Liberal MP Kamal Khera pleads for people to stay home after testing positive for COVID-19
Ontario MP said she followed social distancing and hygiene advice but still fell ill
Liberal MP and registered nurse Kamal Khera has one message for Canadians since she tested positive for COVID-19: listen to the experts and stay at home.
"It's in our communities. You can be a healthy individual like myself, that was practicing social distancing and is a germaphobe and wanted to make sure that I was washing my hands. [But] just know that you have to be very, very mindful of what you are doing," she told CBC News Network.
Khera said she began experiencing flu-like symptoms at home on Saturday night. She was tested for COVID-19 on Monday morning and was informed of the positive test Wednesday evening.
"I have been feeling mild flu-like symptoms throughout. It comes and goes," she told CBC's Rosemary Barton. "It seems like one of the worst flus that you can have. That's what it feels like. You have some good days, you have some bad days. Today feels like a better day for me.
"So many other Canadians are experiencing much worse symptoms and I just want them to know that we're all thinking of them and that we'll get through this together."
Khera said she does not know where she contracted COVID-19 but she has been to Toronto and her office in her Brampton-West riding, and has been grocery shopping, over the past few weeks.
"So many people may have it and are still walking around in our grocery stores, and are still walking around outside. And I think, as [Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam] said, this virus sees no colour, no age, and we have to be very mindful."
Proud to be a nurse
Khera said that when the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario reached out to the province's nurses last Thursday evening asking them to pitch in on the fight against the novel coronavirus, she knew what she had to do.
"There was absolutely no hesitation," she said. "Helping people at the front lines is my passion. I worked at the front lines before getting involved in politics. It's one of the reasons why I got involved in politics and it was an absolute no-brainer for me to register to put my name forward."
The Ontario MP said that although she fell ill with COVID-19 before she could be drawn into service, she is very proud of the 4,500-odd retired or non-practising nurses who have signed up to help.
"I am so proud of this group and can't thank them enough for what they are doing," she said.
Khera emphasized several times during the interview the importance of following the advice of health professionals and scientists as the country and the world grapple with getting COVID-19 under control.
"We owe it to Canadians, to our front line workers, to the most vulnerable in our communities, to our seniors. Every single one of us has a part to play in planking the curve ... to get through this together."