Updates from April, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 14:15 on 2020-04-05 Permalink | Reply  

    François Legault announced Sunday that closure of non-essential businesses is extended to May 4.

    I imagine it’s giving a lot of folks pause to realize their work is not essential.

    • Chris 14:38 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      A lot of “not essential” work is only “not essential” in the short/medium term.

    • Kevin 14:59 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      The Star Wars geeks are gonna be unbearable.

    • Meezly 16:28 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Folks with non-essential work and can stay home should consider themselves fortunate. I’ve been seeing memes like this: https://www.reddit.com/r/antiwork/comments/fu4b0z/found_on_rdominos/ If you don’t want to click, it’s basically: They’re calling us ‘essential’ because ‘sacrificial’ would just be too honest.

    • Uatu 17:06 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      I hope garages will be considered essential because I got to get my tires changed

    • Dhomas 18:42 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Most cars come with jacks for flat tire repair. Even using one of those, it’s not too difficult to change your own tires, if you want to avoid the garage. YouTube has plenty of videos, too.

    • Blork 19:02 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Depends on if the tires are on rims or not. Not everybody has spare rims; some people use the same set of rims year round, swapping the different tires onto the rims each season.

      I don’t do that, so technically it’s an easy job for me. Unfortunately the last two times I did it myself I threw my back out both times. On the plus side, we’re driving about 4 km a week these days so there’s no hurry.

    • Ian 19:39 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      I can work remotely – I like it better than driving to a faraway campus and teaching in person; to be honest my discipline can be taught remotely very effectively, including one-on-one feedback as well as regular classes – but I recognize that of course not all classes are suited to distance learning, and that many students benefit from on-campus face-to-face experience.

      Currently I am only using my car once a week just to make sure the battery doesn’t die. If I could teach remotely all the time I would be happy to sell my car for scrap and never have to deal with commuting again.

      This has got me thinking, though – how many jobs that we think MUST be on site don’t actually have to be on-site at all? I wonder how many commuters would stop driving, taking the STM, etc… I wonder how many millions of dollars the city could save each year if everyone that could work from home was simply allowed to… Because now we are seeing that many, many white collar jobs can be performed from home just as effectively as in person.

      Imagine if most of the office towers sat empty, imagine if the streets had a fraction of the drivers, imagine if we could focus on neighbourhoods instead of the empty culture of office districts…

    • Dhomas 21:04 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      @Blork: yes, I kinda assumed two sets of rims, which I acknowledge not everyone has. But if you do, it’s definitely doable.

    • Raymond Lutz 08:09 on 2020-04-06 Permalink

      “I recognize that (…) many students benefit from on-campus face-to-face experience.” Many? Most of them: learning is a social experience, anchored in orality and immediacy (except for nerds like me).

    • Ephraim 08:10 on 2020-04-06 Permalink

      @Ian – It’s a question a lot of people have asked. People are often more effective at home anyway, even with all the distractions, because they track their time away from distractions or may work when they can’t sleep, etc.

      I will say that there is likely the same satellite office problem with WFH. I mean, they set up satellite offices of major companies in suburbs and yet, people don’t want to work in them, they want to work downtown at the head office. Why? A perception that you get promoted faster. And I suspect that there is something in that perception that in some cases ruins WFH for a lot of people.

      Still others, don’t care and aren’t looking for advancement, especially consultants. And the more people we could get on WFH the better,even in the long term for our economy. It saves the company money on offices but at the same time saves commute, travel and created better work/home balance. (But then again, I’ve worked from home for well over a decade… and now ironically I’m actually forbidden from working in my WFH job.)

    • Ian Rogers 09:45 on 2020-04-06 Permalink

      @Raymond L –

      Orality and immediacy, you say? Like MS Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Discord? I’m on video chat with screensharing every day…

      But for my subject area it makes sense. Acting or Painting or Chemistry maybe not so much 😀

    • DeWolf 11:37 on 2020-04-06 Permalink

      I normally work from home and these days are much less productive than normal for me. The difference is I can’t break up the day by going out to work in a café or bar. I’m used to working at home in the morning and then ducking out for lunch, followed by a nice walk and a couple hours of working in a café (or maybe with a cheeky pint of beer if it’s late in the afternoon). That café time is often when I’m most focused and I manage to have a nice flow of work. Now that I’m basically at home for 24 hours a day, I find myself getting distracted and procrastinating much more than before.

      I think that Ian is right that more and more people are going to be working at home after this. But paradoxically I think this crisis will also underline exactly when and how in-person contact is important. I’m a journalist, and it was a bit of a culture shock coming back to Montreal because if I ask to interview someone here, they often prefer doing a phone call rather than having a face-to-face meeting. In Hong Kong it was the opposite: face-to-face meetings are highly valued and because public transit is so efficient, it’s possible to have several of them in a day if necessary.

      Not all of those meetings were useful and some definitely would have been more efficient on the phone, but I have to say, meeting someone face-to-face leaves a much more lasting impression than if you only talk to them virtually. After awhile, all these disembodied email words and Zoom faces and phone voices start to become interchangeable. I hope more companies begin to understand that what’s important is flexibility. Being stuck in an office sucks away your energy, but so does being stuck at home.

