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Missing the crowds this Christmas season

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Not.

Leaving aside the distinct lack of snow we’re used to seeing in Prince George at this time of year, there’s something else missing this year.

The people.

I’ve had a few remotes to set up the River and The Drive this month, and no matter where we are, there are not the crowds I saw last year at the same time.

At one point last year, I think the last weekend before Christmas, I had a remote at Visions where it took about 20 minutes to get from the turnoff from the highway into that shopping area (aka Hell on Earth) into a parking spot, which I actually found quite quickly.

With no traffic lights and a large number of stores in that area, traffic was literally at a crawl. The DJ waiting at Visions actually texted me a couple of times, expressing concern I was not going to get there on time.

I did not respond, since I was driving, which probably didn’t help her state of mind at all.

I found the parking spot, took the gear she needed to actually get on the sir in right away and got it set up, then did the rest of the setup.

We made it, but not by more than about six milliseconds.

There have been fewer remotes this year and, as I said, not a lot of people at the stores. Talking to people at the stores, though, business has not been bad.

It appears a lot of people are taking advantage of the Internet to shop local this year. I’ve noticed that at other stores I’ve shopped at. Some of them are seeing a decent number of people in the store, but I suspect they are also getting orders from their websites.

It also seems like the stores have adjusted to the latest round of public health orders fairly quickly. It helps that they are actually pretty close to the original orders we were under.

I think most stores kept the option of curbside pickup in place even when they were allowed to re-open their doors to the public, but now they are making sure again that people know that is an option.

I also can’t remember the last time I went into a store in the city without seeing a note on the door reminding people that masks were mandatory in public places. Many of the stores do note that people can find masks at a certain place in the store if they forgot theirs.

One other thing I have noticed, and while it is definitely a case of safety-first, it is also unnecessary, I think.

If you’re in your car, either by yourself or with people from your bubble, you don’t need to wear the mask.

I don’t, because I need to wear my glasses to drive and, as so many other people have found, they fog up real quick when you are wearing a mask.

I prefer to see where I’m going on the road, especially when it comes to watching out for Blacktop Blockheads.

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