iN VIDEO: B.C. woman home from Spain calls out Canadians for lack of concern around COVID-19 - InfoNews

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iN VIDEO: B.C. woman home from Spain calls out Canadians for lack of concern around COVID-19

Claire Patterson has recently returned to Vancouver after COVID-19 hit the town where she was living in Spain.
Image Credit: INSTAGRAM / Claire Patterson
March 18, 2020 - 5:05 PM

A Canadian woman living and teaching English in Spain returned to Vancouver recently and was disturbed by the lack of concern some people have about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Claire Patterson shared her thoughts on Instagram in a video that has more than 135,000 views.

She said at first, there seemed to be no concern about the coronavirus in the small town in Spain were she was teaching English.

“At the end of the school day they announced that there were five cases of coronavirus in the town, which is eight kilometres big,” Patterson says in the video. “It was already obvious that the kids were so sick. I don’t know if it was the virus, but I vividly remember a 12-year-old coughing so much that tears were streaming down her face.”

Patterson continued to teach classes for two more days, and heard on the news that schools would be closed. She said there were unconfirmed rumours of deaths in Spain and she went to bed concerned.

She had planned to spend time with friends in Amsterdam while the schools in Spain were closed but after hearing about possible border closures and a ban on European flights to the U.S. she quickly booked a ticket home.

“I packed as fast as I could, everything I owned and didn't goodbye to anyone who has supported me from moving thee. I drove to Barcelona that night, by the time I got to Barcelona they had shut the roads in the town, police quarantined it.”

Now that she has returned to Vancouver, she is upset by the lack of action taken by residents. She compared Canada’s current lack of concern to what she saw in the Spanish town where she was teaching.

“People in Vancouver can't even resist going to a party. No one understands whats happening. We have the choice now to make a difference, to self isolate if you've been in an airport, to social distance, to work from home. We have a choice to flatten the curve… It’s not a joke. Start making choices to protect the people that you love around you.”


This is a personal video attached to the core message that it is your individual civic duty to practice social distancing, isolation and quarantine measures now. The point of the video was to show that less than a week ago the lack of concern present in Canada was the same as Spain. We are in a unique position as a country of not having a high amount of cases at the moment and to keep it that way, we have to be preventative. It's not an overreaction it's simply science. It was my hope that sharing this video would forge an emotional connection between why you should be preventative now, with a hope that this was the connection missing from stats and news coverage that would wake people up to the severity of the issue. No, I do not think the world is ending. No, I am not being alarmist. No, I am not asking for attention. I'm asking that everyone check their privilege (including myself) and work together to flatten the curve. The sadness in this video is not about my situation but out of concern for my loved ones in Spain. I am extremely thankful for the support I had from friends and my homestay family in Catalonia. ??

A post shared by Claire Patterson (@claire_patty) on


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