What a mother of eight dreaded after being denied virtual school has finally happened: COVID-19 has infected nearly the entire family and deprived them of income for over a month.
“We have eight children. Three have health problems, including one with an immune deficiency. […] I fought for the virtual school, but I should have fought even more. Today, it looks like this: everyone is sick, “drops Sophie Francoeur Lahaie, a mother from Saint-Calixte, in Lanaudière.
On October 26, her 13-year-old son woke up with a fever, headache, body aches and severe fatigue. Two days later, he received the result of his COVID-19 test: positive.
The 36-year-old woman and six of her children were eventually infected with the virus.
“We have been in isolation since October 28 and will be in isolation until December 8, if the last three don’t get her,” she says. Otherwise, it will go until Christmas. “
The clan has therefore been without income for over a month. Her husband, Jonathan Francoeur, is an accountant for a Montreal firm and he cannot telecommute, while she owns a business of allergy identification bracelets for children and cannot take the risk of sending her products. to customers.
“The impact of COVID is not just the disease,” she observes.
Just yesterday, Public Health reported 1,480 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the number of people infected in Quebec to 139,643 since the start of the pandemic. 37 new deaths were also reported, for a total of 7,021.
The majority of family members got away with symptoms ranging from “nothing at all to a good flu,” says Francoeur Lahaie. But his 13-year-old son is dragging his feet.
“He was hospitalized in Sainte-Justine. He has difficulty eating, he is out of breath, tired. He is followed by a pulmonologist who put him out of school for an indefinite period “, details the mother who is convinced that he contracted COVID in her class where” four children were infected “.
Her son, suffering from a mild heart problem, attends Havre-Jeunesse high school in Sainte-Julienne, which, towards the end of October, was considered “problematic” by the Lanaudière Public Health Department.
Difficult to escape
” [Le premier ministre François] Legault did not think about large families in the criteria giving access to the virtual school, “deplores Ms. Francoeur Lahaie. Yet three of her children have health problems.
She contacted an immunologist, a neurologist, a family doctor and two school authorities, “but nothing justified our right to distance school according to the government,” she argues.
“It is up to a doctor to determine whether a child should receive distance education because of their state of health or that of a person with whom they reside,” replied the Newspaper the Ministry of Education.
But Ms. Francoeur Lahaie knew full well that if COVID-19 entered her home, it would be difficult for her family to escape. “The government doesn’t trust parents,” she said. We had no other choice than to send our children in person. In the end, they’re going to have missed almost two months of school. ”
- According to the Ministry of Education, in 2019-2020, 5,964 children were home-schooled, and this year there are more than 12,000.
It is also mentally tiring
If managing a family of 10 is already sporty, it becomes even more sporty when the whole household has been infected with COVID and isolated for more than a month.
“The most difficult was really the mental fatigue added to the symptoms of the disease,” said Sophie Francoeur Lahaie, who has been confined with her spouse and their eight children since October 28 at their home in Saint-Calixte.
“We all fell [sept membres de la famille] four or five days apart, “the mother continues, coughing over the phone.
Since her positive diagnosis for COVID-19 on October 29, symptoms of the disease persist.
“I’m not quite healed. I’m still coughing, I’m tired and have had complications, she explains. I just started antibiotics for bronchitis. “
Think about everything
The woman says she and her partner “found it stiff.”
“Even if the whole house is sick, you have to think of everything to keep the routine as normal as possible: cleaning, eating, doing homework to prevent the children from falling too late at school”, she explains.
“I haven’t had a minute to myself since the end of October, adds the one who is also an entrepreneur. [voir autre texte]. I couldn’t even go out for a walk down the street to decompress. “
Despite the heavy burden that the isolation of a family of ten brings, Francoeur Lahaie admits that she expected it to be “a little more mess.”
Long live a $ 1,000 grocery store
The family was able to count on the help of friends and relatives to pick up mobile orders from supermarkets. And, by chance, the mother had just stocked up on provisions.
“Not even a week before I went into isolation, I did a huge $ 1,000 grocery store. That’s what it costs us about a month. Looks like I had a bad feeling, she says. I had just “restocked” everything. “