PEI

Island family cheers for mom — and other health-care workers

Every night around 7 p.m. Steve Dowling and his two daughters gather on the front step of their Stratford, P.E.I., home and bang pots and pans and cheer as if the home team just scored the winning goal. But it’s not a sports team they’re cheering for, it’s the team of health-care workers who have been putting in long, stressful hours during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Steve Dowling happy to join global campaign saluting health-care workers

Steve Dowling and his daughters Sarah, 10, Laura, 7, show their support for P.E.I.'s health-care workers by banging pots and pans on their front step. (Pat Martel)

Every night around 7 p.m. Steve Dowling and his two daughters gather on the front step of their Stratford, P.E.I., home and bang pots and pans and cheer as if the home team just scored the winning goal.

But it's not a sports team they're cheering for, it's the team of health-care workers who have been putting in long, stressful hours during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workers like Marion Dowling, P.E.I. chief of nursing, who is Steve Dowling's wife and the mother of their daughters, ages seven and 10.

Make Noise for Health Care Workers is a movement around the world to salute health-care workers, and Dowling said he is happy to jump aboard and encourage others as well.

'Least we can do'

"People are looking to show appreciation for the health-care workers who are going to work, going into danger if you will, when we're asked to stay home and stay safe," he said in an interview on CBC-Radio's Island Morning.

"In many respects it's the least we can do to show appreciation for them."

Marion Dowling, P.E.I. chief of nursing, gives a public briefing on COVID-19 on Monday. (CBC)

Dowling said in times of self-isolation and physical distancing, it's a way to connect with others in the community by making noise and hearing others make noise.

"It's almost tribal," he said. "I really think there's something to it. I think people get something out of it."

Many Islanders are posting pictures and videos of their salutes on social media.

It's almost tribal. I really think there's something to it. I think people get something out of it.— Steve Dowling

"I'm really hoping that it does catch on in a big way."

Dowling said Marion Dowling, who often joins Dr. Heather Morrison on public briefings that occur almost daily, appreciates the gesture from Islanders.

"She gets a kick out of it," he said. "She and all the staff that she works with, they're very appreciative of all the support  that Islanders are showing."

COVID-19: What you need to know

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.
  • Practise physical distancing.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning

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