Are you ready ? | Press

And then, are you ready? Are you ready to extend your confinement? To respect the measures of a curfew? To continue to provide homeschooling for your children?


Posted on January 6, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.

Mario GirardMario Girard
Press

Above all, are you ready to go through all of this with people who will not be walking in the same direction as you?

I spent a good part of the day on Tuesday walking the streets of Montreal, chatting with people, trying to read, over their mask, their confusion or their depression. Rather, I was treated to resilience, courage and good humor.

PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

“People are at their wit’s end, you can tell. It’s palpable, ”writes our columnist Mario Girard.

It blew me away.

“You always have to watch for the light at the end of the tunnel,” Delphine and Jean-Philippe told me. The two lovers were waiting for the bus that would bring them to Mount Royal for an afternoon of cross-country skiing.

“It’s difficult to know how the people around us experience this, we don’t see anyone anymore,” added Delphine.

This optimism, I also found it with Sabrina Abrée and Kylian Noireault. The first is a specialist in the disinfection of film sets, while the second works in the fire department of a CISSS in the Montreal region.

“Honestly, we count ourselves lucky, we have a job. People around us have lost their jobs. It could be worse. ”

Sandro Carpené, owner of Arte & Farina, lives things day by day. “If I have to close my business again, I will,” he said. The man consoles himself by telling himself that he did some good business during the holiday season.

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These comments must obviously be received with caution. The people I spoke to were among the few citizens who walked the streets of the city.

I haven’t met any elderly people, I haven’t met people who have been holed up for weeks in their apartment and I haven’t spoken with grandparents who have been deprived of the hugs of their grandchildren since then. months. I also did not discuss with single people, newly unemployed, disabled people.

For all of these people, the next few weeks will be extremely difficult. And they no doubt wish that these requests did not increase in the coming weeks.

People are at their wit’s end, you can tell. It’s palpable. Should we point out that the additional effort imposed on us occurs, for us Quebeckers, in the middle of January? We are not in July, not in September, we are going through the most overwhelming month of the year.

This fatigue, Manuel Lavalette, daycare educator, feels it every day. These signs are even seen in 18-month-old children for whom he is responsible. “They cry more often,” he says. They feel this ambient stress. ”

He described to me all the sanitary rules he and his colleagues have been dealing with for months. My head was spinning. “If the kids have a runny nose, they can’t come to daycare. However, we are in the middle of the cold season. It is really not easy. ”

I spoke to Manuel while he was outside with the group of Loupiots. He began the construction of a fortified castle which will be made of blocks of snow. “We will present it at the Défi château,” he told me, very proud. The group of Perlimpinpins (5 years old) will come and help me shortly. ”

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What ardor!

Manuel left me because he had to intervene with a little man who had lost his mitten. Another was crying in the arms of an educator. A little hazel-eyed girl looked at me smiling and offered to eat some snow.

Another time, my owl! I have already had my breakfast!

***

My dad taught me to be wary of certain people in life. Gentlemen alone in the car, politicians and salespeople of all categories. In short, there is in me a part of mistrust and a part of candor which form a not worse balance.

I admit, however, that my naivety took a hit recently. I have always thought that if a great catastrophe or a major conflict should happen to us, we Quebeckers would be able to face this storm collectively.

All for one…

I think the big shock of this pandemic was to see that it would not be the case at all. If we were to live through a great ordeal, we would undoubtedly adopt the principle of “the strongest pocket”.

We have been told it over and over again for many years: we are in the era of individualism. The crisis we are experiencing at the moment proves it brutally, fiercely, savagely.

It hurts.

Tuesday, at 98.5 FM, listeners were asked how they were preparing to experience the next stages of this health and economic crisis. It was striking to see how people brought everything back to themselves, everything to their little universe, everything to their reality.

Hey Hey hey…

After nine months, it was forgotten that there was only one enemy to face in this matter: a virus.

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***

At the very start of the pandemic, I spent a lot of time walking the streets of Montreal. The atmosphere of this dead and empty city made me write a few chronicles.

Tuesday, I found the same atmosphere. You will tell me that a lot of people are still outside, but the streets, apart from the trucks which carry out the snow removal operation, were deserted.

The city center, which is feared the worst for the next few months, was quiet. A homeless mini-camp was set up in front of the La Baie store. It was disturbing to see the presence of this extreme poverty under advertisements of Hermès and Dior.

The only areas of activity were the construction sites. The advantage for workers is that they can now enjoy all the space they want. There is no one to hinder them.

In central neighborhoods, the population is made up of a third of workers who go to work, a third of people who jog or walk with their babies in the stroller, and a third of homeless people.

They say the city has a face and the countryside has a soul. At the moment, we don’t have any of that.

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