It was a grey confession that came from out of the blue.
“Hey everyone. I just wanted to give you my daily update,” wrote Matthew MacKay, Prince Edward Island’s tourism minister in a Facebook post Monday. “I will start off by confessing that I dye my hair.”
The Progressive Conservative politician has been using his Facebook page to regularly share coronavirus-related resources for Islanders. He said two reasons drove him to come clean about his mane misrepresentation.
“I wanted to bring some humour and some relief to people — to get a laugh, at the expense of me, I guess,” MacKay told HuffPost Canada.
“Secondly, I do have a legitimate worry that in about two weeks my hair is going to be grey and I’m not going to be able to hide it anymore,” he said with a laugh.
MacKay, 38, explained he’s been dyeing his hair since he noticed his sides going grey eight years ago. He joked he could look “quite different” in a few weeks.
For those at the front lines of the health pandemic, it was a much-needed moment of levity after some difficult days.
MacKay said he “got a lot of DMs” in response to his confession, including from health-care workers who told him, “You know, we had a hard day at work and you just made us laugh out loud, so thank you for that.”
The province declared a public health emergency last week. Ensuing temporary closures have affected approximately 80 per cent of businesses on the Island impacting tourism, fishing, and trade, MacKay said.
“It’s covered the whole circle. We’re in some tough times here and we’re trying our best to work through it.”
There are five confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in P.E.I. as of Wednesday evening, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Across the country, 3,385 cases have been confirmed as well as 35 deaths linked to the disease.
Watch: What paying it forward looks like in a pandemic. Story continues below video.
All non-essential services, including hair salons, have been closed in P.E.I. to minimize the number of COVID-19 infections — the contagious respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. These public health measures are similar to those taken across the country.
MacKay said the impacts of the crisis have been hard on his family. As a provincial minister, he’s had to clock some long hours away from his wife and three children.
Despite all the uncertainty in the air, it’s clear a sense of humour runs in the family.
“My young fellow is convinced that the harder I work, the more money I make,” MacKay said, adding that his two-and-a-half year-old son tells him he’s looking forward to having a nice four-wheeler when he’s older.
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