October’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to David Narbaitz and Jesse Burcsik to support their facilitation of COVID-safe hugs in the city.
“We’re creating a multi-use physical barrier,” explains David, “that allows two people from different bubbles to hug each other safely. It’s portable, made from recycled wood and curtains, and works for a large variety of heights. We plan to show it off on weekends in public places as weather permits.”
“The basic design,” David continues, “includes a three-layer barrier between huggers. The outermost layers are made of non-permeable shower curtains. After each hug, one shower curtain from each of the outer layers is removed for off-site cleaning and replaced. We plan to have enough curtains for about 40 hugs.”
David notes that “the barrier will have arm holes so participants can get a real top-quality hug,” and that a sanitation station will be set up nearby.
To see photos of the Safety Hug in action and learn where in the city it might appear, follow @safetyhug613 on Instagram.
David is a solar technician for a global renewable energy company, and Jesse is a product manager at the Canadian Digital Service. They have also been the owner of Ottawa’s Monopolatte board game café and a contributor to Chinatown Remixed, respectively.
Funded by Ottawa, ON (October 2020)