Updates from May, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:24 on 2020-05-10 Permalink | Reply  

    Aaron Derfel has a thread Sunday evening on how health care professionals have been affected under the pandemic.

    • Kate 18:03 on 2020-05-10 Permalink | Reply  

      One hundred and forty-two (142) more people have died from COVID‑19 in the last 24 hours in Quebec. More than 100 of these deaths were in Montreal.

      Montreal North is a serious hot spot in the city.

      It’s just outside town, but 64 people have COVID-19 in a Cargill meat processing plant in Chambly. If this sounds familiar, it’s because a lot of people also got sick in a Cargill plant in Alberta last month.

      • Chris 21:24 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        The media loves to put these numbers out, but is 142 a lot? How many people die per day usually? According to the Institut de la statistique Québec, it seems the answer, in 2018, was 188 deaths per day. So that’s a huge chunk! Then again, maybe it’s just me, but the way some media portray it, you’d expect it to be 10x a usual day.

        And the Montreal CMA is almost 50% of Quebec’s population, so 100/142 is not _hugely_ disproportionate. In fact, you’d expect big cities to have more spread/cases.

      • jeather 22:08 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        Chris, Kate posted an article that answers that just yesterday. This week Montreal has had 3x as many deaths as usual (40/day), so that’s 50-60 excess yesterday alone, if we read “more than 100” as 101-109.

        I would definitely love more specific info on the average death rate per day/week prior to this year and this year.

      • Kevin 22:08 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        I think you’ll find that normally, the largest number of people dying from a single cause is about 55 per day, and it’s pretty all-encompassing: cancer.
        So having three times that number dying from a single disease is pretty significant.

      • david11 22:24 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        And almost everyone dying is from groups that we knew to be and identified as vulnerable months ago.

        So that it’s still happening is a major failure on the part of the Legault government.

        Crash the economy, crash the government’s borrowing, and don’t even take the measures we need to in order to protect the very few people who are genuinely vulnerable.

        It’s not a conspiracy or lie that people are dying – they are! The conspiracy is that our government is massively bungling this challenge.

      • david11 22:27 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        And of course that the thrust of reporting is still – still ! – taking the government’s side, when it should be absolutely skeptical of both nuking the economy and the totally unsatisfactory measures they’ve been taking to identify and protect the tiny percent of the population that will – no exaggeration, will – die from this if they contract it.

      • Kate 23:11 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        david11 – no matter what we do, we can’t seal off CHSLDs and everyone who works in them. Those workers are on your bus and in your metro and in your grocery store and on your street, and not everyone who gets sick and dies is an old age pensioner. We still have to flatten that curve.

        Until mid-March I worked in a business where several of the workers were well over 60, and the owner’s elderly father used to come in almost every afternoon to do some mysterious paper shuffling. In fact, I think it may have been me who pushed the owner to act and close down, after I pointed out to him that his father was getting exposed daily to a random crew of sales guys and trades guys who were always coming and going, visiting other businesses, lunching with people from other businesses.

        I don’t know whether my old boss will reopen the business or be able to rehire everyone who was working there till mid-March, but I would not want to be sitting where I was, exposed to all kinds of people walking inches away from where I was working, coughing on me in some cases (yes) – and I wasn’t even in a public-facing job. But I certainly was not in a bubble, AND it would mean going to and fro every day on a bus. I am not elderly and I’m fairly healthy but that was not a job I’m willing to die for, you know?

      • Alison Cummins 01:30 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

        On March 9, BC had Canada’s first covid death. It was in a long-term care centre.

        They managed their stuff though. The death rate from covid in BC is less now than it was a month ago. No bubble required, just competent public health direction.

        We are

      • Kate 10:21 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

        Alison, if you want to complete your thought, please post again and I will link them up.

      • Kevin 11:24 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

        In my opinion, there are two or three big failures from this government.

        In order of seriousness, the biggest problem is the failure in contact tracing in order to isolate new patients. This is the crucial step, and the government — or the bureaucracy — has fallen on its face onto a garden rake. This is why Montreal can’t reopen. This is why the disease has run rampant through seniors’ homes. This is why we’re going to have a second wave in ROQ very soon.

        Quebec has nowhere near the number of tracers necessary, they’re not reaching the people needed, and they are frequently failing to get the message through. We need hundreds, if not thousands, of contact tracers. They need to be able to speak to people in their mother tongue. They need to be able to reach people on the phone and some of these patients need to be seen in their homes — or moved out of their homes into an area where they can be isolated.
        If you want to open the economy, Quebec needs to trace contacts, and do it faster.

