They told me I shouldn’t do it. They told me I couldn’t do it. And, at times, I didn’t think I would be able to do it.
I drove our coach for 28 hours. 2,485 kilometres. 1,544 miles. From 7am on Wednesday, March 25th until 11am on Thursday, March 26th. We made three fuel stops and two washroom breaks. We did not enter any public places during our journey home. I used latex gloves to pump fuel and we used cards to process payments. I drank protein shakes and I ate energy bars to keep me going. We practiced social isolation for two weeks before returning to Canada. No symptoms. And we will be quarantined for two weeks at our current site. Hopefully no symptoms after that activity has been completed.
I maintained careful focus on operating our motorcoach during that big drive. If, at any time, I thought I would compromise our personal safety, or the safety of others on the road, I was more than prepared to pull off the road and find a spot to get some sleep.
It is a funny thing this human motivation. It can drive you from Florida to Canada.
I have several videos to share including a surreal encounter with a rest area and our crossing at the Ambassador Bridge. Whoever designed that border crossing should be fired but you will find out more once you see the video. I need a bit of time today and tomorrow to cut them and I will drop them once they are finished.
We are safe and sound in our site at the Hitch House, a large motorcoach dealership just north of Toronto. We are providing on-site security for the owners while their business is closed. In return, they are providing us a private area to park our coach and connect to services. We will be moving to our summer site once it opens in a few weeks.
I’ll share our border experience in case some of you might be wondering what it was like after the Government of Canada passed the Quarantine Act.
Most of the border interaction was what we have come to expect. A few questions about when we left, items to declare, money on hand, etc.
Then the officer read from a printed document.
“You are required by the Quarantine Act to complete a mandatory self-isolation for 14 days. Compliance with this order is subject to monitoring, verification and enforcement. If you violate this order, you will be convicted of a criminal offence, subject to a fine of up to $1 million and imprisonment up to three years. Welcome to Canada.”
With that, he provided us a printed overview of the mandatory self-isolation guidelines and sent us on our way.
Suspension of civil liberties. Government intervention at an unprecedented scale.
He did not take any specific information from us at the border. I suspect our government may already be tracking citizen movements by gathering data from our telecomm providers. While in Florida, both Lorraine and I received text messages from the Government of Canada urging us to register as travellers. They knew we were travelling and they knew that the best way to reach us was through our smartphones.
I expect to receive further texts from our government while we are in self-isolation. And probably a visit by some other officials if my smartphone dares to travel too far from our current stay-in-place location. From the CBC a couple of days back:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t ruled out using smartphone data to track whether people are complying with public health officials’ pleas for them to stay inside to curb the COVID-19 pandemic — a notion that raises some thorny ethical dilemmas regarding public health and privacy rights.
Tracking where the coronavirus will strike next, and convincing people to self-isolate and avoid gatherings, have proven challenging for public health officials around the world. That’s prompted some governments to lean on mobile data to keep tabs on infections — even to predict where the virus is heading.
“I think we recognize that in an emergency situation we need to take certain steps that wouldn’t be taken in non-emergency situations, but as far as I know that is not a situation we’re looking at right now,” he [Trudeau] said.
If you are having trouble sleeping, take a gander at the Quarantine Act. Imagine the effort it took to craft this document. Here it is: https://laws-lois.justice.
We are now entering day 2 of our mandatory 14-day isolation period. So far so good. Our church is helping us with any groceries or other items we might need. My cellular network is performing flawlessly. Anywhere between 75 and 100 Mbps.
Mandatory self-isolation is a social introvert’s dream come true. I will be fine.
Lorraine and Tabby might need some help. Fortunate to have the Internet to connect us with our family and our friends.