Jeff Benvin of Jeff’s Tree Service Nanaimo says he’s starting the #SocialDistanceChallenge and wants to see people social distance in creative ways. (Jeff’s Tree Service/Facebook photos)

Island business owner starts #SocialDistanceChallenge during COVID-19 pandemic

Nanaimo’s Jeff Benvin wants to see people social distance in creative ways

A Nanaimo-based tree service business owner has taken the high ground with social distancing and is looking for other folks to share their ideas on social media.

Jeff Benvin, who owns Jeff’s Tree Service Nanaimo, paused his work this week to post what he’s calling the #SocialDistanceChallenge on social media Tuesday. Benvin took a video of himself from about 15 metres up a tree he was trimming, showing that his coworker on the ground was positioned the normal safe distance the men maintain on the job to prevent being hurt by falling tree trimmings and other items.

“As you can tell by that video if you saw it, my job is social distancing,” Benvin said. “I always have to maintain a very, very, safe distance from my customers and anybody in the surrounding area just for the simple danger of the job. So, I’m up a tree and thought, you know what, what better way to put out a challenge there to people because there’s so much worry and despair and negativity going on, I thought I’d put on some kind of a light, some kind of a happy twist on things.”

Benvin said challenge isn’t just for people socially distancing on the job, but for anyone anywhere who is finding creative ways in their day-to-day lives to keep their distance to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

As of Wednesday morning, Benvin said he’d already had a strong response to his social distance challenge that have included comments, videos and photos.

“I checked last night and there was 600 views and 40, 50 shares … an excavator operator on the mainland, he showed me a picture of him doing road clearing … believe or not, a person in Croatia saw it and liked it,” he said.

He’s offering a $100 gift certificate as a prize. For anyone who wants to learn more or share a video as part of the #SocialDistanceChallenge, visit Jeff’s Tree Services Facebook page.

READ ALSO: Crofton girl, 12, makes video plea about COVID-19 safety

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19



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