In March of 2020 I created of a group of about 400 West Vancouver citizens who were sharing information about what was happening in the neighbourhood with Covid restrictions and closures. Most of the information shared was things like parks and businesses that were closed.
In September, as kids were headed back to school, we got word that Vancouver Coastal Health was refusing to share information on school exposures. I strongly disagreed with this decision and as a result, when I got a notification that there was a positive case in my son’s school, Caulfeild Elementary, I posted a copy of it to the group.
I had no idea at the time that this action would lead to the group expanding to cover the entire North Shore or that membership would explode to over 6,200 people. Since then, parents on The Shore have shared hundreds of school exposures and valuable information that has helped each other feel connected and in touch with what is going on.
The more VCH and the PHO dragged its heels on providing information, the more parents stepped up and shared. It has been awesome to see it unfold.
In March of 2021 as vaccines were being rolled out, I joked to a friend one day that I was going to need everyone in the neighbourhood to put up some sort of yard sign once they’d been vaccinated so that I could drive around and hug my friends. (I know, I know…no hugging yet!)
Although it was just a joke, I found myself thinking more and more about it. I knew that many of the same people attending anti-mask rallies and watching crazy YouTube videos were going to be trying to talk their friends out of getting vaccinated. I also knew that vaccination on a large scale is the only way we were going to get case counts and hospitalizations down and get back to “normal” life.
So I started thinking about ways to create a sense of community around being vaccinated and a way to encourage anyone on the fence to get it done. This is where the “team shirt” idea was born.
I think that wearing the shirt serves two purposes. First, it serves as a team shirt. Rolling up your sleeve and getting the shot is the best thing you can do for your community right now, and all of us doing so is the best, most amazing teamwork we’ve all done together in a really long time. So, let’s celebrate it!
Second, it’s social proof. It’s one thing to see statistics on the news about how many people are getting vaccinated, but when people start seeing visible proof that those in their community are doing it I believe they will be more likely to want to contribute as well.
The feedback I’ve gotten from all across the country has been great and people are definitely loving the sense of community they get from wearing their T-shirts.
I’ve been getting so many pictures that I created Facebook and an Instagram pages so people can start to share their pictures. They can be found here:
If you have a shirt, please share your picture!