British Columbia

Remember the 7 p.m. cheer? Vancouver Coastal Health pitches winter version with lights

The 7 p.m. applause for health-care workers, a legacy from the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, is getting a revamp for the dark winter ahead.

Health authority asks people to light up the night with items like cellphones, flashlights and headlamps

Vancouver Coastal Health is encouraging people to bring back the 7 pm. cheer, this time with lights for the dark winter months. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The 7 p.m. applause for health-care workers, a legacy from the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, is getting a revamp for the dark winter ahead.

Vancouver Coastal Health is calling on residents to fill the night sky with beams and flickers of lights to show support for health-care workers and spread some cheer. 

The health authority says people can use items like cellphones, flashlights, headlamps and bike lights in an initiative dubbed Share the Light. 

Suzie Allen Logie, a patient services manager at Vancouver General Hospital, says many workers arrive at work and leave while it's dark. 

"It's a great way to carry on until we get to what everyone refers to the light at the end of the tunnel," she said on CBC's The Early Edition.

"Who knows what the journey's going to be? We can at least make that light at the end of the tunnel a little bit brighter."

Suzie Allen Logie, a patient services manager at Vancouver General Hospital, says hearing the cheer last March was a 'humbling experience.' (Ben Nelms/CBC)

VCH teamed up with Rory Richards, the West End resident who started the 7 p.m. cheer in Vancouver last March, to winterize the concept. 

Logie said hearing the cheers at the time was a humbling experience. 

"It brought me to tears every time," she said.

"We don't go into medicine and health care to be celebrated. It's a profession that you go into because you care and you want to help other people."

The health authority says people must avoid using lasers, which are dangerous for aircraft, and is reminding motorists not to use their handheld devices while driving. 

VCH is hoping to build momentum for Dec. 21, the darkest day of the year, and to continue the tradition in the winter months.

"I'm really hoping that everyone will embrace this idea," Logie said. "It will be great to see what the results are." 

Listen to the full interview:

With files from CBC's The Early Edition

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