OPH asks residents to make noise and flash lights on Christmas Day to show support to isolated residents

OTTAWA — It may get a little noisy on Christmas Day in Ottawa.

Ottawa Public Health said in a tweet on Monday that a citizen of Ottawa who lives alone reached out with an idea to help brighten spirits of others who are isolated this Christmas.

“Our hearts absolutely melted,” OPH said.

The idea is to make some noise and to flash your home’s lights on and off for one minute at 8 p.m. on Dec. 25.

“The holidays are going to be difficult for many members of our community who are isolated and live alone,” OPH said. “If you recall, on Wednesday evenings we used to come together as a community to show love. Now, we’re asking you to do it again.”

Early in the pandemic, people would come out on balconies and in front yards on Wednesdays and bang pots and pans together to show support for front-line health care workers.

“Let’s light up the sky and be connected!” OPH says. “[S]how members of the community that are alone or isolated during the holidays that they’re in our hearts and that we are all connected!”

Ottawa Public Health is asking residents to celebrate Christmas and other holidays with members of their household only and to limit travel to essential trips only. People who live alone may have one or two additional people over as essential supports, provided those people are not going to any other homes but theirs.

OPH also recommends other ways to stay connected with friends and loved ones who may be alone over the holidays, including reaching out digitally on platforms like Zoom, Facetime and Google Hangouts, sending care packages, or just calling someone on the phone.

You can find more information about mental health supports during isolation on OPH’s website.

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