Coronavirus: 'Not easy' living with Covid-19 and Canada PM Justin Trudeau, says wife

Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie arrive to celebrates his election victory in October 2019.
Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie arrive to celebrates his election victory in October 2019.PHOTO: AFP

MONTREAL (AFP) - Being sick with Covid-19 and living under the same roof as the prime minister of Canada and their three young children was "not easy", the wife of Justin Trudeau, who contracted the disease in March, said on Tuesday (May 5).

"My husband worked from 7am to 9pm in his office, then I was the one with the children, so I had to be extremely careful," Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau told public broadcaster Radio-Canada.

"I was alone with the children, I had to distance myself, I had gloves, a mask and everything, but it was not easy," she said.

Trudeau and his family self-isolated for weeks at Rideau Cottage - the prime minister's official residence in Ottawa - after his wife was diagnosed with coronavirus upon her return from a speaking engagement in London.

The disease "struck hard for more than a week," said Gregoire-Trudeau, describing how she had "lost the sense of smell and taste" and had to deal with "headaches, body aches everywhere, indigestion, nausea."

She let out a laugh when asked if she was afraid of contaminating the prime minister of a Group of 7 country, but quickly added: "I laugh but it is not funny. I think that in all families, we try to cope, then there's the social distancing."

"But after that, I got back on my feet. And then the children, I think they use up a lot of our energy," she said.

Officially virus-free since March 28, she says she has recovered her sense of smell and taste, but finds that "it's not like it was before."

She has since moved with their children, aged six to 12, into the prime minister's summer residence at Harrington Lake in Quebec.

She hailed health care workers on the front line as "heroes."

"Let us be clear, these people demonstrate courage, perseverance, I would even say a vision of a society," said Gregoire-Trudeau, whose mother was a nurse.