Ninjas are historically known for their battle skills and on Haida Gwaii, they’re combating the COVID-19 blues.
Since May 14, more than 700 island residents have joined the “Haida Gwaii – Care Ninjas” Facebook group set up by Verica Yovanovitch in an effort to “see people excited for something again.”
Residents can either be invited to the group or ask to join, then they comment their address along with something they like — from food and drink to flowers — on the album created for their community.
Other group members scan through the addresses and items, and choose someone to surprise by dropping off a care package “ninja-style.”
“It’s pretty hard here because we kind of know what everyone looks like, what we all drive,” Yovanovitch told the Observer, adding that some care ninjas have worn masks to be more covert.
“I myself kind of parked behind bushes and in my mind I was quite sneaky … it’s a bit of an adrenaline rush.”
Yovanovitch was inspired by larger “ninja” groups that have been created across the country, such as the “Wine Ninjas YYJ” Facebook group of more than 4,000 Victoria women who have been surprising each other with wine and treats since May 7.
“It’s been pretty trying times with isolation and people not working,” she said. “People are excited, out shopping for little gadgets and knick knacks.”
She added that care ninjas are asked to follow measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as washing hands and physical distancing, and people who feel uncomfortable posting their address in the group do not have to do so in order to participate.
“You don’t even need to necessarily put your address because people kind of know where you live,” she said.
Next month, Yovanovitch said she may limit local care ninjas to items with little to no cost, such as handmade art or letters “where you’re not purchasing anything, but you’re still providing something to somebody.”
“It’s more heartfelt,” she said. “It kind of depends as well how long isolation lasts.”
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