Young and old fear that relaxing public health rules is happening too soon.
Adam Pike fought and survived a battle with cancer, and COVID-19 is another battle the young man has been waging. But this is a battle of uncertainty and anxiety.
The 19-year-old Memorial University nursing student is immunocompromised and contracting a virus like COVID-19 could result in dire consequences.
“I’m just afraid that if I get it, I just fear the worst-case scenario,” Pike said.
“Wait till the pandemic is pretty much over, the pandemic’s not over.”
People with serious health conditions such as cancer also have weakened immune systems that mean even a common cold can deadly serious.
Ayla Ruttgaizer is a teacher who has multiple sclerosis and a cancer survivor.
“Even the idea of adding more fatigue, more health concerns, on top of my already existing ones, that makes me extremely anxious,” Ruttgaizer said.
On March 14, mask mandates, capacity limits and vaccine passports will be dropped.
“March 14 isn’t going to change my behaviour, it’s going to change everyone else’s around me, and I guess that causes even more anxiety because I have no control.”
Ruttgaizer said she understands the frustrations of the public, but for her it’s not a matter of convenience, it’s matter of life and death.
“When people say it’s hard to breathe in a mask, well it is, but for me, I guess, my thinking was well it’s easier to wear the mask then to be in the hospital dying.” – Susanne Nippard
“So the virus is moving very quickly throughout our community which may be a good thing, but it’s also very scary for someone who doesn’t have the immune system to fight.”
As of Feb. 23, 64 people have died in the province due to the virus.
Susanne Nippard, 54, has heart and lung problems.
“For me, it was worth taking the chance,” said Nippard. “It (getting vaccinated) did scare me a little but having covid scared me more.”
Wearing a mask, says Nippard, is a small price to pay when compared to losing one’s life.
“When people say it’s hard to breathe in a mask, well it is, but for me, I guess, my thinking was well it’s easier to wear the mask then to be in the hospital dying,” Nippard said.
Once a social butterfly before the pandemic, Ruttgaizer, now she spends most of her time at home.
“The biggest kick to the pants is when the government took us off online learning during a major outbreak,” said Ruttgaizer.