Baby Jeremiah was born in a turbulent time. At a little over three months old, the child is being raised in the Creston Valley amid a pandemic.
“It was crazy, a lot of precautions were taken in the hospital, and my husband and mother almost couldn’t be there for the birth because of all the stipulations,” Jeremiah’s mother, Allie Rasmussen said.
But it wasn’t just Jeremiah’s father and grandmother who missed out on his birth. He has yet to meet his grandparents who live an hour away in the city of Sandpoint, Idaho.
Rasmussen is one of many Canadians who is married to an American. She is also one of the many who are separated from family, due to COVID-19 which forced the closure of the border in March.
“I never thought the border would be an issue when we got married, or at least to this extent. I never thought we wouldn’t be allowed to see our family. It’s been heartbreaking. To see my son grow and change and not be able to share that with them is pretty devastating.”
Creston is one of the few communities in B.C. that is close to the U.S. border, and the only town very near the state of Idaho. According to the 2016 census, an estimated 240 people in Creston claimed “American” as their ethnicity.
Canadians returning from the U.S. are allowed into the country but must self-isolate for two weeks.
The border is set to be reopened for leisure travel on July 21; however, the closure could be extended if COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the U.S.
Until then, the Rasmussen family will continue to count the days until little Jeremiah’s grandparents can hug him for the first time.