon said.

For more information about the Beacon Buddies program, click here.

READ ALSO: Courtenay doctor confirms Comox Valley’s first case of COVID-19

READ ALSO: VIU suspends classes as a COVID-19 precaution

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

CVRD offices on Ingram Street will remain closed for another 14 weeks after flooding last month. (File photo)
CVRD headquarters closed for another three and a half months

Building significantly damaged during water leak

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

Ladysmith Save-On-Foods. (Cole Schisler photo)
$5.4 million in renovations coming for Ladysmith Save-On-Foods

Save-On-Foods would not say when the renovations will begin

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused, Horgan says

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read