Updates from April, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:57 on 2020-04-25 Permalink | Reply  

    A woman attacked two kids with a sharp object in an apartment on Rousselot Street in Villeray, Saturday evening. They were seriously hurt, but further details aren’t yet available. La Presse spoke to a witness of part of the scene.

    Update Sunday: the older of the kids, a girl of 11, has died. It seems the alleged attacker is her own mother, a woman of 34; her father, who was also present, is twenty years older. TVA spoke to a witness.

    • Kate 19:23 on 2020-04-25 Permalink | Reply  

      Another closed bar, this one in St-Michel, has been the target of arsonists – do you suppose even the crooks are feeling the pinch of lowered revenues?

      • Kate 19:18 on 2020-04-25 Permalink | Reply  

        Physiotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists are being threatened with firing if they refuse to go work in CHSLDs, with two hours’ training – way outside their specialties. It’s a ministerial decree.

        I also note that doctors and nurses are currently excused the notoriously picky and difficult French-language test which should tell us that test is more a political requirement than a functional one.

        • SMD 21:32 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          Along the same lines, the order of nurses is also finally allowing nurses trained abroad to work in CHSLDs. But not as nurses, only as nurses’ aides.

        • JaneyB 11:30 on 2020-04-26 Permalink

          @SMD – Oh, that’s a positive step at least. I was wondering when all the foreign-trained med folks would be allowed into the crisis. There are thousands of them in this country and they are far more appropriate than social workers and speech pathologists (!) for the CHSLDs. Hats off to Ontario for leading on this.

        • jeather 11:47 on 2020-04-26 Permalink

          I suspect that just about anyone could work as a patient attendant assistant at an adequate level (and better than no one), but no protective gear and sudden overnight shifts? I know they say far from their home but it seems like it’s within the same CIUSSS they work for, so I’m not sure how far that really is compared to their regular job. I think the real problem is the lack of protective gear — though also I’m curious how actual assistants will respond when suddenly physiotherapists who get paid much more are doing the same work.

        • Flip 19:53 on 2020-04-26 Permalink

          An exceptional pause to the french language test during a global emergency means the test doesn’t have a functional purpose? I don’t see the correlation. I think its quite natural to ensure that doctors and nurses can speak the local language. The comment section on that CBC article would make you think expecting anyone to know french is equivalent to a war crime. But i’m sure they’d naturally expect their nurse to be able to communicate with them in English without realising the other side of the situation.

        • Kate 09:46 on 2020-04-27 Permalink

          Flip, ask anyone who’s taken the French test. Picky, picky, picky grammatical questions, way outside what a medical professional needs to know. Nobody charts using the passé simple.

          I’d stake you good odds if birth francophones had to pass this test, half the nurses in Quebec would lose their licences.

      • Kate 13:44 on 2020-04-25 Permalink | Reply  

        Montreal public health may have to open temporary morgues if death rates continue to rise. The Journal points out that 400 people have died of covid in Montreal this week and the rate risks overwhelming existing facilities in hospitals and funeral homes.

        • david000 18:37 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          Here’s an update, so that we can continue to feel more optimistic.

          According to antibody testing in Brevard County, Florida, only 1% of the popuation has been found to have antibodies, which is approximately 6020 of their 602,000 population. Covid-19 death stand at 8 in Brevard, which means a mortality rate of ~0.13%, or approximately 1/8 of 1%. For every 1000 people who contract the virus, a little over 1 person on average will die.


          Miami/Dade’s antibody testing found that approximately 6% of the population was estimated to have been infected, which puts their mortality range around ~0.17%, or 1/6 of 1% of those infected. For every thousand people who contract the virus, a little under 2 people will die.


          This is in addition to the continuing studies in New York (conducted by the state), and Los Angeles (conducted by USC), a study that’s currently in the field in two Bay Area communities (conducted by UCSF), and a study underway in Indiana (conducted by an association of governments). There are also ongoing studies among health workers in Massachusetts and Washington State.

        • david000 18:41 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          Of course, notwithstanding the great news described above in terms of just how much less deadly this thing is that we had feared, and what it means for our debate about the merits of a total lockdown, the low exposure rate found in the Florida studies show the need for continued vigilance and protection of the vulnerable.

