‘We’re here until COVID isn’t’

This is the 12th in the series of reports “Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside: Past and Present.” The Downtown Eastside (DTES) is a neighbourhood with severe issues, amongst them, poverty, homelessness and drug overdose, all of which have intensified with the pandemic.

Last week, Emma Gregory and I walked the streets of the Downtown Eastside and interviewed a number of people.

The DTES draws in lots of people, including family members of residents and past residents returning to work and provide support. We chanced upon a COVID-19 vaccination table, where we met Guy Felicella, peer clinical adviser to Vancouver Coastal Health with an important connection to the neighbourhood.

The COVID-19 vaccination table isn’t slammed, but there is steady trickle of residents and workers stopping by to get their shot. The clinics weren’t working Guy says, so they brought the vaccines to the neighbourhood. People lead busy and complicated lives, he said.

With so many people in the DTES living in close proximity to each other, making vaccinations more easily available is all the more important.

Each day this week, we’ll publish another of these interviews.

Watch the full series here.

Jase Tanner has worked in the film industry for 30 years where he frequently serves as a shop steward. During this time he’s been active in social justice issues and has produced a handful of short, web-based documentaries.

Emma Gregory recently graduated the Langara journalism program. She is interested in animals, agriculture, power dynamics, and the difference between free trade and fair trade. She believes that she is being spied on by her computer, but only for the mundane purpose of market research.