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People are tying white ribbons in support of health-care workers

North Vancouver resident brings initiative to her neighbourhood to support relatives in the U.S.
North Vancouver resident Julie Waltz has been hanging white ribbons, alongside her neighbours, on their street in Edgemont in solidarity with health-care workers in the U.S. photo mike Wakefield, North Shore News

There may be a great distance between them, but one North Vancouver resident is doing what she can to stay close with her family across the border during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

And she's had help and support from almost all of her neighbours as well.

Julie Waltz, who lives on Brookridge Drive in the Edgemont neighbourhood, wanted to do something to showcase her support and love for her family who are right in the thick of the novel coronavirus crisis in the U.S.

"I have some nieces in Atlanta, Ga., and their dad is actually an ER doctor," explained Waltz.

There have been reports of people in some parts of the U.S. hanging white ribbons as an act of solidarity with health-care workers who are battling to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

The show of support is similar to how British Columbians have been launching into a rapturous round of applause at 7 p.m. each night in support of our own front-line health-care professionals.

Waltz was inspired to hear that her nieces in Georgia were hanging white ribbons, and she decided to do the same on her own quiet North Vancouver street.

"It's about staying connected when none of us can travel to be together," said Waltz.

And she was buoyed to learn that her neighbours wanted to support her by doing the same.

"We have a really tight-knit neighbourhood because we are a cul-de-sac. Pretty much everybody knows each other as we see each other coming and going, and we have a nice email chain where neighbours stay in touch," she said.

Amid stories of neighbours making hand sanitizer and dishing it out to the community as well as helping elderly residents with grocery runs, Waltz said her neighbourhood's white-ribbon initiative is a simple but effective gesture during a challenging time.

"I'm sure there's a lot of people that wish there was more they could do, but this was something that's very easy. We were saying, rip up an old T-shirt, you don't have to go out shopping, and just tie the ribbon out there so everyone can see it," said Waltz. "I just think we live in a great community and I'm not surprised at all that people have stepped up ... We just need to keep staying connected and do these little things to lift our spirits and stay positive."

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