Updates from May, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:48 on 2020-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

    A man and woman were found dead in the back yard of a house in Pointe-aux-Trembles on Saturday morning. TVA says only one of the deaths counts as homicide – so far.

    Sunday, TVA has photos of the pair, who are described as a longtime couple in the process of breaking up, and the incident classified as a murder-suicide.

    • Kate 17:26 on 2020-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

      Here’s Aaron Derfel’s fairly disturbing thread from Friday evening, and his article on bracing for a second wave.

      Going around outside (carefully) I notice that many people are not maintaining distancing, and few are wearing masks. People near me are holding backyard gatherings that look perfectly 2019.

      • david11 17:31 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        A second wave could probably be avoided relatively easy by doing a much better job of protecting the vulnerable. In Canada and Quebec, something like 81% of the deaths are in nursing homes, which I think should probably inform our discourse on this whole pandemic more than, say, picnics in parks: http://archive.is/xMnvv

      • david11 17:32 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        Sorry, wrong link: https://archive.is/2jCx5

      • david11 17:42 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        (second wave of hospitalizations, that is, not infections)

      • EmilyG 17:59 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        Not everyone is physically able to wear masks. Though that wouldn’t account for a whole lot of people not wearing them.
        But – is the rule that you only have to wear a mask if you can’t stay 6 feet away from others?
        So much is confusing.

      • Kevin 18:05 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        Best prevention is stay 2 metres away and wash you hands often.
        If you can’t stay 2 metres away, wear a mask, because it’s not great but is better than nothing. (And will protect others from you-not you from others)
        Sharing a cigarette is right out.

        So the restaurant where employees are shoulder to shoulder inside, then sharing a smoke outside? Don’t eat there.

      • Kate 18:06 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        It can’t be all that common not to be able to wear a mask, can it?

      • Kate 18:13 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        david11, the neighbourhoods where people live who look after your disposable old people are still hotbeds. Those people are working. They take transit, they shop for groceries, they will cross paths with you.

        So far, the level of contagion has been held down only because most people were limiting their excursions outside, following the rules, wearing a mask when going inside to shop.

        I said from the beginning, if the numbers were held down, there would be people who’d pipe up that we were overreacting. And it’s true.

      • Kate 20:07 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        Also: the Swedish policy, praised for its nerve, has resulted in Europe’s worst death rate.

        You can’t play chicken with a virus.

      • Max 20:32 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        On the other hand, it’s likely that more Swedes (per capita) have been exposed to the thing by now. In the long run, as a result, they may put the pandemic behind them earlier. I suspect all humanity will be exposed to the virus at some point. It might turn out that all our efforts just spread the same number of deaths out over time. Who knows?

      • Chris 20:41 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        >Also: the Swedish policy, praised for its nerve, has resulted in Europe’s worst death rate.

        So far. More meaningful is the deaths between the start and end of the pandemic. Which of course we won’t know until later. It could be that Sweden has front-loaded its deaths but may end up with the same, more, or less amount (per capita) as anywhere else.

        And a second wave being inevitable, may be better during summer, while influenza and other things are low.

      • Kate 20:42 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        Max, the main point in all the lockdown and distancing is exactly that – spread the morbidity and mortality curve out so that hospitals don’t get overwhelmed. But the delay in spiking the curve also gives us a chance to work out either better treatments or a vaccine, although I don’t hold out much hope for the latter.

      • Chris 20:50 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        And BTW Sweden’s hospitals haven’t been overwhelmed.

      • Kate 20:54 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        Good! We’re clearing out the deadwood, then – old people, people with feeble immune systems. Bon débarras!

      • Douglas 22:38 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        Sorry Aaron,

        We are opening whether he tweets more or not about how worried he is.

        We are living with Corona until a vaccine comes. Its going to be like this for entire 2020. 1st wave. 2nd wave. 4th wave. Whatever.

        We are opening to avoid an economic collapse. The sooner the better. People need to put food on the table.

      • mare 23:48 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

        ^ and without grandma there’s less mouths to feed.

