Updates from March, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:34 on 2020-03-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Orléans-Express is going to suspend the bus route between Montreal and Quebec City starting Sunday. They’re blaming a steep drop in demand rather than calling it a public health decision.

    • Kevin 11:07 on 2020-03-27 Permalink

      All its routes, not just Qc-MTL

    • Kate 23:27 on 2020-03-27 Permalink

      Thanks, Kevin.

  • Kate 23:30 on 2020-03-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Horacio Arruda – do I need to define him as the Quebec director of public health? – says we should stay out of the west end, which is defined later in the item as Côte‑St‑Luc and Côte‑des‑Neiges, with the downtown area coming third in counts of COVID-19 cases.

    However, the mayor of Hampstead gives us an even better reason to stay far away from his patch. Bill Steinberg says we shouldn’t believe the media, which he feels are exaggerating the seriousness of the pandemic.

    It’s possible Montreal will see stricter measures of control in upcoming days. Dr. Arruda already asked people not to travel between regions of Quebec, so maybe we could be asked not to circulate to other neighbourhoods? Apparently this worked in South Korea.

    • david100 02:39 on 2020-03-27 Permalink

      Trust me, from long experience, I can guarantee that nobody should travel to Hampstead or Côte‑St‑Luc, pandemic or not.

    • david100 02:43 on 2020-03-27 Permalink

      I guess you can be arrested for walking down the street in most neighborhoods in this pandemic moment, but Hampstead and Côte‑St‑Luc pioneered that take-down technique way back. Best thing is that it wasn’t race-based, or anything – was totally based on a complicated decision matrix of (1) whether the neighbors knew you; (2) whether the cops knew you; and (3) whether you were a teenager, or some other such ruffian.

      God help you if you were a teenager wandering through the hood, unknown both to locals and cops. There’s probably a town somewhere in Abitibi where they’re still trying to get home, after having been dropped off by our “cops.”

    • Kate 08:01 on 2020-03-27 Permalink

      I used to have to cut through Hampstead when I walked to high school. Walked along Ellerdale until it turned into Fielding. Never had any issues, but then I was an innocent-looking little white girl.

      Shoe drops: No, no, no, david100, you can’t be arrested for walking down the street. Police might break up any ad hoc gatherings, but (as noted in other recent comments here) even things like soccer and basketball games are still going on in some parks. But we’re allowed out. You can go buy groceries – cautiously.

  • Kate 23:16 on 2020-03-26 Permalink | Reply  

    People who work with the homeless say there’s been talk but very little is being done to help them at a time when they need extra care not to become vectors of contagion or get sick themselves.

    The CBC item goes into the need for volunteers, and mentions François Legault’s announcement Thursday of a website where people can offer their help. But I can’t make this square with other demands being made. You can’t do most volunteer work from home. You have to go somewhere and mix with other people. For example, the CBC piece mentions a need for people to cook for a soup kitchen, which is not something you do in isolation, or necessarily while keeping two meters away from the people you’re working with. Will volunteers have to be regularly tested?

    • Alison Cummins 23:42 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

      I imagine it’s something like being a health care worker. It’s gotta be done, so you do it — and “it” includes protecting yourself.

    • JP 20:53 on 2020-03-27 Permalink

      Regarding volunteering in a kitchen, maybe they’ve decided to have fewer volunteers within the same space. I noticed the Santropol Roulant has made some changes to their volunteering shifts recently.

      I have no idea about the regular testing, though something tells me there won’t be.

    • Michael Black 21:34 on 2020-03-27 Permalink

      Alison’s right.

      But, one issue I read is that many volunteers were older, and thus vulnerable. And groups are unwilling to add new volunteers at this time, because they might have the virus.

      An earlier article mentioned that many groups relied on groups of volunteers from a business and that’s dropoed off as business shut down.

      But, Resilience Montreal has a post up.asking for people who can cook at home. Well the home part is sort of implied. So maybe they see it as an emergency situation, so regular rules don’t matter.

      They already moved to the park to hand out food (that old McDonald’s place is cramped, when I.dropped something off in December a lot of people in the space where the door opens, not sure how they use tge space), and apparently the cops tried to shut them down. Now it’s part of tye plan. At least the weather is warming up. They were also looking for clothes. Resioience as a building is closed, though I can’t remember where I saw that

    • Alison Cummins 21:55 on 2020-03-27 Permalink

      So they need… Money? Food? Volunteers? It’s unclear what exactly is needed, and from who. And if someone has resources to offer, who to contact.

