Updates from May, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 15:57 on 2020-05-16 Permalink | Reply  

    A body was fished out of the river Saturday morning, but there’s no data yet on who he was or how it happened.

    • Kate 15:50 on 2020-05-16 Permalink | Reply  

      Marie-France Bazzo writes about how Covid has given the regions one more reason to distrust and dislike Montreal.

      • qatzelok 10:15 on 2020-05-17 Permalink

        “ses minorités religieuses su’l party”

        Best line in article.

    • Kate 12:37 on 2020-05-16 Permalink | Reply  

      Experts say a second wave of COVID-19 is inevitable in Canada as offices, stores and sports facilities reopen.

      • david111 13:06 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

        It’s still unclear what effect the warmer weather and sun will have, and how much it’ll mitigate the spread, but there’s some pretty good reason to hope/expect that the change in season will make a second wave less likely.

        From the Washington Post today:

        A new working paper and database put together by researchers at Harvard Medical School, MIT and other institutions examines a host of weather conditions, from temperature and relative humidity to precipitation, at 3,739 locations worldwide to try to determine the “relative covid-19 risk due to weather.” They found that average temperatures above 77 degrees (25 celsius) are associated with a reduction in the virus’s transmission.

        Each additional 1.8-degree (.3 celsius) temperature increase above that level was associated with an additional 3.1 percent reduction in the virus’s reproduction number, called R0, and pronounced “R naught.” That is the average number of new infections generated by each infected person. When the R0 drops below 1, an epidemic begins to wane, although it doesn’t happen overnight.


        The landing page for that study is here: https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/covid19

        This is, of course, great news if it’s borne out. And goes some way to explain why all those southern US states haven’t been as hard hit, and also why Australia (which was in summer/fall for most of this process) escaped relatively unscathed. Also explains why some of these southern states in the news are not seeing a giant surge in cases as they’ve “re-opened.” https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-cases-map-high-risk-states-8ceeaa05-cc07-4e8b-b9f4-df3a3315f143.html

        This is, of course, dreadful news for my beloved Argentina and Uruguay, which are entering their winter now and probably will need to keep travel down for several more months. Eat a steak for me, guys!

      • Alison Cummins 08:57 on 2020-05-17 Permalink


        Yes, warm weather will likely reduce transmission. We already know the coronavirus is seasonal. From WebMD on colds:

        “How and When They Strike

        “Cold viruses have a lot in common, but each type has its own style, too.

        “Rhinovirus. This bunch is most active in early fall, spring, and summer. They cause 10%-40% of colds. You’ll feel plenty miserable when you catch one, but the good news is they rarely make you seriously sick.

        “Coronavirus. These tend to do their dirty work in the winter and early spring. The coronavirus is the cause of about 20% of colds. There are more than 30 kinds, but only three or four affect people.”

        So if this coronavirus is like other human coronaviruses, it peaks in winter and early spring. Immunity also lasts about eight months so we can get the same coronavirus cold every year.

        This would make summer a perfect time to contain the virus. Maintain lockdown and pursue aggressive contact tracing now, and we can be ready to go by fall! We can be like Australia! Woot!

        Instead we’re trying to use the weather to maintain status quo. Warm weather reduces transmission, so we do things that increase transmission. Cool. Status quo of top-seven worst hit cities in the world is definitely where we want to be. Maybe we can be number one next year!?

      • Tee Owe 12:23 on 2020-05-17 Permalink

        *We can be like Australia* – their summer is now over, they had a Covid outbreak and quite a few deaths – is that what you meant? Or did you mean that they locked-down and beat Corona even in their summer? We in the northern hemisphere tend to forget that half the geographical world are in an opposite season to us, and I don’t see Brazil as being particularly protected by it being summer there.

      • david100 13:46 on 2020-05-17 Permalink

        Your spike in Brazil just started, and May is their equivalent to our November.

        Alison – With proper social distancing, hand-washing, testing, and isolation of those who’ve tested positive, a nice hot summer seems like it should probably do the trick. No need to bankrupt the tens of thousands of companies that are currently on life support, really plunge us into a depression, and force Trudeau and his gang to dump even more tens/hundreds of billions onto the federal debt.

      • Kevin 16:04 on 2020-05-17 Permalink

        Unfortunately our provincial govt has proven it is incapable of testing, tracing, and isolating the sick.

      • Kevin 19:09 on 2020-05-17 Permalink

        David or Douglas
        Whichever of you had an antibody test: bettet check on it. Almost all of those tests have been rejected/recalled because of too many false positives and negatives

      • david100 20:58 on 2020-05-17 Permalink

        David – Douglas is someone else.

        I took the Abbott antibody test, which isn’t getting the variety of results as the Abbott instant covid 19 test, which is a non-molecular active infection test.

      • Alison Cummins 14:33 on 2020-05-18 Permalink

    • Kate 08:53 on 2020-05-16 Permalink | Reply  

      Nice Globe & Mail piece on an outdoor minyan in the Mile End.

