Niagara senior needs place to isolate after return from Mexico

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Darlene Abbs
Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey said his office staff are working to identify gaps in programs that are having an impact on people like Abbs. - Torstar file photo

Darlene Abbs is eager to return home to Niagara, after four months in Mexico.

But despite having a fight scheduled for Friday evening, the 65-year-old woman has nowhere to go.

"I haven't been sick at all, but I'm making myself sick with worry now because I have no idea what's going to happen," she said.

Abbs, like all Canadians returning to the country, is required to self-isolate for 14 days. The problem for Abbs, however, is she can't stay in the busy Welland home she shares with her son, his fiancée and their five children.

Her family also can't afford to spend a $100 or more per day for a hotel room, until her two-week quarantine is completed.

"I have no idea what happens to me when I get there," she said. "I don't know who to contact. I have no idea."

Abbs said she arrived in Mexico on Jan. 20 for a vacation with plans to return in mid-March, but by then all flights were cancelled as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread into Canada.

She said a subsequent flight on April 13 was cancelled, too.

"I'm now due to come home on April 24, if I make it there," she said. "I'm hoping to make it home."

Abbs said she feels safe in the small community where she's been staying, in the state of Puebla.