I returned to Canada near the beginning of the pandemic living in Berlin. While pandemic controls were already quite tight in Europe (Paris was basically locked down by the time we left the EU), I was very surprised at how easy it was to land in Montreal. We were told to go home, and self-isolate for 14 days. There was no testing done at all (in Montreal or when we flew out in Frankfurt—we had never done a COVID test at that point) even though by our departure the pandemic had taking hold into the muscle fibers of Europe—Berlin, where we lived; Paris, where I did a lot of work. The Canadian government was all over social media and our inboxes saying it’s time to come home or be ready to shelter in place for potentially a long time.

Back in Canada in our self-quarantine (which we fully observed but easily could have done whatever we wanted—there were no check-ins at all on us) I remember seeing a lot of political pundits on TV opining that while it was great that the land border was being closed, the relatively open international skies were probably putting us behind some kind of COVID 8 ball.