Updates from March, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:50 on 2020-03-25 Permalink | Reply  

    Organized crime is pausing its activities around Montreal, according to La Presse’s Daniel Renaud, who notes that cocaine is getting more expensive because nobody is moving it.

    Recycling firms are asking the public not to put used tissues, masks, gloves and so forth into the recycling (or compost) but straight into the garbage.

    The NHL draft was supposed to take place in June at the Bell Centre, but it has been postponed.

    • Kevin 22:42 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      That’s weird. The city of Montreal specifically says you can compost used tissues. https://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=7418,142596054&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

    • Michael Black 23:42 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      I don’t think tissues were ever supposed to go in recycling.

      But this sounds like fear of germs, like fear of handling money, so the compost is an add on. And chanveof rules by the companies that collect it, rather than a decision further up the chain.

    • Blork 10:33 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

      @Kevin, not weird. That page you link to is their general pre-Covid19 page. The current request is due to those tissues now being laden with coronaviruses, and the people handling the compost are understandably worried about that.

    • Kevin 11:04 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

      Sorry, I wasn’t clear.
      The weirdness was this line from the article directly contradicting the usual policy: <>

      I’m thinking someone overreached and didn’t verify.

    • Blork 11:17 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

      Oh right. I assume you mean this line: Même en temps normal, celles-ci ne devraient pas être jetées au recyclage ni au bac à compost.

      I assume that’s the writer’s mistake.

    • Kevin 12:39 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

      Yeah, that’s the line. I put it in, but it didn’t appear inside the brackets

  • Kate 17:28 on 2020-03-25 Permalink | Reply  

    Went outside for a walk in my Villeray neighbourhood, and to do a couple of brief but necessary errands. Lots of people were out cycling, running, walking dogs. In the street I wouldn’t have noticed much difference, although maybe more working-age adults were around than usual before 5 on a weekday.

    I hope most of the little groups I saw were family or otherwise cohabiting groups, and not socializing. I saw a lot of baby carriages and a lot of young kids on small bicycles, but I guess families need to let their kids exercise a bit, even if it means possibly crossing paths with a kid’s friends and having them get too close.

    At Jean-Coutu I had to not only sanitize my hands on the way in, but also answer some questions about whether I’d been travelling or had experienced any symptoms. There was plexiglas in front of the cash registers, but they were accepting cash payments.

    At the butcher shop there was also hand sanitizer and a sign on the door limiting the number of people inside. Once inside, there wasn’t much policing going on, and no barriers. It was nice to say hi to the guys who are always there, and they said they hoped to stay open.

    The florist at the corner was emptied of the plants that used to be in the window, and a sign on the door just said “Fermé. Merci.”

    I saw one very old man shuffling along Jarry with a cane and was like OMG, but what can you do? You can’t force people to stay home just because of their age. Maybe he’s made a risk-benefit assessment and knows that a little exercise does him more good than staying inside. He’s safer than the ones living in old folks’ homes, for sure.

    One of the neighbourhood fruiteries has closed up, but my usual place was open, with hand sanitizer inside the front door. A spaced-out woman was following the owner around, talking to him in a vague and druggy sort of way, and he was too polite to ask her to back off. I picked up the things I wanted and vamoosed.

    La Presse has a brief video of a largely empty city. Not what I saw this afternoon.

    • Ephraim 17:37 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      Dystopian… sort of like what I think Winston Smith might see on a walk

    • vasi 18:23 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      Oh, which fruiterie do you go to? When my partner went to Tsikinis last week, it was super crowded and people weren’t keeping a distance.

    • Tim S. 18:33 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      I don’t know that I would say dystopian, I’m actually kind of encouraged by all the people doing something as low-key as taking a walk. The streets are busyish in my neighbourhood (eastern NDG/ western Westmount) but people are very careful to stand a distance a way when they meet friends. I was commenting to my wife that Canadians are well-suited for this crisis, it’s now a virtue to actively avoid the strangers around you.
      I’m also amused to notice all the people walking in the middle of the street, who are more scared of the other pedestrians than of the few cars that are about.

    • Kate 18:39 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      vasi, the fruiterie closest to me is Lina, on Guizot, and it’s a good one. But it’s the nature of fruiteries to be small and crowded. Tsikinis is like that, as are Fruiterie Forcier, Lina and Fruiterie du Parc (the most recent one in this neighbourhood, which seems to have shut for the moment). They’re all crammed with products and with minimal space for clients to move around. If you have 3 people shopping at the same time, they’re all squeezing past each other or dancing around to make room.

