COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

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Living through COVID

The purpose of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog is to deliver news and views on the field of personal injury law in Ontario.

But we’re not tone deaf.

Writing about the stories of a personal injury lawyer can be off the mark in the times we’re living in. We don’t want to be blind or naive to what’s happening around us.

This COVID Pandemic we are living through is pretty messed up.

We’re told that in order not to get COVID, you need to distance and isolate from people.

And once you get COVID, you need to further distance and isolate from people.

So either way you cut it; you’re distancing and isolating; thus making COVID; and living during this Pandemic a very lonely and isolating period of our lives. It doesn’t have to be, but it is.

I know from experience.

My 7 year old daughter tested positive for COVID a few months ago. She caught it from a classmate at school. She had not symptoms but needed to get a test because a classmate had tested positive. It turned out that she tested positive as well.

Where the classmate contracted it from is unknown and irrelevant. The school followed all the precautions you hear about. Students are distanced, masked, plexiglass work stations etc. Didn’t matter. These variants are nasty and super catchy.

It’s really hard for a 7 year old to deal with having COVID. I can only imagine all of the emotions and questions she was going through.  Can I be cured? Will any of my friends want to speak with me again? Will any of my friends still be my friends once this is over? Will I be shunned at school? What did I do wrong? Are my parents mad at me? Have I disappointed them? When can I go back to school?  Will COVID spread to my family or to my beloved hamster? Why me? Why did I get COVID and not somebody else? Am I going to be ok? Am I going to die?

Let’s be clear. The only thing she did was go to school. I’m all for kids going to school. It’s important for their learning, mental health and socialization. There is no replacement to live, in person human interaction. Human beings are social. Taking away that social element is taking away a part of our very fabric. Part of me thinks this Pandemic is accelerating and engraving an entire generation being socially awkward on account of a reliance on computer screens, but that’s a topic of conversation for another day.

It’s the days after the positive test that I wish to share. What was required was a 14 day isolation of my daughter in the home which was impossible. What do you do; lock a 7 year old in their room without any human interaction and feed them through a hole in the door? Tell them to live in the basement alone interacting only via walkie-talkie? Impossible.

The thing that Public Health doesn’t promote effectively (likely because it sounds so bad) is that the quarantine impacts the entire family; and the entire family’s quarantine begins 14 days following the infected person’s last possible date of contagion. What essentially happens is the family quarantine becomes 14 days + and additional 14 days (approximately 28+ days) of quarantine. There are ways around it when you get negative tests, but a positive test would essentially restart the clock at day 1 for everyone.

Quarantine means quarantine. House arrest without the ankle collar; but even on house arrest you get to walk around the block with your parole officer. On quarantine you don’t.

It’s lonely. It’s isolating. It’s difficult. And it’s certainly no fun.

So, when I said that avoiding COVID is a lonely exercise. You can only imagine how lonely quarantining with COVID is.

We had great support from friends and family bring us meals, groceries, toiletries, or just saying hello through the window.

But having your freedom to walk around the block, or simply go to the grocery store was very difficult to live with. For everyone in my family.

Want to go for a walk? Can’t.linkedin-2-300x300

Want to go to the store? Nope.

Need to go the bank? Don’t make me laugh.

Gotta do something at the office? Good joke.

The mental toll which a month of quarantine took was exhausting. It was not an easy period for anyone in the family.

But we were very lucky. And this is where my story turns around. My daughter despite having tested positive displayed no signs even after her positive test. You would think that living in the same household as someone with COVID would lead to the entire family catching COVID. But it didn’t. We all tested negative. That’s not to say that a day after the negative tests we all didn’t catch COVID. But even after the negative tests and throughout the 28+ days  of our quarantine, none of our family members developed any COVID symptoms. We were all perfectly fine. And that’s what it’s all about. We survived COVID together. It could have been much worse, but it wasn’t. We got lucky in that regard.

We are lucky that we live in a nice home, with a nice yard and lots for the children to do.

We are lucky that both parents can work from home.

We are lucky that both parents won’t lose their jobs needing to isolate and won’t be punished by their employer having needed to quarantine for nearly a month.

We are lucky that to have great family, friends and neighbours.

We are lucky that we can afford groceries and meals to be delivered to our home.

We are lucky that nobody in our household had any pre-existing health issues which may have made a COVID positive case much worse.

We are lucky that everyone in our household was ok.

But not everyone is so lucky.

For every person who is fortunate enough to have the luxuries set out above, there are countless others who aren’t as fortunate. And for every person who can get through the lows, there are many people who sink even lower and can’t manage to get back up; unbeknownst to their loved ones.

So stay positive and test negative. Check up on your loved ones regularly because in this Pandemic, you never know what they are going through or when they may need a helping hand, a grocery delivery, or just a sounding board to vent their frustrations with the world we live in.


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