Quebec Pandemic Update

April 10, 2020

Canada's PM said today that return to normalcy won't happen until there is a vaccine. This is 12-18 months away. The modeling released today also assumed smaller outbreaks over the next year after this initial one is contained. Each outbreak would require strict social distancing measures. I'm thankful for the honesty - we've heard all this before in various places, but it is nice to hear it "officially".

Quebec is the hardest-hit province in Canada as far as cases per 100k people. I suspect this is because Quebec's spring break is two weeks before other provinces (it is in the first week of March). Families went on vacation that week (some to the US) and returned to jobs/normal life, kids went back to school for a week before everything got shut down. Montreal airport also has a high influx of international flights.

We are comfortable for the time being with one of us going out once a week for food. The larger grocery store (IGA) here allows us to order online and schedule a pickup, so that is what we do. It cuts down tremendously on contact with others.

I worry, however, that many are still not taking this virus seriously. During our trips to the grocery store, it is still crowded and very few people are wearing masks. Many people are shopping in pairs or larger family groups, despite the warnings of the local government to shop alone.

Orders through are now delayed by at least a month. They claim to be prioritizing essential food and healthcare goods, but this is all we are trying to order and we are still seeing a delay. So I'd say there is a larger supply chain issue. We've had good success just this week with local shops who are finding a way to stay in business by offering delivery. It costs more but is worth it, and we are supporting local jobs.

When we do get a delivery or bring home groceries, we clean everything in our garage before taking it into the house. For our trips out, masks (we are using bandannas or neck warmers) and outer clothing go right into the wash.

That's it for now, stay safe and healthy everyone!

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