      Update: Also adding Marc Cassivi on Lag Ba’Omer in either Outremont or Mile End.

      • EmilyG 13:20 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

        It has a paywall.

      • Kate 13:29 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

        Sorry. I managed to see it without an account, maybe because it was linked from somebody’s facebook?

      • DeWolf 14:25 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

        I managed to avoid the paywall by opening the article in a private/incognito window.

      • Kevin 18:03 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

        Pay for your news.

      • Chris 18:12 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

        >Pay for your news.

        Paying doesn’t remove the ads and doesn’t stop the analytics, so, meh.

      • DeWolf 18:16 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

        I’m not going to subscribe to the Globe and Mail for the very occasional article I want to read from them when I already pay for Le Devoir, the New York Times, the Guardian and the New Yorker, to name just a few. There’s only so many publications someone can afford to subscribe to.

      • Blork 20:53 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

        I agree with DeWolf. Yes, it’s good to support good journalism, but you can’t subscribe to everything, especially since a lot of them want $100 a year or more, which is steep if you’re subscribing to 15 or 20 and you only read two or three article a month.

        Most news and magazine sites offer a few free articles a month and that’s great (and typically very easy to work around if you hit that one extra article you want to read).

      • Kate 10:27 on 2020-05-17 Permalink

        Kevin, how would I pay for sites like CTV’s? I assume I’m subsidizing CBC/Radio-Canada through taxes, which is fine. I kick in $10 monthly for La Presse because they made that possible, but as Blork says, most news outlets want a bigger financial commitment.

        If I were wealthy I’d subscribe to more things but, while I’m OK now, like many people the outlook for my working life is pretty uncertain so I’m hesitant to sign up for more payments.

        Further thoughts: I have an ad blocker on the browser I use for personal stuff. I don’t use an ad blocker on Safari, the one I mostly use for the blog, because I need to see the web as it is with no filters. Likewise, as a blogger, I wouldn’t want to be logged into sites as a paying customer, because I don’t want to link to things (as I did here, by mistake) that not all my readers can look at.

      • Kevin 16:09 on 2020-05-17 Permalink

        I have limits to my budget too, but saying “there’s a paywall” as if it’s insurmountable barrier is silly. People gotta get paid for their work, be they restaurant workers or journalists.

        And Chris: Ads have been paying part of the price for news for 300 years.

      • JaneyB 00:19 on 2020-05-18 Permalink

        Friendly reminder that the BanQ has online access to newspapers and magazines including the Globe. All free but you need to join/renew. The process of accessing articles this way is not very spontaneous but…it is possible. (‘Free’ as in paid for via taxes).

        I also accessed the article easily with a private window.

      • Kate 08:28 on 2020-05-18 Permalink

        JaneyB, thanks. I’ve checked out the library offerings, but they didn’t seem to have the current issue in many cases. The issue that non‑members can’t access the issues is pretty serious, even given that it’s free to join. And nobody can join right now with it closed, since you do have to show up in person at least once with proof of residency.

      • Chris 13:53 on 2020-05-18 Permalink

        >And Chris: Ads have been paying part of the price for news for 300 years.

        Yes, but for 95% of that time ads were merely annoying, now they are spyware. Same name, different beast.

        There are also various clever browser plugins to bypass media paywalls, ex:

        which despite the URL works on Firefox too.

    • Kate 08:38 on 2020-05-16 Permalink | Reply  

      TVA has a nicely morbid piece about places we can store extra bodies including a 700-space warehouse at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges which already has refrigeration equipment ready to be installed.

      • Kate 08:15 on 2020-05-16 Permalink | Reply  

        Six boroughs have moved to protect rooming houses, a residential format that’s been in decline for decades but which offers accessible living space for people with minimal incomes.

        In other rental-type news, the city had to remove Airbnb renters from a condemned building on Centre Street in the Point. WTF? I thought Airbnb was largely on hold because of Covid-19, but where do you send people to live in the middle of a pandemic?

        City hall had proposed for new projects the requirement of 20% social housing, 20% “affordable” housing and 20% units large enough for families, but a report from the OCPM has shot this down as insufficiently worked out. The OCPM recommended keeping only the social housing part, and the city’s already rethinking its plans. Is there a textbook definition of “affordable” for housing?

        • Ephraim 10:40 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

          We definitely need rooming houses, but the landlord needs much more leeway than with normal tenants. I’ve lived next to one… once with a hands-off landlord and one with a pro-active landlord. No police needed with the pro-active landlord.

          AirBnBs should now be required to post a licence number on their listings. That started the 1st of May.

        • CE 16:44 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

          Hasn’t that Pointe St-Charles Airbnb been in the news before?

        • Kate 17:05 on 2020-05-16 Permalink

          Yes, it has. It was condemned and the regular tenants marched out not long ago.

          The building was reported in November as having been converted to an Airbnb even though it had been condemned in February 2018 as risky to human life. It doesn’t sound like the building either changed hands or was noticeably cleaned up in the meantime.

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