      • Tee Owe 06:18 on 2020-05-24 Permalink

        Re Sweden – recent tests show that no more than 7-8% of those tested in Stockholm have antibodies, so the hoped-for herd immunity hasn’t happened. Also, the Swedish economy has been hit just as hard as its locked-down neighbors (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/30/coronavirus-sweden-economy-to-contract-as-severely-as-the-rest-of-europe.html). So those deaths seem to have been for nothing.

      • Kate 09:26 on 2020-05-24 Permalink

        Douglas, who died and left you in charge?

        The former state epidemiologist of Sweden says the country was wrong not to shut down and its current epidemiologist admits the country is in a terrible situation.

      • qatzelok 09:48 on 2020-05-24 Permalink

        “Tegnell,… conceded that the country was in a “terrible situation” but dismissed the idea that a lockdown would have helped.”

        So even he says that a lockdown would have been useless in “defeating” this virus. How this squares with your bolded headline above is not clear, Kate.

      • Kate 10:19 on 2020-05-24 Permalink

        The headline addresses what Sweden’s previous epidemiologist had to say, qatzelok.

      • Kevin 11:30 on 2020-05-24 Permalink

        Unlike the USA we have a social safety net so everyone is putting food on the table.
        Sweden has an extremely high death rate and only 7% of its population got Covid by the end of April. Think about that.

      • Brett 15:03 on 2020-05-24 Permalink

        Our social safety net isn’t going to last forever, though. And there are lots of jobs, particularly in hospitality and tourism that just aren’t going to be there in the high season. It’s going to be disproportionately painful for the low income earners of our society.
        We have to be careful to when saying “only x per cent of the population got the virus” with these antibody tests. Five isotypes, or classes, of antibodies (IgM, IgD, IgG, IgA, and IgE) exist, and the antibody tests are only checking for two or three of them (specifically IgM and IgG).
        Also I’d like to see more analysis of viral RNA in sewage water as they are doing in europe – https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/countries-begin-large-scale-screening-for-sars-cov-2-in-sewage-67535 – this seems to give a pretty good idea of the current infection rate in the population and seems easier to scale than swabbing carloads of patients.

      • Tee Owe 15:41 on 2020-05-24 Permalink

        Let’s not get into Immunology101, but a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Briefly, IgM and IgG are the (usually) protective isotypes, the others are way less likely to be (especially IgD whjich is not even secreted). The antibody tests have many problems and uncertainties but which isotype they measure is not among them. The 7-8% estimates reasonably accurately reflect the number of people who were exposed to the virus.

      • Alison Cummins 18:13 on 2020-05-24 Permalink


        If you *expect* everyone to become infected with the covid virus you won’t try to stop it happening. The thing is, it could still be contained. That would be the best outcome: shut down, do contact tracing, open up when we’re reasonably confident that we know which individuals are infected, and then we can go on pretty much as before.

        Our fatalities growth rate is currently below 1, which is fantastic. If it stays below 1 long enough, covid will disappear.

        Except that the fatalities growth rate has been creeping up again. If the trend upwards continues we’ll be above 1 within the week. That means the virus will be spreading at an increasing rate, burdening the health care system, killing people of all ages, creating permanent disability in survivors and costing lots and lots of money.

        Either way it’s going to cost. Personally I’d rather the money went to containment and not to losing a significant proportion of the contributions of our middle-aged population to scarred lungs and kidney failure.

        Either way it costs money.

      • Chris 12:55 on 2020-05-25 Permalink

        >The thing is, it could still be contained.

        Oh? That’s contrary to just about everything I’ve read. Can you share some reading making a good argument for that assertion?

        Perhaps it could have been contained back in Wuhan, but it’s on every continent now. I think the containment ship has sailed. Now it’s a question of mitigation, not containment.

    • Kate 17:16 on 2020-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

      I’m seeing a surge of intention for the government to offer permanent resident status to the asylum seekers working in health care. There was a demonstration in favour on Saturday afternoon at Justin Trudeau’s office.

      François Legault has already ruled this out for Quebec.

