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Some Sask. households fear loss of support networks due to new restrictions on COVID-19 collection

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Amanda Sanderson says she is worried about what the coming weeks will mean for her family.

Sanderson’s 17-year-old daughter is living with mental health problems and her parents, along with her siblings, have been a great help both emotionally and physically.

Now, because of the COVID-19 restrictions that take effect Thursday in Saskatchewan that will see private meetings limited to five people, that support network will no longer be.

“It breaks my heart because they are a great support to my daughter and they are a great support to me,” she said.

Sanderson said the county’s new restrictions do not make sense, as while there are tough restrictions on private family gatherings, the government allowed bars and restaurants to continue operating.

Outdoor meetings remain closed at 30 when physical distance can be maintained, but any meeting with more than five must be held in a public place.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Moe said that while people should stay home and connect as remotely as possible, people who “absolutely need to get in touch personally” with someone outside their home should do so at a public place like a restaurant where restrictions exist.

“We know this is a difficult move again, but we also know that most of the recent spread of COVID-19 has occurred in private gatherings in our homes, right in our families,” Moe said.

The restrictions will be in effect for the next four weeks, at which time they will be re-evaluated.

Fighting tears, Amanda Sanderson says she is worried about what next month will mean for her and her family, as the support she was receiving from the family with her teenage daughter throughout the pandemic has been overwhelming. (Sreenshot / CBC)

Sanderson said she is worried about what next month will bring. She said she would tell Moe to close non-core businesses before dismantling family support networks.

“Getting this out of the families who need it, especially at this time during the pandemic, is not the right way to do it,” she said.

“It will be scary.”

Christin Young, who lives in Martensville, was looking forward to what could have been a past Christmas with her 93-year-old grandfather, but now with the new restrictions, she is not sure it will happen.

“If we can only have five people in one meeting, then how is Christmas with families possible?” asked Young in a Facebook post. “I do not think the new restrictions will be lifted until December 17. At the rate at which the virus is going, it will take months to catch most of it in time.”

Young said he would like to see better restrictions put in place as soon as possible if Saskatchewan families are able to celebrate Christmas at all, but said there must be a balance between maintaining the economy, respecting freedoms individual and keeping people safe.

“We need to be more aware of what is considered an essential business and keep them open and places like restaurants and bars need to be closed,” she said. “It does not make sense to have a meeting [limit] but it is okay to have schools and businesses open. “

NDP opposition leader Ryan Meili is calling for a three-week switch to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the province. (Kirk Fraser / CBC)

On Wednesday, the Sask opposition. The NDP proposed a three-week “circuit breaker” to slow the spread of COVID-19, which would include closing down non-core businesses, limiting retail space capacity to 25 percent and some other restrictions.

NDP leader Ryan Meili called the provincial plan for COVID-19 “half-measures” and argued that the government has been slow to respond to cases of ascension to the province since the election.

“If we want to protect our economy and our businesses, we must take control of the pandemic,” Meili said in a press release. “The choice is not between our healthcare or our economy, it is between a targeted action now or a much more severe blockage later.”

Active cases in Saskatchewan have increased by more than 425 percent in the last month, with 2,099 active cases recorded on Wednesday, compared to 398 cases 30 days ago.

On Tuesday, Moe said his government would meet with stakeholders, the hospitality industry and trust to discuss how the province can improve on restrictions in the country by keeping these businesses and places safe.

“This is not a deadlock. This is a slowdown,” Moe said.

Paul Merriman, Saskatchewan’s health minister, said in a statement to reporters Wednesday that he was not interested in the NDP disruptors’ plan, calling it a “large-scale, nationwide closure” that would to fire thousands.

“Our government will continue with our prudent and balanced approach,” he said in the statement.

Prime Minister Scott Moe and Saskatchewan Chief Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab spoke to reporters at the Regina Legislature on November 17, 2020. (Saskatchewan Media Pool)

MarcieDupuis is a counselor specializing in family dynamics. She said while the new restrictions may be difficult for some families, it is important for people to remember that they had gone through this experience before March.

“Remembering that your family went through it,” she said. “That had a lot of video calls and phone calls and although it was difficult and stressful and scary, the family went through it together and everyone succeeded.”

Going outside, even if it is really cold, even if it is for 10 minutes, that fresh air can do a lot for everyone’s mental health.– Marcie Dupuis, Counselor

Dupius also stressed that it is important for family members to try and be patient with each other over the next 28 days, as these types of restrictions affect everyone differently. She said one way to ensure things keep light through slowdowns is to plan smaller events that spark excitement, noting even a weekly movie night or an outdoor activity can help.

“These are really just the little things you can focus on for the kids and they actually blow up a little more than you would before because those are the things you boys will do together,” she said. . “Going outside, even if it’s really cold, even if it’s for 10 minutes, that fresh air can do a lot for everyone’s mental health.”

She said that for those families who have to give the news to a loved one who will not be able to visit, it is good to focus on what can still be done, as opposed to what has been removed from the table.

“Indeed, focusing on what can happen versus what can’t,” she said, pointing to research that has found video calling, especially with a young child, can help foster a connection.

Dupuis said people who are struggling should turn to a counselor, as having a neutral listening ear can be helpful.

“It can be a really good way to reach yourself and your family through this,” she said.


(CBC News Graphics)

What is yours CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.

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