Updates from April, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:57 on 2020-04-22 Permalink | Reply  

    A woman has been arrested in the suspicious death of a man on Nuns Island. Not much else is mentioned at either link.

    • Nicole 22:13 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      I live a block from there. A neighbour said that a TV news cameraman said that she was his wife. Fwiw.

    • JZ 23:17 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      I read the article. I know nothing about what happened, and don’t have anything specific to add to that story.

      I am and have been pro social distancing, but this reality is quite an intense time and enough to drive even sane, mentally healthy people to the precipice.

      After 4-5 weeks of these measures being put in place, and things being calm, even good, at home during that time, my parents just had a huge, and I mean HUGE fight. I’ve just spent the last hour sobbing. I’m not asking for sympathy. I’m an adult; if I really needed to leave home I would and could. But, I suspect there are a lot of relationships (platonic, romantic, whatever) just waiting for the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak.

      I’m not saying this is any reason to brusquely go back to “normal” and re-open everything, but I just saw how quickly things got toxic and volatile at my home, due in part to being together literally 24 hours a day, and with not much possibility of a temporary escape soon, like going to work or school, as we normally would. I really do feel for those, especially kids, who are stuck in bad family situations.

    • Brett 23:28 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      I know some parents who haven’t let their kids go outside in over a month. This lockdown experiment borders on cruelty for some children.

  • Kate 20:54 on 2020-04-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is extending the state of emergency again, till April 26.

    Urbania took a metro ride, talks to other passengers and to bus drivers about the situation.

    A taxpayers’ group says it wants Montreal’s councillors to take a cut in pay. I don’t agree, because if anything their jobs are probably harder under this compression.

    Le Devoir claims that although the veterans’ hospital has only a few cases, it has been assigned a disproportionate number of military helpers.

    The Gazette’s Aaron Derfel dissects the current numbers in this Twitter thread, and explains them.

    • walkerp 21:50 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      It just dawned on me with that excellent thread of Aaron Derfel, that what seems to be happening is that Quebec and especially Montreal’s shitty health care system is collapsing under the pressure of the coronavirus. It used to an ongoing common knowledge joke but now it’s not funny at all. We should have seen it coming, but let’s hope that in hindsight we will get some real reforms.

    • Kevin 22:45 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      There is a joke going around that the province’s bureaucrats don’t realize there’s an emergency.
      I think they do know, they’re just not capable of doing any better because they have spent generations hiring incompetents.

    • Brett 23:32 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      It’s too late to do anything now. The elderly in the nursing homes are all dropping like flies. Expect carnage over the next week or two, followed by a sudden drop in new cases.

    • dwgs 07:39 on 2020-04-23 Permalink

      Am I the only one who has no problem with the veteran’s hospital getting a disproportionate amount of help from military helpers?

  • Kate 10:49 on 2020-04-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Had a power failure last night (local, about an hour) and woke up to snow. What’s next?

    So don’t break your glasses. Global has a story about a guy who can’t function because he can’t get his specs fixed. No reference to the classic Twilight Zone episode.

    Metro grocery stores did really well in March as people prepped for lockdown; presumably other grocery chains experienced a similar bump.

    Quebec is about to launch a pandemic-specific help wanted site although no specific date for opening is mentioned.

    Montreal North is especially hard hit by the virus, so the public health department is planning an intervention of some kind.

    Some cancer patients who were going to Sacré-Cœur hospital for treatment also got something they didn’t expect: COVID-19.

    A lawyer who clearly wants some free publicity is suing the government for infringing his rights by enforcing social limits during a pandemic. This man, who will remain nameless here because fuck him, clearly doesn’t grasp the difference between social fictions (human rights are a fiction, albeit a very important one) and fact (viruses can kill you).

    • Dominic 11:30 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      I dont agree with the timing of the lawsuit, but the concept of challenging the government on over-reaching is not necessarily a bad thing. I most certainly don’t agree with some American states choices. This is far from over in Quebec and Canada, but a reminder to the government that long-term overreach of rights has to have a real exit-strategy.

      Maybe if the province could set a deadline or some goalposts it would make human-rights advocates more comfortable. A promise from the government that they will rescind the emergency powers of LEO at the appropriate time is not a bad thing.

    • Kate 12:31 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      Dominic, surely there must be some combination of emergency provisions and quarantine restrictions we’re now under, which will at some point be declared over. Fighting a reasonable restriction on group activities right now is not equivalent to nobly standing up for human rights.

    • Kevin 12:32 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      I’m glad I got my teeth cleaned in March, but the business shutdown orders came a week before I was due for an eye appointment.
      I learned the hard way to keep spare (that is, old) glasses around when I broke mine the first day of a vacation. Spent the week pretending I was Corey Hart with my prescription sunglasses.

      And that Twilight Zone episode is required viewing. I made my kids watch Time Enough at Last and The Monsters on Due on Maple Street last year.

    • Douglas 13:13 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      Should be more lawsuits forcing the government to open things up for everyone. The man is actually a hero.

      These health ministers all around the world that are put in charge have no idea what they are doing so they forced everyone to stay home.

      Look at Sweden. Didn’t do any of this idiotic lockdown and they perfectly fine. The Swedish health minister actually made the more difficult decision by going against the grain.


    • Kate 13:17 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      Let’s try again:

      If our social distancing and other lockdown methods work, plenty of people will say we over‑reacted.

    • Kate 13:20 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

    • Joey 14:20 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      I find these charts to be helpful: https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/

      I note the Swedish death rate (daily COVID-related deaths per million) is about 2-2.5X that of Canada. If anything, we should be looking at Germany as a model to follow.

