COVID-19: Close Schools And Open Bars


Today is the day. At some point, probably this afternoon, the Government of Quebec will reveal what will be happening this Thursday. That will be October 29th; it will also mark the end of the 28-day increased confinement in the province’s Red Zones, including Montreal.

As the school year began, albeit under severe conditions, and a sense of almost normalcy descended upon the province, the number of daily cases of COVID-19 began to rise to levels not seen for several months. In an effort to staunch the significant uptick in new cases and hospitalizations, if not deaths, the powers that be in the Capital decided to take action – but did they do the right thing?

… evidently being the favourite whipping boys of the Quebec government, bars were closed and restaurants were not allowed to have indoor dining

When the restrictions were put in place four weeks ago, a number of things changed, including the closure of gyms, and churches and other houses of worship being put on a tight limit of 25 people at any given time. And of course, evidently being the favourite whipping boys of the Quebec government, bars were closed and restaurants were not allowed to have indoor dining, however they could provide take away meals and booze (much to the chagrin of bar owners who could not sell alcohol to go).

What was the effect on the infamous ‘second wave’ of the Novel Coronavirus? Well, not all that much really. As the graph above shows, the number of new cases, while not spiking since the re-restrictions were imposed, certainly has not gone down. Apparently, the reopening of schools has caused an increase in new cases of the virus. During the summer months the numbers were very low, but come September and, even with all the precautions taken in schools, the numbers shot up.

Could it be that bars and restaurants (and gyms etc.) have been falsely accused of being the culprits in the back-to-school rise in cases? It seems to me that if you close those businesses, and the numbers do not go down, it’s not their fault. The government is barking up the wrong tree. Close the schools, go back to online classes, and allow the bars and restaurants to reopen!

It seems to me that if you close those businesses, and the numbers do not go down, it’s not their fault

But I don’t think anyone is expecting the government to do that. More realistically, the extension of the restrictions will be announced. And here’s where two levels of government; provincial and municipal, need to get their act together. While the folks in Quebec City are imploring us to stay home, do a little good old confining to help quash the virus, the mayor of Montreal is encouraging us to shop in downtown stores, even offering some free parking spots, rather than online. While I admire the mayor’s possibly too-late attempt to save downtown, I can’t help but think of the damage she caused to the area pre-covid.

Interestingly, the biggest offender when it comes to workplace COVID-19 outbreaks are retail outlets. But no suggestion has been made to close or reduce access to stores or supermarkets. We all must wear masks and wash our hands when entering a retail store. We do our best to maintain social distancing in the store, but we also handle merchandise, whether textiles or food goods, have a good look then replace it. Every can of peas could potentially be a COVID-19 spreader!

Oh well, my liver can use the break!

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: