We never thought this could happen on our friendly island.
A woman’s mother passed away, and she was not allowed to attend her funeral.
It was early in the days of the pandemic, and our island created strict travel bans.
The police were given instructions to ‘detain’ anyone suspected of being a tourist.
The woman, who lived in a different province of Canada, applied for an exemption to the travel ban to be with her family members during their time of grief.
Her request to come to Newfoundland was denied.
This, understandably, upset the woman, who hired lawyers to sue the government. She claimed it was unconstitutional to prevent Canadians from travelling freely in their own country.
After a trial, the judge ruled in favour of the government, saying that in pandemic circumstances, our island had a right to protect its citizens.
The woman is now appealing the court’s decision.
Here on our island, we have a reputation for caring for our neighbours.
When we were told to wear masks, maintain social distance, and avoid socializing in groups, we were compliant.
Our grocery store installed a large sink for hand washing, in the produce section, and signs were placed, warning : ‘Please Do Not Squeeze the Produce.’
Plexiglass barriers appeared remarkably quickly in public spaces.
At the local duck pond, signs were placed, telling us to walk in the same direction !
Currently in NL, we have 10 people who are sick with Covid-19. Through God’s mercy, and our citizens’ commitment to care for each other, rates of illness have been comparatively low.
I wish, though, that we wouldn’t use the term ‘cases’ of illness.
Each ‘case’ is actually a person, and their loved ones who are affected by this strange virus.
Although some people will argue that people should be allowed their individual ‘freedoms’, above all, we need to also consider the common good.
God asks that we love our neighbours, as we love ourselves.
We also need to protect our neighbours, as we protect ourselves.
Let us continue to pray that an effective cure for this illness will soon be found.
And I pray also for the devastated woman who was isolated from her family in her time of grief.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay