All Thumbs Up to Everyone from our Health Care and other Public Service Workers, to the those Stocking the Shelves and Manning the Cash Registers at the Grocery Store
A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted March 19th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
Following a special session this March 18th of Niagara’s Regional Council– one in which the Region’s Chair Jim Bradley rightfully took time to thank thousands of municipal staff across Niagara for keeping essential services working during these very troubling times – I decided to take a brief drive around Thorold and St. Catharines.
For whatever reason, I wanted to take that ride just to see what, if anything may have changed in in a Niagara that is now counting up its own confirmed cases of people who have tested positively for the COVID-19 coronavirus.
It was a little after 5 p.m. and as I drove north on Glenridge Avenue toward St. Catharines’ downtown, I was struck by how little traffic was on the road during a time of day when the streets would normally be busy with people driving home from work.
I passed no more than a half a dozen or so pedestrians as I drove the whole length of Glenridge Avenue from the Niagara Escarpment to Westchester Crescent before turning left to St. Paul Street.
Then, on a corner of St. Paul Street, just before Westchester turned into Ontario Street in the city’s downtown, a man wearing a winter coat and long beard, stood on a sidewalk holding up a big sign that read; “Thank U Nurses, P.S.W.s, Cleaners. We Love U.”
As drivers passed him, they honked horns in support of the message on the sign, and a Niagara Regional Police officer turned on the flashing lights on his cruiser as he drove by. I got out of my car for a minute to take a quick picture as I shouted; “That’s a wonderful thing you are doing.”
“Thanks,” he beamed as others continued to sound horns as they drove by.
This was one of the very few bright moments in what was otherwise another day of grim news about rising coronavirus cases across Canada and the United States, and tightening travel restrictions.
We do, very much, owe a great deal of thanks to our health care workers, and other public service workers, and those still at work in banks, in grocery stores, pharmacy stores and other venues still open to provide us with the goods and services we need to get through this.
Please remember that they are all out there on the front lines, risking their health at a time when virtually everyone is being encouraged to quarantine themselves at home, and we have a responsibility to take every precaution possible, including distancing ourselves, to keep them safe.
Meanwhile, I don’t know the name of that man standing there with the sign, but I do know that I will never forget him.
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