Health Organizations Ask Everyone To Mark The One-Year Anniversary Of The COVID-19 Pandemic With A Candlelight Vigil


This Thursday marks the one-year anniversary since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. In a display of solidarity, 20 health organizations across the province are asking the public to remember those who have died from the virus by honouring their memory and reflecting on the hope that lies ahead.

Given the enormity of what has transpired over the past year, the tragic loss of life and the incredible efforts of nurses, physicians, personal support workers and other valued health-care workers fighting the virus, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) along with other professional associations and organizations representing health-care providers are asking people to light a candle as a sign of remembrance on Thursday, March 11, 2021 and to share their tributes on social media using the hashtags #Candle4COVID and #TogetherWeCanDoIt.

The more than 7,050 lives lost and the tens of thousands who became ill from COVID-19 in Ontario represent a watershed moment in our lives. “Everyone has been affected by the pandemic and we need to remember the tragic loss of life, those who required critical care, and the effect this has had on families, friends, health-care workers and other essential services. A candle symbolizes hope as we look to the future and to better days ahead within our own communities, the province, Canada and countries around the world,” says Dr. Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s CEO.

What: Candlelight vigil to remember those who have died of COVID-19 and reflect on the hope that lies ahead.

1.     Light a candle at 7 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, March 11, 2021
2.     Online: All day on Thursday, March 11, 2021


1.     At 7 p.m. (ET):

  • Step out onto your balcony, porch or driveway and light a candle to honour the lives lost due to COVID-19
  • Encourage your family, friends and neighbours to get involved
  • Share your tribute on social media using the hashtags #Candle4COVID and #TogetherWeCanDoIt

2.     Online all day:

  • Profile your online presence with the image of a lit candle and the hashtags #Candle4COVID and #TogetherWeCanDoIt

We want to remind members of the public to follow public health measures in effect in their respective communities and regions. This includes minimizing contacts, wearing masks, practising physical distancing, washing your hands frequently and following public health advice regarding gatherings inside and outside. Encourage everyone around you to get a vaccine when it is offered to them.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit our website at or follow us on Facebook  and Twitter.


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