Kingston family decorates Easter egg tree in support of public health officials

A family in Kingston has decorated what they’re calling an “Easter egg tree” outside the city’s public health office in support of front-line health-care workers through the holiday long weekend.

Seven-year-old Thorben De Pauw says he and his and his mom, Lia De Pauw, spent two weeks hand painting the eggs for those at Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health to see while coming to and from work.

“To give them a little magic,” explained Thorben. “Because me and my mom know that it’s a tough time (during the pandemic) for public health too.”

Every year the De Pauw’s make their own Easter egg tree in their yard at home.

Lia De Pauw says as cases began to climb across the province, and variants became more of a concern, she thought about all those who may not be home for the holidays this year.

“So we thought we’d decorate a tree to bring some hope and some magic and see if that could make things a little bit easier as we head into spring,” she explained.

Some of the eggs are decorated with words of encouragement like “calm”, “safe”, and “kind”. Inspired by words spoken by Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s provincial health minister.

“You can’t be kind without being calm,” says Thorben.

While others are decorated with pictures of hand washing, and the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Lia De Pauw says the goal is to inspire the community to continue to follow local health rules and get a shot.

Neighbour Betsey Schmidt saw the tree while out on a walk. Having recently got the vaccine herself, she says it’s an important message.

“I think it gives hope that, you know it’s going to be over soon,” she explains, “that people care enough to do something for the community and make the community more aware.”

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Suzette Taggart, KFL&A Public Health's communications manager, says staff appreciate the gesture.

“KFL&A Public Health is so grateful for the strength and commitment that our community has shown throughout the pandemic,” writes Taggart. “We continue to be encouraged and are very appreciative by the outpouring of support, kind acts, and heartfelt thank you messages we have received.”

De Pauw says that as the world enters its second Easter under the pandemic, she hopes that the region will once again come together, even if staying apart.

“We’re almost there,” laughs De Pauw.