Nightly cheer for health workers to get a big boost from B.C. shipping industry
A freighter in Vancouver's English Bay. (File photo)
VICTORIA -- The nightly cheer for health-care workers that has swept through cities across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic is set to get a big boost on Canada's West Coast tonight.
Ships in British Columbia waterways will join in the audible 7 p.m. salute Friday.
The Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia says vessels of all sizes are encouraged to join in the noise by sounding their horns up and down the B.C. coast.
"Their continued effort, dedication, and selflessness is truly remarkable," the chamber said of health-care workers in a statement on the group's website.
"This audible celebration of health-care workers by the marine shipping industry is noteworthy, as the essential marine transportation workforce also continues to support the movement of critical cargo, some of which directly supports medical efforts, and ensures the delivery of supplies that keep our communities functioning."
For weeks, residents on Vancouver Island and mainland B.C. have taken to their balconies and windows to make noise in a show of appreciation for frontline health-care staff who are dealing with the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The nightly noise-making has also been a means of neighbourly outreach and support between residents self-isolated or under quarantine in their homes.
The shipping community says that while many seafarers are used to life in a kind of self-isolation from their loved ones, the pandemic has hit the community especially hard.
"During this pandemic crisis, the challenges of life in a ship are extraordinary," the chamber said. "With numerous nations not allowing crew changes, and a near shutdown of international airline travel, a significant number of seafarers are unable to return home to their families through normal crew change procedures."