As Canada begin to ease its restrictions , Katy Brennan speaks to Nicole Kidd, who gives an account of the country’s dealings with the Covid-19 pandemic over the past year
The first community transmitted case of coronavirus in Canada occurred on 5 March 2020. Cases grew rapidly, and by mid-March, all provinces had declared a state of emergency.
In response to the growing number of cases, Canada severely restricted its borders, banning all non-essential travellers and forcing any exceptions to self-isolate for 14 days.
Each province implemented varying degrees of restrictions and has continued to do so as case numbers rise and fall.
Some provinces, such as Ontario and Quebec, introduced heavy restrictions like school closures, shutting down non essential retail, and curfews. Other areas, like British Columbia, have taken a lighter approach.
Nicole Kidd left Ireland for Vancouver, British Columbia, three years ago.
She explains that social gatherings are banned and most people work from home, but stores, cafes and bars have remained open throughout – offering people some sense of normality.
People are expected to socialise exclusively with people from their own household, but exceptions are made for those who live alone, who are permitted to have a ‘bubble’ of two other people.
Kidd is grateful to have maintained a decent social life – something she thinks is important for mental health and hard for those back home in Ireland.
“We feel really spoiled over here because we have never not been able to go eat food, or go out for lunch, and our bars are open,” she says.
Kidd is a qualified yoga teacher and while she is eager to get the vaccine and return to normal life, she is happy the pandemic has allowed her to devote more time to her yoga.
Canada’s vaccine rollout began on 14 December, and since then the country has vaccinated 1.1 million people. The rollout consists of three stages, working its way down from most vulnerable to least vulnerable.