Lights in the Valley is an effort to light up the darkness in the Fraser Valley and beyond. (Culture Co)

Lights in the Valley is an effort to light up the darkness in the Fraser Valley and beyond. (Culture Co)

‘Lights in the Valley’ will showcase community support to stave off the dark times

Lights will be going up across the Fraser Valley in a message of hope, support and community

The goal is to shed some light during the dark times of COVID-19.

A new Fraser Valley initiative, #LightsInTheValley, is similar to other efforts to light up the darkness across the globe, says Dr. Allison Salter of Chilliwack Division of Family Practice.

All people have to do is take their Christmas lights out of storage, put them back up, or hang a whole new strand of lights. They can snap an evening photo of their twinkling lights, and post it, with the hashtag #LightsInTheValley.

It’s a visual way to show appreciation for health care workers and other essential workers who may be driving home from a late shift and could use a boost, says Dr. Salter.

Posts have been appearing online recently under the hashtag #CoronavirusLights2020 and will start soon under the new one #LightsInTheValley.

“One of our local family physicians alerted me to this,” Dr. Salter tells The Progress. “It has been trending in other communities and countries.”

It might be a fun activity for families and folks in isolation to mount some lights, and then to later gaze upon them in appreciation.

“For those in isolation, they can look out and see the lights, and know that they are up as a message of hope, support and community,” Dr. Salter offers. “For those working in essential services, it demonstrates our thanks.”

It can even offer a sense of satisfaction, and a sense of community contribution as some they may feel like they are not doing much at the moment.

On some local trails, painted rocks have started showing up with cheery messages.

“On the Peach Creek Trail, there is a little grove where someone has cut out fabric hearts and attached them to the trees with messages of encouragement on them,” Dr. Salter recounts. “I think most communities are doing something to connect the community.”

For example in her parents’ community in Ontario people are putting up white ribbons to show support for essential service workers.

It’s the idea that the lights could offer a beacon of hope, and promote a little unity in these times of darkness.

For those who do decide to participate and put up lights from the Fraser Valley, they should know in advance, it’s much appreciated from the health care sector.

“We see you, we thank you for all that you are doing,” Dr. Salter says. “Our medical community is ready to support you in your time of need. Thank you for supporting us in our time of needing you to protect our health care system.”

Continue to stay home, but stay connected.

“Connect with your local health care provider if you are feeling down or unwell. Call your family physician’s office to make a virtual or in person appointment, depending on the issue.”

You don’t currently have a local family doctor? Call one of the local walk-in clinics to see someone If you have a critical or life threatening condition, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency department.

“Our medical community is here to help you. Business may not be as usual, but your health care providers are available to help.”

READ MORE: The #ChilliwackTogether keeps community connected

READ MORE: Folks share uplifting images

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