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Alberta loves Dr. Hinshaw, and her periodic table dress
EDMONTON -- For all of its uncertainty and anxiety, the COVID-19 pandemic has cast another Edmontonian into local folklore: Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
Alberta's chief medical officer is tasked with, among other responsibilities, guiding the province in its response to the new coronavirus.
As COVID-19's presence in Alberta has grown, so has Hinshaw's.
The doctor earned her undergrad in Camrose at Augustana University College and a Masters in Public Health at the University of Alberta, eventually working at Alberta Health Services before the provincial health department.
After serving as deputy chief medical officer for two years, Hinshaw was appointed to her current role in early 2019.
A year later, she has taken regular position in front of a podium and thousands of Albertans to update them on a viral outbreak killing thousands and affecting tens of thousands of others across the globe.
Her collected and informed demeanor has not gone unnoticed.
One Edmonton singer-songwriter, John Macklin, wrote a song about "Dr. Deena." Part of the lyrics read: She tells us to keep our distance if we're able / She's saving all the octogenarians / She reminds me of one of my favourite librarians / She's a provincial treasure.
"I hope she can maybe get a smile out of it," Macklin told CTV News Edmonton. "I hope she feels Albertans are really behind her and appreciative of what she's doing."
Nor did her authority go unmissed when cold symptoms prompted Hinshaw to take the COVID-19 test herself. That day, she updated Albertans via video feed from self-isolation.
But perhaps what finally cemented her spot in the ranks of Edmonton's arsonist-tackling Hawaiian Shirt Guy and 2x4 Guy is a B.C.-made dress featuring the periodic table of elements.
Trish Tacoma, owner of Smoking Lily, says her company's inbox has been teeming since Hinshaw was seen on TV wearing the charcoal grey half-sleeve dress on Tuesday, when she announced Alberta's largest day-over-day increase of COVID-19 cases.
The product was sold for seven years before being taken offline about six months ago. Now, Smoking Lily is scrambling to ramp up production again – with the printer, cutter and seamstress all working in isolation – to serve customers as fast as they can.
"We decided yesterday morning to reissue it and we’ve already sold out. It's crazy."
Smoking Lily is giving 10 per cent of the proceeds to the Mustard Seed Street Church in Victoria.
An Edmonton custom print shop is also selling Hinshaw-inspired shirts: the front reads, "We are in this together," and the back, "... even if we're far apart."
Print Machine will be donating all proceeds after the cost of production to Alberta food banks.
With files from The Canadian Press