        The second problem is the bureaucracy completely failing to match skilled medical workers/orderlies with the posts that need to be filled. 8 weeks in and the bureaucrats still can’t do it. That’s ridiculous. Whether it’s language laws or turf wars or something else, some bureaucrats have their heads up their ass. That’s why the army was called in– because it’s a way to bypass the bureaucracy.

        The lack of testing is the third problem but it’s the most understandable, since every authority in the world needs the same chemical reagents to run the tests. There are things the government could be doing to be more efficient about it, but again, that requires a skilled and competent bureaucracy to get things done.

        I’m not worried about “the economy” because while some segments are failing, others are being innovative and succeeding. We’ve got the social safety net and it’s doing its job. And you can see south of the border what happens when that doesn’t exist.

      • walkerp 13:19 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

        Very well summarized, Kevin. I think we see here what a deep structural failure the Quebec health system is as well as several other civil services (education comes close). Instead of trying to fix these institutions, the CAQ wanted to do a soft neoliberal end-run around them.

        The coronavirus has shown that strategy to be a complete disaster and revealing that not only is their ideology impractical for the situation but they also lack the expertise to handle it tactically. They showed this early in their tenure, but we forgot in the first few weeks when Legault responded appropriately to the emergency.

        There is still time for them to get back to that place of treating this pandemic like the crisis it is. The Quebec people would accept it. I wonder what pressures are on them that they are breaking down so quickly?

      • Chris 23:21 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

        jeather, guess I missed that link, but most stories don’t give the baseline numbers, making comparisons hard.

        One nit though: we can’t assume that every covid death is a ‘new’ death, some of those people would have died in this day/week/month due to some other reason, especially since so many of the dead skew old.

        Also note that not every place counts equally, Quebec counts presumed-covid deaths, other places count confirmed-covid deaths. We’ll have better numbers only later.

    • Kate 12:53 on 2020-05-10 Permalink | Reply  

      La Presse visits Park Extension, where a lot of folks live on the edge of poverty at the best of times, and are now trying to avoid getting sick while getting by.

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

        Rima Elkouri writes about Tamey Lau, the florist of Bernard Street.

        • Kate 10:52 on 2020-05-10 Permalink | Reply  

          Found out on Twitter that a guy has been uploading cassette recordings of Brave New Waves from the 1980s and 1990s to archive.org.

          • Meezly 11:09 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

            This is amazing! Brave New Waves was a lifeline. Thanks for sharing this discovery, Kate. Though it seems that they start in the 90’s and not the 80’s.

          • Kate 12:00 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

            Ah. I was just quoting the original tweet I saw. Thanks.

          • dwgs 12:42 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

            Holy crap, thank you so much!! About once a year I go looking for any trace of those shows, this is great. Now I just need to find some Night Lines to go with it.

          • Kate 12:51 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

            Here’s a piece from 2018 about Brave New Waves but I’m not finding any Night Lines anywhere.

          • JaneyB 13:43 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

            Doing god’s work, he is!

          • dwgs 19:29 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

            Back when the CBC was relevant. It’s sad what it has become. Mulroney gutted it and no one ever had the stones to undo what he had done.

          • dwgs 08:02 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

            Also, if anyone ever stumbles across copies of Lister Sinclair’s “Ideas” programs, especially the ” A is for Aardvark” radio series, I would be forever grateful.

          • CE 09:28 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

            I’d be interested in episodes from the early 2000s. I know it’s not the golden age of the show but it’s when I listened to it. God know how many hours of sleep I lost over my high school years I lost staying up listening to BNW!

          • Kate 09:45 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

            I wish I could oblige by finding these things, but my Brave New Waves discovery was simply a piece of luck.

            Have either of you tried emailing the CBC and simply asking whether those things are available in their archives?

          • Francesco 10:05 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

            I frequently listened all night, it formed part of my dreamscapes and informed my education throughout the following day at Abbott (or wherever).

            I still remember Augusta La Paix’s tearful final sign off like it was last week: “It Says Here (Alternative Version)” by Billy Bragg, then closed out by Laurie Anderson’s iconic “O Superman.”

          • CE 11:40 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

            I seem to remember emailing the CBC about their cancelling BNW years ago and getting a sympathetic but noncommittal response.

          • Kate 16:05 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

            CE, but they still may have archives of some of it, even if there’s never been any intention to bring it back.

          • Kevin Mitchell 19:52 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

            They definitely have archives. That’s where https://cbcbravenewwaves.bandcamp.com/ came from. I bought all the ones currently available and am listening now. The remastering quality is amazing. Do consider buying to encourage further more of the same.

