Quebec Minister François Lego has urged people not to gather for Christmas, but some experts want the province to go further with large-scale closures during the holiday season.
Regarding this, Da Silva and Pierre-Carl Michaud, professor of applied economics at the University of Montreal, wrote an open letter published Monday in La Presse, signed by 75 experts in public health, medicine and economics.
Canada total shutdown?
Roxana Borges da Silva, a professor of public health at the University of Montreal, is among those calling for a so-called “automatic lockdown” – that is, the closure of everything but major businesses – between December 20 and January 3.
Does this mean for Christmas, there will be a Canada total shutdown?
The letter said that the further spread of the virus before the vaccine is available, could impede the recovery of Quebec’s economy for months, not to mention harmful consequences for children, if they have to be kept at home during the school period.
The letter argues that the vacation period represents a unique opportunity to reduce the spread of COVID-19, considering that schools will already be closed.
A complete shutdown
A complete shutdown, which keeps only essential services open for two weeks, will help stop the spread of the virus. Benoit Mass, another professor of public health at the University of Montreal, said the rise in cases suggests that schools and businesses that remain open are generating enough contacts to increase the spread of the virus.
At the same time, Mass decided not to sign the letter. He believes the two-week “blackout” will create anxiety among the public, already upset by Lego’s retreat. And, according to him, this measure will not be enough to reverse the trend. In his opinion, widespread rapid testing in schools and businesses will help to reveal how the virus is spreading, especially among those who are asymptomatic. Will we be seeing a Canada total shutdown for Christmas?
Megan Davies is a reporter for White Pine Tribune. After graduating from the University of Toronto, Megan got an internship at the CBC News and worked as a reporter and editor. Megan has also worked as a reporter for Global Toronto. Megan covers economy and community events for White Pine Tribune.