6 stories of Canadians who finally got their long-awaited pandemic reunions

·2 min read
CBC’s The National follows along on six pandemic-delayed reunions and finds that behind every bear-hug moment are stories of endurance and hope — relationships that persevered through months of uncertainty, challenges and Facetime fatigue.  (CBC News - image credit)
CBC’s The National follows along on six pandemic-delayed reunions and finds that behind every bear-hug moment are stories of endurance and hope — relationships that persevered through months of uncertainty, challenges and Facetime fatigue. (CBC News - image credit)

The pandemic has brought everyday life to a halt in so many ways.

For many Canadians, ensuing travel restrictions have meant they could not be with special people in their lives for months and months — and in some cases, for years.

The National has gathered six Canadian stories of people who had to wait too long to be with the ones they care about the most.

These best friends live 30 minutes apart. They didn't see each other for a year

Best friends Johanna Innes and Katie Pym live only a half-hour drive from one another, but on opposite sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

Amid pandemic-related border restrictions, they weren't able meet up for nearly a year.

They met on Tik Tok and fell in love. But the border kept them apart — until now

Cross-border couple Jada Hamilton and Jenni Middleton met on Tik Tok, fell in love over Facetime and were unable to meet for 11 months.

By the time they did, their family had grown to three members — including a baby boy.

A family moved to Saudi Arabia just before the pandemic. Now they can finally hug grandma after 2 years

A B.C. grandmother was unable to see her daughter, son-in-law and their three children for two years.

The Akouatli family had moved from Vancouver to Saudi Arabia in 2019, just months before the pandemic and the international travel restrictions that followed.

A couple that couldn't grieve with family after a tragic loss finally get first pandemic hugs

Calgary couple Andrew and Kimberly Rockwell welcomed a baby during the pandemic, but their families couldn't meet him for more than a year.

They also lost Andrew's father weeks after their son's birth but were unable to fly home to grieve with family due to COVID-related travel complications.

They matched on Tinder. Months later they're finally together and hitting the road

Canadian Morgan Brausen and American Jerry Louis matched on Tinder, but didn't meet in person for months after that, as a result of travel restrictions.

They finally had their emotional airport meeting in Florida and are planning to hit the road in a van.

Adopted at birth, these half siblings finally got to meet for the first time

It took years of searching for Winnipeg's Ashley Fredette to learn she had a biological sibling living two provinces away.

Little did she know a global pandemic was about to hit, and travel restrictions would mean she wouldn't get to meet her brother until two years after they first connected online.

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