COVID-19: concerns here for families distant

COVID-19: inquiétudes d’ici pour des familles lointaines

Confined as the majority of Quebecers, the high-level athletes maintain the shape and… worry. For some of them, of various origins, it is with an ocean separating them from their loved ones as they live their fears related to pandemic COVID-19.

“This is pretty serious situation and I am worried for my family, for my friends and especially to my grandparents in England and Quebec. Them, they are really in the age category at highest risk. I know that they are doing their best in isolation, but it’s scary a little bit, ” says William Paulson, gold medalist in the race of 1500 m national Championships of athletics held in Montreal in 2019.

Europe, the most affected

This rider to wide-ranging in the scope of concern for the damn virus. Born in Oxford, England, where his parents, his brother and his two sisters live, Paulson also holds canadian citizenship by reason of the origin of his mom – Joanne Cossette – a native of Quebec. His thoughts are therefore also to his grandparents and cousins here. As a bonus, he lives and trains full time in Eugene, Oregon, an american State on the west coast that does not escape the rules of containment.

In the United States, as we know, the epidemic is dark in the alarming statistics, especially in the State of New York. Despite its magnitude, their situation did not succeed in diverting our attention from the catastrophe that ice Europe, although the continent mourns with more than 77 000 deaths.

“It’s a little concerned when the whole family lives in a country that is more affected. But for the moment, no person has been infected, I am very happy, ” said the judoka Arthur Margelidon, to which the crisis in France has put into perspective his disappointment to wait in 2021 to celebrate its first participation to the olympic Games.

“The postponement of the Games impacted me a lot, which is normal because it reacts under the leadership. But after the fact, when you look at what is happening now, we understand that the health of all the world is a lot more important than the olympic Games, and this, regardless of the sport that we practice, ” notes the Montreal seventh in the world rankings in the category of – 73 kilos.


One day, athletes will find their training routine. Meanwhile, some cling to the slightest clue, including William Paulson. During his training trips to Eugene, he sees the stadium Hayward Field University of Oregon, where the world athletics championships, originally scheduled in August 2021, had to be postponed to the following year due to the postponement of the Tokyo olympic Games.

“The construction of the new stadium continues. There are hundreds of workers who go there day and night, as if nothing has changed. Most of the shops are closed and there are fewer people in the city, but they will still walk their dogs and do the activity. It seems that there are more people who wish to get out of their homes, ” he said.

The lower horizon, as far away as 2022, creates bursts of hope.

Maximilien Van Haaster


The Netherlands

  • Number of cases : 25 587
  • Death : 2737

Born in Montreal to a father of native of the netherlands and a mother from Hong Kong. He has no family in China, but his father has an aunt and some cousins living in the countryside, in the netherlands.

“I don’t have contact with them […] It is a crisis that affects everyone. I don’t see it differently because I have different origins. “

William Paulson


United Kingdom

  • Number of cases : 84 279
  • Death : 10 612

A native of Oxford in England. Has the british citizenship, and the canadian, due to his québécoise mother, Joanne Cossette.

“My parents and my brother Gabriel were isolated at home. My brother has probably contracted the virus, even if it has not undergone testing. He has had symptoms, my father also. Without a doubt, my parents have had it, but fortunately, it does not seem to have been too serious. After two weeks in quarantine, there is only my brother who comes out of the house, and only to go shopping. “

Arthur Margelidon



  • Case number : 95 403
  • Death : 14 393

Born in Montreal to parents who had emigrated from France. The majority of the members of the family live in the paris region, other, in Provence.

“It’s a little concerned when the family lives in a country more affected […] We exchange through social networks and my parents and talk to them about often. Recently, I spoke with my brother who is in France and who has a son. He told me that everything was going well, despite the fact that they have the means to still more limited than we. The rules are much more strict. “

Joseph Polossifakis



  • Case number : 2114
  • Deaths : 98

Born in Montreal to parents of Greek origin from Sparta and the island of Crete. His grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins live in Greece.

“There is another crisis out there, that of refugees who have left Turkey and are blocked at the border. This issue broke out just before one of the coronavirus, and when you mix both of these situations, it is a big concern. The entry of refugees was already difficult to contain, now there is a pandemic. It is for this reason that very important steps have been taken. “

Cynthia Mascitto

Speed skating in short track


  • Number of cases : 156 363
  • Death : 19 901

A native of Laval, she is a member of the Italy team, based in Courmayeur, close to the French border. She has participated in the olympic Games in 2018.

“My teammates all live in the north, like Milan and Bormio. […] Everyone needs to stay locked up at home, but there were still people who rode. In Bolzano, it had become ridiculous, so the police had to distribute more than 100 fines in a single day. There is a vehicle that goes twice a day in the streets to remind people : “stay at home” “.

Aleksa Gardijan

Water polo


  • Case number : 3630
  • Death : 80

Born in Quebec, a year after the arrival of his parents in 1996. The grandparents and the family paternal and maternal are all living in Belgrade and in the north of the country.

“Like here, people can not get out only if it is necessary. They follow the rules and are almost always confined to the house. […] The virus affects mainly older people, so it is difficult to be so far away if something were to happen to them. “

Ecaterina Guica



  • Case number : 6300
  • Death : 306

Born in Romania and arrived in Quebec at the age of 1 year. She has participated in the olympic Games in Rio. His grandparents, paternal and maternal, live in Bucharest.

“We call them more often to get some news. We are lucky, no one has been sick. […] As here, schools, shops and restaurants are closed. People are confined to the house. It’s hotter than here, which makes it more difficult for them the obligation to stay inside. “

Shady El Nahas



  • Case number : 2065
  • Deaths : 159

A native of Alexandria, he lives in Montreal. Born to an egyptian father and a mother of austrian immigrants in Toronto. 7th world in the -100 kg, he is qualified for the olympic Games in Tokyo. His grandparents and his family live in Cairo.

“I often speak with my family in Egypt and all the world takes its precautions. Everyone stays at the house […] The country is now more severe (the first African state to have confirmed one death). People can come only between 6 h and 18 h, this is everything. If they come out outside of these hours, they can have consequences. “

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