Islanders share sadness, frustration over Atlantic bubble delay: Your Comments

·4 min read
When the Atlantic bubble reopens, residents of the Atlantic provinces will be able to travel within the region without the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days. (Julien Lecacheur/Radio-Canada - image credit)
When the Atlantic bubble reopens, residents of the Atlantic provinces will be able to travel within the region without the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days. (Julien Lecacheur/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Sad, frustrated, supportive and fed up — those were just some of the emotions people on social media shared after a delay for the Atlantic bubble that would have allowed freer travel within the region as of Monday.

Late Tuesday, the announcement came down from the four Atlantic premiers that the Atlantic bubble reopening would be postponed until at least May 3.

They said the decision was based on advice from the region's chief public health offices.

When what came to be known as the Atlantic bubble was initially announced last June, people on Prince Edward Island shared their jubilation at the prospect of reuniting with family and friends on the mainland .

The reaction was very different when we asked on Facebook how Islanders were feeling this week — and there were hundreds of responses.

Here is just some of what you had to say.

(Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style.)

'Wise decision'

Miriam Mimi agreed with postponing the bubble. While she misses her family in New Brunswick, she hopes this move keeps everyone safe.

"We have been very fortunate on P.E.I. Kids are in school and can play sports. We can go do our shopping, eat in restaurants, have small gatherings," she said. "I think if we open up the bubble too soon, we'll find ourselves losing all of those privileges."

Ferry service, which would provide a direct link between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, is due to resume May 1.
Ferry service, which would provide a direct link between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, is due to resume May 1.(Kevin Baillie)

Like many others, Chris Vessey has family in Nova Scotia he can't visit because of the two-week isolation requirement that wouldn't be needed if the bubble reopened. He does support the delay, though — even if it means losing valuable moments with his parents.

"As parents age, we lose precious time with them, time that can never be replaced. Yet these sacrifices are necessary for the good of all. The able-bodied might be fine, but the elderly, the young, and the chronically ill are at risk."

Kathie Corrigan said it's a "wise decision," adding: "We need to be patient so we have a little more normal summer instead of one in lockdown and restrictions."

Others agreed. "Sad as it is, they are doing the very best to keep us safe," said Judy Beairsto Cousins. "Thank God we live in P.E.I."

Tobias Martinsen said any measure that keeps COVID-19 away from the Island is a step in the right direction. "My grandmother passed away from COVID complications, and I couldn't even attend the funeral to pay my final respects. My mother country is suffering greatly from it, and has had to lock down completely several times as a result.

"This illness is bad enough to erode the fabric of normal, decent life … I support this closure."

'Depressed and drained'

Brittney Dow, however, was upset to hear the news that the bubble was being pushed back. She's a vet student and said she has only two weeks off before starting her clinical year. "Bubble is now set to open on my first day of rotations and I don't have a break until August. Feeling extremely depressed and drained."

She added: "It's already been half a year since I've seen any family … and in a program as demanding as this one, you need family. I have no family here and it's hard."

Janice Whalen had a similar comment. "University students coming home after their final exams will now have to self-isolate for two weeks. They were looking forward to going back to work and earning money. It puts them at a disadvantage in the summer job market."

Boyd and Arlene Rose said their hearts are "busted just like the bubble," adding: "We've been taunted since January with potential dates of reopening and it's so disappointing when it doesn't happen. We just want to see our family."

Erica Lynn Lavoie asked: "Does it really matter how we feel? Ask my six- and three-year-old, who cry all the time for Nana and Papa in New Brunswick."

Angela Charlebois Biggley said she missed her son's wedding because of COVID-19 and hasn't seen him in six months. "I wish there was a way to have travel between N.S. and P.E.I."

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