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Thursday, June 20, 2024
After The Pandemic: A visit to son in China

Now that more and more people are getting vaccinated and there is finally a clear pathway out of this pandemic, we will periodically check in with different Niagara-on-the-Lake residents to see how COVID-19 has affected their lives – and what their hopes and dreams are for when things return to normal.


When the pandemic hit, Noel Folkard and his wife Pamela, who live in Old Town, were forced to cancel a planned journey to Suzhou, China.

It’s a trip they take every year to see their son, Justin, who’s been living and working there as a teacher for the past six years.

“We were going to go last October and because of COVID we couldn’t leave the country and they weren’t allowing visitors in China at the time,” says Noel.

Even though it’s now been two and half years since the Folkards visited their son, they still chat regularly. “We talk on a video call system,” says Noel. “We stay in touch that way, but it’s kind of nice to go and visit and be there and do stuff.”

The Folkards have four other children. Three of them live in Ontario, but they also have a daughter, Amy, in Boston whom they haven't seen in two years.

“Hopefully, they’re coming here for Father’s Day in June,” says Noel, noting that not being able to see his children and grandchildren has been the hardest part of the pandemic.

In the meantime, he has been keeping busy around the house: “We have been renovating and basically staying sequestered, which is not tough to do with the town right here and we can go for walks along the lake.”

Noel says they hope to go to Suzhou soon to visit their son: “We now have booked ourselves for this October, so the hope is we can go.”


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