Lovers date on opposite sides of the Canada-US border

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Nowadays, romance for Jan Collins and Graham H. Robins is a bit like a Johnny Cash song: they follow the line.

In this case, the line is the Canada-US border guarding 71-year-old Collins – who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. – apart from her boyfriend, Robins – who lives on Samish Lake, Wash.

The border has been closed to non-essential travel for more than a month and anyone crossing the border must quarantine for 14 days.

“You can’t even hug,” said Collins. “It’s so frustrating, especially at our age. You go that far in life and you can’t even have a relationship with your significant other. “

Jan Collins said that she and her boyfriend, Graham H. Robins, joked about meeting across the border, but it wasn’t until they saw people doing it to true that they decided to try it for themselves. (Jan Collins)

But both found a way to meet on Sunday for an appointment, physically outdistanced by Zero Avenue, the road that runs along the border.

They grabbed chairs, parked their cars on both sides of the border, and were able to speak and be together for the first time in weeks.

They weren’t alone either. Appreciating each other’s company, they saw that other families left behind by the pandemic had the same idea.

So close, but so far: Jan Collins in the foreground, and Graham H. Robins on their date separated by the now closed Canada-United States border. (Jan Collins)

Outside the weeks

Collins and Robins were together for the last time in early March. They had just spent almost three months in Mexico, where they own a house.

Robins returned to Samish Lake and Collins returned to Abbotsford and secluded for the required 14 days.

Meanwhile, the border was closed. Their normal routine of frequent visits with each other was over

“When it comes to weekends, I don’t know what day it is because there are no plans to see it,” said Robins.

Jan Collins, left, and Graham H. Robins were in Mexico shortly before the border closed. (Graham H. Robins)

They had joked about meeting at the border, said Robins, but decided to go after Collins saw people try it while she was driving to White Rock.

“It’s like being on the phone, but you are in person,” said Robins, when he saw families talking to each other for the first time. ” It was interesting. Quite different from normal. “

“It’s just going to run its course”

Collins said it was hard to think about how the pandemic had taken their freedom from being together when they wanted to.

Robins says he is following the news about COVID-19 closely and is optimistic that signs of progress in stopping the spread of the disease may put them back together sooner rather than later.

“If I thought crying or going crazy could stop it, I would do it.” But it’s not okay, ”he said.

“It’s just going to run its course. “

Until then, they plan to continue meeting just across the line.


If you have a COVID-19 related story that we should pursue that affects the British Colombians, please email us at [email protected].

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