Updates from March, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 17:44 on 2020-03-11 Permalink | Reply  

    The World Figure Skating Championships which were to be held here next week have been cancelled as an eighth case of COVID-19 is diagnosed in Quebec and some workers at Notre‑Dame Hospital are ordered into preventive quarantine.

    There really is only one news story just now.

    Update just before 8 pm: now we have a ninth case.

    • Hamza 20:31 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

      I haven’t heard anything about the Habs playing to an empty Bell Centre and FTR I was at Lucien L’Allier last night and there were hundreds if not thousands of ppl emptying out of the arena.

    • dmdiem 00:36 on 2020-03-12 Permalink

      There’s a lot of good information in this clip from Michael Osterholm in a recent Joe Rogan podcast.


  • Kate 08:00 on 2020-03-11 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse has some budget notes from a Montreal perspective: money for the stadium roof (one of those perennial items), extra money for the REM but no money to enlarge the Palais des congrès, also a project that’s been mentioned for years and not acted on.

    Given the coronavirus, it’s probably good sense not to make big plans this year to enlarge a building dedicated to international gatherings, but that may simply be a coincidence.

    • Kate 07:41 on 2020-03-11 Permalink | Reply  

      There are now seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Quebec.

      CTV asks whether the St Patrick’s parade will be cancelled. The parade is on its 197th installment, but I wonder whether in all that time it was ever unofficially paused for influenza or smallpox epidemics, or war. For most of its existence it wasn’t the goofy extravaganza it is now: my mother told me how her father would put on his best clothes and simply walk with the other men from St Gabriel’s, and men from other Irish Catholic parishes would also walk. There might have been banners to identify parish groups, Knights of Columbus or Ancient Order of Hibernians groups, but there weren’t floats and media or commercial entities. I don’t think there was even a marching band, although I might look that up.

      (Note to CTV: It’s not a “right of spring” sweeties, it’s a “rite of spring”.)

      Ste-Justine has asked its workers not to travel abroad. A private high school has suspended classes while a student is tested.

      Jonathan Montpetit’s analysis of the CAQ budget suggests they handwaved the potential impact of the virus on the economy. Justin Trudeau is set to announce mitigations for the impact later Wednesday.

      • Michael Black 09:36 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

        It gets worse.

        April 14th was the date I found for Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day, but now their website is saying it’s being postponed, no date given.

        Since some locations have had to postpone, they’ve decided all will postpone.

      • Blork 11:03 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

        Unfortunately I can’t find the source now, but last night I was reading somewhere about two US cities during the Spanish Flu, and how one cancelled a parade (I don’t remember which parade) and the other city didn’t. The city that did not cancel the parade had double (maybe triple) the per-capita death rate from the flu as the city that did cancel the parade.

        COVID-19 is no Spanish Flu, but the whole point of these social distancing measures is to flatten the exponential rate of infection, and it absolutely works.

      • Kate 12:30 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

        I saw the same item, Blork.

      • Em 12:33 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

        There was a CBC article in which some experts suggested that while some events should be cancelled, outdoor ones are lower risk since the virus spreads less easily, especially in Montreal since more people are still wearing gloves. Here it is:


      • Kate 12:38 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

        Well, the WHO just announced pandemic. Might change the experts’ tune.

      • Ian 12:43 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

        Those US cities were Philadelphia and St Louis – St Louis acted only weeks faster. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/rapid-response-was-crucial-containing-1918-flu-pandemic

        Interesting that we still call it the Spanish Flu when it is know widely believed that it originated in the US (Camp Upton, NY), with cases known as early as 1916, and spread throughout Europe via Étaples, France, an important troop staging and hospital camp.

      • Blork 13:12 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

        Thanks Ian, I think that’s the same article I saw.

        @Em, under normal circumstances that might be true (lower risk of outdoor activities in the cold) but I’m not sure it applies to St-Patrick’s day with all that boozy snogging plus the requisite Guinnesses (Guinnessi?) quaffed in pubs before and after the parade.

      • Ian 13:40 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

        I will be very, very surprised if the pubs are any less full – unless the campuses close down before then.

      • Kate 08:13 on 2020-03-12 Permalink

        Someone tweeted that the parade was cancelled in 1918, officially, but the stubborn Irish came out and marched anyway. I don’t have a link.

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