The pandemic that seems to have no end has been exhausting and demoralizing, especially for those on health-care front lines.
That’s why Danielle Van Hyfte and Mandy Wright, whose husband is a Red Deer fire-medic, came up with the idea of showing health care workers how much the community supports and appreciates their efforts.
“Rather than just feel angry and frustrated, we wanted to do something that encouraged the community to stand behind the people who need us to stand behind them the most,” said Van Hyfte.
They set up a Facebook page “Community Love for our Red Deer Healthcare Workers” to encourage people to adorn their homes with white ribbons or post other messages of support to give passing health care workers a boost. Those who want to reach out to health care providers can post their thanks and other supportive comments on the Facebook page, which has already drawn comments from grateful Red Deerians.
A sign people can post in their windows can also be downloaded from the Facebook page.
“We wanted something that everyone could do, that didn’t cost a lot of money and everyone could participate in,” said Van Hyfte. “We brainstormed a few ideas and we came up with this idea.”
Van Hyfte knows many emergency room and intensive care unit workers and knows how hard it has been for them over the past 18 months.
“I think they all just feel pretty defeated, to be honest,” she said. “I think at this point they feel they have a total lack of leadership is what I’m gathering (from them). They just feel really alone, that the community isn’t supporting them.
“I mean you see all these protests at hospitals and they are even getting flak from patients coming in.”
A few weeks into the pandemic, people around the world, including Canadians, clapped or banged pots every night at 7 p.m. as a show of support for health workers. People dropped off gifts or messages for health workers or offered other visible shows of support.
But as the pandemic dragged on month after month, those sorts of expressions of support faded.
“I think that it’s just the exhaustion of the pandemic. We’re all tired and we’re all defeated and we all feel like this should be over.
“But it’s not over for them and it’s really not over for us. I think we need to get back to a rallying place and remember what we did in the beginning.