          On a very sad personal note, a former colleague of mine recently died of complications from Covid-19. He was 44, and unfortunately suffered from several health problems, among them obesity and asthma. A very kind and intelligent guy, it’s a real shame.

        • david000 18:42 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          (above, as in, the comment I posted that is currently awaiting moderation linking the latest data.)

        • david000 18:56 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          So that while pretty much all the data on mortality is coming in under that critical 1/10-1/5 of 1%, some populations shoulder pretty much all of that:


        • Kate 19:50 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          david000, I see you want to minimize the risk, but at the same time, you’ve lost a friend who was only 44 – my condolences.

          I think I’ll let these facts stand for themselves.

        • David 20:24 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          We need to protect the vulnerable, but – if these data continue to be confirmed – make sure the public realizes that vanishingly few of us are likely to die, and that we have data sufficient (or close) to justify planning for getting back to work. The biggest threat isn’t governments stopping us from going out – they could lift the orders tomorrow and businesses would still be falling like flies. The purpose of my posts on this is to make sure, in my very small way, that we’re aware of what the emerging data are saying about the true risk, now that we’re testing. Public awareness is what I’m hustling about here.

        • David 20:29 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          If these data are true – and despite what Mr. Received Wisdom will pull off Twitter to convince himself that I don’t know what I’m talking about, when all I’m doing is linking to and/or describing scientists’ actual reporting and asking the most important policy question, possibly of our generation, when that’s literally just job, and mine it to inform everyone about the economic and social consequences of our various laws on housing – then we need a lot more reporting on it in Quebec and in Canada, as the Canadians have such a huge impact on our economy.

        • David 20:32 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          Autocorrect bungled my last point, which is that spending a couple hours per day on this and telling people of the result of that: not my job.

          I look forward to returning to my regularly rescheduled programming of explaining how it’s a sort of slow harikiri we’re performing out ourselves to legislate high housing prices.

        • David 20:41 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          And as a final one (I promise): Kevin, obviously you grok this already, but as you’re evaluating the discrepancies between how death rates in some areas may be inconsistent with others and you’re looking to explain that by looking at date/reporting on just who the patients are demographically or whatever, and as your further breaking that down by the emerging spread research, two other things to consider:

          1) hygiene levels, for which you might consider income, education, food service work, etc. as proxies; and
          2) far far more importantly: variations in spread and morbidity that have been convincingly/definitively established in past pandemics.

          When you’re writing your series on this, you could sift through the lit and probably get some pretty interesting correlation data – even if there’s none, that’s worth reporting. I know you’re an expert, but this level of reporting doesn’t require regression analyses or whatever – you can simply report, or even just ask our government or some professor who’s not already working on it, and that’ll probably be enough to get them digging/modeling.

        • Kate 21:05 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

        • Kate 21:41 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

        • Alison Cummins 09:41 on 2020-04-26 Permalink

          “a former colleague of mine recently died of complications from Covid-19. He was 44, and unfortunately suffered from several health problems, among them obesity and asthma.”
          “vanishingly few of us are likely to die, and that we have data sufficient (or close) to justify planning for getting back to work.”

          If I understand correctly, you believe that the reason you are on lockdown is to prevent you, personally, from dying of covid-19?

          That when you say “vanishingly few of us are likely to die,” “us” refers to nice clean young people without any health problems?

          That anyone not in the “us” category is “them” and not interesting ?

          That you think you should be able to do what you want, where you want, because you are a nice clean young person without obesity or asthma?

          Basically, that all those health care workers who say they need PPE to care for patients are just whiners and probably obese?

          If this is your understanding of infectious disease, you’re making it very clear indeed that this is not your job.

          If this is not what you mean, you might want to think carefully because it’s what you’re saying.

        • david 22:52 on 2020-04-26 Permalink

          Hey Alison, I’m not trying to come off like an expert, believe me, I’m not. But I’m the guy who – under a different handle – wrote that post a couple weeks ago about our office being infected, and I’m fairly certain that, given how we worked together, given how infectious this disease appears to be, and given our symptoms during that time period, I and several of my coworkers were infected. And I totally would have been on board with whatever is being published, aside from the fact that the documented infection rates to death rates at the time were like 2-5%. And my office was zero. And nobody any of us knew at that time had died. So, anecdotally, it was clear to me that this was not a 2-5% death rate type virus.

