Since when is it OK to be held hostage in our own country?
How is this mandatory 3-day hotel-prison-quarantine helping the Covid 19 situation?
This hotel-stay is part of the federal government’s attempts to crack down on non-essential travel amid increasing concern about COVID-19.
Police at Toronto’s Pearson airport, the country’s busiest terminal, say they have fined several people who have attempted to evade the mandatory Q-camp, the $880 penalty is well below the estimated bill of $2,000 for a three-night stay at the quarantine hotels. Having said that our country’s public health agency is threatening fines of up to $750,000 or six months in jail.
We have all heard the crazy stories on how bad things are in these hotels but this story hit close to home. My girlfriend Olivia’s story……
Olivia is 62 years old and was travelling from Florida to Canada. She made a simple calculation error when doing her PCR Covid test two hours too early. (A PCR Covid test is required by anyone entering Canada) She flew to Buffalo and hopped into a limo to cross the border. Olivia was trying to avoid the whole 3-day Q-time in a government-appointed hotel by driving across the border. You only have to stay in a hotel if you fly across. When she got to the border the guard told her that her negative test had expired. “An expired test is considered the same as no test.” Olivia’s options were to go back to the US and get re-tested or take another test here in Canada and wait for the results in a government-appointed facility.
We hear of these detainments in countries such as Russia, North Korea or the Middle East and we cringe. And yet here we are in Canada…’ the home of the free’…and this sh** is really going on! It’s shocking to me that news media in other countries are not picking up on Trudeau’s ruling! Our most basic human right -freedom- is being taken away from us and nobody seems to care!
She took one of the guard’s advice and went back to the US to a Walgreens as she was assured by the guard that she could get a quick test and return almost immediately. This turned out to be some really bad advice as Walgreens told her there is no such thing as a quick test. Olivia returned to the Canadian border and was greeted by a different guard. She was hoping this would be a lucky break. Maybe the first guy was just being a complete idiot. Turns out he was…but this new guard was going to be no different.
Olivia had at this point been in touch with her family who went online and booked one of the 20 listed quarantine hotels. When she told the guard that she had one booked she was literally yelled at and told that she was to go to the one that she (the guard) had appointed.
Let me just add in here that Olivia’s limo driver must have been a saint. He stuck with her the entire time even after being yelled at by a guard. Olivia was told to go straight to the hotel …nobody noticed one small detail…her pup! Was she meant to take her dog to the hotel with her? Would there be the opportunity to take the dog for walks? Would there be food for her dog? Like any good dog owner, she wasn’t taking any chances. She had her driver stop by her house and drop the dog off with her son.
Olivia bid her driver adieu and entered the Hotel California. “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” The first thing that struck her was every single wall was covered in plastic right up to and including the ceilings with only the chandeliers hanging out. The Red Cross employees were wearing hazmat suits. She said it was a very, VERY, scary site. She was taken to her room, given no direction or insight as to what would happen next other than she was to leave her Covid test outside the door and someone would pick it up. She had to FaceTime the Public Health Agency and do her test in front of them so they were assured it was her doing the actual test. She put the test outside the door.
The care…or lack of care that happens next is mind-boggling.
Olivia had her purse with her and a small bag that contained her phone and her Kobo. She spoke to a friend that said she should try to make the best of a bad situation. Relax, put your feet up, order room service and binge on some Netflix. There was no room service and there was certainly no Netflix. Thankfully she brought her reader AND charger with her.
Checking to make sure that someone had taken the test she opened her door. The hallway was very quiet…eerily so. The test was still there.
Don’t bother calling the front desk. “Don’t call us we have nothing to do with you. Call the Red Cross” Olivia hung up and did just that. Fully expecting someone in the hotel to answer, she was shocked when she got a lady in Vancouver that could offer no help or advice at all. She tried again later and got someone in Niagara Falls. Nobody could direct her on how to have the Covid test picked up. It didn’t matter…she put it out on Saturday and it wasn’t picked up till Monday!!!! Purolator apparently doesn’t work on the weekends. Olivia copied her tracking number and watched online as her test travelled around Toronto for two more days.
How is it possible that she wasn’t able to speak to someone from Red Cross in the facility that she was staying?
To say she was at her wit’s end is an understatement.
This is how she felt.
Olivia was given no choice on her meal selections. Eat what they give you or don’t eat at all. “No…you cannot order Uber Eats” One bottle of water per day. If she needed more water there was a tap. Her first meal was a bowl of curry soup with a chicken and curry sandwich. BLAH! Who thinks that it is a good idea to feed 200 people spicy meals? These meals clearly do not meet the Canadian Food Guide standards…not by a long shot! Thank goodness she had the foresight to drop the dog off. By the sounds of things, there probably was no dog food. All of her meals were equally as bad as the first.
She could hear the people in the room beside her vomiting. She wasn’t sure if maybe they didn’t like their soup or maybe they had Covid. Is this why the guard sent her to this particular hotel? Was it for people who tested positive!!!??? These neighbours were gone the following day. Did they get to go home because they were sick? Did they go to the hospital because they had Covid?