    • Roman 01:20 on 2020-04-07 Permalink

      Tire change should be able to be open. Don’t see a reason not to. There’s not much personal contact. Arrange by phone, drop off car with keys inside, pay by leaving cash inside the car with keys.

      At the same time you can drive on winter tires all year long. It’s not that big of a deal. Just a bit more wear.

      FYI VIP government vehicles drive on winter tires all year round.

  • Kate 09:51 on 2020-04-05 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has closed the parking lot on Mount Royal and has completely closed Île Notre‑Dame. The bridge below Atwater Market is also closed to limit easy access to the Lachine Canal path.

    • Thomas H 11:28 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Yesterday while sitting on my balcony and enjoying the good weather, a neighbour returned to our street with her car and started conversing with the neighbours about how she and her dog just returned from a 10 km walk on the mountain. She then added “there were too many people on the mountain… what are these people thinking?”

      Now I know this is a difficult time for all, and we all need our excercise, but I could not believe the blatant hypocrisy coming from an older and otherwise seemingly reasonable person. This is a global freaking pandemic people, you may not have your first choice of park or time of recreation. And it’s not the first time I’ve heard others bemoaning crowded public spaces they too are using. If the park is crowded, go at a different time! Jeanne Mance Park has been fairly empty each day except between 1 and 4 PM, when many seem to give others the stink eye for doing exactly what they’re doing. (In fairness though, most people in Jeanne Mance have been keeping a respectful distance, even at busier times).

      As for the pedestrian bridge near Atwater Market, I can’t imagine what good that will do besides crowd the very tight sidewalk on the Charlevoix St. bridge. Couldn’t other measures have been considered? (E.g., demarcating the flow of traffic, banning jogging and bicycles so that people can better manage their distances?).

    • Tim S. 13:15 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      It’s interesting how this is causing me to look at urban space in new ways. We try to avoid parks with playgrounds, because our three-year old won’t see the yellow danger tape as anything but a fun new decoration. Turns out that there are only a few open green spaces that don’t have playgrounds, but many of those are frequented by off-leash dogs. I wonder if there’s any way to make all the empty parking lots temporarily more attractive.

    • Kevin 15:03 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      I saw the comment on twitter and it’s a good one: we need crossing guards to manage distancing, not a ban on places we can go.

      Let’s get real people: we are going to spend months (4? 8? 18?) staying away from each other to make sure our ICUs are working at 90% capacity.

    • GC 17:13 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Using the parking lots is a good idea, Tim. I have seen a lot of families in them, with kids practicing their bike riding or impromptu parent-child games of various sports. One family per parking lot–to be clear–and I assume everyone involved lived in the same home, so it’s not a violation of anything. And very few of us have yards here in the Plateau.

    • Blork 17:26 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      I find it interesting that the rhetoric typically applied to motor vehicles can now be applied to pedestrians. Re: Thomas H’s neighbour: “you’re not in (pedestrian) traffic; you ARE (pedestrian) traffic.”

    • qatzelok 23:02 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Kind of sad that some people have to drive to get to a park of any size. Laval is virtually large-park-free for most of its subdivision residents.

    • Michael Black 23:24 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      I saw a police car this afternoon with two bikes on a rack at the back.

      So apparently the cops don’t ride their bikes everywhere.

    • steph 23:26 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      I can’t wait for stores to start implementing 1 way aisles. Those dollerama ailes are far too narrow for two way traffic.

    • jeather 20:45 on 2020-04-06 Permalink

      I think IGA is implementing them. I expect all stores will have them within a week.

  • Kate 09:11 on 2020-04-05 Permalink | Reply  

    I’ve disagreed mildly here and on Twitter about the uses of authority during a pandemic, so was interested to see a piece from Giuseppe Valiante (CP) about risks to civil liberties at times like this. (Aussi en français.)

    There’s also a lot of misleading and simply fake news including from the highest authority in some places. Rima Elkouri ponders the consequences.

    There are two relevant apps I’ve heard of that are recommended. One is the Montreal app, a web app I’ve already mentioned, accessed on aplatir.ca. The other is the Canada app. I downloaded the Canada app, which tells you it’s going to share anything you tell it with something called Thrive Health. Noped out.

    • Baru 12:43 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      There’s a lot to say on the repercussions that we’ll be reaping from emergency powers… but just just to take one element which I expect will have wide spread repercussions but will be generally underestimated by the political class will be on the affect on unions. In the US they suspended the NLRB functions, and here too the TAT has suspended a lot of its functions. The gov split off from the collective agreements in healthcare and education and suspended arbitrations. the whole labour peace contract after WWII was based on the ‘work now, grieve later system’ which has been falling apart for a long, long time. there have been internal debates inside organized labour whether to keep playing inside this system or break off from it. this situation shows that its entirely functioning at the convenience of the state and the business community which i cant help but assume will cause a seismic re-alignment of opinion inside the labour movement.

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