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But COVID-19 was not far behind them.
“We were fully expecting to come home and pick up where we’d left off,” Mauro said. “When I look back, I think, ‘How naive was that? How could we not have thought it would come here?’”
The reprieve was, indeed, fleeting. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic and Quebec went into lockdown. By this week, the virus had infected nearly 38 million people worldwide.
Initially, the couple was scared and stayed close to home. Doyle, who loves to shop for specials, limited grocery shopping to one weekly outing at a single store. Mauro baked, tested new recipes and cleaned the house “like a fiend.”
As the weather grew milder, they met for 5-à-7s in the backyards of friends who were as careful as they were about masks and social distancing or at restaurant terrasses — never indoors.