Updates from April, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:26 on 2020-04-27 Permalink | Reply  

    The mother of the two girls stabbed over the weekend has been charged with second-degree murder. She was treated for self-inflicted injuries after the incident.

    • Kate 21:07 on 2020-04-27 Permalink | Reply  

      Various virus stories du jour: a centenarian in Lasalle has died of the virus; CTV says half of Canadians polled said their mental health is in decline; a salon owner who opted to work in a CHSLD for the time being has caught corona herself; cyclists are having difficulty maintaining distance.

      • Chris 11:08 on 2020-04-28 Permalink

        Projet is so disappointing. Weren’t they supposed to be anti-car pro-cyclist zealots? Here they have the perfect excuse to reallocate some roadways away from automobiles to active transport, and they aren’t doing it.

        We’re queuing for food, people are advocating for invasive tracking, jobs are lost, mental heath is down, savings are wiped out, but our god forbid we give an inch against car culture. We should be following Milan’s example here.

      • DeWolf 13:15 on 2020-04-28 Permalink

        Val Plante keeps hinting on Twitter that big things are in the works. I think they’re being very cautious not to be seen as too eager, given we’re still in lockdown, but as soon as the official de-confinement process begins, expect them to use it as an opportunity to ramp up things like the REV.

      • Ian 18:12 on 2020-04-28 Permalink

        WTF are you guys on about? PM has put up temporary barriers along a bunch of corridors, taking away entire lanes of traffic throughout the Plateau. Not like nearly as many people are driving anyhow…
        PM has been going on and on about this great achievement since they are apparently incapable of doing anything but change street furniture and close parks…

        The thing is, people are getting really resentful of bicyclists doing whatever they feel like (as usual) despite the fact that there are a lot more people out walking around. Those reclaimed spaces are supposed to be for pedestrians, not the usual “I should be allowed to bicycle wherever I feel like” crowd. I’ve seen a lot of people in my neighbourhood, especially older people, that have taken to walking around with 6 foot long sticks to force joggers and bicyclists to stay away from them.

        If you guys really want there to be more sympathy for biking after all this, maybe encourage your bicyclist pals not to be treating the entire world like a bike path for a bit.

      • Chris 19:13 on 2020-04-28 Permalink

        Ian: keyword there: “temporary”. I’m advocating using this opportunity to *permanently* reallocate space away from cars to active transport, tree planting, benches, etc. Now is precisely the time to reduce the size of the road network, while road usage by motorists is currently way down. As usage ramps up, a new equilibrium will be reached. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

        The climate emergency is even worse than the covid emergency, yet people are willing to transform society for the latter but not the former.

      • Ian 20:13 on 2020-04-28 Permalink

        …you do realize the reduced road use is because so many people are at home, and only because of the pandemic, right? They haven’t given up going to work, they are being told to stay home. They will be back out there the second work starts again. Stop being so doctrinaire and consider for a moment what is actually happening to the city.
        For that mattervwe should all be staying home as much as possible. Most bicyclists I see these days are recreational.

      • Chris 22:56 on 2020-04-28 Permalink

        >you do realize the reduced road use is because so many people are at home…

        Of course; what did I say that makes you think otherwise (perhaps I can clarify it)? My point is that reducing the size of the road network would commensurately prevent motorists from returning to their old ways. We have seen for a century now that building roads just results in those roads being filled. Constraining space for cars will force some to switch to public transit, active transit, to move home/work, to work from home, etc.

        >Stop being so doctrinaire

        Consider that it is you being doctrinaire, in your devotion to continued automobile dominance even in the face of all the evidence that they are a major cause of the climate catastrophe.

        >For that mattervwe should all be staying home as much as possible

        Why? To save lives. Reducing cars will save lives too.

      • Ian 07:47 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

        You misunderstand, I am advocating for that space to be reserved for pedestrians, especially as the point right now is physical distancing for people travelling for essential reasons like grocery and pharmacy runs. That is in fact how PM themselves positioned putting up these “safety corridors”.

        It’s rather telling that any time anyone criticizes bicyclists you think it’s pro-car. …to a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

      • Michael Black 07:55 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

        If cyclists are using that space, then it’s like when they ride on the sidewalk, or along space made on the street when construction is blocking the sidewalk.

        Right now it is doubly silly, since there us so much less traffic.

    • Kate 13:38 on 2020-04-27 Permalink | Reply  

      Grade schools and daycares will reopen May 19 in the greater Montreal area. High schools won’t reopen until late August. Parents won’t be penalized if they keep their kids at home, and some parents better be doing that because there’s to be a maximum of 15 kids per classroom.

      Skimmed off Twitter, will add links when I find them.

      Here’s the Gazette on grade schools reopening.

