City of Sarnia marking one-year pandemic anniversary

The Flag At Sarnia City Hall At Half Mast - (Blackburnnews.com File photo By Melanie Irwin)

The City of Sarnia is taking part in a national day of observance Thursday, honouring the men and women who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Over 22,000 Canadians, including 46 in Sarnia-Lambton, have died of coronavirus since the World Health Organization declared it a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said the flag is being lowered at Sarnia’s City Hall as a tribute.

“I think we all believed that with technology, and the advancements in science, that we were immune to these types of pandemics and sadly we found out we’re not,” said Bradley. “So, it’s important to celebrate those who we’ve lost and their lives and to remind their families that they’re not forgotten. As we emerge from this, we’ll be stronger as a community and as a country.”

Mayor Bradley said Bluewater Health, city police and fire are also on board, and he’s encouraging all businesses and residents with a flag to follow suit.

Bluewater Health President and CEO Mike Lapaine said hospital staff have seen the impacts of COVID first-hand.

“It’s very difficult any time you lose a patient as a frontline worker,” said Lapaine. “The fact that COVID has accelerated some of that, it’s been a tough year for our staff. It’s almost spring, and we’re looking at vaccines just around the corner. We’re hopeful that we can start mass vaccinations into the spring, and turn the page on this pandemic.”

Residents can also take part in a nationwide vigil by lighting a candle on their porches, balconies or driveways at 7 p.m.

We’re also encouraged to profile our online presence with a photo of a lit candle and use the hashtags #Candle4COVID and #TogetherWeCanDoIt, to spread awareness.