      • Kate 10:33 on 2020-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

        The Journal lists a few open markets around town. There’s also the official site. Earlier this year it was reported that the operator of the Lachine market had gone out of business, but the market is listed again this summer.

        • John 10:23 on 2020-05-24 Permalink

          The outside component of the Lachine market will probably still be open.

        • Kate 16:58 on 2020-05-24 Permalink

          I hope so. I don’t go down there often, and the one person I knew who lived in Lachine is gone, but I was left with an impression of a pretty sad food desert for the most part. They need that market.

      • Kate 10:16 on 2020-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

        Carbonleo has put Royalmount on pause for six months and now wants government handouts or cheap loans to continue developing it, especially now that retail has basically collapsed.

        Note that they specifically mention funding for the pedestrian passage that’s meant to link de la Savane metro to the complex (and reduce the necessity to drive to it): doubts about the project partly clustered around how it would (if successful) attract more motor traffic to an already congested highway crossing, so there was pressure to make it more accessible by public transit. It was framed as a gracious concession when they initially agreed, so putting the passage up front for public funding suggests it’s something they always felt was dispensable.

        If nothing else good comes out of the pandemic, sparing Montreal this 20th‑century glitzbucket horrorshow would be a blessing.

        • Robert H 12:40 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

          « Chez Carbonleo, on rétorque que le coussin financier prévu pour les contingences est en mesure d’absorber la note. Son partenaire financier L Catterton, lié à LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), est toujours à ses côtés.»

          Bien, envoie la facture à L Catterton.

          Comme Christian Savard a dit: « Le modèle d’affaires sur lequel repose un projet comme Royalmount ne tient plus la route…»

          Pas un sou, quel incroyable putain de nerf!

        • qatzelok 17:50 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

          This mega-mall would be in the same air-scape as the TMR senior’s residence where a third of the residents died.

          Should people over 60 be barred from the mall if it ever opens?

          Another possible problem is that the site is probably contaminated with too much cornona virus resin and probably needs extreme decontamination.

        • Uatu 14:23 on 2020-05-24 Permalink

          “Should people over 60 be barred from the mall if it ever opens?” – then there would be no mall since its main clientele would be moneyed boomers from TMR. They’re the only ones with the time and disposable incomes. Most people under 50 have no interest in going to a mall….

      • Kate 10:09 on 2020-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

        Police are still handing out massive fines to the homeless, and it’s time this practice was ended. A lot of the folks being fined are Indigenous and have no other home but the street and each other.

        I’ve now seen it mentioned over and over that it’s futile and damaging to fine the homeless. When will city hall step up and confirm this?

        • Kate 09:36 on 2020-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

          Mayor Plante talks to La Presse’s Mario Girard about her plans for summer 2020 in the city.

          She also has a piece in the Gazette making a case to Quebec for building more social housing.

          Besides everything else, city hall is going to tackle the thorny issue of gender in French. As a designer I’ve occasionally tangled with texts lengthened by the inclusion of both genders at every step, so I’m willing to live with “l’emploi du masculin n’a d’autres fins que celle d’alléger le texte” – but it’s not my main language, so I’m not sure I’m entitled to an opinion here.

          • Kate 09:22 on 2020-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

            La Presse looked at a few small social gatherings, now permissible by government fiat, and summarized the current guidelines. The Journal also has an open, closed, allowed and forbidden list.

            Muslims are celebrating Eid this weekend, so the relaxation of the gathering rules is fortuitous for them as well.

            • MarcG 12:12 on 2020-05-23 Permalink

              I didn’t even consider that those groups of people sitting apart from each other in parks over the last few weeks were not allowed.

              Yesterday evening in the small park behind where I live, there was a group of 5 people wearing masks crammed together at a small picnic table and a group of 4 teenagers playing soccer. It seems like people always take just a bit more than what is described – I wonder if this is taken into account when announcements are made.

          • Kate 08:57 on 2020-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

            The city’s state of emergency has been extended till May 26. I don’t see how it can run past May 29, when most things are expected to reopen, but we’ll see.

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