'Deflated' health-care workers thankful for free meal in Kelowna

A pub in Kelowna gave local healthcare workers a free meal on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. The pub's owner said he did so as a gesture of gratitude.

Kelowna’s Train Station pub was a hive of activity Monday as more than 600 health care workers took restaurant owners up on an offer for a free meal, served out of gratitude.

“We’re doing an appreciation for Kelowna General Hospital and the cancer clinic,” said David Lindsay, owner of the Train Station Pub, during the event on Monday.  “So today is basically all about the health care workers who have been working really hard.”

Lindsay had some help pulling off the significant feat, working with food and beverage partners to provide a free meal as a gesture of gratitude for the long and hard hours health care workers are putting in during the pandemic.

And it was appreciated.

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“I think it’s a pretty nice gesture considering everything the hospital has been going through. It’s been especially hard the last couple of months since we’ve seen more patients,” said Mary Sollows, a longtime Kelowna nurse.

Within the Central Okanagan, COVID-19 case numbers spiked in recent months, and KGH has been overrun with cases. Then came the protest that saw more than 1,000 people gather outside the hospital to protest mask and vaccinate mandates.

“It’s deflated us as … I’ve been a nurse for 34 years and I’ve seen a lot of stuff and this is by far the hardest of anything I’ve gone through,” Sollow said.

Another nurse, who went only by the name Paula, said the same thing, noting the last 18 months have been the hardest conditions she’s dealt with.

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“We’re being mocked. Our masks are being pulled off, we’re being spat on or we’re being ridiculed,” she said.

She described it all as “scary times.”

There were 542 new cases diagnosed in Interior Health from Friday to Monday, and there were 1,984 new cases of COVID-19 from Friday to Monday, with 542 of which being from Interior Health.

To date, there have been 175,142 cases in the province.

There are 5,825 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 1,618 of which are in Interior Health.

Of the active cases, 278 individuals are in hospital and 139 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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