Updates from April, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:36 on 2020-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s been a new virus outbreak at Verdun hospital on a ward that wasn’t supposed to be “hot”.

    An SPVM cop that was on the metro beat is in intensive care.

    Cellist Denis Brott, of the well-known classical music family, is also in intensive care.

    • EmilyG 11:58 on 2020-04-18 Permalink

      Denis Brott – used to know him back in the day. Incredibly kind man.
      This hurts.

    • Chris 13:26 on 2020-04-18 Permalink

      If these people were in intensive case for any other reason, which happens to many people every day every where, wonder if the media would write articles about it…

    • Kate 13:44 on 2020-04-18 Permalink

      Chris, you have just defined “news value” for us.

    • EmilyG 14:20 on 2020-04-18 Permalink

      Denis Brott has been the leader of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, a well-known festival in our arts-loving city, for many years. It is newsworthy.

    • Raymond Lutz 18:28 on 2020-04-18 Permalink

      Any cellist health problem is newsworthy. I remember very well Yuli Turovsky saddening death news. I went to Pollack Hall with my mother listening him play Kodály’s Sonata for Solo Cello. Don’t remember the exact year. When I die, It’ll be newswothy here and I want an epitaph note on Kate’s Montreal City Weblog calendar, “And he played cello too!” 🙂

    • EmilyG 07:56 on 2020-05-22 Permalink

  • Kate 19:58 on 2020-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s going to help taxicab owners to add New York-style plexiglas partitions and onboard hand sanitizer and so on to protect both driver and passengers.

    Item says nada about Uber. How can Uber drivers arrive at the same distancing effect?

    (Airbnb. Uber. “Disruption” is looking pretty cheap now, isn’t it.)

    • david100 12:24 on 2020-04-18 Permalink

      Huh, how did I not hear about this?:

      “l’entrée en vigueur du nouveau cadre réglementaire pour les hôtes d’Airbnb, qui devront obligatoirement avoir une attestation à titre d’établissement d’hébergement touristique à partir du 1er mai prochain. Le règlement a été adopté en novembre dernier.”


      “La crise de la COVID-19 ne changera pas l’entrée en vigueur du règlement prévue le 1er mai, a indiqué le cabinet de la ministre du Tourisme du Québec.”

      With the state of short term rentals what it is, it’ll be tough to tease out the impact of this legislation.

      We can be sure, however, that reducing airbnb – which this probably will do, at least in part – will help the hotel industry recover.

    • Chris 13:30 on 2020-04-18 Permalink

      I hope it’s temporary, those dividers are so unpleasant and impersonal. This just might get me to join everyone else and switch to Uber.

    • Kate 13:47 on 2020-04-18 Permalink

      Chris, those dividers are normal in New York, and people would get used to them here.

    • Uatu 16:37 on 2020-04-18 Permalink

      I wonder how many Uber drivers will still risk their own vehicles with contamination and whether they can actually make any real money with the added cost of disinfection and driver shielding etc.

    • Blork 18:08 on 2020-04-18 Permalink

      This might make me take taxis more. I don’t even like making small talk with people I know, let alone some taxi driver I just met.

  • Kate 11:14 on 2020-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

    A CultMTL writer interviewed a man who runs a dépanneur in the Mile End about how he’s adapted things to cope with a constant stream of clients.

    • DeWolf 12:49 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

      That’s one of four deps within 100m of my home (I’m lucky!). I’ve been there a few times since the lockdown began and Mr. Wang has quite the impressive physical-distancing set up. He’s always very nice. Thanks for the article.

      Incidentally, the dep across the street, which is actually more like a fruiterie, suffered a fire the other night. It was apparently caused by a gas leak and there was a huge wall of flames that stretched up to the second floor. Amazingly, there was only exterior damage to the dep, and it was up and running again the next day. (Not so lucky for part of the apartment upstairs, but it seems like only one room was damaged, and there are already workers repairing it.)

      I hope that this crisis gives Montrealers renewed appreciation for their dépanneurs, since in recent years they have been closing at an alarming rate.

    • Kate 13:31 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

      Fruiterie YM? That place is surprisingly densely stocked, but that seems to be the nature of fruiteries. If you see your customers navigating around without difficulty, you know you can squeeze in another few lines of products.

      I didn’t see a report of that fire anywhere else. Thanks, DeWolf.

    • SMD 20:54 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

      In other Mile-End business news, Tamey Lau, the lovable florist on Bernard, is still making bouquets! Just call and describe what you want and then pick it up, or for $3 more she’ll have it delivered wherever you like. Such a gem. Credit card only.

    • Ian 17:05 on 2020-04-20 Permalink

      Yes Fruiterie YM. It was a pretty dramatic fire but the only permanent damage seems to have been done tot he upstairs apartment as DeWolf pointw out.

      The compressors for their fridges on the outside of the building overheated and caught fire. There was risk of a gas leak so the fire dept. closed it off for a bit but in the ned it was ok.

