British Columbia·Photos

From face masks to video chats, families reimagine Mother's Day during COVID-19

Families this year were forced to reimagine Mother's Day, a tradition marked by closeness and affection, amid COVID-19 restrictions.

'There won't be any hugging or touching or visiting indoors,' says one Abbotsford resident

Selena Madrigan brought her mother disinfectant wipes and face masks for Mother's Day in lieu of flowers. (Selena Madrigan )

Instead of flowers, Selena Madrigan gifted her mom a box of face masks and some Lysol disinfectant.

The Abbotsford resident and her husband ordered takeout to share with her parents outside their condo. Their orders were packed separately, she said, and the two couples sat on opposite ends of her parents' patio, about three metres apart.

"There won't be any hugging or touching or visiting indoors," she said Saturday.

Families this year were forced to reimagine Mother's Day, a tradition marked by closeness and affection, amid COVID-19 restrictions.

A family venturing to Vancouver's Crab Beach wears masks on Mother's Day. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

On Saturday, B.C's provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, encouraged families to celebrate Mother's Day outdoors and to stay two metres apart if they weren't part of the same household.

"Honour our mothers by keeping them safe," she said, asking families to avoid close contact with mothers who are older, awaiting surgery and have underlying illnesses.

Some followed that advice Sunday, lounging at Vancouver's parks and beaches while basking in the summer-like weather.

A mother and daughter dig through the sand while keeping a safe distance from others at Vancouver's Sunset Beach. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)
Families gather in small groups at Vancouver's Sunset Beach. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)
A mother, son and daughter enjoy a picnic in the shaded grass near Vancouver's English Bay. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

CBC News also asked readers online to share how they marked the special day.

Susan Chung's two boys hadn't seen their grandmother in weeks. They surprised her Sunday by performing the violin and viola outside her Vancouver home.

"Grandma was so delighted," Chung wrote. "It is so hard to stay apart. This pandemic can't be over soon enough."

Some families debated whether to meet in-person or connect virtually. Susanne Dadson said her family was split — two people decided to visit her 97-year-old mother-in-law from outside her seniors' home, while she opted to call.

"We are all seniors as well and wanting to stay safe," she said.

Families gather along railings by the Vancouver Convention Centre to take in views of the North Shore. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)
Mother's Day at Crab Beach Park is celebrated in small groups, with family members keeping a safe distance from one another. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)
A mother and son are among the small crowds at Vancouver's Sunset Beach. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Others maintained simple traditions. Tanya Paterson said her mother prefers to be left alone on Mother's Day, but appreciates a phone call.

"It never varies from year to year."

To celebrate her mother, Anasuya Kesavan made for lunch some malai kofta, an Indian vegetarian dish, and chapatis, a type of flat bread.

"Mothers," she wrote, "remind you of the warm smells of the kitchen." 

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