Switch on this bright idea to support our health-care workers

Let there be light! Let there be a beacon to help guide us through these troubled times!

The idea comes from Kate Sykes-Waller, who says we should string up and turn on our Christmas lights — and what’s wrong with the idea? Nothing. Let’s do it.

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This could be just what everyone needs to deal with the uncertainty and anxiety that COVID-19 has brought to our community.

Sykes-Waller says turning on the lights would show thanks for front-line health-care workers and everyone serving the public, and also allow us to “come together as a city where we’re all supporting each other.”

“I was just thinking of how to firstly send a message from everybody to all the people who are on the forefront of this, who might, for example, be coming home late at night after doing a shift at the hospital, or drivers of buses,” she said.

Even though Sykes-Waller admits she’s “a bit of a Christmas Grinch” with only one set of lights herself, she settled on Christmas lights because it’s something most people already have.

“Kids will think it’s the nuts-est thing ever, but it’ll be really neat to sort of have Christmas in April,” she said. “I think it has a lot of heartwarming, come-together aspects with very little hassle.”

She said a lit-up neighbourhood would also provide another activity for anyone who’s running out of ways to keep busy while staying apart.

“People can get in their cars with their kids or by themselves and just go around and look at the lights like everybody does at Christmas. It’s a safe thing to do, I think,” Sykes-Waller said.

There’s a catch, of course:It gets dark later now than in the Christmas season.

But we can still make it happen. Lights on for a couple of hours, starting at 8 p.m., might be just what we need to take us through these dark days.

> We're highlighting some of the light displays on our map and in the newspaper. Want to take part? Fill out the form here, or send an email to localnews@timescolonist.com.

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