Caremongering & COVID

COVID-19 has stopped all large gathering in Canada– but it can’t stop our communities from coming together to support one another and have some laughs. While in social isolation, Canadian’s are finding creative ways to stick together through this unpredictable time– through cheering on essential workers, supporting one another, celebrating birthdays, and having a bit of fun. Here are just a few of our favourite community, caring and COVID moments popping up across the country: 

Cheering on essential workers 

Even though most of us are at home, there are still many that are working tirelessly to ensure that Canadian’s can stay safe. Here are a few examples of Canadians cheering on & thanking our essential workers for their continued hard work: 

  • Truckers are working hard to ensure that our grocery stores stay stocked. One Nova Scotian resident held up a sign on the side of the road to express his gratitude for all the truckers bringing in supplies. 
Source: Instagram- @the.jardine.legacy 
  • In Vancouver, cheers can be heard across the city every night at 7 pm– the time when many health care worker’s shifts change. Even the mascots are getting in on the fun! Pictured below is the Vancouver Cunucks thanking the health care workers. 
Source: Instagram- @canucksfin
  • In Nova Scotia, residents are making sure the Nova Scotia chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, is getting some support, by putting signs up around his neighbourhood. 
Source: CBC News. 

Supporting each other 

Canadian’s are also finding ways to support others in their own community. Even the simplest of gestures can make individuals not feel so alone while in isolation. Here are some examples of Canadians supporting Canadians through this tough time:

  • Across Canada, inspirational chalk drawings have been popped up all over the sidewalk. Here are a couple found around Ottawa: 
Source: Narcity 
  • People have even been sharing encouraging messages with neighbours without having to leave their house. Here are a few examples of window art that have been seen around the Halifax & Dartmouth: 
Source: Instagram- @east_coast_crafter 
Source: Instagram- @halifaxnoiseathome
  • Blue Mountains, Ontario, has a population with a lot of seniors that may feel vulnerable going to the grocery store amid the COVID outbreak, so a group of volunteers have pulled together to help deliver groceries to those in need

Having a bit of fun 

All this social distancing is making some people find fun and silly ways to put a smile on someone’s face. Here are some examples of people having fun during COVID-19:

  • Is that a dinosaur walking down the street? Or is it someone that is finding a fun way to social distance while in an inflatable dinosaur suit? In Ontario, there have been dinosaur suit sightings throughout Toronto. 
Source: Narcity 
  • Another way one house in Halifax, Nova Scotia is to get into the paints by painting a two-story giraffe on their window! 
Source: Instagram- @HalifaxNoise
  • Some communities are pulling together by making neighbourhood i-spy games for kids going on walks. In Fernbank, Ontario, the community has put together scavenger hunts by encouraging residents to put items in their windows for people to find while on their walk.
Source: Twitter @AltaVistaWard18

Celebrating birthdays 

Even though crowds are cancelled, it doesn’t mean that birthdays have to be! Canadians have been finding fun, creative ways to still celebrate while separated. Here are some feel-good COVID birthday stories from Canada: 

  • In Peel Ontario, the police made one five year old feel extra special for his big day by showing by with their lights sirens and even a big sign to help wish him a happy birthday. 
Source: Twitter- @peelpolice 
  • A 70-year-old Mississauga resident woke up to a wonderful birthday surprise after friends, family and the community left photos and heartwarming notes on his window. 
Source: Instagram- @goodnews_movement
  • Across the country, birthday parades have started popping up in light of the social distancing measures. One example of this comes from Midnapore, Calgary, where community members drove by to wish 12-year-old Riley Mitchell a happy birthday.

So as you can see, despite being locked inside from COVID-19, communities across the country are still finding lots of ways to connect, have some fun and maintain hope during these unpredictable times. As a placemaking organization, we are saddened to have our communities empty, but it is so heart-warming to see all these new placemaking type initiatives popping up across the country. Community, engagement and art– three aspects of placemaking– are still stronger than ever in spite of COVID-19.