It was an “I told you so” moment for many Quebecers.
“Schools are spreading COVID-19, new study finds” read a headline on the Montreal Gazette site.
You could hear the comments echoing through the province: “No shit, Sherlock!”
The study also found that it was “children who passed the virus onto adults when schools reopened in the fall, feeding the alarming spread seen in Montreal during the pandemic’s second wave.”
This was reported the same day Quebec Premier François Legault said that sending youngsters back to in-person classes this week was a calculated risk.
“I understand very well that there’s a risk with bringing children back into schools, but there are other disadvantages to keeping them at home. Social disadvantages, learning disadvantages,” Legault said, according to the Gazette report.
“It’s part of my job to make decisions,” the premier added, “and I think there are more disadvantages than advantages to keeping children at home.”
Quebec has seen covid cases spike up since the kids went back to school in the fall. Currently, the health-care system is so overwhelmed that doctors are saying they may now have to decide which patients they’ll simply let die and which they will treat –because they don’t have the resources to care for all the sick.
People are dying every day, and the numbers of new cases is around 2,000 every day.
Yet, the premier insisted upon sending kids back to school this week after the Christmas break while at the same time imposing an 8 p.m.-to-5.a.m. curfew on the whole province as well as a lockdown on all but essential businesses and employees who can work from home.
Since September, the Quebec government has denied that kids were spreading covid, blaming it on everybody but them. Even now, with so many people pointing out the seemingly Duh! obvious, they are still insisting youngsters must go back to classrooms.
It has a lot of people in the province scratching their heads. It just doesn’t make sense: we have a provincewide lockdown and a curfew restricting our movements after dark, but the kids can go to school.
The premier’s message seems to be: we don’t care if the health-care system is overwhelmed and lots of people die as much as we care about the kids being in school — no matter who gets sick and/or dies as a result.
I think it is time for the premier and those who have been calling the shots since the pandemic started to step aside and turn this over to health-care professionals, like the doctors who have to deal with the disastrous effects of Legault’s calculated risk.
His calculated risk may be far greater than it might appear — though, the risk is huge already. But we have no idea of the long-term effects of covid on people, including kids.
I feel for politicians stuck with having to deal with the pandemic mess. But I don’t think they are qualified to do the job. Mr. Legault’s calculated risk may have led to the deaths of many people and untold miseries and loss for many others.
Just to keep youngsters in the classroom?
It doesn’t make sense.