          So I started asking myself: okay, then what are we missing on this? And this questioning had me looking at everything I could about this. Not obsessively, but close. Why is this seemingly far far more deadly than it was for my office?

          The info is suggesting that there may be a lot of reasons. First, and mostly importantly, it’s just not as deadly as people first suspected.

          When you start here: https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus-spreads-one-study-predicts-101552222.html

          and end up with the Florida studies linked above, it’s clear that we may have jumped the guy. And that’s fair, because it was the modern western world’s first pandemic.

          I’m going to post a whole bunch more on this over the next while, as Kevin will – him being the statistical and medical expert, who, for instance, is intimately familiar with German studies underway asking why children seem not only to be totally immune, even from they pretty much never contract covid 19.

          And Kate has asked in those twitter links questions that I’m not qualified to answer. But with my next response, I’ll – like Kevin – have a lot more info to share with you, whether it goes against what I hope to be true (fast return to life) or not.

          I’m also going to be the guinea pig, and I’m doing the absolute best antibody test I’ve been able to get to on May 11 – at my own expense, which definitely isn’t negligible – and should have the results a 2-4 days later, and you can bet that either way, I’ll be posting them here, with photos to prove. So that people know what it’s all about, with details on everything they tell me about their sensitivity, etc.

        • walkerp 13:25 on 2020-04-27 Permalink

          Onion headline: “Dude Struggles with Denial about Reality of Coronavirus Pandemic”

      • Kate 10:31 on 2020-04-25 Permalink | Reply  

        Pediatric infectious disease specialist Christos Karatzios, who works at the Children’s, has written an open letter to François Legault and Dr. Horacio Arruda, explaining why sending kids back to school won’t be the magic that creates herd immunity in Quebec.

        (I’m sorry, but that’s a Facebook link and I don’t have any other source for it. The link is via reddit.)

        I have another general link on herd immunity from the Guardian.

        François Legault will soon be giving orders for reopening things and sending kids back to school, because it would be a tragedy not to send them back in for the last few weeks of the term, right.

      • Kate 09:44 on 2020-04-25 Permalink | Reply  

        Quebec City has cut the permit cost for a restaurant terrasse down to $50, but Montreal has not yet made any decision whether it will change permit costs, or indeed allow terrasses at all this summer.

        • DeWolf 12:22 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          Terrasses seem an easy way to keep restaurants, cafés and bars afloat this summer, because they normally represent a significant expansion of their capacity. And it seems likely that whenever they’re allowed to reopen, it will be at 50% capacity for an indefinite period of time. Plus there is mounting evidence that the virus struggles to survive in sunlight and fresh air (source below) which suggests that, aside from staying in your own home, it’s safest to be outdoors.


        • Chris 12:54 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          And with less automobiles polluting the air and making lots of noise, terrasses will be way more pleasant!

        • Spi 17:12 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          Terraces will inevitably go into conflict with the need to maintain the “cordon sanitaire” that has been implemented on some major commercial streets. They both need to occupy the space usually reserved for metered parking.

          Which one do we give up? Social distancing rules or some streetside terraces?

        • Raymond Lutz 17:27 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          It seems outdoor transmission is rarissime: “looking at coronavirus virus transmission in over 7000 cases. There was only ONE case in which a person outdoors transmitted the virus to another person outdoors.”


        • Chris 19:48 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          >They both need to occupy the space usually reserved for metered parking.

          No they don’t. Car traffic lanes could be closed to automobiles and used for walking. The space formerly used for parking could be used for terasses. There’s lots of room on our streets if we take away the cars.

        • DeWolf 23:31 on 2020-04-25 Permalink

          The corridors sanitaires only occupy one side of the street at a time so I don’t see why that would be a conflict. If it comes down to it, everyone would benefit from having a whole bunch of pedestrian-only streets this summer.

      • Kate 09:24 on 2020-04-25 Permalink | Reply  

        Radio-Canada has an excellent photo essay by Ivanoh Demers showing the nearly empty metro.

        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