Canada-US families split by COVID border closure push for easing of restrictions

Mother hasn’t been able to visit daughter

The push to reopen US-Canadian border

DETROIT – Dr. Jaskaren Gohal lives and works in Metro Detroit but hasn’t been able to cross the border into Canada to see her mother.

“For me, one of the main reasons I wanted to do my residency and work in Detroit was the proximity to the border,” Jaskaren Gohal said. “It’s been hard to be away from family for so long.”

Her mother, Jyoti Gohal, spoke to Local 4 from Toronto. She hasn’t crossed the border since last March.

“She’s a frontline worker and that makes me a bit more nervous. She’s alone, by herself, working long hours and we can’t go and see her. So it’s been very hard,” Jyoti Gohal said.

Jaskaren Gohal said she thinks it has been hard on her family to know that she’s in another country working in hospitals.

“Everyday mom kind of says a prayer and reiterates, you know, wear all your PPE and everything. So it’s been hard on both ends. But for the first time in more than a year, cautious optimism is building,” Jaskaren Gohal said.

With pressure mounting on both sides, Canada will likely take a phased approach to reopening.

“For us, whose loved ones are there, it’s good, good news. But still, it’s a mixed feeling, like, we don’t want to hit the fourth wave. But we have to protect ourselves and others,” Jaskaren Gohal said.

Jaskaren Gohal said it feels like Groundhog Day, but there finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. She said when the border finally does open she’s going to pack a big bag and stock her freezer. She said she can’t wait for her family to visit her place.

Read: US-Canada travel restrictions remain in place through June 21

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.