Last Saturday at 9 pm, while residents across Quebec were sitting indoors to comply with a new epidemic curfew, police patrolling the sleepy city of Sherbrooke noticed a potentially improbable crime: a woman “walks” her boyfriend, tied to a leash, while Was wandering around. The pier is on all fours.
When asked by the police why she had violated the curfew, which requires residents to stay home between 8pm and 5am, the woman replied that she was only taking her dog for a walk. After all, a dog walk near the home is one of many activities, along with trips to the pharmacy that are exempt from curfews. Unconvinced, the police slapped the couple with a total of about $ 3,100 in fines.
This week, I called Sherbrooke Police to confirm the human dog tale, as it is It reverberates all over the world. Police spokesman Martin Carrier told me the couple were part of a small movement of protesters across the country who were upset by the new coronavirus restrictions and were putting their lives and the lives of others at risk.
“It’s frustrating to see that people are not taking the rules very seriously at a time when hospitals are overwhelmed,” said Mr. Carrier.
Inevitably, the walking story with her boyfriend also inspired some humor and a few tries The unfortunate pun. Some thought On Twitter, quirks in a relationship should be respected. “Totally amazed and amazed because this happened in Canada and not here in the United States,” One American added.
It seems that the couple is not alone in their rebellion. Some people were reported to have violated the lockdown last year in Spain by walking on stuffed animals or pet turtles.
The Quebec and others incident indicates that even in a compliant country like Canada, where we generally adopt the rules and obey the scientific authorities, some lose patience or rebel against boredom, even as the epidemic intensifies.
Hundreds of people took to the streets QuebecAnd the OntarioAnd the British Columbia And the Alberta In recent weeks. There were several anti-curfew protests across Quebec last weekend – shortly after the curfew was imposed for the first time – and police distributed 750 tickets across the province, with fines up to $ 6,000.
While the protests have been scattered and relatively small thus far, they underscore the cognitive dissonance when it comes to the pandemic. Denial is particularly acute in some quarters in Quebec, my fun-loving and outgoing province, and the epicenter of the epidemic. As of Friday morning, the number of people who have died from Covid-19 in Quebec accounted for more than half of the country’s total deaths of 17,538.
Speaking late last year on a TV show “Everyone talks about it,” Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube blamed party culture in the Francophone province of Quebecers’ resistance to epidemic measures. He said, “I think we have a Latin side.” “We love to celebrate.”
Epidemiologists cited other factors such as insufficient contact tracing, the Quebec government’s reluctance to shut down businesses, and a very lax attitude when it came to closing schools.
Quebec is not alone in experiencing the spread of the Coronavirus. This week, Ontario, the nation’s largest province, tightened its restrictions somewhat Staying home is confusing. For example, critics point out that while the Premier in Ontario, Doug Ford, said that people should only go out to buy basic things like groceries and exercise, regulations allow all stores to remain open if they use delivery or sidewalk delivery.
Curfews in Quebec have transformed Montreal, a habit Brag, a cosmopolitan cityTo a ghost town.
In my bohemian bourgeoisie Plateau Mont-Royal district, Full of adorable cafés and restaurants, the streets are largely deserted after 8 pm, except for the sight of dog walkers (the lead dogs of the furry group).
Even before the curfew, the usually bustling neighborhood was eerily quiet during the holidays. At the state liquor store near my house, people were already queuing up to buy champagne on New Year’s Eve. But the mood was bleak, and several people in line told me that they had planned a quiet night at home, playing board games.
Some Canadians found epidemic consolation in pets, a dynamic that has been observed across the world. In New York, requests for pet care surfaced last spring. In March, during a partial lockdown in Spain, when dog walks were considered an essential outing, a sly man tried over and over again. Rent his dogs on Facebook So people could walk with them, before the police punished them.
Many Montreal residents seem to escape claustrophobia and curfews by taking up winter sports. On a recent Sunday, dozens of families and friends were skiing on the city’s picturesque Lake Beaver. It was encouraging to see people having fun, but it was disturbing that many did not adhere to the rules of social distancing.
For me, I was escaping the recession due to the curfew by going on urban photography safaris and taking photographs of my neighborhood. I also do some high-octane ringer workouts and a cardio video routine that includes Irish dancing.
The pandemic has generated a certain kind of voyeurism from Hitchcock because we’re all stuck at home. I tremble as I think of what my neighbors across the street should be thinking when they see a 40-year-old man through the windows of the third floor, at eye level, jumps violently around his apartment.