  • Kate 19:32 on 2020-03-26 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC says the first Montreal victim of COVID-19 was a Hasidic man from Outremont who started showing symptoms Sunday and was dead by Wednesday night.

    • Kate 13:14 on 2020-03-26 Permalink | Reply  

      As of next Monday, the STM plans to reduce bus and metro service by 20% in response to a reduction in ridership (75% for buses, 80% in the metro).

      • Blork 13:55 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        I won’t do it, but it is very tempting to go for a Metro ride just to see this…

      • Kevin 21:51 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        I was on the metro Wednesday. Few enough riders that I could easily stay away from them

      • CE 09:19 on 2020-03-27 Permalink

        I had to take the 80 bus yesterday, there was a max of 6 people on the bus and at one point I was the only passenger. I put on the GO feature on Transit and where I would normally “help” over 100 people at that time on that route, I got 6.

    • Kate 10:07 on 2020-03-26 Permalink | Reply  

      The quickly rising numbers of COVID‑19 cases in Quebec have alarmed many, but experts say the hike only occurred because of a surge in testing that caught up with the cases already in existence.

      A new drive-thru clinic is going to be opened at Cavendish Mall. Côte St-Luc has turned out to be something of a hotspot in town, so there are good reasons for this.

      Grocery stores have been unable to cope with the sharp rise in demand for delivery. While CTV has general advice on how to shop safely, La Presse reports how a recently returned snowbird was barred from two grocery stores in Lac St‑Jean.

      The Gazette, which has taken this moment to radically redesign its website, is doing its usual thing: a piece entitled “While you were sleeping: New day, same locked-down life” subheaded “We’ll be doing this for weeks”. When did the Gazette decide its leading tone should be passive-aggressively pissed off? It’s been like this for a long time. (I’m going to write something soon about what the various Montreal media do well and what they don’t – I started writing it here, then recalled this is meant to be a post about COVID‑19 …)

      QMI is raising an eyebrow at the Legault government’s view that making cigarettes is an essential service. The official line is that they want to circumvent an influx of illegal cigarettes, but I suspect Legault & cie also feel it would be bad politics to shut down indulgences at a time like this, thus keeping the SAQ and SQDC open and the cigarette factories rolling.

      CTV also covered the question of the safety of going for a walk, which we touched on here on Wednesday. The tl;dr here is that yes, you can walk, but don’t go too far from home, and keep your distance.

      • Meezly 10:39 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        Wha…? I was thinking this would be a great time for smokers to quit their disgusting habit, esp. now that they’re home-bound, not exercising and their tar-coated lungs are more vulnerable to the ravaging effects of Covid-19.

        Since people are smoking at home more often, there are more cigarette butts littering my street. You’d think smokers would use ashtrays or empty cans, but no, they merely toss their butts onto the sidewalk.

      • Blork 10:40 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        Well I wish some of the goddamn runners would reel it in a bit. It’s one thing to cross paths with someone who’s out for a stroll, but it’s another thing to be standing at an intersection waiting for your light when a runner sidles up next to you and runs in place right next to you for 30 seconds or a minute all while breathing very heavily.

        Worse is the old runner who passed me yesterday at a snail’s pace, barely faster than my walking gait. He came up from behind and shuffled past mere inches off my elbow, while wheezing heavily with very phlegmmy sounding lungs. FFS!

      • Blork 10:41 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        Regarding smoking, it should be noted that quitting smoking can be really hard for many people, and darn near impossible during stressful times.

      • Meezly 11:31 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        True. But it shouldn’t prevent them from cultivating civil smoking habits. Cities are laying off municipal employees during this crisis, so smokers shouldn’t assume that sidewalks are being cleaned.

      • DeWolf 12:01 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        I haven’t seen much information about going out for a bike ride. I assume that if it’s fine to go for a walk around the neighbourhood, the same applies for riding a bike? That’s what I plan to do tomorrow, after several days of not leaving the house, because it’s a lot easier to keep a physical distance from others on a bike than on the sidewalk.

      • Alison Cummins 12:03 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        Cigarettes are a common way for people to manage their mental health, and for confined people to mark time. Smoking used to be actively encouraged in wartime, in prisons and on psychiatric wards.

