By Jany Chauvat
COVID-19 has brought many changes. Since March, we have had to adjust how we live our lives. As a survivor of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, I had no choice but to adapt to the new health measures. Wearing a mask, limiting visits and all contact, washing my hands every ten minutes—it brought me right back to three years ago. It’s the life of an immunosuppressed person.
Mine is a relatively unusual situation. I’m the father of a five-year-old boy, but my wife is also an assistant head nurse clinician at Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus de Québec, in a department that was modified to take on COVID-19 patients.
My wife and I have settled into something of a new routine. When she finishes her night shift and comes home, my son and I don’t approach—her hug from Gabriel just has to wait. First, she puts her work clothes, which she brings home in a plastic bag, straight into the washing machine. Then, she takes a shower, and only after that can she have any contact with us.
I’m at a higher risk of infection than others, and I don’t want to have to stop working again and go back into isolation. But I’m not too worried. We trust each other.
Recently, there’s been one thing shaking up our family routine—having a five-year-old means back-to-school. Gabriel hasn’t been going to daycare since March. Instead, we’ve developed a routine at home and taken the opportunity to teach him about the new preventive measures in a fun way. We made the situation less scary by letting him pick out his own mask, backpack, etc. He’s adjusted to all the changes really well. It will all be a part of his day-to-day at school, so we might as well explain it at home.
My question before back-to-school was, how will his school be able to manage the influx of students with all these health measures? Should I be concerned for my health? We received answers to our questions, and a fun new routine has been established. Everything is going better, and I feel reassured by the awareness and the measures that are in place. But as with anything, it can’t be foolproof.
What reassures me is that each evening, my son tells me, “School is cool; we’re doing the same things.”
All in all, I don’t live in a bubble, never leaving the house, never socializing. I’ve gone back to work and get to see other people—as far as the rules allow. I’m being careful, for myself and for others. So, let’s all be respectful of one another, and remember:
Life goes on.