    • Mark Côté 18:51 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      I was just out for a run (keeping a good distance from others) and I would say the majority of people i saw on the sidewalks (and streets) were also out running. So anecdotally it does seem like people are outside mainly for exercise.

    • Anon1984 20:09 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      People should absolutely be more scared of other pedestrians..if not for yourself or your loved ones, for every vulnerable member of our society. Sorry that this has become a meaningless cliche at this point. I have a small business in NDG and have never been happier to hear Legault force me to close (at total risk of never again operating after over 20 years, with zero accumulated wealth, have always been content to just be able to work/live doing something I love). Why people refuse to drast change their behavior, even with the heartbreaking world news and very real support from our Federal/Provincial gov’ts makes me lose my sanity..how hard is it to stay home for 21 days unless you need food/medicine..

    • Kate 21:35 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      Anon1984, thanks for your thoughts. I am sorry you’re at risk of losing your business.

      I’m running into conflicting ideas about whether simply going outside for a walk is risky. I didn’t walk a long way today, but going out for an hour’s walk did me good, both physically and mentally, after staying strictly inside for three days. Are you of the opinion people should not be out at all?

    • Michael Black 00:32 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

      If walking was bad, they’d have put limits on it already.

      Even if someone passes close, it’s minimal danger. It’s over in an instant. Go to a store, and you’re inside with endless surfaces that you have to touch, and waiting in line,or waiting for someone to move on so you can reach that item. You’ll be in c!oser contact with more people than you’ll pass outside. And the longer you wait in line, the itchier your nose gets, and the more likely the virus gets passed.

      Everything is risky, at any time. But there’s no way to eliminate all the risk. If I stay home, it means someone else has to be out there. “I’ll order from amazon” but someone has to deliver it, and someone has to pack it.

      The government has decided that we can go to some stores, and go outside. Density is low, so going to unneeded places (especially full of people) is going to limit things travel of the virus. It may be different later. You can cut out the easy stuff, and any more will have diminishing returns.

      This virus is easy to pass, and no cure or protection yet. But look at the figures. People are recovering, and few have died yet. The virus in itself isn’t particularly dangerous, but for some people other issues kick in. And if too.many need hospitalization at the same time, the resources aren’t there. That’s the danger.

      So there’s a balance between making it easy to pass the virus, and making it so hard that people ignore the rules, or suffer because of the rules. Going to a concert makes it easy for the virus to spread, locking people inside could mean starvation or mental breakdown.

      Walking is better than going on the bus, and not everyone has a car to bubble themselves in when going to the store.

      It’s a bit over a year since I’ve been out much. Sometime in March last year to the beginning of Dec, about 9 months inside. And in the past four months, short trips to the grocery store, and a few to the library. It took a long time to get back to.walking, indeed not being able to walk was far worse than being close to death at the end of March last year. That’s as important or more important to my health as the pills and chemotherapy. I had no choice about being in last year, now it’s really hard that there’s nowhere to go. I don’t know whether it’s easier or harder for me, but I hope it never gets to the point where people are mostly made to stay inside. It’s asking too much.

    • Anon1984 01:59 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

      Thank you Kate, we’re all in the same situation and hopefully we all pull through together. And thank you for this website. Walking wouldn’t be a problem if everyone was social distancing which is not what I have been seeing. I don’t drive (so not in a bubble) and I have been walking to and from work until yesterday, taking side streets where there were not many people so could easily keep the 2 meter distance. (Especially when it’s pouring rain). What makes me so worried and really anxious is I was seeing far far too many people on the main commercial road not complying. I do understand that everyone, especially families with children, need fresh air and exercise for mental/physical health.

    • Kate 10:44 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

      Michael Black, they’ve definitely put limits on walking in Europe. You can’t be out meandering around in France, Italy or Spain right now. Police can stop you and verify that you have legitimate cause to be outside – an essential job, medical needs, things like that. You’re not meant to stray more than 1 km from home in Paris – there’s even a website for working out where your perimeters are.

    • Alex L 15:57 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

      At my Provigo, there was a hand washing station at the entrance with a security guard, everyone had to wait in line to wash their hands before entering. The cashier sanitized the counter between each client. It’s nice to see they are taking this seriously.

    • vasi 18:56 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

      Kate: Yup, definitely not blaming the fruiteries for anything, nobody knew anything like this would be happening. But right now we’re telling folks with symptoms or who travelled to self-isolate, without any good grocery options for them.

      Quebec’s trying to expand food banks, which is good. And if we’re lucky, some grocery stores and fruiteries will move to a delivery model. Hopefully that will all help.

      Apparently in Singapore anybody who tests positive can go live in a special quarantine hotel for two weeks, where food is placed outside their room doors.

