It’s been a bit since I posted. There’s been so much going on and we’ve really just been trying to absorb this ‘new world’ we find ourselves in.
While we were in Mexico the world changed. Of course we had heard about COVID-19 (aka Corona Virus) before we left, but there were no travel warnings or cautions out at that time. We were aware but not overly concerned. Our biggest concern was whether it would be a good idea for his 85 year old father to come visit us the week after we were scheduled to come home.
Anyway, that all changed the evening of our third day. I will never forget it. We returned from a day out and met up with some other Canadians who gave us the update. We went back to our room and checked our government’s website only to find a ‘return to Canada as soon as possible’ warning.
In Mexico you don’t get Canadian TV so for english stations we were stuck with either Fox or CNN. There will never be a time I watch Fox, so CNN it was. I remember clearly laying in bed watching as the US topped 1200 cases and thinking, holy cow this is real. Hard to believe I was astonished at that number when you look at where they are now. A lot of what we saw and heard in those first few days is hard to believe now.
Thankfully the resort we were at had free WiFi so I was able to live stream both our PM’s and provincial government’s pressers. You really don’t know how important those things are until you need them. We knew we couldn’t get home any faster so having accurate first hand information for Canadians from an official source was critical. It allowed us to relax, as much as you could, until we got home.
We watched lots of other folks panic trying to find a way to get home quicker, but in March there just aren’t that many empty seats on a flight from Mexico. One person we talked to was quoted around $4000.00 for the two people and the route had to go through the US which they didn’t want to do.
At that point, Quintana Roo had zero cases. The resort, which already had excellent standards, went over and above ensuring guest safety as well as cleanliness. We had access to accurate and reliable information so we made the best of it.
It was definitely a different experience. A lot of fear in the community and among the resort workers as they faced an uncertain future. They rely on tourism, much like we do. No tourism means no jobs, which in turn means that food, housing and all of the basic needs become a struggle.
The day we left was hard. The night before we said goodbye to the people we knew we wouldn’t see the next day. Saying goodbye that Tuesday morning was truly a sad moment. It’s always sad to leave paradise, but you know that more than likely you’re going to return. Not this time. This time as we said goodbye we didn’t know when or if that next visit would happen. We didn’t know when we would see all these amazing people again. It still makes me sad.
Upon arrival in Halifax we were met at multiple security points. The first was before we even did our e-declaration. Then you had the usual ones and we had two more after that. We were told we had to self isolate for two weeks. We could go to drive thru’s, contactless take-out, grocery pick up or self serve gas, anything so long as we didn’t have direct contact with anyone. However, that changed two days later when we were advised to stay on our property. No walks, no nothing.
One unfortunate casualty of our return home was my son. We had asked if it was OK for him to be living with us during isolation, he has his own space in our home, and were told it was fine. However, his employer wasn’t having it. He went to work the day after we returned and they sent him home.
So here we were. Stuck with each other for two weeks.
It’s times like this when you see how great the people in your life really are. I think we were on the way home when we got the first text saying if we needed anything don’t hesitate to ask. People in our life went over an above to make it easier for us to stay home. From groceries, to birthday coffee for my other half, to physically distant drinks through the window – they looked after us for two weeks. We are truly lucky people.
I also discovered that so many of our favourite local food delivery spots would do whatever we needed to have contactless delivery.
It could have been a terrible two weeks, but so many people and businesses made it doable and easy for us. We didn’t like being cooped up for two weeks and without each and every one of those people it would have been so much harder.
The three of us happily returned to work as soon as we’d completed our isolation. We all work directly with the public, I frequently refer to us as the ‘trifecta of risk’, but after being stuck inside for two weeks we are all pretty particular about our personal space as well as that of others. No way do we want to have to do that again.
Oh, and by the way, his father didn’t come visit. Because of our direct contact with the public at large we have made a conscious decision to not be within six feet of those people in our lives that could be at risk. That includes my mother, his father and our younger grandchildren, which by proxy also includes anyone who has direct contact with them. There is no way we want to risk passing COVID to them.
I don’t wish the isolation experience on anyone, you do it out of necessity. It’s lonely, claustrophobic and very challenging to your mental health. The one big thing we came out of it with was a desire to get out more. Even if it was just Nova Scotia, we were getting out there. Back a couple of years ago we did a Canada 150 tour of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI, now known as the ‘Atlantic Bubble’. As part of that journey we discovered so many great little spots. This year we decided to revisit some of that route.
Even without a big trip, summer has turned out pretty darn good and I look forward to sharing some of those adventures in my next few posts.
We’ve also had some exciting developments on the DNA front. Stay tuned for updates!
I hope you’re all well and following the recommendations of public health where ever you are. Together we can rid this world of COVID! We got this!