Canadian woman's family doesn't let coronavirus spoil 85th birthday, give social distance surprise

This family in Canada wasn't going to let the coronavirus pandemic stop them from celebrating their loved one's special day.

Helen Lambing's family gathered outside her retirement home in Windsor, Ontario last Sunday to wish her a happy 85th birthday after the facility shut down the building to non-essential visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The facility had implemented social distancing precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

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Video posted to the retirement home's Facebook page shows a group of people — holding balloons and a birthday sign — standing on the lawn and singing “Happy Birthday” to Lambing outside the Shoreview at Riverside complex.

Helen Lambing's family gathered outside her retirement home in Windsor, Ontario last Sunday to wish her a happy 85th birthday.

Helen Lambing's family gathered outside her retirement home in Windsor, Ontario last Sunday to wish her a happy 85th birthday. (Fallon Chadwick via Storyful)

"Although they could not visit with her they definitely made her feel so special!!" the facility said in a Facebook post.

Lambing, who has lived at the retirement home for about a year, told the Toronto Star a worker had told her to go to the window “and they started all waving and I waved back."

“I was really excited and surprised," Lambing told the Star. "I was so happy to see them.”

Her four daughters and two of her eight grandchildren all participated in the remote birthday party.

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As of Monday afternoon, Canada had at least 1,482 confirmed COVID-19 cases and four deaths according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 21 deaths reported in the country.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that "enough is enough. Go home and stay home," adding that government will enforce it if necessary.

Trudeau, who made the comments outside his residence while in self-isolation after his wife tested positive for the virus, said he would rather not enforce it but added those who are not doing their part are putting at risk everyone else, including the eventual recovery of the economy and the well being of millions of Canadians.

He said images of people out enjoying the sunshine in large groups is “extremely concerning.”

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The Canadian leader said the decision by the Canadian Olympic Committee to not send athletes to the Tokyo Olympics unless they're postponed for a year is clearly the right decision.

In response to a letter by an 8-year-old boy last week, Trudeau said his wife Sophie "feels better" and that officials are "working super hard to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and keep you, your grandparents, and all Canadians safe."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.