Kitchener-Waterloo·Video

Kitchener neighbours still make noise for essential workers – 15 months into the pandemic

Last March, a group of neighbours on Lydia Street in Kitchener, Ont., started meeting up every night to bang pots and pans for essential workers. Through heat, and rain and snow, they haven't stopped.

Lydia Street residents say the nightly noisemaking has helped them stay in touch

Neighbours with a peal: Still sounding nightly support for frontline workers

7 months ago
Duration 1:09
Last year, a group of neighbours on Lydia Street in Kitchener, Ont. started banging pots and pans for essential workers every night at 7:30 p.m. Fifteen months later, they're still at it. 1:09

Last March, a group of neighbours on Lydia Street in Kitchener, Ont., started meeting up every night to bang pots and pans for essential workers.

At the time, it was a trendy thing to do. The practice began in Italy during the first wave of the pandemic and soon spread around the world.

What makes the Lydia Street neighbours special is that they never stopped. Fifteen months into the pandemic, the group still comes out every night at 7:30 p.m. — rain or shine.

"It's just a celebration that we have every night," said neighbor Ron Martinello, 61. "And I don't know when it's going to stop."

Ron Martinello acts as the group's DJ. A few minutes into the pot-banging, he plays a selection of upbeat songs. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC)

On any given night, between about five and 15 people will take part, Martinello said. He said the nightly ritual has helped them stay in touch at a time when most people spend their days isolated and inside.

"Even if it's a 10-minute connection, I think that's a very important thing for us to be able to do," he said.

Kathy Inch agrees.

"I have grandchildren that I can't hug, even though they just live down the street," said Inch, 67. "It's just nice to see people and to interact with them."

Both Martinello and Inch say they hope once the pandemic ends, the sense of community they've built will live on.

"We've made bonds and … bonds are going to continue past when we stop doing this thing here," Martinello said.

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