This whole story is just crazy. If you are not familiar with it, here’s what happened.
An Edmonton woman with celiac disease (Janet Game) took a flight from Ethiopia to Toronto. Because her husband (Maku) had been in South Africa 13 days earlier, where the Omicron variant had spread, they had to quarantine for 14 days in a designated quarantine facility.
I think you already know where this is going.
Her last meal was on December 4th at 4:30 am on the flight and they arrived in Toronto (and quarantined) 3 hours later. By the time they got to the Hilton hotel (where they were quarantining) it was 4:30 pm. She informed the staff that she had celiac disease. And here is where the story gets interesting/frustrating/pathetic.
So by the time she got to the hotel at 4:30 pm, it had been 12 hours since she last ate. The night went by. No dinner. The next morning. No breakfast. Now for those not familiar with quarantining, you are at the mercy of the staff. There are no deliveries and no visitors. So the ONLY way to get food is from the hotel itself.
When they finally brought some food up, it was this monstrosity:
I do believe that is some sort of…meat. And not gluten-free.
Janet only had one point of contact at the hotel, Red Cross Canada, and there was no one at reception. She tried calling Red Cross Canada at least five times throughout Dec. 5 and she was put on hold for up to an hour before getting in touch with someone. When she finally reached someone, they took her food request. Yay! When the food came, it was not gluten-free. F**k!
It wasn’t until later that night that she received a banana and apple from the hotel, and then a gluten-free bagel the next morning. Her involuntary fast lasted around 41 hours.
Crazy…right? Here are some thoughts rattling around this empty head of mine:
– It’s obvious the Red Cross (and god bless them for the work they do) was not remotely prepared for this situation. I mean, they didn’t bring ANY food up for almost 24 hours.
– How hard is it to bring gluten-free food to someone? You don’t need to prepare a damn meal. If nothing else, fresh veggies will do. Or fruit. Or nuts. Or…you get the point.
– I’ve read some comments about the situation online (note: never read comments) and there is still so much ignorance out there about our fun little autoimmune disease.
– I know the Canadian Celiac Association got involved in helping her, so my hat’s off to them.
– I’ve read many articles of this happening to prisoners in jail as well.
– We’ve still got a long way to go folks. Sigh.
You tell ’em George: