Updates from May, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:51 on 2020-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

    Aaron Derfel’s analytical thread du jour: the tl;dr is “Montreal’s COVID mortality toll is far from tapering off.”

    • Kate 20:08 on 2020-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

      Managers want an “aggressive blitz” when construction sites reopen May 11, hoping to catch up to deadlines. But this may mean closing a lot of streets at the same time.

      • david76 21:18 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

        They need this. People don’t realize what a giant industry construction is in Quebec, and also don’t realize the time horizons that builders need to manage. Balancing permitting, loans, subcontractor availability, rentals, etc. you get to this situation where even minor sequencing interruptions can lead to giant escalations in costs. And major hits like this . . .

      • david76 21:23 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

        And in case people are thinking “great, let the bloodsucking developers lose money” – remember that we have massive waves of foreigners moving to Montreal, along with massive housing speculation, enabled by cheap money. When developers/builders can’t make money, and so don’t bring new units to market, all this excess demand just gets dumped onto the existing supply of housing units. So that we get gentrification, as people bid up the cost of existing units, leading to new owner move-ins, and all sorts of other changes. And we see a decrease in population density, as housing prices increase, which threatens the viability of our long-cherished shops.

      • Kevin 21:31 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

        The first question to ask workers is : what OTHER projects/jobs/companies are you working on?

      • david76 21:51 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

        You mean that keeping them off mega projects could redound to the benefit of smaller builders? This affects everyone.

      • Kevin 23:41 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

        I mean that it’s no use for three projects to plan blitzes when many of the same workers are at each site.

        I think one of my brothers is juggling work at seven different locations…

      • dwgs 07:48 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

        Also, and this is going to be a big issue, there won’t be enough cement to go around. Even pre-pandemic there was usually a four or five day wait for a delivery. With everyone starting at the same time and a two month backlog that’s going to be far worse.

    • Kate 18:34 on 2020-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

      The link with COVID-19 has not yet been made plain, but there’s been an outbreak of Kawasaki syndrome noted by both Ste-Justine and by the Children’s. Wikipedia says it’s a rare disease – but maybe not any more.

      • Gerald 06:42 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

        The wiki page mentions it is not spread between people and that it affects those who are genetically predisposed, mostly those of Asian descent. So not sure if the word outbreak is warranted.

      • Kate 08:58 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

        If something normally tagged a rare disease is showing up suddenly at both children’s hospitals, I think “outbreak” is a fair word to use.

        If you read the Wikipedia article, you’ll see that by no means all the afflicted are of Asian descent, and there may be environmental reasons the condition is seen more commonly in Japan (and not all of Asia, as you suggest).

      • Blork 09:17 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

        I have seen reports of Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) showing up in COVID-19 patients in Europe. That’s a rare autoimmune disease that is sometimes linked to respiratory or digestive infections, as well as (gasp!) vaccines. (I am absolutely not an anti-vaxxer, but pro-vax people need to acknowledge that vaccines are not without risk, and this is one of them, although the risk is very low.)


      • Kate 09:28 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

        GBS is also rare, but I know two people who’ve had it (well before COVID-19). Both came very close to dying, one still has lingering problems and can’t work. It’s no joke.

      • Blork 10:08 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

        Indeed. Rare and nasty, although most people fully recover eventually.

        The report I saw talks about five cases of GBS in hospitals in Northern Italy.


      • Alison Cummins 16:04 on 2020-05-07 Permalink


        Yes, GBS sometimes occurs when the immune system has been activated recently. Infections do that and so do vaccines.

        I think the attitude you need to take if you develop it in response to a vaccine is that you would have gotten it in response to the vaccine-preventable infection anyway. It’s not a net-new.

    • Kate 18:31 on 2020-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

      With the help of several of my blog readers, to whom I’m grateful, I’ve accumulated materials for starting my back yard garden, but there’s another frost warning tonight, so it’s good that nothing’s been planted out yet.

      Thursday, I see we have at least five more nights of temperatures grazing zero. No time to plant.

      • denpanosekai 21:55 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

        All I’m hoping is that this means fewer mosquitoes this summer.

      • Brett 21:56 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

        Kate, how did your landlords react to your summer gardening plans? We’re they positive? Actually, let’s not use that word in this context. Was their response favourable?

      • Kate 22:21 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

        Brett, I’ve done container gardening in my little yard for years and it’s never been a problem. Why do you want to know?

    • Kate 18:07 on 2020-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

      Prisoners at Bordeaux Jail have begun a hunger strike following the death of an inmate from COVID-19 with many more prisoners and guards testing positive. If this item is correct, there’s no running water in the jail and inmates are locked up for 23 hours of the 24, never mind that there are no masks.

      • HELEN 23:26 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

        Hi I need some help to get a message it’s very important I need to talk to him as soon as possible to my lover fiance I only speak English only his name is he in Bordeaux Montreal Quebec Carl Patterson Jr my name is Helen I really love him and miss him so very much and I really care about him so very much

      • Kate 23:58 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

        Helen, this is the second time you’ve posted a comment about this, but as I said last time, nobody here has any way to get a message into Bordeaux.

      • Ted 16:00 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

        Hi Helen – Drop me an email at anticarceralgroup@riseup.net and I can try to get a message into Bordeaux.

    • Kate 14:36 on 2020-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

      Radio-Canada has some background to how the Quebec government set up the massive An-225 delivery, described here as “mille mètres cubes de blouses de protection.”

      • Kate 10:54 on 2020-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

        Montreal hospitals are being told to send COVID-19 patients off-island. Care home workers are showing up very sick to hospitals – these are the folks Quebec has been moving from place to place to fill absences and vacancies in different homes.

        Laval is turning Place Bell into a COVID-19 hospital.

        Kids being home from school means some are missing the free meals provided in the school setting, but with the news bits above, it doesn’t feel like Quebec has a handle on this thing yet, does it?

        • Tim S. 11:27 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

          Like everybody I suppose, I’ve been writing to old friends scattered around the world since the crisis began. Some of them I was quite worried about – health care workers, people with chronic illnesses, in high-risk places. The past couple of weeks, though, the replies I’ve been getting have been along the lines of “We’re fine. What the hell is happening to you guys”?
          Anyone else having similar conversations?

        • Kate 11:33 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

          Not me, because I participate in some discussions with people in the US and UK, who have it worse than us on the whole.

        • Alison Cummins 13:32 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

          My sister the doctor:
          “We in Vancouver are doing well and we don’t have much community CoVID at this time. We’ve had excellent public health direction and our province closed down before our spring break so we have virtually no community CoVID. The medical landscape has changed dramatically and the vigilance is high.”

          A polite way of saying “what the &*%# is up with you guys???”

        • Uatu 16:45 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

          Vancouver is lucky to have dr. Bonnie Henry – someone who actually knows what she’s doing

        • JP 20:42 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

          My experience talking to friends and family outside of Quebec is similar to that of Kate’s and Tim’s, in that family in India are staying home, but the area where they are seems ok & unaffected so far. Regarding family in the U.K, my uncle passed away from it, so we’re very sad, and anxious too.

          The numbers are just numbers, until it’s someone you love. Of course, risks/benefits need to be looked at objectively, and there’s no such thing as zero risk. I’m as stir-crazy/worried about the economy as anyone, I just don’t think we’re quite ready in Montreal to open up just yet.

          On another note, I think the inability to feel comfortable/safe in groups, at least in the short-term, is a tremendous loss. Protests, weddings, graduations, conventions, travelling, visiting friends near and far. Relationships, friendships, connections, these are among the things that give my life meaning. I’m glad it may be the end of the open concept office though…that was always a horrible idea.

          I’m also remembering the time I was at an outdoor Jazz fest concert on a humid June evening a couple of years ago, where we were stuck in the middle of a very, very crowded audience. It’s the kind of situation, I don’t know I’ll every put myself in again, ever. [Sorry this went off topic…]

        • Kate 22:26 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

          JP, your thoughts here are good ones. We’re all running through cycles of ideas and feelings like that.

          I had a minor dust-up with a stranger on a Facebook group this week when I said I missed dim sum, and didn’t think it would ever come back in the same way – crowded restaurants, tables close together, groups eating around the same dishes. Stranger got angry, implied I was mentally unwell, and stated categorically that soon everything would be back exactly as it used to be. I just can’t see it, as you can’t see the sweaty crowds at summer festivals.

          My condolences about your uncle.

        • JP 22:48 on 2020-05-06 Permalink

          Thank you, Kate.

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