Quebec National Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda's newfound fame will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable features of the current crisis. Unknown just a few months ago, the doctor has achieved international renown for his exuberance, merry expressions, and reassuring eyes. Often, however, it's the glimpses of his private life that most endear him to people across Quebec.

He's a daily presence in residents' lives, appearing in press conferences alongside Premier François Legault and Health and Social Services Minister Danielle McCann. 

But in the Legault-McCann-Arruda soap opera, the good doctor is the public's favourite.

He stands out among his colleagues for his ability to deliver pertinent information and instructions in — perhaps unintentionally — humorous, memorable ways.

Public health directives reach a wider audience as a result, disseminating through memes made in Arruda's honour.

Taking note of his popularity, the Government of Quebec has even featured him in public health announcements.

Legault has even called him "our best influencer."

Here are just 13 of Arruda's most memorable moments.

"La peur fait faire des affaires qui n’ont pas de crisse de bon sens, mais c’est humain. Je ne peux pas dire que les gens sont fous, ils sont juste normaux. C’est la peur qui fait ça. La peur, c’est une épidémie."

"Fear makes you do things that don't have a bit of common sense, but it's human. I can't say people are crazy, they're just normal. It's fear that does that. Fear is an epidemic."

This is one of Dr. Arruda's first widely-circulated statements from a press conference on January 30, 2020. The crisis was slowly but surely taking hold in the province. Among other things, he condemned acts of racism targetting the Asian community.

"Monsieur le ministre... Ah, je vais finir à Infoman avec ça!"

 

"Mr. Minister... Ah, I'm going to end up on Infoman with this!"

A small slip of the tongue. Arruda misidentified Premier Legault, who was sitting right next to him.

It was during their first press conference together on March 12.

Watch the moment in the video above.

"Ce n'est pas le moment de partager des produits biologiques, si vous voyez ce que je veux dire."

 

"This is not the time to share organic products if you know what I mean."

Oh, we see what you mean.

The Director of Public Health was referring to teenagers when, on March 16, he asked them to refrain from kissing, sharing beer bottles, and having parties in their basements.

"Moi, la musique est essentielle dans ma vie. Chaque jour j'ai une chanson-thème qui roule dans ma tête."

 

"For me, music is essential in my life. Every day I have a theme song rolling around in my head."

Oh to have access to his brain.

We're still waiting for his playlist...

"Si c'est la danse, dansez! Dansez en ligne sur Facetime... avec quelqu'un d'autre!"

"If it's dancing, dance! Line dance on Facetime... with someone else!"

Fight the loneliness of quarantine by... line dancing with other people over video chat, of course!

"Moi là, en fin de semaine, j'ai besoin de cuisiner, j'vais me faire des tartelettes portugaises. Je suis en train d'essayer des nouvelles recettes."

"Me, this weekend, I need to cook, I'm going to make me some Portuguese tarts. I'm trying out new recipes."

You couldn't pass up Horacio's famous tarts. Since March 19, it has been all over the Web. People across the province are begging for the recipe.

"Moi je fais de la médecine populationnelle; rejoindre la population [c’est possible] à travers les merveilleux pigeons voyageurs que vous êtes."

"I'm in population medicine; reaching the population [it's possible] through the wonderful carrier pigeons that you are."

Journalists have always been recognized as the watchdogs of democracy. Now the National Director of Public Health is honouring them with a little nickname.

"Même si ça triple, ça ne rentrera pas par vos fenêtres."

"Even if it triples, it won't fit through your windows. »

The image is strong and effective. Rest assured that the virus climb through your windows.

"[…] pour des raisons de confidentialité, on ne vous dira pas qui a infecté qui, à l'intérieur de qui..."

"...for reasons of confidentiality, we won't tell you who infected whom, inside whom..."

Arruda is looking out for our privacy.

"Habituellement quand on s’assoit sur un banc public on ne le liche pas, on s’assoit dessus avec nos fesses [...]."

"Usually when we sit on a park bench we don't lick it, we sit on it with our butts [...]."

On March 29, Dr. Arruda explained to citizens they need not worry about transmission through park benches — as long as they don't lick them.

"C’est compliqué les scénarios. Ça rime avec Horacio, mais si je pouvais m’en passer, je m’en passerais."

"It's complicated, scenarios. It rhymes with Horacio, but if I could do without it, I would."

The doctor has mixed feelings about scenarios.

"La monogamie est préférable ces temps-ci."

"Monogamy is preferable these days."

He and Legault joked that it's best to stick to a single partner these days.

"Ce n’est pas le temps, à Pâques, de faire un jambon aux ananas, puis d’inviter son beau-frère puis sa belle-sœur même si on pense qu’ils sont fiables."

"It is not the time at Easter to make a pineapple ham and then invite your brother-in-law and sister-in-law over, even if you think they are reliable."

On the eve of the Easter break, Dr. Arruda reminded everyone to avoid family gatherings. He clearly loves to cook.

What is your favourite Arruda line?


This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.

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