Downtown Concerned Citizens Organization

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After two long weeks quarantining at home, my wife and I are officially free Tuesday.

Although we followed all the rules — remaining at home, checking in online everyday, answering incessant government calls and taking our Day 8 COVID test — it became apparent very quickly  that this was a federal make-work project.

Or should I say an attempt by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to divert attention from his miserable failure on the vaccine rollout. Quite frankly, it was akin to slamming the barn door shut after all the cows escaped.

That said, I dutifully filled out the Arr Can app before we left Florida on May 8 and we spent an entire morning in Charleston, S.C. to get our mandated PCR tests — costing some (US)$300 in total.

I’m not complaining about the cost — only that when we crossed the Fort Erie border on May 12, the border security guard didn’t even ask to see the negative results. I was astounded having written plenty about Canadians being turned away from land borders for not having the proper results.


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Once we arrived home to quarantine, we didn’t hear from anyone for about three days.

Then the calls wouldn’t stop.

We must have received at least seven or eight calls from both federal and provincial officials.

Some were just computerized.

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Others were with chirpy federal compliance officers who read from a script about how important it was to quarantine to “stop the spread” and then asked us if we’d behave, and if we needed anything.

My wife, having a really good sense of humour, asked one if she’d bring us over a brisket for dinner, only to find out she was calling from Saskatchewan.

She was on the phone chatting with another so long, I thought the woman was going to deliver dinner.

One morning, I got a call from a provincial official who asked me how I was holding up mentally. I assured her I was just fine and didn’t need help — which was good because she was calling from Sault Ste. Marie.

On Day 8, we got our front door visit from a federal compliance officer, who was very sweet and who spent as much time befriending our dachshunds, Flora, Fritz and Monty.

Day 8 was also the day we had our second Switch Health test — done within 15 minutes of our 5 p.m. appointment.

For all the stories I’ve written in the past three months about the failings of Switch Health, I was pleased to see they’d made some positive changes to the testing process.

My results were back within two days and when the courier lost my wife’s test, they sent a nurse over last Friday night to test her again.


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Marc Thomson, chief operating officer for Switch Health, said they’ve completed almost 600,000 tests and have identified 6,500 cases of COVID-19, including the variants.

“We understand that some travellers initially had issues with longer than normal wait times for Telehealth sessions and turnaround times for results,” he said.

“We have worked around the clock to continually improve our service delivery, introducing appointment time slots for Telehealth sessions and adding additional lab capacity … to further reduce turnaround times for test results.”

That said, here’s where the whole quarantining scheme is punitive and a waste — for those fully vaccinated.

All three of our tests were negative, as we knew they’d be.

At no point did the form we filled out on the Arr Can app ask us if we were vaccinated. We are, having gotten the first and second shots of the Moderna vaccine while in Florida.

We mentioned it at the border crossing but it fell on deaf ears.

While we heard ad nauseam on TV about the need to get vaccinated and various politicians pushing the vaccine clinics on Victoria Day weekend, it is clear the federal government has chosen not to acknowledge that there are those who’ve been fully vaccinated in the U.S.

Our governments — with the vaccine shortages — should be happy that there are fewer people to clog up the system.

But no, they’d rather punish resourceful Canadians and waste more money doing so.


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