Essential Travel

What would you do if a loved one was dying and the world was locked down due to pandemic?

UPDATE 05/30/2020: My mother passed on April 29, 2020. She wrote a memorial blog in her final days:

UPDATE 03/30/2020: They consulted with the doctor today, who gave a hard no to visitors from outside her home. We’ve cancelled the flights and will be taking things day by day. Thanks for your support. <3

On March 9, I got a text message from my mom’s husband Pat telling me that my mother was staying in the hospital in Fresno overnight.. she’d gone in with chest pains. The doctors took a closer look at her over the next few days and eventually determined that she has Stage IV cancer.

On March 13, she was repatriated back to Canada, where she spent a few days in isolation in the Royal Hospital until they released her (after she returned NEGATIVE for COVID-19) to enter into palliative care at home.

She asked us to wait a few days before making plans to come out, so she could get her affairs in order and settled at home. I respect her wishes and let her know I would be ready to come when she needed me.

Last Thursday, March 26 she gave the OK to come. The drugs she was taking were making her groggy and wanted us there to make the most of the lucid time she has left.

I booked a ticket for my sister and I for next Tuesday, March 31. I felt a bit of relief after buying the ticket, I would get to see my mom. But I’ve also been worrying – about travel restrictions and their impact on this situation.

If I follow the provincial guidelines I would need to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in BC, ideally, before seeing my mom.

On the far side, when I return to Manitoba I’d be expected to self-isolate for 14 days before seeing my husband and son again. Or stay with them and lock them into a 14-day quarantine.

Today mom texted us asking us to reconsider coming because of the risk.

The largest worry for me is that her current home-care physician is only coming into her home because she has been isolated. Our arrival from out of province would effectively contaminate the property possibly preventing his return.

There could be ways we could make it work. My mom does have room in the basement that has a private entrance. But it also mean sharing a small space with my sister, whom I don’t live with regularly.

I feel healthy. I’ve been working from home for 2 weeks. We’ve only gone out for essentials. Practicing social distancing like pros. In one way, it seems like a hop skip and a jump to Vancouver Island.. 2 flights with a 3 hour layover in Calgary. If I’m careful I should be ok. But its a guess. I have no way to know for sure. If I brought something into her home that robbed her of time, its just unthinkable.

I honestly don’t know what I should do.

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About the author

Jill of everything master of nothing. Digital Communications Specialist, Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Developer, Artist, Marketer, Trainer & Writer.