In May, The National Public Health Institute of Quebecreported that the number of biting insects in Montreal is going to explode.
And this province is already notorious for heavy mosquito and black fly concentrations, due to the fact that we have a vast territory filled with forest, lakes and rivers, which is the perfect breeding ground for these kind of insects.
That, combined with the record breaking rain we've been seeing these last few month and the floods, means there are more breeding grounds then ever before.
"So there is reason to be optimistic. We are getting to the end of the tunnel [...] We still have part of the tunnel left to drive through but we'll soon get to our destination," he said. If you need a little dose of optimism to get you through today, then check out Legault's reasons to feel hopeful right now.
According to Legault, "We know that the virus doesn't like heat and we can expect over the next few weeks it will be warmer and warmer."
There are differing opinions on weather temperatures affecting COVID-19, and the World Health Organization asserts that the virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates. Just look at the COVID-19 situation in India or Brazil.
Quebec's health ministry acknowledged that "the first wave brought many more deaths than we thought because of the outbreaks in the CHSLDs."
"When you have outbreaks in there; because they're older patients you're obviously going to have more hospitalizations and more deaths," explained Dr. Labos.
According to data compiled by independent journalist Nora Loreto, at least two facilities in the Montreal area — the Centre d'hébergement Sainte-Dorothée and the Centre d'hébergement Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci — have seen over 100 resident deaths.
"If we had known how contagious the virus was, we could have banned visits to long-term care centres more quickly," the ministry said in a statement shared with MTL Blog.
"We would have issued stricter directives on the wearing of protective equipment in hospitals, long-term care centres, and RPAs [private senior's residences]."
What could have been done to prevent all these deaths?
"Early on in the pandemic, it was difficult to get testing [...] we had no effective treatments against this virus [...] it was just a bunch of things that sort of conspired that made it a difficult situation."
The ministry also points to a delay in the lockdown and the more long-term issue of staff vacancies.
"Visits to the living environment were late in being banned and the movement of staff to meet a need for manpower contributed to the spread of the virus," admitted the health ministry.
Quebec's Health Ministry, however, stopped short of laying all the responsibility on the health network and politicians that control the discourse, explaining that "it's also about people working together to implement health guidelines" — a common refrain in many of François Legault's press conferences.
"COVID's experience has taught us to act much more quickly in making decisions and to keep records of the decisions taken."
Quebec has recorded a total of 10,802 deaths as of April 18.
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.
UPDATE: In a press conference the following day, on February 11, Quebec Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda said there were 48 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 variant strain cases in the Montreal region.
We're trying to gain time, and in that time we hope to vaccinate [as many] people as possible.
Dr. Mylène Drouin, Montreal Public Health Director
Of the 44 variant strain cases, nine have been confirmed through lab sequencing and 12 are epidemiologically linked, meaning they're thought to have been transmitted from someone with a confirmed variant strain in Montreal.
Twenty-three of the variant strain cases were declared by laboratories, but have not yet been formally confirmed by Montreal public health.
Dr. Drouin said they were likely linked to travellers returning to Quebec from abroad.
According to Drouin, data has shown that the COVID-19 virus variants — originating in the U.K., Brazil and South Africa — are over 40% more transmissible than the predominant strain of SARS-CoV-2 in Montreal.
En conférence de presse, Dre Mylène Drouin a parlé des variants. Il y a présentement 44 cas suspectés, dont 9 confi… https://t.co/zBgWSWUz9i