Here's how people are looking back after 1 year of life with COVID-19

·4 min read
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province's chief medical officer of health, announced the first presumptive case of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador on March 14, 2020. (Malone Mullin/CBC - image credit)
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province's chief medical officer of health, announced the first presumptive case of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador on March 14, 2020. (Malone Mullin/CBC - image credit)
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province's chief medical officer of health, announced the first presumptive case of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador on March 14, 2020.
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province's chief medical officer of health, announced the first presumptive case of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador on March 14, 2020.(Malone Mullin/CBC)

It has been one year since the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 reached Newfoundland and Labrador, plunging the province into lockdown shortly thereafter.

In the last year, six people have died due to the virus, leaving families grieving alone or in very small groups, as funerals, wakes, visitations and other gatherings have been limited or banned entirely.

Others have spent time in hospital fighting the virus, while just over a thousand have tested positive for COVID-19 to date.

As for the rest of us, masks, hand sanitizer and vigorous hand washing are now a part of our daily routines, while new phrases, such as physical distancing and self-isolation, have been added to our lexicon, as COVID-19 has upended everything from getting groceries to going to work.

As we enter year two of the pandemic, many people agree on one thing — the last year has been hard.

Pandemic affects everyone differently

"It's been a little bit stressful, lonely, I'm empty-nested," said Elizabeth Moore, while walking her son's dog around Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John's Saturday.

Elizabeth Moore has been feeling lonely during the pandemic, since she has an empty nest. But her son's dog has been helping her through it.
Elizabeth Moore has been feeling lonely during the pandemic, since she has an empty nest. But her son's dog has been helping her through it. (Heather Gillis/CBC)

"No one around, only by phone," she lamented. "But outside of that, she actually gets me through it all," Moore said of the little black and white dog, named Kami, who was by her side. "She gets me out for walks."

High school student Amelia Shallow, who is now learning online, says finds it hard to know how much school work to do. In-person classes were suspended last month, after approximately 185 cases were linked to 22 schools in the metro region during the B117 variant outbreak.

"It was nice to be back in school for a little bit," she said, "some sort of normalcy. I mean, we just got the news that we're going to be online till Easter, so that's meh," said Shallow.

The pandemic has disrupted high school for Amelia Shallow, who is now taking classes online.
The pandemic has disrupted high school for Amelia Shallow, who is now taking classes online.(Heather Gillis/CBC)

As for seeing her friends — an important part of being a high school student — Shallow said they've been doing a lot of Zoom calls to keep in touch.

"But it's hard not to be able to just go out and see them. It's really difficult just to make yourself stay home, but we really all have to," she said.

Meanwhile, retiree Jim Cavanagh says the pandemic has affected his travel plans over the last year, forcing him home from Florida last March, and then home from Halifax this past fall when the Atlantic bubble burst.

"But other than that, and the inability to get my haircut now in the last month, we've managed quite well," he said.

While the pandemic upended Jim Cavanaugh's travel plans, it brought his daughter home from California. Now the pair take daily walks to Signal Hill.
While the pandemic upended Jim Cavanaugh's travel plans, it brought his daughter home from California. Now the pair take daily walks to Signal Hill. (Heather Gillis/CBC)

But the pandemic brought some members of Cavanagh's family closer. His daughter moved home from California in August, something he said has "really been nice."

"She's been here ever since and has been working from here. So I meet her every day and we walk to the top of Signal Hill and back," he said.

"I think the government's done a really great job," Cavanaugh added. "Public health has been really good and everybody's listening to what's being said and following the orders pretty well, I think."

Ed Matthews, who was vaccinated on Friday, agrees with Cavanagh's assessment.

"The health care system is really doing a good job," said Matthews, who is happy to be living in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ed Matthews says the most recent lockdown was long, but he's happy to be living in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Ed Matthews says the most recent lockdown was long, but he's happy to be living in Newfoundland and Labrador.(Heather Gillis/CBC)

"I have a daughter in Toronto and she's been locked down for a year now," he said.

Meanwhile, Matthews said he didn't mind the first lock down a year ago, but the most recent one is different.

"Because I lived in my own home at that time, so I had things to do. But then I moved into an apartment," he said.

"This is long — this lockdown," he said, adding that reads a lot and walks around Quidi Vidi lake every day to pass the time.

Real estate agent Sherry Morrisey says work has been up and down for her since the pandemic began. She says things have been good overall, though she misses social events.
Real estate agent Sherry Morrisey says work has been up and down for her since the pandemic began. She says things have been good overall, though she misses social events.(Heather Gillis/CBC)

Real estate agent Sherry Morrissey says she's been lucky enough to have family in her bubble and says she's been getting outside with her friends.

"Overall, it's been pretty good," she said during a walk on Saturday.

"It's been hard when you can't go to social events. That's the tough part. It's been a long year, no doubt about it."

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