Week Five Blog: Essential Doesn’t Include Dying Family Members – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week Five Blog: Essential Doesn’t Include Dying Family Members

Dear fellows,

“Our parents are sick and dying, but Canada won’t let us in”:


“Our parents are sick and dying, but Canada won’t let us in” by the Detroit Free Press discusses the consequences of the US-Canada bordering closing to nonessential travel due to COVID-19. This article particularly resonated with me because my dad has been extremely frustrated with the border closure all summer. Although the reason for my dad’s frustration is far less serious than the reasons for the individuals from the article’s distress, his issue was essentially the tip of the iceberg of the danger of long term (and overly restrictive) neighbor border closures.

My mom and dad were both born in Ontario and moved to the United States together when they were 29 years old. They’ve lived here ever since, managing to visit all of our family still in Canada. Now, with COVID-19’s tight grasp on the US, my dad is not allowed to visit our cottage in northern Ontario. My family has been incredibly fortunate throughout these past few months, but my dad can’t help but long to spend time in this very special place.

When I discovered this article, I realized the true and devastating effects of the COVID-19 in regards to the border closure. I do not blame Canada for their actions to protect their citizens, but I do turn to the US government to take responsibility for the disease plaguing our nation. Until cases significantly drop within the US and remain low in Canada, the border will remain closed and family members will continue to suffer alone in both countries.

Throughout this summer, my dad has worked to scheme up any idea to get himself across the border and to our cottage. One plan he was considering was working with his company, General Motors, to get him an excuse that makes it necessary for him to travel to Canada for work. Unfortunately, GM did not need my dad’s help at any Canadian plant, but as I reflect on this idea, I am disturbed. My dad said his best bet would be using this excuse to get across. I understand the importance of business, but I cannot see any excuse for a country allowing people to enter on business terms but not to see their dying family members.

Madison D

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