When The Canadian Borders Closed

Covid-19 came to Canada quite late. I remember personally making jokes and sharing memes online about the threat of it affecting other countries and laughing about what would eventually be an impending crisis. I recently lost my father overseas due to a travel related charity incident. I had horrible anxiety about my mother flying out of the country for weeks but was assured everything would be fine. My mother was still cross border in Mexico at the time we got the emergency border closure notice from our prime minister. My heart sank and I sobbed. This was the moment the severity of this crisis started to set in. It had already been two weeks since I last saw her and knowing now that the chances of her getting back across the border were slim was heartbreaking.

 

You think you’re old enough at 27 to be alone without parents but the reality is you still need and crave them and the comfort they provide. We finally got confirmation she could come home, and of course we were incredibly relieved – but the update was I couldn’t see her for at least 14 days. I wasn’t able to have contact with my only remaining parent for over a month. I cried and cried alone in my room wondering what the world had ever done to deserve this. I usually have weekly dinner dates with my late father’s parents and I haven’t seen them in a month and a half. I think it took two months for the grief of losing my prior life to sink in, and realize that this is a temporary normal that will eventually feel like a regular normal. 

It’s not normal to anyone, however Canada has been such a gracious country to live in throughout this entire process. The relief aids provided by our government have been more than generous. I have been more than lucky to still be employed but people who have lost their jobs are receiving $2000 a month in lieu of traditional employment insurance and there has been a rental relief plan as well. Over 1 million people filed for this last week alone. The timeline is unforeseeable, and sometimes it feels dark and non-prospective for all of us. However there are still small glimmering lights at the end of the tunnel. Our city chants and cheers for health care workers on shift change every evening at 7pm. We all go on our balcony’s and bang pots and pans and cheer and it reminds us that we are all in this together, collectively.

 

the STORYTELLERS

The COVRUP team appreciates your contribution

Storyteller 

Melissa Kyllo

Photographer

Harmen Jelle van mourik

Photographer

Ali Tawfiq