Andr Picard on Quebec's pandemic curfew
Throughout the nineteen eighty s strange phenomenon was sweeping north america. They were in a panic and like people in a panic. They want solutions allegations of underground satanic cults torturing and terrorizing children. The thing is there were no satanic cults preying on children and nearly thirty years later the people touched by it. All are still picking up. The pieces isn't a work of fiction. This is a work of history satanic panic available now. This is a cbc podcast. Starting next saturday they'll be a curfew from eight. Pm to five am during four weeks so after eight pm we won't be allowed to go out in streets except for work. I know those measures are tough for our mental health but we have to balance that with this situation in our hospitals. This thracian is very serious. That's while ago quebec's premier announcing cova curfew the first for canada. The only exception will be for those heading into or coming home from work. The globe and mail's helmet. Andre picard is here to talk about these lockdown measures and issues. Andre good morning. Good morning we are not familiar in this country with covid curfews. They're happening elsewhere. But this is the first in in canada. How effective do you think it'll be. The first in a in a whole province are been little curfews in indigenous communities here and there and of course you mentioned around the world absolutely. It's hard to say how effective it will be It really depends on enforcement. It defends depends on buying and the early response seems to be mixed People have their doubts about this because there's some tough talk as we often get from the premier but there's many many exceptions to this rule so essentially expand under this lockdown. I call it a semi locked down for a couple of months and nothing really changes now. Accept this curfew. And then other rules have been loosened so people don't see this as a really dramatic change the see it. I think more than euro-taste. We've been talking about schools and the schools will remain open construction. Essential construction will continue. Does it seem right to you that that's happening. The ski resorts for example can stay open. Well it's awesome like an to French grammar programmer has a lot of rules that it has an exception to every rule and this curfew has so many exceptions that it's hard to keep track of There's gonna be professional hockey. Who's going to be skiing. There's going to be All kinds of things we had stores closed for two months. Now and now they're going to be allowed to do curbside pickup so for as many things we shut down there's reopening so it's not it doesn't seem like more strict which is sort of the message the government's supposed to be convenience. Do you think that other provinces should look to this approach. Whether it's it's this kind of curfew or even stronger. I think they're going to have to talk about it. Because other provinces ontario in particular has the same problem as quebec but worse quebec a month ago had fifteen hundred cases a day. Now it's up to more than twenty five hundred cases a day. That's that's a big jump in in a short period. An anti-terrorist Case numbers rising even faster hospitals are really really stressed in those two provinces. They're really on the brink of the you know having to do dramatic stuff. Open field hospitals We have more in interrupts now etc. So this is something has to be done. Curfews have worked in other countries but the only worked where they're real curfews where they're very strict one of the things about quebec striking is. There's not really any limitations. On travel you know in melbourne. You couldn't go more than five kilometers from your home once a day In connect you can still go shopping. Five times a day you can drive to the ski hill etc. There's all kinds of exceptions. That don't make this look like a walk down or a real curfew measures like this are necessary in the race to get vaccines into the arms of canadians. There's been a lot of criticism about the distribution of vaccines. You wrote a column saying that. Keeping vaccines In storage waiting to be used as a bit like having bags of peas in a freezer. How would you assess the rollout of the vaccines from provincial governments across this country. I think there's two aspects of the story one is The vaccine that we have we should get into people's arms as urgently as possible. That hasn't been done. Our clinics were closed or cut back during the holidays etcetera. We should have been doing this as a priority as something. Urgent and were gency. Wasn't there so that's an issue. We have to use the stock that we have the second part of it and the provins. It's been right to criticize over out. All over this is there's just not very much stock. We have very few vaccines in canada. So what's going to happen in very short order is we're gonna zero vaccines and we're going to be waiting for new shipments to come in and that's a different problem but it's an even worse problem one of the other problems that governments are facing. Is that some members of their own cabinets have been traveling this winter internationally and it's not just certain politicians. What else have you been tracking. When it comes to traveling abroad. We all politicians are traveling. We've seen heads of public health programs of hospitals to the elite or trade links. But there's also just a lot of ordinary people traveling so again you go back to quebec. Back is has a get tough curfew. But thousands of quebecers are traveling to cuba Birds are going to florida so again. It's this mixed messaging. Are we really locked down or we really taking this seriously or if we have a little bit of money can we just take off and enjoy the sun and when we come back a lot. Big big story beck was that you could apply for this federal aid of a thousand dollars or quarantine now. The government in reaction has cut that off travelers. But that's sent this message early on that you know there's really no punishment for breaking the rules so we're not taking this seriously then or seriously enough. I don't think we're taking it seriously enough for people. Think well this doesn't apply to be don't conduct again time and time again. This emphasize well older people elders over sixty five. They have to stay in their homes. They're really endanger. And i think part of the message that's heard from younger people as well. It's only old folks who had risk so we can do. What as we like. Andrei good to speak with you as always and we will talk again appreciate your time this morning. Thank you thank you undercard. Goba males health columnist for more. Cbc podcasts go to cbc dot ca slash podcasts.