  • Kate 10:49 on 2020-03-25 Permalink | Reply  

    The weather is turning warmish Wednesday and will stay warmer for days. I have a feeling it’s going to be a bit tricky keeping people locked down as spring comes.

    People have officially caught COVID-19 from community transmission, which probably means there are a lot more that haven’t yet been tested. Hundreds are being turned away from the clinics who don’t meet the criteria for getting tested, which are listed in this item.

    A homeless man was tested earlier this week then allowed to “go home” to wait, which for him meant walking around town since he had no home to go to. When the test came back positive, police had to look for him, and they did manage to find him – in a line outside the Old Brewery Mission – and bring him to hospital.

    Five old people in a north-end CHSLD have tested positive for the virus.

    People with Opus à l’année will be reimbursed for April.

    Retailers are despairing at keeping their businesses viable over this obligatory closure. Radio‑Canada talked to florists, a trade considered nonessential, who have been throwing out the flowers they can no longer sell.

    The Queen Elizabeth Hotel has lit up some rooms to make a heart over René-Lévesque. Speaking of royalty, Prince Charles has the rona.

    • walkerp 11:28 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      Yes, very concerned about the warm weather, how we are going to be able to maintain our discipline when spring arrives.

    • Raymond Lutz 11:38 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      Warm weather? This could be a good thing… As I wrote here P. Beckwith is the shit:

      “I discuss a new scientific paper that examines the present coronavirus spread and shows correlations of the hardest hit regions to temperature and humidity changes with latitude. This is only one paper, but it seems to indicate that the hardest hit regions are within an average temperature band from 5C to 11C, with low specific humidity (3-6 g/kg) and absolute humidity (4-7 g/cm3). If this is confirmed in subsequent scientific studies then it could indicate that Covid-19 is a seasonal respiratory virus. Promising (since it would slow down in summer); but too early to tell for sure at the moment.”

    • Raymond Lutz 12:12 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      As P. Beckwith is explaining here, covid-19 is presumably transmitted via WATER droplets and when the air is more humid, the droplets grow rapidly bigger and drop to the ground before being inhaled be someone else (not directly related to temperature, though).

      Respiratory infectious diseases spread are mostly determined by aerosol dynamics (air flow dynamic, evaporation VS condensation, gravity fall, etc..). Google “Wells 1934 droplets”

    • Faiz imam 12:24 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      the flower shops reminded me of something. Anyone know how pet shops are doing?

      I don’t know how long they are able to stay open, and it makes me worry about the health of their stock.

      Places selling cat and dog food are one thing, but aquarium shops? how long can they feed and maintain their stock before they got to let them die?

      I don’t know the answer, but it worries me

    • Tee Owe 12:51 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      @raymond Lutz – explain this to folk in Australia and NZ where it’s 30 degrees plus summers and people are ill with and dying from coronavirus

    • dwgs 13:19 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      Also, doesn’t it make sense that transmission rates are higher in cooler climates because people are indoors more so they are in closer proximity and spending time in spaces where the air is recycled?

    • JaneyB 13:39 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      Tiny good note: QC has more than doubled the cumulative number of people tested in the last couple of days eg: from 12k total by March 23 to 28k as of today. Yes, I have been keeping a spreadsheet. Still positive rates are double the Cdn average – either we’re catching them early with better contract tracking or there are simply more people infected.

      Side info: a sudden total loss of smell and taste even with no other symptoms is looking more and more like a marker of covid-19, especially in the young. Worth watching for since we’ve mostly heard about fever.

    • Kevin 14:40 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      @Faiz imam

      Most pet stores moved their animals to outside locations about 2 weeks ago, and if they’re stuck in a mall, owners are allowed to go feed the fish.

      @Raymond Lutz
      I’m sorry to say that the common cold is a form of coronavirus, and they still propagate in the summer.

      It’s only fitting that Charles got the Crown virus.

    • Raymond Lutz 14:49 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      Geez, is this Boingboing forum? It’s not ONLY temperature… listen to the video I linked to and readTemperature, Humidity and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19“. |The authors distinguish between community spread and “extensive population interaction through travel” (like Australia?)

    • qatzelok 17:00 on 2020-03-25 Permalink

      Thanks for the useful links, Raymond Lutz. Also, it’s worth looking into Farr’s Law and the founder of the use of medical statistics for predicting epidemics.


  • Kate 10:13 on 2020-03-25 Permalink | Reply  

    Not sure why the police think it’s a good time to reinvestigate a murder from last September in Lasalle, but they’re putting out sketches of three men wanted in a fatal stabbing, and seeking information.

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