Belanger urges COVID precautions after contracting virus
- Betty Ann Adam | December 10, 2020
Athabasca MLA Buckley Belanger wants everyone to take every precaution to avoid catching COVID 19.
He knows first hand how it feels to be sick with the virus, which as of December 7, had killed 49 people in Saskatchewan.
“My grandson and wife went to Saskatoon about three weeks ago and they returned with this unwanted guest,” said Belanger, who lives in Ile-a-la-Crosse.
His grandson and wife had sniffles and felt ill. When their tests came back positive after a few days, Belanger and his granddaughter, who also lives with them, were told to come in for a GenXpert test, which provides results within a few hours.
In Ile-a-la-Crosse, the quick GenXpert tests are reserved for people in the immediate household of people who have tested positive.
Belanger was positive but his granddaughter was not.
They decided his granddaughter, 15, should be away from her infected family. She couldn’t stay with other family or friends because she had been exposed, so it was decided that she would self-isolate at the hotel, with Belanger self-isolating in a room right beside hers.
His granddaughter never did get the virus. Belanger and his grandson each had symptoms for about four days before natural antibodies kicked in and they felt better. He wife’s symptoms lasted about a week.
Belanger said he had a headache and fever for two or three days and temporarily lost his sense of smell.
But being cooped up in one room for two weeks still took a toll on him and his granddaughter, who was “bored as hell,” he said.
“There’s two battles you have. One is it’s an unpleasant disease with significant risks for people who have underlying health problems, the other is the isolation also provides some significant challenges,” he said.
“Even if you recover in the first couple days, you’ve still got to isolate for another 10 days after that. This is where the stress on you (creeps in,) when you start to think of what could possibly happen with this COVID, where you’re hearing of people getting their lungs infected. There’s some long haulers, meaning they have symptoms for a long time.
“The 14 days isolation, it really strains your mental health and you over-think things… Isolation sucks.”
Belanger says everyone should take every precaution to save themselves and others from illness and stress.
People who aren’t worried for themselves need to think about how difficult the stress is for the people around them, especially the young people, who are already coping with the stress of isolation, he said.