      Update: Some answers to questions from La Presse; teachers want masks in class – this is such an ironic twist on Bill 21 – and teachers in general are ill at ease over the government decision. Education minister Roberge talked a lot about making kids do schoolwork at home.

      • Mark Côté 14:14 on 2020-04-27 Permalink

        This is going to put parents in a very difficult position. There will be pressure on parents to send their kids to school even if there are greater risks in some families (parents with health conditions, live-in grandparents, etc.), since they’re going have to decide whether to put family members at risk versus, at best, telling their kids they don’t get to socialize while some of their friends now do, or, at worst, seeing them fall behind their class and struggle later.

        At least we have 3 weeks to see how the situation in Montreal progresses. But I’m not looking forward to making this choice.

      • Kate 14:33 on 2020-04-27 Permalink

        Also, I would think, pressure on some to send their kids to school so they can get back to work themselves. Legault’s supposed to address the question of reopening businesses tomorrow.

      • walkerp 15:04 on 2020-04-27 Permalink

        I just don’t get how this is supposed to work. Is the idea that we can slowly let the virus back into the community until too many people get sick and die and then we shut everything down again? Do they believe they can manage schools in such a way that the virus won’t spread?

      • Mark 15:13 on 2020-04-27 Permalink

        So I’m exactly in the situation that Mark above describes. I have 3 kids (5,7,9) and we take care of my mother who is 83 and has Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, so she is as “at-risk” as it gets. She has her own room with a small kitchen and bathroom so she could be “internally” isolated from us if the kids go back to school. Do the kids go back to school now? September? What will be different then, with no vaccine? It seems too soon to send the kids back now, but they can’t stay in forever.

        My take is to wait a bit until we hopefully have more information about whether or not COVID-19 can be caught more than once. Once we know that by catching this, there is a 96-98% chance of not catching it again, then I don’t mind getting out there and catching this and dealing with the repercussions, including the risk of dying as a healthy 43-year-old.

        But today, April 27, we don’t have any information about catching this twice, or long term repercussions for recovered patients, or how it attacks other parts of the body, etc. We don’t have enough information to make an informed decision and weighing the pros, cons, and risks of our choice.

      • Baru 16:35 on 2020-04-27 Permalink

        I’ve already heard of employers contacting their workers telling them to show up to work as a result of the openings, or else they will consider them to have resigned from their jobs.

        a range of hasty re-openings are going to occur now all over Canada as a result of the business community losing patience and starting to turn the screws.

      • vasi 18:03 on 2020-04-27 Permalink

        A lot of folks are saying “if we don’t do this, then what? do we just stay indoors forever?” But there’s a lot between May and infinity! We could wait until any of:

        We have proof that immunity is a real, lasting thing
        We’ve had a couple of weeks of steadily lower case loads, so we have some leeway in case things go bad
        We have enough testing capacity to test any children or teachers who may have been exposed
        We have enough spare hospital capacity that we’re not at risk of overfilling them
        We’re no longer hearing reports of PPE shortages, so that we don’t risk running out if things get worse
        We have data about the effects of school re-openings on infection rates and educational outcomes, from other countries or provinces that are ahead of us
        We have new treatments that are more effective

        It doesn’t really sound like we’re meeting any particular criteria, we’re just opening cuz we’re tired of being indoors and willing to take risks. And we’ve decided if 1% of Quebec dies, and 15% ends up in hospital or with long-term sequelae, we’re ok with that.

      • GC 19:10 on 2020-04-27 Permalink

        I have a great deal of questions on the practicality/feasibility of maintaining the class sizes under fifteen, but I suppose I should see what is covered in the education minister’s briefing first…

        What I don’t get is why we can’t wait another week or so to make sure the hospitals stay somewhat stable, before pulling the trigger on this. I get that the schools/teachers need a bit of notice, but we can certainly wait a week or so and then still give them two weeks notice. I get that eventually there will be so little of the school year left that there won’t be any point in going back but, beyond that, it seems like he’s manufacturing some sort of artificial deadline here.

      • walkerp 07:12 on 2020-04-28 Permalink

        The May 11 and 19 dates are contingent on the numbers not getting worse. I would not be surprised at all if they get pushed back once again. Possible that the announcement itself was sent out to test the waters of public opinion.
        I think in general I am questioning the lack of emphasis and priority on supporting and improving the medical system. Should we not be finding solutions for mass testing, a system for contact tracing, improving our emergency rooms, radically changing the way we manage our seniors homes? Shouldn’t all that be the focus of our mobilization rather than just trying to gradually get back to normal?

      • Meezly 09:15 on 2020-04-28 Permalink

        It makes absolutely no sense for QC to reopen in mid-May, if you compare with other provinces with way fewer cases and they have more careful measures in place. It’s obvious Legault is under huge pressure from big businesses. I know that teachers’ unions are going to fight this, and I don’t blame them for not wanting to be sent to an ‘at risk’ work environment.

