The pandemic resulting of the COVID-19 has forced many people to reconsider or change their plan to face another reality.
Arriving from Lima, on February 18, former Rigaud resident Dania Habib and husband José Juan (J.J.) Ciccia, now living in Peru, were planning to visit family and friends for about a month but the circumstances forced them to make a series of adjustments, two months before the birth of their first child due in May.
“COVID-19 was just starting to make the headlines and we were sure to be able to leave on March 18, as scheduled, but our plans fell through when J.J. returned to Montreal from a short visit to Spain on March 10”, explained Habib.
The red flag was already raised and once confinement, cancellation of international flights as well as closure of the borders in Peru were announced by President Martin Vizcarra, the parents-to-be had no other choice than opting for plan B.
“It was impossible for us to leave earlier, and we didn’t want to take a chance of not being able to enter the country and in my condition, being seven months pregnant, it would have been a nightmare”, she added.
Giving birth in Quebec was the obvious option and the couple moved in with Dania’s parents in Rigaud. But beforehand, the mother-to-be had to undertake the necessary steps with the RAMQ, find a hospital and an obstetrician for the last stretch of her pregnancy follow-up and the delivery of the baby. Meanwhile, Dania’s network of friends has been gathering all necessary items – crib, stroller, clothes, etc. – for the newborn.
“Everything was almost ready in our house in Lima and I wanted to buy, here in Quebec, the stroller and a number of other accessories not available or too expensive in Peru”, she said. “The way we see it, we will not be returning to Peru before the country reopens its borders, and with a newborn, it will take months before we could be authorized to travel.”
If the parents-to-be are adjusting to their new reality, the sad part is that J.J.’s 12 year-old daughter, Micaela, in confinement in Peru with her mother, will not be able to meet with her new baby sister right away.
“Thank God for Facetime, which will allow Micaela to follow the baby’s development during the first weeks and the first months, which would have probably been the case if we would have made it back to Lima”, pointed out Dania.
They are also taking care of administrative procedures for the baby to obtain her Canadian citizenship and passport before the whole family returns to Peru.