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  • Kate 19:45 on 2020-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, the city’s largest cemetery, won’t be properly looked after this summer, according to the maintenance union. The irony here is that it will be far better for bird and insect life if the big graveyard returns to nature for a season. Some years ago the union held a lengthy strike, and I went in for a walk: it was overgrown with wildflowers, there were crickets chirping and many more birds than I’d seen previously. Wild, it was much more Gothic and haunting than it is normally. But this time, the public can’t go in.

    • Kate 19:40 on 2020-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

      A Montreal clinic is offering antibody tests at $195 a pop that haven’t been authorized by Health Canada.

      • david000 02:06 on 2020-05-15 Permalink

        They claim to have a 98% sensitivity and 99% specificity, and they’re doing the two antibody types, which – if true – means that the chance of getting a false negative from that test is something like 1/10 of 1% or even less.

        I tested positive with the Abbott test (100%/99%, but on just the IgC antibodies) and it was good enough for my physician to conclude that I had been infected, even though the results were coming from some private lab in New York State (Quest Diagnostics).

        Maybe these Bio-Rad guys haven’t properly reported their testing and that’s a good reason for the Canadians to be skeptical but they seem pretty big time and, if what they report on their test quality is true, it seems perfectly legit.

      • Ephraim 06:12 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

        Pure profiteering from a pandemic. Pretty dispicable.

    • Kate 19:39 on 2020-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

      The Quebec Restaurant Association says its members would favour reopening, even at half capacity. Some are hoping that they’ll be able to open their terrasses; Ste‑Catherine Street through the Village is already closed to traffic although not with the coloured hanging balls that have been a summer feature for years,

      • Kate 19:34 on 2020-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

        Thursday marks the 90th birthday of the Jacques Cartier bridge.

        • Kate 12:51 on 2020-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

          The decision’s finally been made: students in Montreal will only go back to class for the fall term.

          • Meezly 13:00 on 2020-05-14 Permalink

            I hope the teachers, staff, parents and children won’t experience too much whiplash from all this back and forth. So much time, energy and resource wasted for something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. But I’m glad this decision has – finally – been made.

          • Brett 21:49 on 2020-05-14 Permalink

            Kind of like the way our politicians have finally decided that masks in crowded places are a good idea.

        • Kate 11:08 on 2020-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

          Montreal’s Nicholas Johnson has become the first black valedictorian at Princeton University, and has received a congratulatory tweet from Michelle Obama. Item from Princeton’s PR.

          Update: Video from Radio-Canada.

          • Kate 09:35 on 2020-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

            QMI went into the metro and estimated that only roughly 35% to 40% of passengers were wearing masks despite official encouragement to do so.

            • EmilyG 10:29 on 2020-05-15 Permalink

              I’ve also heard that some people on buses will have a mask on, but then will actually take it off to eat or to talk on the phone. *sigh*

            • Uatu 13:56 on 2020-05-15 Permalink

              Yeah or expose the nose because they feel too hot or touch the front of it and yank it in and off and then touch stuff around them. This is stuff I’ve witnessed and I work in a hospital.

            • Kevin 20:34 on 2020-05-15 Permalink

              I’m watching a debate right now between doctors about whether masks should be mandatory.

              The guy arguing that everyone should wear masks started out with ad hominem and strawmen. But even he admits there is scant evidence that wearing a mask is going to stop the spread of this disease.

              Stay away from each other and wash your hands. If you can’t do that wear a mask because it may help, but for og’s sake learn how to put one on and take it off without contaminating yourself before doing so.

            • JP 23:08 on 2020-05-15 Permalink

              I’d be ok with masks being highly recommended almost to the point of them being mandatory in some places, but they need to be made widely available. I’ve checked a few sites…they’re sold out. Contacted someone local who’s making them (friend of a friend), no response to my email. Yes, they’re possibly easy to make, but I’m not really good at sewing and stitching. If someone has suggestions for a place/site to buy, I would appreciate any leads.

            • Uatu 00:11 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

              They’re available at Jean Coutu for 5$. Usually when you enter right beside hand sanitizer.

            • JP 00:25 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

              Thank you, Uatu.

          • Kate 09:01 on 2020-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

            There’s a CHSLD in the Town of Mount Royal where every one of the 226 residents caught the virus. At least 70 are dead. It’s being blamed on a defective ventilation system, but on looking it up, I find the home is located right beside the Met where autoroute 15 t-bones in. Air pollution may be a factor in making the virus deadlier.

            And now the staff are getting sick too.

            Aaron Derfel has a piece Thursday comparing the CHSLD debacle with the cruise ship crisis that was most of the world’s introduction to COVID-19.

            Numbers suggest that community transmission is up, and with the weather expected to get warmer and nicer during and after the long weekend, this verges on being ominous.

            • dwgs 12:10 on 2020-05-14 Permalink

              My mother in law was in that CHSLD for a couple of months about 15 years ago and we moved heaven and earth to get her transferred, it was hole then, I wouldn’t want to imagine what it was like with the Covid ravaging it.

            • Douglas 16:05 on 2020-05-14 Permalink

              Ventilation system blame is full of crap. The system worked the way it was supposed to, distribute air all over the building in every room. The owners most likely didn’t bother to install any kind of stop gap that would reduce or prevent transmission from room to room.

              If the ventilation system doesn’t work, the virus doesn’t go from room to room to room through the air ducts.

              It was most likely an old ventilation system that was uniform throughout the entire building. So the air is circulating all over the place without dampers.

            • JP 23:15 on 2020-05-14 Permalink

              The lack of neglect is astounding, and the various levels of leadership will all try to squirm their way out of any professional/personal responsibility.

            • david1999 01:36 on 2020-05-15 Permalink

              That article is reporting a 31-45% fatality rate range of infected, on an infection rate of 100%, which I don’t think we’ve seen reported anywhere else.

              I don’t know if someone needs to be jailed over that, but it’s pretty clear that when the dust settles, there must be serious changes province-wide.

              It makes no sense – none – to nuke the economy by keeping everyone inside, when the vulnerable people, those who can actually see death rates not just above 1% or even 5% but 30%+ . . . when we nuke the economy but don’t/won’t/can’t even protect the people who were the very reason we nuked the economy. Like, there just needs to be a big change.

            • Kate 12:42 on 2020-05-15 Permalink

              Douglas, what did you actually know about it? An expert sent to inspect the place says the ventilation system had stopped so that the level of viruses in the air kept going up.

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