New Brunswick

Who's in your bubble? How New Brunswickers are deciding who will be in their 'two-household bubble'

New Brunswickers are being faced with a tough choice: to pick just one other household with whom they may have closer contact for the forseeable future.

'Time is precious when you're 85'

Lynn MacPherson, left, and her mother Jackie were happy to spend time with each other again. (Submitted by Lynn MacPherson)

People in New Brunswick have been making some seriously tough decisions this weekend: who to bubble-up with?

On Friday, Premier Blaine Higgs introduced the first phase of the province's COVID-19 recovery plan which included a "two-family bubble" — visiting is allowed and physical distancing isn't required among that group of people. 

The choice must be mutual between both households and the decision is final, no changes allowed. 

It's not an easy decision for everyone, especially those with larger families. 

But for Lynn MacPherson of Harvey Lake, near Fredericton, it was an easy choice to be able to see her elderly mother, Jackie, again. 

"She's 85 and time is precious when you're 85, and she lives all alone — and she was the first person that I wanted to see," MacPherson said. 

Lynn is close with her mother, Jackie. This picture was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic kept them apart for several weeks. (Submitted by Lynn MacPherson)

When the news broke Friday, MacPherson called her two brothers to check with them first, and both agreed MacPherson could be the family member to visit their mom.

But she said they didn't let excitement get in the way of making the decision carefully. MacPherson works at the post office where she still interacts with people in the community, which could put her elderly mother at risk.

"We both thought about it overnight," MacPherson said. 

But when Saturday morning came along, the two decided to see each other and it was a special moment for the mother and daughter who have been apart from each other for several weeks.

'Feeling of normalcy'

"It just puts a little pep in your step," MacPherson said. "It gives you a little bit of a sense of hope and a little bit of — even though the normal is different — it kinda gave you a little bit of feeling of normalcy."

MacPherson's mom sat in the back of the car and the two drove in a drive-by birthday parade for Jackie's three-year-old great-grandson, Matthew. 

"It meant everything for her to be able to partake in that, because originally we didn't think we'd be allowed to take her to do that," MacPherson said. 

After the parade the two ordered takeout breakfast and ate together in the car. 

MacPherson and her mother decided to keep a distance from each other and never made physical contact while they were together, just to be on the safe side.

The two are planning to see each other a few times a week.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gary Moore

CBC News

Gary Moore is a video journalist based in Fredericton.

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