        There might be better ways — SSRIs offer a better cost/benefit profile than cigarettes for anxiety — but there are a bunch of people out there who would rather smoke than take pills or do yoga, and I’m not sure the medical system wants to take on a surge of smoking-cessation counselling at this exact moment.

      • John B 12:07 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        CBC had an article on going out for exercise the other day. They try to manufacture some controversy, (between Trudeau’s “Go home and stay home” and the top doctors in each province saying it’s fine to go out for exercise), but it comes down to yeah, it’s fine to go out & exercise, (including biking), if you maintain the 2 metre distance. On a bike I’d try to keep some extra space, since you’re moving faster you could quickly end up in someone else’s snot cloud if a cyclist 2m in front of you sneezes or coughs.

        I went for a bike ride yesterday. The downtown streets are nearly empty. I rode Sherbrooke from Westmount to Papineau, and came back on René-Levesque. As a cyclist this is your chance to ride streets you never would during normal times, (and I bet there will be fewer cyclists there than on the bike paths).

        For smoking, I can’t imagine someone trying to go through withdrawl right now. It’s not the time to cut access to cigarettes, (same for alcohol & pot).

      • Clément 12:54 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        @Blork, here is what it looks like as a runner:

        Well I wish some of the goddamn runners strollers would reel it in a bit. It’s one thing to cross paths with someone who’s out for a stroll jog, but it’s another thing to be standing at an intersection waiting for your light when a runner stroller sidles up next to you and runs stands in place right next to you for 30 seconds or a minute all while breathing coughing very heavily.

        Worse is the old runner group of strollers who passed blocked me yesterday at a snail’s pace walking four abreast, barely faster than my walking gait moving aside to let me pass safely… FFS!

      • Tee Owe 13:16 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        Blork, Clément – gotta add my own 2 cents worth here – where I live (not Montreal) the situation is just the same . I run at 7 in the morning to avoid all this hassle. So I come to a red light at a busy intersection and I’m waiting and a cyclist ‘sidles’ up beside me, and leans across me then asks me to push the pedestrian walk button – he’s like, in my face. Sigh (and I’m not touching that button)

      • Douglas 13:30 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        The US banned alcohol during prohibition and the lessons learned from that is that its just not worth it.

        People will continue to consume it by all means necessary. And illegal if need be.

      • Patrick 13:43 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        Talking about “essential services,” here in the US gun shops are said to qualify…

      • Blork 14:01 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        @Clément, @Tee Owe, I get your point, but my point is that a huffing-and-puffing runner is making more of a cloud of potential viruses than a stroller, so it is MORE important for the RUNNERS to pro-actively create distance. In the two cases I mention in my example, it was the runners who came wheezing into the stroller’s space. IF YOU ARE BREATHING HEAVILY FROM EXERTION YOU SHOULD BE EXTRA CAREFUL AND GIVE PEOPLE FOUR METRES!

      • jeather 16:14 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        Runners should not come up to strollers who are already at a crosswalk, waiting, but also vice versa.

      • mare 18:40 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        Everybody should just start wearing a mask when outside. Not for your own protection necessarily, but to potentially prevent shedding the virus everywhere. It has helped elsewhere, will help here too.

        Some research papers on the subject:


      • Clément 19:29 on 2020-03-26 Permalink

        @Tee Owe: Quebec City?
        I live in Quebec City and the only way to get a pedestrian crossing light is to actually press the button, otherwise, it’s all cars, all the time. It’s annoying at best of times, but now it’s actually dangerous. Worst is that the button don’t work if you wear gloves, you have to actually remove your gloves for the buttons to work!

        Jaywalking it is for me!

      • Dhomas 07:11 on 2020-03-27 Permalink

        I was in Quebec city over spring break, staying in Vieux Québec. All the pedestrian crossing “buttons” I used were contactless. You would need to wave your fingers under the device to activate it. I’m guessing that’s not in place everywhere yet.

      • Clément 13:26 on 2020-03-27 Permalink

        @Dhomas: The so-called contactless buttons often require that you get your hand really close to activate them and for some reason, they are less sensitive in winter, so you have to get even closer. And, as I’ve said, wearing gloves doesn’t seem to work.

      • Alison Cummins 14:11 on 2020-03-27 Permalink

        We’re at the QdS drive-thru clinic right now. According to the website we both qualify for testing — returned from overseas after March 2, one of us has symptoms, we live together — but they changed the criteria. They won’t test the non-symptomatic one because the results would be inconclusive.

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