Toronto record store owner is also a frontline healthcare worker
Maude Fallon-Davesne is co-owner of Tiny Record Shop — a beloved vinyl store on Queen Street East in Toronto — but she's also working as a healthcare professional on the frontlines of Toronto's COVID-19 outbreak.
Before the pandemic began, Fallon-Davesne was working behind the scenes at the shop while also being a physiotherapist who treats people with acquired brain injuries (ABI) and various neurological diseases. Her partner, Trevor Larocque, is the day-to-day face of the business and also runs his own label, called Paper Bag Records.
Things have since changed, as they have for most of us, and Fallon-Davesne is now actively treating coronavirus patients while the record store sits closed.
"I have just started treating patients with COVID-19, as my floor has recently been converted into a new COVID-positive rehab unit. It's been quite overwhelming over the past few weeks," she said.
"Working full-time in an industry that has just been turned on its head has been a lot to take in. My physio job has shifted pretty drastically from wearing my street clothes and seeing my regular neuro patient population to all of a sudden wearing a mask for eight hours... and now treating a brand new type of patient population that the world is in lockdown over and which has generated a huge amount of fear and anxiety in our communities."
On top of her role as a lifesaving healthcare hero, Fallon-Davesne continues to help her partner with records (now being sold on their Instagram) all while also being a mother and homeschool teacher.
"I am doing both of these jobs as well as trying to be a homeschool teacher, a good partner and a mother — and it is hard," she said.
"I feel for all people, because pretty much everyone, adult and child, have been affected by the lockdown due to the pandemic and I have heard so many different permutations of situations that are all equally challenging."
Still, Fallon-Davesne says she's proud to be helping patients who are increasingly isolated and scared as the pandemic rages on.
"As a healthcare worker, my goal is to help people recover to their fullest capacity and help them to remain as independent as they can so that they can live a life that they are proud of," she said.
"So on one hand, I am proud to help patients with COVID-19 as they are feeling extremely isolated [and] scared, not having had visitors for weeks, stuck in a room by themselves day in and day out with minimal physical contact. I can, hopefully, come in and be a warm friendly face that changes up their monotonous day even for just half an hour."
But she says working in the midst of a crisis is a heavy weight to carry, and having to constantly ensure personal protective equipment is being properly applied and removed so as not to contaminate herself, other patients or her loved ones is certainly a struggle.
On the bright side, Fallon-Davesne says her experiences as both a healthcare worker and record store owner have helped her in each respective field.
"I have seen, heard and smelled many things working in healthcare, so this allows me to be pretty level-headed when situations arise in regards to the shop,"she said. "On the flip side, working alongside Trevor has allowed me to exponentially increase my music knowledge, thereby providing more interesting conversation topics with my patients. "
Despite the shop's lengthy forced closure and Fallon-Davesne's focus on her healthcare job, she says Larocque has been prepping lots of records for when they reopen and they're both excited to put out new vintage vinyl and collectables post-lockdown.
"In lieu of having the shop open for the past while, Trevor has been selling many wonderful rare records through our Instagram account," she said.
"It's not the preferred way we would like to sell records but it’ll have to do in these strange times. We are so thankful, as people have been so supportive and we have had such beautiful positive feedback. We are overwhelmed by the loyalty of our customers and it means the world to us."
Tiny Record Shop
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