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Remember about a year ago when people in several neighbourhoods across Canada were banging pots and pans for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic? Many since have gone silent, but in this week’s Speakers Corner, we found one that hasn’t missed a beat and has no plans of stopping any time soon.
People who live on Euclid Avenue in Toronto’s west end say it’s a close-knit neighbourhood.
“And this past 14 to 16 months have made us even closer,” said Marsha Ambramson.
That’s how long they’ve been making noise.
“A couple of minutes before 7 p.m., we start rambling our tambourines or pots and pans,” Ambramson said. “Then one of our neighbours also plays music from a stereo system on his front porch.”
What follows is a street wide celebration. They started this like many other neighbourhoods back on March 20th, 2020—in the beginning of the pandemic.
Since then, they have not missed a single day.
“One of the main reasons we do it is we have doctors, nurses, social workers and therapists on our street.”
Doctor Leah Steinberg, a palliative care physician, is one of them.
“I don’t know how to express my thanks to everybody,” she said.
“When you’re in the hospital it’s like the same thing every day and every single night you hear this. It’s so different and special.”
Doris Grinspun is the C.E.O. of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. Last year, the organization helped promote the #TogetherWeCanDoIt campaign asking residents to make noise to cheer up health-care providers.
“When CityNews told us this neighbourhood was still doing it, I was so inspired!” Grinspun said.
“It died down because the COVID situation became so heavy and we thought it may have been too heavy to continue the noisemaking.”
But given the dedication of this neighbourhood, Grinspun says it may be time to rethink that.
“Healthcare workers are still dealing with stress, it’s not over for them and it won’t be for a while. This neighbourhood is giving out the energy to say we better get going again!”
While we may be close to turning a corner as vaccination numbers rise, this neighbourhood still plans to keep the beat alive.
“I’m not sure how it will end,” Ambramson said. “I am not sure who’s going to say that’s enough. We thought around the first anniversary of the pandemic, someone might say, okay that’s enough. But we just kept going. I think we have to go for the Guinness book of world records.”
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