By Pat Payton
Doctors’ Day occurs every year in Canada on May 1 and is a time to highlight and celebrate doctors’ expertise and dedication to patient care.
This year, that day took on a whole new meaning with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and all the problems it has presented.
Last Friday night, Ontarians showed their appreciation for doctors on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and all healthcare workers who work to keep their patients healthy. People were asked to simply turn on their phone flashlights at their front windows or front porches and hold them high at 9 p.m.
The province-wide show of appreciation was organized by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) as a way for people in the province to recognize doctors for their bravery and dedication.
In St. Marys, the front of St. Marys Memorial Hospital was lit up for approximately 90 minutes, with a banner erected as well.
“On our banner, we also included front-line workers,” said Krista Linklater, St. Marys Healthcare Foundation’s Executive Director. “The thought is, we wanted to honour our doctors, keeping the community positive and engaged. We had blue and white lights because blue signifies our appreciation for all healthcare workers.
“Right now, I think it’s really important amid the Covid-19 pandemic to remember all the people who are putting their lives and families at risk for us.”
Added board chair Pat Craigmile: “I just want to say a big thank you to all of our healthcare heroes, whether they are a doctor, a nurse, front-line staff, a cleaner, people who serve the food . . . they’re doing an awesome job. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
The St. Marys Town Hall was lit up to mark the tribute as well. “The theme this year is Shine a Light,” said Andrea Macko, events coordinator for the town. “We lit up the inside of the bell tower, which isn’t usually lit. And there are spotlights on the town hall anyways.”
Important to show support
Mayor Al Strathdee said it’s very important to show strong support for our doctors and front-line healthcare workers.
“We have to do what we can to support them,” Strathdee told the newspaper. “Everything is just so uncertain. There’s no playbook for this, and it’s a pretty stressful time in healthcare right now. We’re so reliant on them going to work and helping people, we have to do everything we can to show our appreciation.
“We thought the town hall, being the central place in our community, would be symbolic. We thought we would do something central, right downtown,” the mayor added.
By Pat Payton