Rhoda Akuol Philip, participant in the 2020 Shoe Project, Toronto

COVID Across Canada: Short Takes

April 14, 2020

We’re starting a series of short pieces on how you are doing. Read Toronto TSP writer Rhoda Philips on how it has changed her life as an immigrant.

 

Corona Virus Has Given My Loneliness A Whole New Meaning

Being a new immigrant to Canada, I was already lonely. I miss my parents and my siblings every day. However, going to school and work gave me a sense of community. In fact, the upcoming spring and summer, I was planning to explore my new city, Toronto, meet new people and grow my social network. Then corona virus happened. All of a sudden my plans have been reduced to my one bedroom apartment in North York.

In the first week, it was fun. There was no more commuting. I could make myself lemon ginger tea and attend my classes virtually or work remotely in my pyjamas. In the second week, days began to be long. I became homesick. I would call my mother and sister and her kids back home in Juba, South Sudan more often. They are scared too about Covid-19. They have more public health and economic concerns than we do here, and that stresses me too. On top of that I realized this was eating into my student savings. Now, I am turning to social media as a way to build a new community while hoping this situation resolves soon.