One day after COVID-19 restrictions protestors targeted hospital employees, some Comox Valley residents set up a counter-rally, sending messages of thanks to the frontline workers at the North Island Hospital Comox Valley campus.
Megan Ardyche was one of those involved with the counter-rally, held Thursday (Sept. 2) afternoon, and she said many workers stopped to thank them for the kind sentiment.
“We were there during a shift change, and all the staff who came by said how much it meant to them to see support rather than the abuse they got yesterday,” said Ardyche. “Several people said, ‘I needed that today.’ ”
The signs had messages such as ‘Thank you health care workers’ and ‘Protests are fine - abuse is not.’
Ardyche said some of the workers were concerned when they saw yet another rally in front of the hospital, until they realized the message that was being delivered.
“One woman said, ‘I saw you out here and I was afraid to walk by. Now that I see your message, it means so much,’ ” said Ardyche.
“At the end, one woman broke down and cried, saying how much our little group’s gesture meant to her.”
Ardyche added it was important to the group to express their thanks and show how much hospital workers are appreciated.
“It’s one thing to choose not to be vaccinated. It’s an entirely different thing to vilify, insult, and verbally abuse the very people to whom you will look for care if you have a medical emergency - like getting COVID.”
Late Wednesday afternoon, Premier Horgan released a statement condemning the protests that were held outside numerous hospitals across the province earlier in the day.
“Health-care workers have been true heroes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, working long hours in difficult conditions to care for us, our loved ones and to keep our communities safe,” he said in the statement.
“While everyone has the right to peaceful protest, the targeting and harassment of health-care workers at health-care facilities today is completely unacceptable.”