When two weeks becomes two years.
March 11, 2022, marks two years since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic. Quebec first declared a health emergency on March 13, 2020.
Premier François Legault commemorated the occasion with a call on Quebecers to remember their collective resolve and loss.
He also reflected on his role.
"I will remember those first weeks for the rest of my life," he wrote, "the daily press briefings to inform Quebecers, the long days and nights spent wondering if we were making the right decisions."
"I never thought I would have to stand in front of the cameras every day to announce restrictions and tell people what to do. I would even say that it was unnatural for someone like me, who is in favour of greater autonomy for citizens. But we did what we had to do to save as many lives as possible."
He thanked Quebecers for what he called the "solidarity of our people."
"Everyone came together in a spirit of national cohesion of which I am so proud."
This year, the pandemic anniversary falls one day before Quebec is set to drop "most" of its remaining COVID-19 rules. As of Saturday, March 12, restaurants and bars will be able to operate at full capacity without additional limits on operating hours or table party sizes.
Dancing and karaoke will also once again be allowed after an almost three-month ban.
Quebec is further suspending its vaccine passport system, which since September 1, 2021, has limited access to certain non-essential activities and spaces to fully-vaccinated residents.