- As confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Quebec continue to climb, it's clear that Montrealers are taking new government directives seriously.
- The result? These somewhat eerie photos of Montreal looking like a straight-up ghost town.
- The metro, buses, the airport... everything is strangely empty.
As of Sunday, March 15, Santé Quebec is reporting that there are currently 39 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Quebec, which means cases have nearly doubled over the weekend from Friday's count of 19 confirmed cases. In Canada, there are currently 304 confirmed cases across the country, with the highest number of cases in Ontario. In Quebec this weekend, Premier François Legault announced the closure of all bars, gyms and pools across the province in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Restaurants are allowed to remain open, but Legault asked establishments to limit the number of customers to "50% of their capacity." This means restaurants are allowed to stay open if they so choose.
Legault also took the time during his press conference to suggest a walk in the sunshine as an alternative activity. "It's calming and good for morale," he stated.
Meanwhile, other essential services continue to run, albeit very differently. The STM's metro and buses are still running, but photos below will show this Monday morning commute was unlike anything Montrealers have ever seen.
The STM did make a point of suggesting to passengers that they avoid peak hours in order to ensure safe social distancing practices.
The tweets below show what the Monday morning rush hour commute was like for those who have not been told or opted to work from home for the next two weeks.
Montreal metro at rush hour. https://t.co/Ja2O69sMsW— Les Perreaux (@Les Perreaux) 1584361812.0
Montréal, 16/03/2020, 07.55 #montreal #COVID19 https://t.co/kBxzA2hDvc— Delphine Azaaak (@Delphine Azaaak) 1584359828.0
Both buses and the metro were like a ghost town, a sight that is very strange for a Monday morning.
This comes as little surprise, considering the efforts many businesses have taken to keep their staff safe by suggesting a work from home schedule.
Still, the photos are bizarre to behold nonetheless.
Even Montreal's commuter trains are empty, making it "pretty easy to practice social distancing," as the tweet below states.
Pretty easy to practice social distancing on my train this morning. This is a rush hour train headed to downtown Mo… https://t.co/XOmVgDHnMI— Monique Beaudin (@Monique Beaudin) 1584360831.0
The airport is also a ghost town today, as many individuals have decided to forego travel plans, particularly as many airlines have decided to be forgiving with cancellations and alterations.
Even with the beautiful sunny weather we had in Montreal this weekend, and Legault's suggestion to take a walk, it was clear that many Montrealers decided staying home was the plan.
This is 2pm Sunday, St. Catherine, corner Crescent. Never seen it like this before. Even when it was illegal for st… https://t.co/bC5K3Ti4Xn— Rick's (@Rick's) 1584300255.0
Highways in Montreal are abnormally empty at mid-day. Looks like people are taking the government directives serio… https://t.co/bA8Xa961Vv— greg dudek (@greg dudek) 1584298402.0
Streets and highways were empty this weekend, which shows that Quebecers seem to be taking government directives seriously, and therefore taking their health and the health of others seriously.
Montreal March 2020 https://t.co/C92Im1JSvk— shlomo Ben ezra (@shlomo Ben ezra) 1584159478.0
Usually 2 out of 3 treadmills here are being used every morning. 10am is when this pic was taken. Today, this!… https://t.co/ow9VSzCabj— Rick's (@Rick's) 1584141851.0
So these photos, as eerie as they may seem, shouldn't be disheartening. In fact, they should feel just the opposite, as they are proof that as a province, and even as a country, we are able to band together and make sacrifices to ensure the health and safety of the greater population.
All the coronavirus mayhem will bring out some gems. On my building door today: #Montreal #COVIDー19 #ndg https://t.co/AqiMKj1Aoo— MarcoT (@MarcoT) 1584217453.0
Plus, in times like these, people are given a chance to really shine and show their innate greatness.
Keep it up, Quebec. We'll get through this together.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.