As Canada rolls into April and its second month of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re slowly adjusting to the new normal of daily case updates, social distancing and infrequent outings.
A big part of that new normal for many Canadians are the public faces of the pandemic, from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s daily briefings in front of his Ottawa home to the regular updates from provincial health ministers and officials.
And those provincial public health officers have skyrocketed to celebrity status.
Tributes are rolling in across the country for our health-care heroes. And while there’s a fair share of social media love and T-shirts, there’s also been some weird and wonderful ways to honour public health officials.
A Quebec microbrewery has introduced a beer named for the province’s chief public health official Dr. Horatio Arruda.
Brasserie Générale - 18e rue announced the “Horatio Porter” last week — a 7.5-per-cent American Porter.
“We already love him so much,” the brewery wrote, announcing the beer. “The man who has a plan and popular Portuguese tarts.”
Arruda initially skyrocketed to popularity with his off-kilter suggestions for how people spend their time at home social distancing — including making portugese tarts.
He’s continued to earn praise for his frank advice and steady calm throughout the crisis.
But it’s not just in Quebec. One website has turned B.C. public health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s soothing voice into “unintentional ASMR.”
Since the beginning of the crisis, Henry has been heralded for her calm, informative approach to the daily briefings. B.C.-based ASMR website INeedToSleepNow.com edited together a series of Henry’s daily press briefings into what they call “The Most Soft Spoken Advice On Current Crisis To Calm You.”
The clips are taken from Henry’s March 20th, March 26th, March 24th briefings, and all noises outside of Henry’s voice including camera sounds or random bumps have been edited out to create the most calming experience.
According to the site, “unintentional ASMR is the same relaxing tingling sensation and feeling of well-being as ASMR but from an unintentional source.”
“In these stressful times there is a lot of hysteria in the media. To counter this we have some relaxing soft spoken advice on the current crisis from the BC’s Chief Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. In this video we’ve edited together the most soft spoken moments from Bonnie’ Henry’s daily updates,” the description reads.
WATCH: B.C. public health officer says province is holding its own against coronavirus. Story continues below.
As of April 3, the video has over 20,000 views.
Next stop: Corona-Hinshaw Station?
But if beer or ASMR tributes aren’t enough, what about a whole LRT station? That’s what some Edmonton residents are proposing to honour Alberta’s chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
The city’s Corona LRT station was named for the Corona Hotel, which was located directly above the station when it was first built in 1983. Of course, the word “corona” has new connotations in 2020, and many Edmontonians are suggesting a change that not only would do away with the name, but honour the province’s public face of the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Edmonton city councillor Aaron Paquette even gave the movement traction with a Twitter poll.
While the city is currently dealing with bigger issues than renaming an LRT station, you never know what might happen one day.
It certainly has a nice ring to it.
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