iN PHOTOS: Pictures taken a year apart show changed response to pandemic | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN PHOTOS: Pictures taken a year apart show changed response to pandemic

Harvey Avenue, looking east from pedestrian overpass near Parkinson Recreation Centre, Kelowna. 3:15 p.m. March 22, 2020 (left) and 11:45 a.m., April 7, 2021.
April 09, 2021 - 7:00 AM

A year ago B.C. was in a deep lockdown. Most stores and restaurants were closed, leaving highways and shopping malls virtually deserted.

On April 7, 2020, iNFOnews.ca sent its reporters out into that empty world to show readers what they were not seeing from the safety of their homes.

On that day, B.C. recorded 25 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 1,291.

Also on that day, no new cases were recorded in the Interior Health region, the third consecutive day that had happened. There had been a total of 128 COVID cases in the region at that time.

Fast forward to 2021 when 997 new cases were recorded in B.C. on April 7 this year, bringing the provincial total to 106,985.

The Interior Health region registered 117 new cases on April 7, 2021, for a total of 9,083 to date.

Yet, the world is greatly changed. People are driving around, going shopping and patronizing restaurants with outdoor patios. The province is also nearing one million doses of vaccines being injected into residents’ arms.

This is how Kamloops and the Okanagan looked then and now.

The Bennett Bridge crossing Okanagan Lake was virtually deserted at the start of rush hour then. It's still not jammed tight now but it's definitely busier.

The Bennet Bridge, Kelowna. 4:30 p.m. April 7, 2020.
The Bennet Bridge, Kelowna. 4:30 p.m. April 7, 2020.
Image Credit: Drive BC

Image Credit: Submitted/Drive B.C.

A similar comparison can be seen at one the city’s major intersections, where Highways 97 and 33 intersect.

Intersection of Hwy 97 and Hwy 33 in Kelowna, looking north up 97. 4:28 p.m. April 7, 2020.
Intersection of Hwy 97 and Hwy 33 in Kelowna, looking north up 97. 4:28 p.m. April 7, 2020.
Image Credit: Drive BC

Image Credit: Submitted/Drive B.C.

Highway 97, known as Harvey Avenue in some parts of Kelowna, was almost deserted on March 22 last year, a normally busy Sunday afternoon. On April 7 this year, a Wednesday, it showed a dramatic increase in traffic as seen from the pedestrian overpass linking the Landmark Centre to Parkinson Recreation Centre.

Harvey Avenue, looking east from pedestrian overpass near Parkison Recreation Centre, Kelowna. 3:15 p.m. March 22, 2020.
Harvey Avenue, looking east from pedestrian overpass near Parkison Recreation Centre, Kelowna. 3:15 p.m. March 22, 2020.

Harvey Avenue, looking east from pedestrian overpass near Parkison Recreation Centre, Kelowna. 11:45 a.m. April 7, 2021.
Harvey Avenue, looking east from pedestrian overpass near Parkison Recreation Centre, Kelowna. 11:45 a.m. April 7, 2021.

Downtown Vernon at 30 Avenue was totally deserted in 2020 and showing much more life in 2021.

Downtown Vernon. 30 Ave. 4:30 p.m. April 7, 2020.
Downtown Vernon. 30 Ave. 4:30 p.m. April 7, 2020.

Downtown Vernon, 30 Ave. 4:30 p.m., April 7, 2021.
Downtown Vernon, 30 Ave. 4:30 p.m., April 7, 2021.

A similar change can be seen on Lansdowne Street in downtown Kamloops.

Lansdowne St and 3rd Ave, Kamloops. 1:45 p.m. April 7, 2020.
Lansdowne St and 3rd Ave, Kamloops. 1:45 p.m. April 7, 2020.

Lansdowne St. and 3rd Ave, Kamloops 1:45 p.m., April 7, 2021.
Lansdowne St. and 3rd Ave, Kamloops 1:45 p.m., April 7, 2021.

Victoria Street in downtown Kamloops has also come back to life despite the higher COVID case counts.

Victoria St, downtown Kamloops. 1:40 p.m. April 7, 2020.
Victoria St, downtown Kamloops. 1:40 p.m. April 7, 2020.

Victoria St., downtown Kamloops, 1:40 p.m., April 7, 2021.
Victoria St., downtown Kamloops, 1:40 p.m., April 7, 2021.

The Capri Centre Mall parking lot in Kelowna is crowded now, compared to a year ago.

Capri Mall, Kelowna. Noon April 7, 2020.
Capri Mall, Kelowna. Noon April 7, 2020.

Capri Mall, Kelowna, noon April 7, 2021.
Capri Mall, Kelowna, noon April 7, 2021.

Similarly, life has returned to the Village Green Mall in Vernon.

The Village Green Mall, Vernon. 5 p.m. April 7, 2020.
The Village Green Mall, Vernon. 5 p.m. April 7, 2020.

The Village Green Mall, Vernon, 5 p.m., April 7, 2021.
The Village Green Mall, Vernon, 5 p.m., April 7, 2021.

Back in Kamloops, Aberdeen Mall showed some activity in 2020 but nothing compared to what can be seen there today.

Best Buy and Cineplex at Aberdeen Mall, Kamloops. 12:45 p.m. April 7, 2020.
Best Buy and Cineplex at Aberdeen Mall, Kamloops. 12:45 p.m. April 7, 2020.

Best Buy and Cineplex at Aberdeen Mall, Kamloops, 12:45 p.m., April 7, 2021.
Best Buy and Cineplex at Aberdeen Mall, Kamloops, 12:45 p.m., April 7, 2021.

The Winners parking lot in Penticton was totally deserted in 2020 but showing much more life in 2021.

Winners parking lot, Penticton. 4:10 p.m. April 7, 2020
Winners parking lot, Penticton. 4:10 p.m. April 7, 2020

Winners parking lot, Penticton, 4:10 p.m., April 7, 2021.
Winners parking lot, Penticton, 4:10 p.m., April 7, 2021.

Kelowna’s Orchard Park Mall had a few stores that remained open during the lockdown. Best Buy, with its outside entrance, had people lining up and safe distancing last April but no such lineups existed in 2021.

Orchard Park Mall was mostly closed but people lined up, safely distanced, at Best Buy, April 2020. NOTE: this is not a live video. Go to the link at the bottom of this story to see the video.
Orchard Park Mall was mostly closed but people lined up, safely distanced, at Best Buy, April 2020. NOTE: this is not a live video. Go to the link at the bottom of this story to see the video.

Orchard Park Mall, Kelowna, April 7, 2021.
Orchard Park Mall, Kelowna, April 7, 2021.

Parkades in downtown Kelowna, like this one next to the city’s library, are much busier today, although there was plenty of empty space this year and the upper, outdoor floor was roped off.

Library parkade, downtown Kelowna. Noon April 7, 2020.
Library parkade, downtown Kelowna. Noon April 7, 2020.

Library Parkade, downtown Kelowna, noon April 7, 2021.
Library Parkade, downtown Kelowna, noon April 7, 2021.

In 2020, Costco in Kelowna drew huge crowds that lined up well past the end of the store in 2020.

This year, there was very little wait to get into the store, although the parking lot was completely full with vehicles lined up waiting for shoppers to unload their heaping shopping carts and drive off so they could take their spots.

Costco Kelowna. Just before noon, April 7, 2020.
Costco Kelowna. Just before noon, April 7, 2020.

Costco Kelowna, noon, April 7, 2021.
Costco Kelowna, noon, April 7, 2021.

See last year’s story here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2021
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