            Alas, I fear that these archive.org entries may shortly be subject to heartless takedown orders like https://networkeffects.ca/?page_id=1301 so download them while you can! For some reason, some are still available at https://networkeffects.ca/?p=1830, but many have been taken down that were once up.

            See also https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCKyhaTGigDWozxs4fW2JGu64e3SJ_dtR

        • Kate 09:55 on 2020-05-10 Permalink | Reply  

          The Journal has a piece Sunday in collaboration with the Société historique du Québec about Grosse-Île as an immigration quarantine port during epidemics – notably the influx of Irish in 1847, but others as well until it closed for that purpose in 1937.

          • Kate 09:08 on 2020-05-10 Permalink | Reply  

            The CTV headline on this CP piece from Giuseppe Valiante is COVID-19 pandemic prompts urbanites to rethink ‘grand bargain’ of dense city living but the story is not so decisive. Some real estate people whistle in the dark about how prices won’t drop, others brag that condo sales have continued through the pandemic. And full return of construction sites here is planned for tomorrow.

            • david0000 02:34 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

              By my read, for what it’s worth, in that article, this is the key takeaway at the macro level:

              “The pandemic isn’t providing a magic answer to our housing shortage problems and, therefore, it is not a magic wand that is going to cure housing affordability issues,” Soper said in a recent interview.

              “The only thing that will provide more affordable housing in our big cities is additional supply — and there certainly aren’t more homes being built in the pandemic — there are fewer. If anything it exacerbates the problem.”

              And this is the most interesting thing to think about going forward:

              Fontaine said he appreciates, however, that many of the residents in his buildings’ smaller units are working from home and will continue to do so for a while. “They are in a space that wasn’t made for that,” he said.

              Ie. pandemic could poke the market into providing larger flats . . .

            • david0000 02:38 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

              Larger flats in Ville Marie, of course, would suck up some of the demand that’s not met downtown, and is getting dumped onto the Plateau, with the knock issues we’ve talked about before, with the steady march of unmet demand pushed north and north.

            • CE 09:33 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

              I can imagine the housing shortage being exasperated by a future where more people are working from home. Larger apartments are going to be needed so people can have a separate room for their home office. It might mean that a 5 1/2 that might have previously housed three or four people might just house a couple or even one person. I live in a 3 1/2 with my girlfriend and just converted a chunk of the kitchen into an office for her. This apartment was comfortable before but a 4 1/2 would be really nice these days! She’s going to be working from home until at least September.

            • EmilyG 10:13 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

              I imagine there will need to be more soundproofing as well.
              My landlord lives below me and doesn’t even like the sound of me typing on my computer keyboard…
              And I’ve had to put my clarinet playing on hiatus because he doesn’t like it, though I’m not doing much performance work these days.

            • mare 10:52 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

              On the other subject of density and supply and demand: Montreal has a very large number of people who are single and still occupy—and can afford—a 4 ½ or even a 5 ½. Or they live-apart-together and can afford two 4 ½ s between the two of them.
              Example: of the eight 4 1/2s and three 6 ½s neighbouring me, seven are occupied by people who live alone, two of them in the large apartments. And that’s not unusual in my street in gentrifying La Petite-Patrie. During this lockdown there are many apartments that stay dark all night, presumably because their tenants moved (temporarily) in with a friend or partner. (I don’t think that there are many cottage owners living in my street, and even essential workers won’t have night shifts every night.)

              Before you vilify me: I’m not saying that I think they aren’t allowed to live alone, I’ve lived alone for most of my live, even when I was partnered.

              But if rents will go up, or employment down, people might move in with each other in larger numbers, driven by economic necessity.
              Then The density will go *up*, and not *down*, as many people here think is necessary, and there will be more room for newcomers. If however rents go down—which is unlikely with the way our rent-control system works in Montreal—density might go *down* as well, because even more people might be able to afford having their own appartement.

              In Toronto and many other Canada and US cities with much higher rents, it’s rare people live alone; they either have roommates or live with a partner. And not just students, also young professionals with good salaries.

          • Kate 08:58 on 2020-05-10 Permalink | Reply  

            Parking tickets – real ones, not just warnings – will begin this week for drivers not respecting the signs.

            • Kate 08:53 on 2020-05-10 Permalink | Reply  

              There are reports of more wild animals in city streets (here and in other places) but the experts say it’s not so much that more animals are here, as that they may be more casual about moving around in a quieter city, and that we have more leisure to notice them.

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