New version of 7 pm cheer encourages shining lights for healthcare heroes

Dec 16 2020, 3:48 pm

Vancouver Coastal Health is trying to kickstart a new version of the 7 pm cheer for health care workers just in time for the holiday season.

Started by West End resident Rory Richards back in the spring, the cheer saw people all over the city clapped and banged pots during the 7 pm shift change at local hospitals. Some neighbourhoods still do the cheer.

As we approach the longest night of the year, the health authority has an idea to add flickering lights to the 7 pm show of support.

“We’re deep in the second wave; COVID-19 case numbers and restrictions are rising. At Vancouver Coastal Health and in our community, COVID-19 fatigue is setting in,” spokesperson April Penney told Daily Hive via email.

“And yet there are glimmers of light all around us – like the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine and the acts of kindness and support we see amongst health care workers and in our community.”

Residents can use flashlights, bike lights, headlamps, or cellphones to emit rays of light into the night sky, in a display meant to remind Vancouverites that there are brighter days ahead.

They’re calling the winterized version of the 7 pm cheer Share the Light, and hoping it can culminate on December 21, which is the shortest day of the year. However, VCH is encouraging folks to join in on sharing their lights starting this week.

While torches and other lights are welcome, VCH asked residents not to point lasers at the sky because they can interfere with airplanes above.