Today Monday 16 March the Prime Minister J. Trudeau informed Canadians that our borders are closed to all with the exception of Canadian citizens returning home who are not sick nor have symptoms of Covid 19. American Citizens can still come in if on essential travel, read Trade/commercial trip, but this could change at any moment. Also only four airports will be allowed to screen international flights, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto/Pearson and Montreal/P.E.Trudeau. All goods and services coming in are not affected under Trade/Commerce. Here in PEI just a few moments after the PM spoke our Premier Dennis King declared a Public Health Emergency meaning that the Chief Health Officer can enforce mandatory self-isolation at home, close down a business and not allow public gatherings. Funerals may also be forbidden meaning no wake or gathering for a service. Here in Charlottetown PEI the streets are very quiet, no traffic and only one or two persons walking. People are conscious of the situation but often see the problem in the other not themselves, thus calls to close the border to exclude foreigners.
Many businesses have already announce they are closing for the time being, my barber is one and my favourite Coffee shop and the Art Gallery, this also includes theatres, sports complex. All Canadian ports are closed to cruise ships until July. Health Services are focused only on Emergencies and Essential services, anything non essential or elective is deferred until a later date, this includes dental offices. This is not surprising given the limited ability of PEI Health which now is stretched due to this Pandemic. We only have one confirmed case but 120 people have been tested because they met a criteria for such a procedure. You cannot be tested for Covid 19 because you would like to, you must have symptoms and the authorities are strict about that. In total in Canada some 25,000 persons have been tested and only 4 have died out of 424 cases, all death occurred in one nursing home in Vancouver, B.C. Also tonight across Canada many bars and restaurants are closing.
This means that our trip to Quebec City in May is postponed faced with all these restrictions. We can go in the early Fall which is just as nice. Our friends from AZ have been advised and I am told that our Dr Spo is hoping to learn more French this way. He already has a penchant for Foie Gras, Champagne and big Baguette, Oh lala! I see that I will have my work cut out for me. As for Monsieur Quelqu’un I am not sure what is penchant is but I am sure we will find out. I seem to remember that it is for exotic French Cocktails.
It is a stressful time in many ways, you do not want to get sick with the virus and being constantly careful is wearing on the mind. It is also a boring time since what you would usually do is restricted to your home or taking a walk, reading books, surfing the internet, cooking. Not listening to the news also helps because the news is bad all the time and social comments is dominated by people who understand nothing because it interfere with their personal plans or lifestyle. People have to think in terms of community not self and that is difficult to do in a society which for the last 50 years has been pushing self above all else. At least for now we are not assign to residence like 170 million Europeans.