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Metro Vancouver celebrates a physically distant Mother’s Day amid COVID-19

Mother’s day celebrations amid physical distancing restrictions
Mother's Day was a lot different this year due to pandemic restrictions but as Grace Ke reports, many families found innovative ways to connect and say thank you to the women in their lives.

Sunday’s Mother’s Day celebrations looked a little different than usual this year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While B.C. is on track to begin reopening the province in just over a week, for the time being public health officials have urged people to remain physically distant from others, even moms, if they don’t already live together.

That meant a big shift for Butter Baked Goods in Vancouver, which traditionally runs a sold-out Mother’s Day high tea event.

READ MORE: B.C. urges Mother’s Day caution as it announces 2 COVID-19 deaths, 15 new cases

This year, for the first time ever, owner Rosie Daykin said the business was doing high tea to go.

“That’s our role here on a day to day basis, we are here to serve the community,” she said.

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“This was a tradition that I didn’t want to drop the ball on for them.”

Jay Janower’s Mother’s Day Tribute 2020
Jay Janower’s Mother’s Day Tribute 2020

Ironically, packing the nibbles for take-out turned out to be good business – Daykin said they packed up about 72 orders, potentially double what she could have done for dine-in service.

The icing on the Mother’s Day cake? She was serving the take-out with her daughter.

At Amica West Vancouver on the North Shore, Kate Manderson was among a group of people who decked out their vehicles with flowers, balloons and even a bag piper to perform a Mother’s Day parade.

Manderson’s 86-year-old grandmother Dorothea lives in the care home, and struggles with Alzheimer’s disease.

READ MORE: Mother’s Day traditions upended by coronavirus physical distancing rules

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“We haven’t been able to physically see her, so we still try to come every day – we’ll talk to her on the phone and she’ll stand on the balcony. We try and do that as much as we can because she says she just feels like she’s in prison,” said Manderson.

“I’m just hoping this makes her heart sparkle and know how loved she is, and everybody in the building who is a mother, especially today, just know that we are here to support all the mothers and make sure they all feel loved.”

The Mother’s Day visits were also physically distanced at the Three Links Care Society in Vancouver.

Raven McMahon brought her family — including a newborn grandson — to see her 69-year-old Mother at the facility on Sunday.

McMahon has been FaceTiming her mom every Sunday, but hasn’t seen her in person since early March.

Families showing mom how much they care
Families showing mom how much they care

This year, they had to visit through a window.

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“My mom really wanted us to come around the corner and come in, but we weren’t allowed,” she told Global News.

“I’m looking forward to this all being over so we can actually give her a hug and kiss her.”

Health officials say the rules around visiting seniors in care homes are likely to remain in place for the time being.

READ MORE: They’re front-line workers and moms. Here’s what Mother’s Day means to them

“We recognize absolutely family members are for providing care in our long-term care and assisted living facilities, and we are working, absolutely on plans to make sure that we can let families back in to support our seniors and elders, but in a safe way,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Saturday.

For other mothers, those hugs may just be around the corner.

The province has said people can begin cautiously expanding their social circles after the May long weekend.

-With files from Grace Ke