N.S. premier’s ‘stay the blazes home’ message inspires N.B. pharmacist to co-write a Celtic jig

The premier of Nova Scotia’s “stay the blazes home” call for citizens to practise physical distancing during the coronavirus pandemic has inspired a New Brunswick pharmacist and Nova Scotia songwriter to pen a catchy Celtic jig.

“As a health-care professional, I think there is an extra duty to try to demonstrate social distancing,” said David Elliott, a pharmacist in Shediac, N.B., who grew up in Pugwash, N.S.

He said he co-wrote the song Stay the Blazes Home with Nova Scotia songwriter Steve MacIntyre, who lives in the Nova Scotia town of Port Hawkesbury.

“If we don’t stay home and try to protect ourselves and our families, this thing will just run rampant,” said MacIntyre.

Elliott said they were inspired to write the song with MacIntyre after Premier Stephen McNeil made the “stay the blazes home” last Friday and after they saw that not everyone was heeding the premier’s message.

“Everyone who is out unnecessarily or is gathering with other people unnecessarily is just another point of risk,” said Elliott.

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He said he hopes that the upbeat tune will serve as a reminder that people should only be venturing out in public if absolutely necessary.

“Anything that makes people think of it or remember it a little more easily, I don’t think there is a downside in that,” said Elliott

He says the pair wrote the tune in about five minutes and recorded it together remotely — while practising physical distancing, of course.

“I sent him the first verse and he sent me the second verse and it just went back and forth from there,” said Elliott.

He said he knows being separated from friends and family is hard. He said he hasn’t seen his own kids, who live in Nova Scotia, in more than a month.

“I don’t want to expose them to unnecessary risk.”

So he’s living his lyrics and will “stay the blazes home” until the call for social distancing is lifted.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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