        Below is a POV from a virologist from McGill who has been part of the creation of the new infectious disease centre at the MUHC MI4 and someone who has spent time reading actual scientific papers that come out on COVID.

        By Claire Trottier:

        “Hi all. I’ve had a number of people reach out to me for my thoughts on
        Legault’s announcements that elementary schools will begin opening in
        Montreal on May 19th, and I thought it would make sense to make a public
        post. Like any scientist, I am willing to change my mind after reviewing
        new evidence. These are my thoughts in this moment.

        Will I be sending my kids to school on May 19th? No. First, I have asthma
        and in general I will be more cautious than most. Even without the asthma,
        I wouldn’t send my kids to school. Part of the reason comes from the
        privilege of my life. I live in a pretty big house, I have a yard, my kids
        have devices and toys to keep them occupied, we have plentiful food, and a
        stable and loving home. It’s still hard, Aron and I are both working and
        the kids end up watching a lot of terrible shows on Netflix. If I didn’t
        have access to all these comforts, my calculus might be different, and I
        might send my kids to school.

        The most compelling reasons I have heard for re-opening the schools have
        centered on issues of poverty and inequality. Many kids rely on school
        lunches. Many kids do not live in safe home environments. Many kids may
        have loving homes, but still have home situations that make physical
        distancing extremely difficult. This crisis has revealed deep inequalities
        and have exacerbated them. There is a steep societal cost to physical
        distancing (the list is much longer), and that has to be part of the

        There is also a cost to re-opening. Kids with parents with pre-existing
        conditions. Teachers and school staff with pre-existing conditions, putting
        themselves at risk. People without pre-existing conditions are also getting
        very sick. Evidence of emerging complications for kids who get Covid-19.

        And re-opening in Montreal of all places? Montreal has the highest number
        of cases in the country. We have shifted our testing capacity to prioritize
        the elderly and front-line workers without establishing a path to massively
        increase testing capacity for the general population. We have dismal
        contact tracing. All this means that we are basically flying blind. We do
        not have good data on community transmission right now, because we just
        aren’t doing the testing or the contact tracing, period.

        On top of that, we know that cases are rising in Montreal North and other
        neighborhoods with higher concentrations of more marginalized communities,
        who will likely bear the brunt of any further increased cases of Covid-19
        from schools. But don’t worry, there is plenty of place in our ERs for when
        they or our teachers get sick. I have a really hard time with that
        particular argument.

        On April 14th, the WHO released their updated strategic preparedness plan
        that outlines the key necessary steps to maintain low-to-no community
        transmission. Montreal clearly does not fullfil these criteria, in fact we
        fail dismally. We do NOT have controlled transmission. We do NOT have the
        capacity to test, trace, and isolate all cases. Outbreak rates are HIGH in
        vulnerable settings like old age homes.

        Until we MASSIVELY increase our testing and contact tracing capacity, until
        we have controlled the outbreaks in old age homes, until we have controlled
        transmission in the community, we should not be re-opening schools.

        What we should be doing is ramping up solutions to the very real and
        devastating negative effects of physical distancing for so many people. We
        should be hearing about detailed plans to increase testing and tracing
        capacity. We should not be re-opening schools.

        As always, I am willing to change my mind or adjust my way of thinking. I
        would especially welcome comments from friends in public health,
        microbiology, or immunology.”

    • Kate 09:26 on 2020-04-27 Permalink | Reply  

      The intro deck to Daniel Renaud’s summary of six recent attacks on shuttered bars gives away the story: the incidents might be linked – or might not – “la police n’exclut aucune hypothèse.” Renaud doesn’t know, nor do the police, exactly what’s going on. All anyone can guess is that the pandemic lockdown might be destabilizing the criminal world just as much as the straight-arrow one.

      • qatzelok 11:46 on 2020-04-27 Permalink

        If Jeffery Epstein were still around, how could he get our political class to sleep with underaged honey-traps in this climate?

    • Kate 09:09 on 2020-04-27 Permalink | Reply  

      Neighbours’ opinions have been queried by La Presse and by the Journal, but nobody has anything but horror to express about the two girls attacked, likely by their own mother, on the weekend. The older is dead, the younger is still in hospital.

      • Kate 09:00 on 2020-04-27 Permalink | Reply  

        With the human population lying low, it’s not surprising that animals are more noticeable in city streets.

        • Kate 08:27 on 2020-04-27 Permalink | Reply  

          Dorval’s Académie Sainte-Anne, a private school in a building dating from 1896, was severely damaged in a five-alarm fire overnight.

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