    • Ian 17:07 on 2020-04-20 Permalink

      //to clarify, the compressors were on the outside, not the fridges

  • Kate 10:33 on 2020-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

    The city intends to hold the line on social housing to be included in new residential projects. It’s not clear why Metro illustrates this with a photo of part of the classic row houses on de Grand‑Pré, which are not mentioned in the text. (For a moment I was afraid the news would be that they would be demolished and tacked onto a new structure as façades.)

    • Kate 10:10 on 2020-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

      So I live on the ground floor of a triplex, and the external staircase goes past my front window.

      The layout is typical – the window in question is close to my workspace in the front half of a double room: I sleep in the other half. The window is the closest thing I have to a bedroom window.

      Nobody hangs out on the stairs, but there are four apartments upstairs that use it.

      This is the question: in this crazy time, is there any sanitary risk in having that window open with people occasionally passing up and down the stairs, not far from where I’d be seated at the computer? It’s probably slightly over 2 meters but not by much. The sidewalk is also right at the foot of the staircase.

      • Bill Binns 11:15 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        I don’t think it’s a silly question. My front windows are barely a meter from the sidewalk and I have neighbors stairs very close to my bedroom windows. I have been asking myself the same questions.
        The whole social distancing thing is about droplets from people’s breath or coughing/sneezing that can remain suspended in the air for some time and get moved around by air currents. I think of it like cigarette smoke. If you can smell cigarettes, perfume etc from people passing up and down the stairs or the sidewalk (as I can) then there must be some possibility of those droplets following the same path.

        On the positive side, supposedly the travel distance of these droplets is greatly reduced as the humidity rises. We know that’s coming.

      • Tee Owe 11:21 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        Kate, Bill – from everything I know you’re ok. Droplets are a risk, but with the distances you describe you shouldn’t worry. The people who touch the shared handrail on the stairs have more to worry about. If you are really concerned simply hang a net or gauze curtain in the window – will allow air circulation and catch droplets.

      • Raymond Lutz 11:23 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        Are you wearing a mask at the grocery? Risks are higher there… https://youtu.be/WZSKoNGTR6Q but yes, air flow around your window can be problematic if someone sneeze or cough at the wrong moment while passing by.

        But keep in mind that “four fifths of cases are asymptomatic, China figures indicate” It’s a strange balance between self awareness and collective care: risks for each individuals are rather low… but taking part to the propagation will eventually kill someone (and impair many).

      • CE 11:29 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        I’d say your risks are low. The person coming down the stairs would have to cough or sneeze while facing in the general direction of your window. You’d have to be near the window at the same time and it’s likely few of the droplets in this scenario would reach you. On top of that, the person coughing or sneezing would have to have COVID-19 at that moment, which is unlikely. I’d say the benefits of getting a nice breeze and some fresh air (especially now that car traffic is way down) outweighs what is a pretty small risk.

      • blueeyes 11:31 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        unless someone coughs through your window and you happen to be there to catch their droplets the risk is extremely low. agree with CE who has posted while I was writing…

      • Kate 11:31 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        Thanks for everyone’s thoughts. I already have quite a heavy curtain over the window – I like dark, and there’s a street light close outside, and I’m not a morning person either.

      • Chris 11:35 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        >…would have to cough or sneeze while facing in the general direction

        and they’d have to do it in a John Cleese French accent. 🙂

      • Brett 12:21 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        The health benefits of letting fresh air in after a stuffy winter cannot be overstated.

      • DeWolf 13:00 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        There is an article on Radio-Canada that makes an important point: although it is theoretically possible for droplets to travel long distances through the air, there have not been any real-world studies demonstrating how this happens. And more crucially, virologists say it is unlikely that the virus is infectious if only a handful of stray particles are blown in your direction.


        This refers to that Belgian-Dutch study that everyone was freaking out about:

        “Ses auteurs sont des experts en aérodynamique, mais pas en virologie. Ils n’ont donc pas étudié la teneur virale des gouttelettes — c’est-à-dire la quantité de virus qu’elles contiennent — une information cruciale pour déterminer le risque de contagion.

        « Qui dit gouttelettes de plus petite taille, dit teneur virale plus faible », explique le chercheur en virologie Benoît Barbeau, du Département de sciences biologiques de l’UQAM et membre du Réseau intersectoriel de recherche en santé de l’Université du Québec (RISUQ).

        Ainsi, les gouttelettes qui se propagent à 10 ou 20 mètres dans la simulation ne contiennent peut-être pas une charge virale suffisante pour poser un risque.”

      • dwgs 14:28 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        If you have a small fan place it in the window blowing out.

      • Kate 16:23 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        There’s a thought, dwgs. Thank you.

        Alison, the last thing I would want in this thing is head pills. This is a big thing, a historical thing, and I’m not going to miss it. I’m rather enjoying my bit of it, too, except for having to wait half an hour to get into any store.

        Edited to add: I’m well aware that my enjoyment is largely due to having no elderly parents to worry about, no dependents, not being locked in with anyone hostile, and qualifying for CERB. I’m extremely fortunate.

