N.S. exploring concept of 'bubble' families, but unsure if idea will roll out in the province
'Double bubbles,' in which members of two households are allowed to come into close contact, are popping up in some provinces that have started to relax physical distancing measures. (Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels)
HALIFAX -- The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia may be decreasing, but the province’s top doctor isn’t ready to start lifting more restrictions at this time.
For nearly three weeks, New Brunswick has allowed residents to interact or “bubble” with another household.
For Pierre Nadeau, it has made a world of difference for his four-year-old son, Nathaniel, who would cry when his grandparents came to the window of their home.
"He was very emotional because he can't hug them or touch them,” said Nadeau, who lives in Moncton, N.B.
Once the family was able to bubble with their in-laws, his son’s mood changed.
"He's really happy now. He sees my parents and yeah, everything's good,” said Nadeau.
New Brunswick is already working to reopen its economy but it’s a different story in Nova Scotia, where a plan is still in the works.
The province has been under a state-of-emergency since March 17, and many people would like to see some restrictions loosened.
"I think that the government should look at instituting bubbles for single-family households,” said Nova Scotia resident Charlene Harrison.
The government recently reopened parks and is allowing recreational fishing, but many are hoping the province will move to the bubble model being used elsewhere in Canada.
Harrison believes a bubble would be good for mental health, especially for those who live alone.
"I do think they’re missing an important group of people, which is single-individual households,” she said.
"When the government lifts restriction like golf courses, fishing and all those sorts of things, that's all good and well when you have someone to share those things with, but as an individual, to go for a walk on a trail by yourself is not fun."
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang says he’s exploring the bubble concept, but admits it’s complex and comes with its fair share of challenges.
"There's still many challenges to that because you're still limiting between making families make a choice,” he said during a news conference in Halifax Wednesday afternoon.
“Potentially, they can visit one set of relatives, but they can't visit another set of relatives, or maybe they have to choose between grandparents or grandchildren."
At this time, there is no date for when Nova Scotia can expect to see a formal plan which details how the economy will reopen.