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Coronavirus: ‘Healthy’ B.C. family posts ad requesting exposure to COVID-19

Click to play video 'Revelstoke mayor urges tourists to stay away as local cluster grows' Revelstoke mayor urges tourists to stay away as local cluster grows
The rising case count in Revelstoke has the community’s mayor reminding people to follow provincial advice and not take non-essential trips anywhere in the province, including to Revelstoke. – Dec 2, 2020

In what can only be called bewildering, it appears that a B.C. family is requesting to be exposed to COVID-19.

Last week, an online ad appeared on a classified advertising website in the small interior city of Revelstoke.

“We are a healthy family and we would like to safely expose ourselves to the virus, to help build our natural immunity,” the ad said.

“We can house you for a night or however long it takes, and will provide all of your meals.”

The ad was posted on a Nov. 30, on a classifieds website called thestoke.ca.
The ad was posted on a Nov. 30, on a classifieds website called thestoke.ca. thestoke.ca

Read more: ‘Learn from our story’: How a B.C. birthday became a COVID-19 superspreader event

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What’s even more perplexing is that the ad says the family has already tried to contract the virus from someone but was unsuccessful.

“Any suggestions on the easiest way to transmit the virus? We were unsuccessful in transmission with our first COVID-19 guest,” the ad said.

“(We) are assuming we will have to use saliva directly.”

Read more: ‘For me, it is personal’: B.C. doctor makes heartfelt appeal after death of 3 COVID-19 patients

This week, Revelstoke mayor Gary Sulz released a video talking directly to his residents about taking COVID-19 more seriously as novel coronavirus cases have risen in the small interior city.

Specifically, Sulz referenced the ad, saying “People, you are playing with a loaded gun.”

“That loaded gun may not be pointed at you, it may be your family or people out in the community,” Sulz said.

“Don’t put yourself in that situation. It is important that we all follow our health officer’s recommendations.”

Click to play video 'Calls for new approach to help B.C. long-term care residents during pandemic' Calls for new approach to help B.C. long-term care residents during pandemic
Calls for new approach to help B.C. long-term care residents during pandemic – Dec 1, 2020

Sulz wants all non-essential visitors to stop coming to Revelstoke.

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It appears the ad has since been removed. Global News has reached out to the website.

Later Wednesday, the chief medical health officer for Interior Health addressed the issue during a media availability session.

“We’ve heard this before and, unfortunately, it does happen within the community,” said Dr. Albert de Villiers.

“We’ve had people who’ve had chickenpox parties or, heaven forbid, measles parties, where they actually get other people’s kids to come and visit them to get the disease because they’ll then build up immunity.

“There’s quite a few issues with that because we don’t know how bad you’re going to react to this disease.”

Read more: ‘I’ve got the illness’: B.C. ER doctor on life with COVID-19 and what comes next

De Villiers said it’s true that “most people will have a relatively mild form of the disease, and will be off for a day or two, three maybe. But there are people, even relatively healthy people, that can develop complications.”

The doctor continued, saying “we’ve had people throughout Canada, of all ages, pass away.”

“So I don’t think we want to put anybody at risk unnecessarily. I don’t think it’s a good idea. Technically, not a good idea to go willfully expose yourself to something that might have very bad consequences.”

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