      • Alison Cummins 14:28 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        It’s not a stupid question. I don’t think we know. I think we’d really, really like to.
        • We do know it’s transmitted by droplets, which a 2m distance will take care of, at least for people just standing around.

        • The “not a scientific study” paper we discussed earlier* suggests that more distance may be sensible when people are moving.**

        • Some reasonable people believe it has been transmitted like an “airborne” virus in the sense of transmission by just breathing shared air, for instance by passengers on a bus not sitting next to eachother. (Measles works like this.)

        • SARS (aka covid-03) could be transmitted by the fecal-respiratory route —in the Amoy Gardens estate in Hong Kong, hundreds of people got SARS frrom their bathroom ventilation because of poorly-designed plumbing.

        • Some gastroenterologists think covid-19 might be transmissible by the fecal-oral route but I don’t think that’s been confirmed in the real world.

        • Initial viral load at the time of infection may be relevant to whether you contract an illness or how bad it gets. The article says you probably need to inhale 100 to 1000 virus particles to contract an infection. I can’t find it now, but I did read something a few weeks back that said that virus particles had been detected in the air outside hospital doors… at a level of 7 particles per m3. At that level you’d need to take 28,580 breaths to reach 100 virus particles.

        It depends on how far you want to take the precautionary principle. In your place I might try to move my desk towards the back window just so I wouldn’t tense up and worry every time someone used the stairs. I might decide that a curtain covering the whole window would slow air currents enough that I didn’t need to worry. Or I might focus on following official current public health guidance—possibly calling 514-644-4545 for specifics—and decide not to worry beyond that. It’s really up to you.

        *Yes, it was a study by scientists with expertise in airflow modelling—but it wasn’t peer-reviewed, so we don’t know how applicable it is for virus transmission in the real world. Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of better information yet, so for better or worse it’s what we have for the moment. We make do until we know more and can adjust. I think most covid-19 information is still like this. The science is immature.

        **“When there is substantial crosswind, the suggestion to stay out of the slipstream remains valid. This means that it is advised to not walk/run/cycle directly behind others but offset to the upwind side. When overtaking a person, be kind to this person and only when you have reached a certain distance from this person (5 m when this person is walking, 10 m for running, up to 20 m for cycling), move back on the same straight line as this person.”

      • Alison Cummins 14:29 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        Two notes (for everyone):

        Read this Medium article for practical reassurance and focus. Daily, if it helps. “I had no immune system for months after my bone marrow transplant. Here’s how I avoided viral illness, and how you can, too. It’s easier than you think.”

        Fear generalizes. When we become afraid of one thing we start becoming afraid of more things. Decide in advance what you’re going to be afraid of and what you aren’t. Notice when you’re starting to become afraid of things that didn’t bother you before, or more anxious about things you used to be able to deal with easily. If your usual methods for dealing with unwanted fear aren’t cutting it in these days of facing multiple new, legitimate threats, there are good online resources for managing covid-19 anxiety. Also I bet your doctor would be happy to prescribe/up an SSRI to help keep the generalizing under control so that you can use your energy more usefully, and to do it over the phone.

      • Alison Cummins 21:27 on 2020-04-17 Permalink

        Kate, if you’re enjoying it, why would you want head pills?

        If someone — not you — is being stressed out in a way that isn’t useful for yhfm, head pills might be helpful in getting them to where you are — enjoying the interesting times.

        Human beings typically hate uncertainty. I’m pretty good at not worrying, but that comes with the downside that I don’t plan either. Good planners are often worriers and poor sleepers.

        IF a person is generalizing fear and not just worrying about catching covid at the grocery store but also about catching hookworm from the mail and their dog getting eaten by raccoons and losing their house to floods as the sea levels rise and needing to stock armaments in their bomb shelter because humanity is going to go on a massive looting rampage and … THEN head pills might help them get back to just worrying about covid. But that’s not you.

      • Raymond Lutz 12:45 on 2020-04-18 Permalink

        Kate, “due to having no elderly parents to worry about, no dependents, not being locked in with anyone hostile, and qualifying for CERB. I’m extremely fortunate.” Oui: moi aussi à tous les jours je me dis “Fiou… heureusement que maman est morte” (il y a quelques années) et je suis pogné à la maison avec trois ados pis une blonde, mais au moins aucun des trois n’est encore aux couches 🙂 La blonde non plus (not old enough but getting there).

    • Kate 07:11 on 2020-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

      CDN-NDG borough is putting in three “corridors sanitaires” on shopping streets, widening sidewalks to allow distancing space between store lines and passersby.

      Update: Rosemont-LaPP borough is following suit.

      • Kate 07:02 on 2020-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

        Andrei Markov has ended his career as a hockey player. There’s a whole aspect to hockey players’ careers that goes beyond simple scoring stats.

        • dwgs 14:20 on 2020-04-18 Permalink

          Even though he was appreciated he was still one of the most underrated players of his generation. And he was treated with great disrespect by Bergevin at the end.

      Compose new post
      Next post/Next comment
      Previous post/Previous comment
      Show/Hide comments
      Go to top
      Go to login
      Show/Hide help
      shift + esc