With social media being packed to the brim with COVID-19 stories, it can be easy to stroll past the good things that are coming out the pandemic. Communities are coming together even as we social distance and “Stay the Blazes Home”. Here are 10 happy stories from across Atlantic Canada during COVID-19.
1. “Stay the Blazes Home”
“Stay the blazes home” has quickly taken Nova Scotia by storm. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil made the statement during the April 3, 2020 press conference and it has became the unofficial provincial rallying cry. It is now on signs, in songs and even on t-shirts.My Home Apparel and Nova Trophy have both created t-shirts with the saying on them. My Home Apparel is donating to The QEII COVID-19 Response Fund, and Feed NS and Nova Trophy proceeds supports Shelters Nova Scotia.
If you are looking for the saying on more items including mugs, socks, and even underwear. Liz MacMichael from Dartmouth has you covered. Check out her designs here. Garrison Brewing also got into the Stay the Blazes fun with their newest ale. You can order online and pick up or have it delivered.
2. Truckers Surprised with Free Hot Meals and Hot Showers
During the COVID-19 pandemic, truck drivers are still hauling loads from coast to coast. Sadly with many restaurants having to close their dining rooms, truckers are running out of places they can find hot food and a place to rest.
This is where Crystal Blair comes in. The truck stop and restaurant owner serves truck drivers hot takeout meals for free from sun-up to sun-down. She is able to do this because the community donates food. Along with a meal, she also provides snacks and drinks for the road. The truck stop is west of Truro and is a well-known oasis for truck drivers since it is located just off the TransCanada.
3. Free Bagged Lunches
Not having enough to eat is scary in its own right, but adding COVID-19 on top of it has placed more people at risk of not having enough food. Wes Corey of Woodstock, NB is doing something about this situation in his town. The owner of The River restaurant, Wes Corey came up with a way of making sure people had something to eat. Daily, he makes up free bagged lunches. It didn’t take long for the residents to start asking how they could help.
Corey’s group has been working with church groups to make Sunday deliveries to people who can’t leave their homes.
4. Easter Bunny Visits Fredericton
Spring has sprung and the Easter Bunny is hopping around and bring cheer with her. Spotted Downtown Fredericton, a woman dressed in a bunny onesie with a sign made everyone’s day. The sign said ‘We are all in this together, holler if you agree.
5. Community Cups
Rockin’ Rogi Diner is a popular location in Middleton. They are well-known for their Pierogies and soups, so they came up with an idea to help the community during this stressful time. Community Cups are marked by the brightly colored sticky notes in the windows. The community took the idea and ran with it. Over 200 community cups have been donated since the project started on March 30, 2020. Anyone can pick up a community cup, which is made up of a cup of soup and slice of fresh bread.
6. Work Outs Helping Local Businesses
Evolve Fitness had to close their doors on March 15, 2020. They quickly turned their closure into something beautiful. They started to offer online workout programs for as little as $5 for 21 days of workouts and nutrition guidelines. The money raised has gone back into the community, buying gift cards from small local businesses to help them during COVID-19. They are not keeping the gift cards. The gift cards are being given out as prizes to those who win the challenges set in the workout programs.
7. Teddy Bear Hunts
Across Newfoundland and Labrador, you can spot teddy bears and stuffed toys hanging in the windows of houses and businesses. There are hundreds of stuffed toys that have been spotted and counted by kids of all ages. Some people have gotten very creative with their displays, like bears playing hockey or bears riding Ski-Dos. The trend has even spread across the water to PEI, thanks to a Facebook group.
Take a walk or drive and see how many bears you can spot, or create your own bear display to make someone’s day.
8. Online Kitchen Party
“Stay the blazes home” and get the kitchen party started on Facebook. Created on March 19, 2020, Ultimate Online Nova Scotia Kitchen Party is designed to share local and not-so-local musicians talent to help break up the negative news on the home page and be a bright spot on Facebook. Share your favorite musicians or your own musical talents.
9. P.E.I Distillery Starts Making Hand SanitizerHand sanitizer is a rare find these days, but many distilleries have made changes and have started offering hand sanitizer. The latest distillery to start making hand sanitizer is Deep Roots Distillery in Warren Grove. Since they don’t have an actual physical store, they are setting up shop at specified locations to sell their hand sanitizer and other products.
10. Newfoundland Tutor Shares Free High School Math Instructional Videos
Due to COVID-19, all schools are closed and some schools have decided to offer online classes for Grade 10 to 12 students. To help students, Simon Jansen a full-time tutor in Corner Brook, NL is offering free instructional videos for Math 1201, 2201, and 3201. Alongside his video library, he is also offering free live-lectures on Math and Physics.