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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