There is nobody to care for you if you have a medical issue.
Across the hall from Olivia was an Asian man that spoke little English. All of the doors had your check-in date recorded on a piece of tape. He had been there 14 days. Did he have Covid?
Olivia’s bathroom had a broken toilet seat upon check-in. This makes you wonder if the room was properly cleaned in the first place. In a fit of anger, Olivia picked up the seat and threw it into the tub and who could blame her? If anyone has sat on a loose toilet seat (never mind one balancing) you know you are taking your life into your own hands. Those suckers slide all over the place!
Thankfully Olivia was provided with a toothbrush and toothpaste…For 5 days she went without a change of clothes. No PJ’s. She washed her underwear every night and hung them up to dry for the next day. There was no deodorant or personal cleaning supplies, there wasn’t even hot water available for her to make a cup of tea. How can the government think for one moment we are being provided for?! Imagine her sitting there in her same bra, underwear, t-shirt and pants for 5 days!!!
I can’t even begin to imagine this situation. She couldn’t do it for another day. She made one last-ditch effort to get someone on the phone and low and behold she did. She explained her situation from the beginning and the person on the other end asked for a copy of the negative test she had when she arrived at the border. Olivia was able to send the screenshot after calling her daughter to ask how to do it. After being told it would be days before she could leave, this saint of a person assured her someone would be there in 45 minutes to escort her out of the hotel. Unbelievably Olivia tidied up her room, made the bed, etc. (I wonder if she put the toilet seat back on? LOL) and true to the operator’s word, 45 minutes later her escort arrived. They spoke not a word, she was taken out the front doors and left to it. Olivia went home to start her at-home quarantine time.
After all that Olivia went through, she walked out the door of the government-appointed hotel without so much as a follow-up phone call other than one single message 27 hours later. Her Covid test was negative!!! Doesn’t that just show that there was no reason to be there in the first place? She slept there for 4 nights and had she waited for her test results she would have tacked on another day! Wasn’t she basically held captive against her will for no good reason? It’s against our human rights.
My girlfriend Ellie wrote to the Leader of Opposition “I am a snowbird. Why does the federal government hate me? The federal Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, admitted that there is a lack of complete data to support the hotel quarantine requirement in her appearance at committee on March 10. Where specifically did the government get its advice that there would be any health benefit from requiring travellers who have already tested negative to spend three days in a hotel rather than quarantine in their homes? The government would have to demonstrate that the measure would actually have sufficient benefit to be justifiably demonstrated in a free and democratic society and that other alternatives such as quarantine at home would not achieve the same or similar results. The government is supposed to show very strong justification when they restrict our basic rights. If this is not detention, am I free to leave at will?”
“Snowbirds are unapologetic about going to their winter homes,” said my friend Ellie. “Sunshine and warmth are a medical necessity for some. We have paid taxes in Canada our whole lives and do not burden the health care system while away. Migrant workers are now allowed to fly into Canada, take a covid test and go directly to their quarantine home. I am asking, for all snowbirds who left before the new requirements, to be given the same consideration.”
Olivia was obviously taken to a facility that housed incoming citizens that tested positive for the Corona Virus. Why else was the Asian gentleman in the hotel for 14 days? Why the hazmat suits and the plastic-lined walls and ceilings? Olivia’s test was 2 hours expired. Was it necessary to treat her like a criminal? Should she not have been warned that she was going to be rooming beside Covid infected people?
Have a listen to what Tucker Carlson has to say HERE during his opening commentary on the March 31, 2021 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight”
When Olivia told me her story we chatted about all the what-ifs. What if you had diabetes? What if you needed daily meds? What if you didn’t have a cell phone? What if this was your mom?
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Suzanne ColasimoneApril 3, 2021 at 8:51 AM
Mare……. my blood just boils reading this story. There are unfortunately many more. We are living in a country with absolutely NO LEADERSHIP. We need vaccines and we simply do not have enough. They have stretched the time from 21 days to 4 months for a booster because they say “it’s ok” when no other developed country is doing that. He’s printing money like it’s a game of monopoly, locking us up in our homes, under the pretext that we’re saving lives. It’s nonsense….. our health system is in dire need of help. I waited 8 months for an ultrasound and now require an MRI. That will happen only God knows when. It’s a joke. When I hear people talk about our “free healthcare “ I want to vomit. It may be free, but that doesn’t make it great. These lockdowns are unbelievably difficult and our kids are suffering the effects of this stupidity. Lockdown, open up, lockdown again, open up again. Numbers are only going to go up again once they open up. What a shock. We need more vaccines and not the rejected Astra Zeneca We should be allowed to choose. Welcome to Canada.
Where Communism is knocking at our door.
MarionApril 3, 2021 at 10:23 AM
Sue…you are bang on with everything you have said. It IS disgusting. I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said!
Steve DuffieldApril 3, 2021 at 10:10 AM
Very Well Done!!
MarionApril 3, 2021 at 10:24 AM
Thank you …my biggest fan…..xo
BerylApril 3, 2021 at 11:05 AM
Unfortunately there are quite a few stories like this one.
Please open up your passports and read the left side of the first page. It’s seems rights are being violated. There are a group of lawyers in the process of appealing this.
MarionApril 3, 2021 at 11:25 AM
Hmmm…I will definitely have a look at my passport now!!! Olivia has joined one of the lawsuits! Thanks for stopping in Beryl.
Mary Ferguson - AllanApril 3, 2021 at 2:08 PM
What a disgrace and shame on the powers that be….
MarionApril 4, 2021 at 9:33 AM
It is disgraceful that Olivia was treated the way she was. That is the point of the entire blog. Ignorance at the border and why? there wasn’t another car to be seen there. Why couldn’t they just be kind and help her? Why was she greeted in a hazmat suit and given no direction…just sent to her room like a punished child!!! No nurses roaming the halls to help anyone with anything….what if there was an emergency..WTH is a Red Cross employee in Vancouver going to do to help? I just cannot fathom how afraid and alone Olivia must have felt. Disgraceful indeed!
Lauren DuffieldApril 5, 2021 at 12:03 PM
Crazy that it was a matter of 2 hours that caused this. Even though her test was negative. Good job Mare
MarionApril 5, 2021 at 1:15 PM
Thank you, Lauren. I heard from a friend who’s husband had the same thing happen at the border BUT he had a super nice AND very helpful guard. The guard gave him clear and correct information. The guy was able to go back to Buffalo airport and receive a ‘quick’ test. He was then able to cross the border without any problem at all and thus avoid the government-appointed facility. Why couldn’t the other two guards have helped Olivia?
Mary LynnApril 4, 2021 at 8:28 AM
Absolutely unbelievable that we are treated like this in a free country. The smart ones just walk out of the airport and take the fine. I am very curious to see what is going to happen now that the snowbirds coming back are fully vaccinated, should we not be happy that they pose no covid threat to us, of course not the asshole in Ottawa will find a reason this is not good enough.Our so called leaders screwed up with not securing enough vaccines and we are paying the price. Great article, well said and i love that Fox News is reporting more about our stupid laws -of course i am a little biased to Fox 😂
MarionApril 4, 2021 at 9:30 AM
Well, Fox news DOES have the smartest and the prettiest employees! 🙂
LOL…so how do you really feel!! HAHA.
It must be so frustrating having to wait 4 months for your next vaccine!
It is going to be interesting to see what happens at the border when the snowbirds return home. This is the first time ever that I have not wanted to return home to my beloved Canada!!! I love everything about my country…but I like my freedom better and down here it truly is the home of the free. Happy Easter ML. I always look forward to what you have to say! xo
DaleApril 4, 2021 at 8:32 AM
We’re in Florida as we speak and scheduled to return April 20. My anxiety over this border crossing is off the charts. We are fully vaccinated since February 15 and have no problem with having a test before flying but the rest……. I have not seen one printed word or heard one spoken word about this atrocity. Where is the outrage?!
MarionApril 4, 2021 at 9:24 AM
Canadians are too kind to complain!!! I don’t think you are alone, most Canadians have anxiety in the border crossing!!
Glad you guys got your vaccines. We are scheduled for our second shot next week! What a relief for us.
Happy Easter Dale and as always thank you so much for reading my blog and leaving a comment. It is so appreciated.
Please wish my favourite guy a Happy Easter and give him a little smooch for me. xo
EllenApril 4, 2021 at 1:30 PM
Wow, I’m absolutely appalled at the way they’re treating our Canadian snowbirds!! In hindsite, she should have just went home! I am confident she never would have ended up in jail. What a disgrace!! I hope that when you come home, you do exactly that….come home. Might be time for a quick call with a lawyer prior to arriving back here. This is ridiculous. I’ve heard that a lot of Snowbirds are just taking the fine now. I would. Jeeze….this is disgusting. 🤬
MarionApril 4, 2021 at 1:33 PM
I agree Ellen. I will definitely be going straight home!!! Happy Easter
Bonnie LApril 17, 2021 at 8:46 PM
The fact that this happened to someone so kind… infuriating.
I am tired of feeling crippling second hand embarrassment for the Canadian government. I feel powerless as it is, I couldn’t imagine being in Olivias position and how powerless she must have felt. I picture my mom in something like that and there’s just no way, reading this was very scary.
I’m glad Olivia is ok, it’s heart breaking to know what she went through, and I hope you and Steve have no issues this month, or I’ll be knocking in the hotels door!
MarionApril 24, 2021 at 10:10 AM
HAHA….I can just picture you stomping down the hallway to rescue me! You are the BEST!!!
It really was awful how she was treated. It’s one thing to say a hotel is mandatory for quarantine…(not that I actually agree with that, but whatever) but to treat Olivia the way they did is just disgraceful.