Endless queues in shopping centers

Endless queues in shopping centers

If thousands of Quebecers rushed to shopping centers on Saturday to complete their Christmas shopping, they really should not invite vulnerable people into their bubble during the holidays, worries an expert.

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“At Christmas, people tend to shop in groups, they stroll, then they each return to their own bubble. The danger is for the vulnerable people who will be invited to these bubbles. Someone who is infected today will be contagious at Christmas, but will not necessarily be symptomatic ”, laments Dr.r François Marquis, head of the intensive care unit at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont.

Even if the government invited the population to do their shopping in advance, the pre-Christmas shopping frenzy was felt Saturday in several malls in the province.

However, the increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, including 2,038 infections declared on Saturday, worries the government, which will put Quebec back on hiatus from December 25.

Despite the security guards who controlled the entrances to several places, supported by the deployed police, the fact remains that long strands of buyers have formed.

Endless lines

Endless queues in shopping centers

Photo QMI Agency, Joël Lemay

Consumers had to be patient in queues at the gates of Carrefour Laval on Saturday.

At Carrefour Laval, at each of the doors, at least fifty people were waiting outside in endless lines of several tens of meters.

“It’s just crazy,” commented Valeria, 18, speechless at the crowd. “We will go around, to see if it is less worse at the other doors, but if not, we will come back another time”, decides Anna, at his side.

The wait, however, got the better of several groups, who preferred to turn back. At the Galeries d’Anjou, we noted 40 minutes to enter. Same story for the Galeries de la Capitale in Quebec City, which “possibly” experienced their record traffic for this holiday season, according to General Manager Stéphan Landry.

“We are comfortable. There aren’t too many people, and people keep their distance so that’s good, ”says Natalia Pereira, 24, looking for a very last gift in Saint-Bruno.

Other large shopping centers in Montreal and the South Shore, however, were far from reaching Black Friday traffic.

Despite everything, the distancing was well respected, noted The newspaper when passing through these places.

Think twice

For the Dr Marquis, it is nevertheless clear that there will be a considerable increase in the number of infections around New Year’s Day, and that it will have a big impact on hospitals, which are already overwhelmed.

“We risk collectively bitterly regret our return from the holidays,” he laments, imploring Quebeckers to think twice before inviting a vulnerable person living alone at home.


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