Quarantined with celiac and has no food for 40 hours!

quarantined with no gf food

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:

toronto celiac covid

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:

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9 thoughts on “Quarantined with celiac and has no food for 40 hours!”

  1. Communication is so important. If the hotel could not accommodate this guest, a quarantined one or not, they should have gotten details from her. To dump people in a hotel and walk away is deplorable. Who was in charge? Health Canada, or Ontario Health probably and they don’t have a clue. What if she had become Ill? Would they ave just left her there without treatment? Not good enough Ontario! Hugs from a fellow Edmontonion and celiac.

  2. For heavens sake. A couple of hard boiled eggs would have helped. Don’t let them peel them. Delivered in the shell! There is a very long way to go! I always travel with food, just in case. I dehydrate things ahead of time. I just found dehydrated shrimp at the Asian market and dehydrate purple yam. You never know when you might need it.

  3. I strongly believe she should sue! It’s time we were heard! If this bs is about health then it should be about EVERYONE’S health. I bet if she had said she was a diabetic something would have been done. I also have hypoglycaemia as well as Celiac and Crohns. I would have ended up in the hospital and your darn sure you would have heard my Family and Friwnds voices screaming.

  4. GF food also unavailable in Hospital ER depts. And when requested if admitted to a unit, you’d think one was asking for gold!

    1. true, so true. kid stabs me in leg because i tried to pass them in the hall to get to class (they were trying to force kids to give them 10 bucks to let us pass) and i’m i the ER for 32 hours before the docs give up and let my mom bring me food. then we found out that the newfangled pain killer used is gluten.


  5. It’s situations like this that scare me. When I’m in control I know I’ll avoid being glutened with a high level of certainty because I am very strict and cautious… but having to rely on other people… that’s scary

  6. thats oof. i cant go 40 minuts without being hungry (uselly just an apple or banana if not at meal.) much left 40 hours

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