Coronavirus: Drive home from Florida marked by traffic slowdowns, dense fog

by Iona Hassoun

I just arrived home from Florida, having received inside information from my cousin, an emergency room doctor in Calgary that the Canadian government was closing the borders and calling all Canadians home.

I had planned to leave early anyway to respect the 14-day quarantine before my doctor’s appointment in April, but things changed rapidly over the course of 24 hours and I just barely had time to defrost the food, cook it, pack it up and close the condo. I left Wednesday morning and drove 28 hours, stopping one night. The traffic was extremely heavy which caused a one-hour slow down in South Carolina and then I hit a two-hour delay in a construction area in Virginia. Then night fell and it started to rain so I stopped for the night. The next morning, there was such dense fog that I couldn’t see my windshield wipers!

When I finally got to the border at Thousand Islands, there were so many cars that it took more than 90 minutes to get through! Finally, I made it home safely and I am now in self-isolation for 14 days!

All my neighbors called to ask if I needed supplies or groceries, but because I left so precipitously, I brought everything I had with me so I will be fine for quite some time! Once I’ve gotten more sleep and put everything away, I will take you advice (from the Senior Times) and keep myself busy until further notice.


Someone from the CSL Men’s Club in Century Village, Deerfield Beach, started a rumour last weekend, causing a panic among the CSLers. They all packed up and left at 4 am! They were in such a state that some cancelled their airline tickets and rented a car to drive home so they wouldn’t have to fly on a plane. One couple left so fast that they packed their car in the middle of the night and forgot a suitcase on the landing! As for the situation in Florida, it’s total chaos. Everything is on lock-down for at least two weeks. The stores, schools and businesses are all closed, except some grocery and pharmacies but there is nothing left on the shelves to buy!

When the beaches closed down, I decided to pack up and leave because I couldn’t use the pool or hot-tub and I had closed my balcony with the hurricane shutters so it was hot in the apartment and I felt like I was suffocating with nowhere to go. I’m just glad to be home.

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