It’s getting toasty on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, as more and more residents get together – from a distance – to celebrate the efforts of their neighbours and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last weekend in White Rock, residents of the Victoria Terrace complex, who are self-isolating in an effort to help flatten the curve, emerged onto their patios with glass in hand, “to toast us staying in isolation and doing our part.”
“Kind of an Italian idea!” Malik Dillon writes in an email to Peace Arch News, referring to reports of people in that country – currently with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths of any nation in the world – gathering on their balconies to share music and applaud those working on the front lines.
Turns out, the White Rock residents are not alone.
Today (March 23) at 5 p.m., residents of the 82-unit The Greens complex, at 350 174 St. in South Surrey, will toast first responders, medical professionals, those working to keep supplies in stock and more from the comfort of their garages.
Resident Donna Morse said the effort was “a way to thank and just be out there and provide support.”
“It’s not easy what everybody is doing and I think we tend to forget sometimes,” said Morse, a retired RCMP officer whose daughter is currently on active duty as a Mountie.
Police and firefighters have been invited to drive through during the toast, but “we don’t want anybody to get out of the car,” Morse said.
“We really want to respect the need for social distance.”
Morse said the event – which, she quipped, will not include singing – is also an opportunity for those who live in the complex to check in on each other.
“We do phone them, but this is (another) way of checking.”
Morse said while many people, including herself and her husband, are doing what they can to stop the spread of the virus – “we’re not even seeing our children,” she said – she has been surprised by those who aren’t being as careful.
“I just wish that people would take this seriously,” she said. “Personally I can’t believe that people think this is nothing.
She is hopeful that the good deeds and thoughtfulness that are being seen now will carry on once the pandemic is over.
“Hopefully, the world becomes a better place after this,” she said.