People in Oak Bay and Victoria are letting the frontline health care workers know they support them, including Michelle Kirby, who blasted a few tunes from her back porch in Oak Bay. (Michelle Kirby Photo/Victoria Foundation Facebook Post)

Vancouver Island residents roar in thanks to frontline workers

Nightly thank-yous echo across the region

Like anything right now, things are moving fast in the social response to COVID-19.

The newest addition to the calendar of “new normal” is the nightly, 7 p.m. thank-you to frontline and other essential workers.

As of March 23 at 7 p.m., residents from Vancouver Island and across the province have taken to playing the trombone, banging drums, pots and pans, clapping, cheering, singing and dancing in honour of the frontline workers such as nurses, doctors, pharmacists.

“This is the only fun an extrovert can have in these circumstances, a coping mechanism for extroverts, you get outside, interacting with others,” said former Oak Bay councillor Michelle Kirby. “And it’s for a great cause, I think we’re heard, I hope we’re heard.”

Deputy Premier Carole James commented she could hear the cheers echoing all the way from the Songhees walkway.

The timing, 7 p.m., is meant to correspond with the hospital workers evening shift change. And the movement has taken hold as hospital advocates are promoting it.

The trend to started in Vancouver last week and when Kirby saw it, the Dalhousie Street resident posted it to social media. She may even have been the first in town to do so.

“I hadn’t noticed anyone else doing it when I posted it,” Kirby said. “I emailed my neighbours and they all agreed and then we did it. “We started four of us the first night, [each] on our front porch.”

For Kirby, it meant dusting off the trombone. That was Monday. By Tuesday night, the movement had spread through Oak Bay and Victoria.

For the record, Kirby’s repertoire is limited, so cut her some slack when you hear When the Saints go Marching In, again tonight, tomorrow night, and the next night.

Meanwhile, in the skyscrapers of Vancouver, the movement looks like this.  

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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