'Deeply concerned': Canadian mom on what it's like to live in U.S. coronavirus hot spot
TORONTO -- A Canadian living in one of the COVID-19 epicentres in the United States is pointing the finger squarely at government leadership for the rising number of virus cases in the country.
Nakina Sankar Gravier, who is originally from Winnipeg but now lives in Coral Springs, Fla., about 76 kilometres north of Miami, said she’s noticed most people are following the physical distancing guidelines and wearing masks, but the guidance they’re receiving from the government has been sub-par.
“I am growing restless,” she told CTV News Channel on Wednesday. “I have a six-year-old son at home that is also growing incredibly restless. It is not easy to manoeuvre through such a global pandemic. I am frustrated at the lack of direction from leadership as well as no end in sight in dealing with this.”
Florida set a new single-day high for COVID-19 deaths on Thursday with 156 and added another 13,965 cases of the virus. In total, there have been more than 3,5 million cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., including more than 137,000 deaths, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
This week, U.S. President Donald Trump has been pressuring schools to reopen for the upcoming school year, despite the surge in coronavirus cases across the country. He has even gone so far as to suggest he would defund the schools that do not open on time.
“I am deeply concerned,” said Gravier. “As a mother, my number one priority is to keep (my son) safe. With the ever-growing numbers of positive cases, there’s no way I’m sending my son back to school in August.”
Gravier said she’s been keeping tabs on how Canada has been handling the virus, where new daily cases hover around 300 and provinces are slowly reopening businesses.
“I have many friends and a lot of family that are still all over Canada, primarily in Winnipeg, where the numbers have gone down tremendously, and they’re returning back to every-day life,” she said.
“There’s definitely a bit of jealously there from myself.”