Dad delivers early Christmas gifts, food to daughter in quarantine at Queen's University in Kingston
As Kingston’s case numbers remain high, the health region continues to be the worst in the country for COVID-19.
With thousands of people in quarantine, under mandatory contact isolation requirements, it means some families will be hundreds of kilometres apart for Christmas this year.
Those like the Buckberrough’s.
Michael Buckberrough drove up from Toronto to bring his daughter her gifts ahead of the holidays. Using his day off, for what would be a seven-hour round trip altogether, bringing her stocking, buying her food, and picking out a small Christmas tree to drop off outside her house.
Buckberrough says it’s about providing all the essentials for the big day.
"I am delivering my daughter's Christmas stocking and all her gifts and a whole bunch of food to cheer up her residence because she is stuck in Kingston. Potato’s, a turkey, a stuffed turkey," he says in an interview with CTV News Ottawa. "She can’t cook like her mother can so you gotta get the pre-made stuff so you can just throw it in the oven.”
Amy Buckberrough, a fourth-year Queen’s University student, is in quarantine after being in close contact with a case of COVID-19.
Usually, Buckberrough says, Christmas would be getting together at the cottage, eating meals together, laughing and exchanging gifts.
Buckberrough says it's worth the trip.
"May as well make sure my daughter has the best Christmas experience she can have. We love her. We want her to not feel alone," he says.
Dropping off items on her doorstep, while she remains inside with two doors between them is as close as Buckberrough will get, to ensure they’re following all health guidelines.
Amy says she’ll spend Christmas virtually with her family, deciding to focus on the positive.
“There are so many families who aren’t able to see their loved ones, even this close, and there are so many families that don’t have anything. So I think we just have to cherish what we do have,” she says.
But as the far-apart goodbyes are exchanged, the good spirits, quickly give way to the reality of the situation.
"Sure would be nice to grab a hug right about now, but that’s not possible. It’s unfair to everybody else," says Michael Buckberrough.
As he prepares to make the long drive back alone, father and daughter, just hoping next year they’ll be together.
"It is what it is. It’s better than nothing like I said earlier but it’s what everyone has to do. Enough’s enough, right? Enough’s enough," he says.