    • Joey 14:30 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

    • david100 14:46 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      That guy also graphs the Swedish health ministry’s reports, which clearly show that deaths have peaked. https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/04/more-sweden/

      They’re doing widespread antibody testing and we’ll soon have a sense of just how prevalent the exposure is there. If they’re peaked, and antibody testing shows they’ve reached the level of exposures in Stockholm and other ‘hard hit’ areas that matches ‘herb immunity’ projections, then basically their plan has worked. Sure, they’ve had proportionally more deaths than their neighbors, but there’s no reason to think that they’ve just taken them early on, instead of in a trickle over many months until a vaccine is developed. In that case, they’ve effectively taken their lumps, saved their economy, saved a lot of stimulus money, and done something pretty interesting. Incidentally, their medical guy their explained that there was a very real failing with their nursing homes, where over half the deaths come from.

      Incidentally, much of Europe is following Sweden and reopening schools and businesses, based on their data.

      In our context (or close), more data is rolling in, and it’s not too long before we have daily info – there are many antibody studies happening all over the US right now that will give us a lot more info. The USC study is being updated every couple weeks, the big UCSF study is still in the field, New York began widespread antibody tests on Monday and those results will be coming only in some preliminary form within a week or two.

      Time to start talking about getting things back rolling here.

    • Matthew 15:02 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      david100’s comments here are ridiculous, so obviously subject to confirmation bias, and entirely exhausting. No, you do not know better than the world’s leading public health officials just because you read something on the internet. Please read The Dangerous Rise of COVID-19 Influencers and Armchair Epidemiologists (see also Flatten the Curve of Armchair Epidemiology).

    • Uatu 16:44 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      It sounds great, but I wouldn’t want to be the person with the family member(s) who died to prove that the Swedish government was right.

    • Kevin 17:17 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      No it doesn’t show the deaths have peaked. They’re still climbing.

      I’ll be blunt: you don’t have the education to understand what you’re reading.

    • Tim S. 17:34 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      It’s also worth point out that Sweden IS doing social distancing, just not government ordered:

      “There is a voluntary lockdown in place. People are advised to work from home where possible and maintain social distancing. They are told not to visit elderly relatives and of course wash their hands. The local economy has still suffered.”


      That sounds a lot like the weekend of March 14-15 here. Is the debate about social distancing, or just the role of the state in coordinating/ordering it?

    • dmdiem 17:37 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      Doctor Mike just did a video on antibody tests. Theres a good bit about how immunity works.


    • david190 17:45 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      Kevin – if you’re going to take up the mantle, I’d be very happy. Inform us, I’m looking for your writing on this stuff and finding nothing. Make this your project, so that I don’t have to. Be the intrepid, hard-nosed data analyst. You’d be doing us a service, not saying that sarcastically.

      And, again – I know the data isn’t there yet. But it looks like it’s getting there. And, you can find out about me just by reviewing my old posts on here. Even though I’m no statistician, I did do my undergrad in economics at McGill, I’m obviously way past that now and won’t never stand on that, but these lines are pretty basic stuff and not beyond the comprehension of a semi-educated layman like myself.

      Follow the data instead of what the government says, consider the broader societal implications of a 20%+ employment rate and balance those against the risks we’re seeing here, let me read something you’re writing on this issue, since you seem to have such a unique insight.

    • qatzelok 19:30 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      For bad science, I’m a bit concerned of using the number of “cases” to determine the percent of fatalities. Normally, you look at the total population to determine the fatality rate and not “cases.” The reason is that “cases” are a floating signifier. The fewer people a country tests, the fewer “cases” it has. This makes this figure meaningless for determining how serious a virus is.

      That most mainstream media don’t explain or even acknowledge this fact is disconcerting. Science isn’t just a scary boogeyman the powers-that-be can whip out, there are rules to follow, and when our media doesn’t follow them and just tells us that: “Science says stay in your house,” I feel like I’m being gaslit.

    • qatzelok 19:43 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

    • GC 19:53 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      Those graphs are interesting, Joey. I do wonder why they aren’t all on similar y-axes, though. It really skews the visual comparisons.

    • jeather 20:05 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      A few countries — the UK is the one I have seen the most of — show the number of deaths per week and comparing this year’s to the past five years is quite instructive. I’d like to see it for Canada and Quebec, too.

    • Joey 20:22 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      @GC I think the idea is to more clearly show the curve in each country, not necessarily to compare one to the next. My guess is the y-axis scale for countries like Spain would make countries like Canada look basically flat. It’s worth going through his daily charts to see how things have evolved, including the variable he chooses to measure.

    • Brett 20:46 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      That Mother Jones site gave me a headache, so here’s a site with better graphs and data.
      and you’ll see that deaths are climbing at a similar rate in both Quebec and Sweden.
      We still have exponential growth in both areas, but the growth is slowing.
      The vast majority of deaths in Quebec are occurring due to institutional spread of the virus.
      I would say having cops give out tickets worth $1500 a pop to young couples out for a stroll on Mount Royal is over-reacting, yes.

    • GC 21:30 on 2020-04-22 Permalink

      I see your point Joey, but I still think it’s a bit misleading without a representation that has them all on the same scale. To me, it’s a bit like if he were just reporting total deaths, rather than per-capita ones–though possibly not as bad.

      However, I will give him credit for including a link to the original data. I could always plot it myself and stop complaining about his methods ;).

    • Kevin 09:26 on 2020-04-23 Permalink

      I’m sorry, but I have another job, and it’s not going through all the data to be your servant.
      (As I mentioned several months ago, I’m no longer writing articles for online).

      But I honestly don’t know how anyone can look at the reported death numbers and think Sweden has gone past the worst of it — unless that person doesn’t realize that the number of deaths reported Friday-Monday always drops because the bureaucrats have gone home.

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