Watching news reports on COVID-19 from the isolation of home can make the pandemic seem detached, but for one Powell River woman, the effects of the virus are real.
Monica Peckford has been monitoring a family situation in Norway, where a cousin of hers is in hospital fighting for his life.
“My mom phoned me and she kind of scared me,” said Peckford. “She asked if I was sitting down and I said, yes. She said one of your cousins is dying of COVID-19.
“She told me who it was and I was like, whoa.”
Peckford said her cousin’s whole family, his wife and his kids have all been diagnosed as well, but he is the only one who is in hospital. He is in isolation in hospital, as is his family at home.
Peckford said she has been messaging her aunt, who indicated her cousin had been put in a coma while the doctors try antibiotic treatments, and assist with his breathing. Peckford asked her aunt if she knew how her cousin contracted COVID-19 and she didn’t know. He hadn’t been travelling.
She said she looked up the statistics for COVID-19 in Norway and they have more cases than Canada does, she’s guessing because they are so close to the rest of Europe.
“They are only five million people; they are a way smaller country, and people are a lot closer together than they are in Canada,” said Peckford.
She said it really hit her, having a family member afflicted with COVID-19.
“It seems so unreal until this happens,” said Peckford. “This is real. This really hits home. It’s really scary.”
Peckford said her cousin is not old and is about the same age as she is. She says she hasn’t been close, because they live far away, but they have met a couple of times.
She said that her aunt continues to update the situation and that she is praying for a good outcome – that her cousin pulls through and the medications that he’s on are going to help. She hopes that the virus passes quickly and things can get back to normal.