Calgary band Riot City returns from Europe to coronavirus self-isolation

Calgary band members separated from family, quarantined in Black Diamond, Alta. home

Riot City Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (Photo by Bree Tresoor/For LIVEWIRE CALGARY)

Calgary metal band Riot City will spend two weeks in quarantine after their European tour was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Riot City’s 21-day tour started in Newcastle, England on Feb. 27, and was set to wrap in Greece on March 16. It instead ended with the band members making an emergency detour to Paris to await their scheduled flights back to Canada.

“We were supposed to be in Athens, but we flew to Paris instead, in case Greece shut their borders,” said lead guitarist Cale Savy.

“I wasn’t worried. I understood I had zero control over anything.”

After spending six days in moderate isolation while awaiting their flights home, Savy, drummer Chad Vallier and lead singer Jordan Jacobs chose to quarantine themselves for 12 days in Jacob’s Black Diamond, Alta. home, while his wife and two daughters stay with family.

Recently, Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson enacted a mandatory 14-day self-isolation for returning international travelers as a part of the city’s state of local emergency.

“It’s a bit of a bummer to go through all that to get home and not get to see your wife and kids,” said Jacobs.

“My one-year-old is too young to care, but my eldest turns five later this month, so she’ll be upset that I won’t be there for her birthday,” he said.

Valier has two young step-children, and is also feeling the weight of being separated from his family.

“We haven’t seen anyone, which sucks. After outrunning border closures for a week, it’s hard not to be able to go home,” said Vallier.

“Not being able to help out at home when everything is falling apart in the world is what’s been the hardest part of all of this for me,” he said.

Recommendations were unclear when they returned

Valier said they were given conflicting recommendations on whether they should quarantine themselves from their families. The province and City of Calgary have said recently there is an effort to streamline and coordinate information provided to Canada Border Services Agency for recent arrivals.

“The airport told us to self-isolate, 811 told us we’re low risk and to go about our day. So, it’s confusing,” said Vallier.

Vallier, Jacobs and Savy chose to follow the airport’s recommendation in order minimize the chance of spreading the virus to their families.

“Health Canada said we didn’t need to self-isolate, but we’re not idiots,” said Savy.

Although most of the band members were experiencing symptoms like fatigue and sore throat, Jacobs was the only member who qualified to be tested for Coronavirus.

“They asked me if I had muscle aches, but I’d done 21 shows in twelve days. So, yeah, I’m sore,” said Vallier.

Vallier said that because the rest of the band members smoke regularly, their symptoms were to be expected.

Jacobs is scheduled to be tested for the virus later this week.

At present time, like many musicians, Riot City has cancelled all future performances and tours.

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