A new study has revealed the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Quebecers' mental health, social and work life and to no one's surprise, we're basically a bunch of quivering wrecks.
Seventy-seven percent of Quebec respondents reported feelings of dissatisfaction with their social lives, but more women (80%) than men (73%) felt dissatisfied.
The study by the Institut de la statistique du Québec evaluated the responses of more than 7,000 Quebecers aged 15 and over.
While many people experienced loneliness and isolation, the study found that women, people under 35, students, and people living alone or in single-parent households were among the groups who were most affected.
Physical and mental health concerns affected the vast majority of Quebecers, according to the study.
Sixty-two percent of Quebecers aged 15 and older reported that they were concerned about their own health during the pandemic. 73% said they were concerned about the health of a loved one "at-risk" (defined as a person "aged 70 and over or with a health problem or working in the health care sector").
In regards to physical activity, the study found that 45% of respondents decreased their activity levels during the pandemic, with 15 to 24-year-olds reporting the largest decrease among all age groups.
And finally, among the vices, 14% of respondents reported an increase in alcohol consumption, while 17% reported a decrease. Four percent of respondents reported an increase in their use of cannabis and 3% reported a decrease.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
It's another sad day in Habs land, folks. The Montreal Canadiens have announced that two players, forward Brendan Gallagher and defenceman Sami Niku, have been placed under the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.
According to a statement posted on Instagram, "both players are being monitored closely by team doctors and following the guidelines and protocols set by the NHL."
As per the NHL's COVID-19 protocol for players and staff, the two Habs players will be "be removed immediately and shall be directed to isolate and to refrain from contact with other individuals until the confirmation of their COVID-19 positive/negative status is established."
As of the time of writing, the players' status is unconfirmed.
The NHL has established extensive guidelines for managing COVID-19 in the league and has been quick to act when potential cases arise. The NHL has also established a protocol for unvaccinated players, according to Sportsnet.
In the Canadiens, there have been a few confirmed contacts with the COVID-19 virus since the pandemic began but overall, no player on the team has missed significant time due to the disease. The only one to miss a large chunk of time was head coach Dominique Ducharme, who was in isolation for part of the Habs' most recent playoff run.
Former General Manager Marc Bergevin also tested positive for COVID-19 in November and spent some time away from the team.
It has been a rough week for the Canadiens. Though in positive news, Carey Price is back on the ice at training, the team underwent a major shakeup by relieving Bergevin and two other employees. At least one person has said they're interested in the GM role, but the team hasn't given updates on its search for a new leader.
The two infected individuals are now in Ottawa after "recent travel from Nigeria," according to Dr. Moore. He said they underwent testing in Montreal and that officials in Ontario received their results from counterparts in Quebec.
"I want to reassure Ontarians that we are prepared and ready to respond to this or any other new variant," the chief medical officer said, explaining that both individuals are in isolation.
"These cases are being monitored very closely by both Public Health Agency of Canada and now Ottawa Public Health."
The WHO said "it is not yet clear" whether the variant is more transmissible or leads to "more severe disease," but that the decision to classify Omicron as concerning came after evidence showed "several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves."
In response to the emergence of the variant, the Government of Canada announced in a November 26 news release that it was introducing "enhanced border measures for all travellers who have been in the Southern Africa region — including South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Namibia— within the last 14 days before arriving in Canada."
The government has banned foreign nationals who have been to any of these countries within 14 days from entering Canada.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Many provinces have restricted access to non-essential services and events, such as restaurants and concerts, to fully vaccinated residents and visitors.
Provinces recognize the federally approved vaccine passport. The government states online that provinces and territories may actually "ask you to use this proof to access non-essential services."
What information is on the vaccine passport?
Similar to Quebec's VaxiCode app and pdf proof of vaccination, the federal vaccine passport will include your first and last name, your date of birth and your COVID-19 vaccination history (vaccine lot numbers, names of manufacturers and dates received).
Unlike VaxiCode or the provincial pdf, the Canadian vaccine passport will have the federal government logo in the top right corner.
The document will have a QR code in addition to this information.
How can Quebecers get their federally approved proof of vaccination?
The provinces and territories are distributing the federal vaccine passport.
Quebecers can find it the same way they would download the provincial proof of vaccination document.
A portal on the Quebec government website prompts visitors to enter identifying information. They can then opt to receive a link to their vaccination proof either through text or email.
The link takes Quebecers to a page where they can download proofs of vaccination for use within Quebec (the VaxiCode app or a pdf document with a QR code) and for use outside of Quebec, the federally standardized vaccine passport.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Minister Dubé was asked what he thought about the crowd, consisting of nearly 15,000 fully vaccinated spectators, and whether discotheques should also have relaxed measures.
"It is certain that when you have been under the yoke of this pandemic for 18-19 months and you find yourself in a show [...] it is difficult to hold back," said Minister Dubé.
"Well, I'm not a fan of Mr. Iglesias, but the one before [Ricky Martin] was more rhythmic," he added with a laugh.
The spectators were required to wear a mask and remain seated at all times. But according to images circulating on social media, fans were gripped by dance fever leading some people to stand up and some masks to come down.
"I think the Bell Center had set the conditions to be respected. There are people who may not have respected the rules. We can understand, not that I excuse them, but we can understand," said Minister Dubé, admitting that "it was a bit of a stretch what we saw there."
Minister Dubé also said he hopes there won't be too many COVID-19 cases as a result of last weekend's event.
"Just because things are going well on the stabilization side doesn't mean we should let go of the health measures. So I hope that those who have been given flexibility, like the Bell Centre, will make sure they follow the measures," he said.