Nancy’s COVID-19 Story


Having been a Registered Nurse for 27 years, I have seen quite a lot. But nothing quite prepared me for the past year. First up, Snowmaggedon. The day that no relief could show up, with day turning in to night, and then back to day again. Our minds and bodies were shutting down, but we pushed through because our patients depended on us. Although this seemed so big at the time, this ended up being nothing compared to what was to come.

In March 2020, a worldwide pandemic was announced. My unit was to become the designated COVID unit at the Health Sciences Centre. Everything happened so quickly. Patients were moved to other units and construction began to add safety barriers and isolation rooms.

Education was provided regarding this virus and infection control protocols put in place. And fear ensued across the globe. We watched the news like everyone else with worry, concern, and dread. With so many young nurses working here, difficult decisions were made. Some packed up their children and sent them to grandparents while others chose to isolate in their homes. Others took all the necessary precautions to ensure they were “clean” when they returned home. However, for me it felt different… My kids Chad and Ashley were older, 16 and 19 and we would be safe. Meanwhile the staff supported each other the best way we could. We cried together and worried constantly. We became so much to our patients who were alone and scared and to the families who for their own health safety, had to stay away. Collectively we flattened the curve, and we were hopeful once again.

Almost a year later in February 2021, another outbreak. This time it was a new variant of COVID-19. The news that shook my whole world came as my now 17 year old son Chad tested positive, and I crumbled. Many heart sinking questions gathered in my mind. How sick would he become? How could I isolate my baby in the basement while fighting this unknown? Who else in our family would test positive? How would our 20 year old daughter Ashley cope with all of this on top of her own ongoing 5 year battle with anxiety and depression? Contact tracing and self-isolation were now a part of my home life. I now knew that it wasn’t different for me, that it COULD happen to me or my family, and it did!

Our family isolated together for 28 days. Although Chad did become symptomatic, thankfully the symptoms were relatively mild and fortunately nobody else tested positive in my household. For that we are extremely thankful. In the end, we did come out the other side of this, but the impact on our mental health will last a lifetime.

This past year, COVID-19 has taken the toll on everyone, physically and mentally. It not only has affected people and their families who have tested positive, but to all of us who try our best to give it our all in our everyday lives with family, friends and in the workplace. It has affected health care workers such as me, cashiers at your local grocery store, hairdressers at the salon, our families who must work out of province and to individuals working in an office setting. No one is immune. On the inside feeling stressed and always wondering what’s next.

No one should suffer in silence

There is help and no one should suffer in silence. So please be kind to yourself. It’s normal to have feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. Don’t be afraid to seek help. It’s out there, you just need to ask!

There are people and services available to you through our mental health programs. These programs and services which are so vital to everyone need your help today. By making a gift to the Health Care Foundation, the professionals within the mental health programs have the funding needed to continue to help people with everyday counseling and provide them the tools needed to help overcome these stresses.

Please give today. 

Stay safe and don’t forget to be kind to yourself and others.


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