In Ottawa, it was a Saturday night like any other. Again, the children played in the park.
The night sliding session is one of the new rituals of the pandemic. The “evening special” as a reward for the day riveted in front of their computer to do distance school.
An ideal pretext, too, to allow parents to socialize legally.
Yesterday, this ritual took on the air of privilege, thinking of the friends across the river.
Above all, here, everyone is asking the question: for how long will the federal capital hold its own against the virulence of this second wave?
The end of the exception?
Throughout the fall, Ottawa has been a beacon of the night. It is said to be one of the only cities with more than a million inhabitants that managed to break the second wave in early November.
For once, its inhabitants were very happy to live in the city where “we roll the sidewalks early”. Its reputation as a boring and tidy capital suddenly revealed its hidden advantages.
The widespread teleworking in the public service and the low population density seem to have changed the situation.
But even here in the land of ultra-conformists, COVID-19 is gaining ground. Yesterday, there were 234 new cases, a second peak in two days. Above all, schools will remain closed until January 25.
What is more painful, closed schools or a curfew? To ask the question, is to answer it.
The worst to come?
Premier Doug Ford on Friday warned Ontarians that the forecast to be released on Tuesday will “knock us out of our chair.” The potency of the new strain would be to blame.
In the end, it’s the same everywhere.
The Christmas confinement was not enough, like the gradual half-measures that marked the fall.
No, the arrival of the vaccine will not overcome the second wave. There won’t be enough before the second trimester. That too, we had known for a long time.
So, yes, you have to endure. There is nothing free about COVID-19.
Will Ontario in turn impose a curfew? How long will the schools remain open in Quebec? Who knows ?
If there is consistency on both sides of the Ottawa River, everyone holds their breath, aware this time around that things are likely to get worse before the long-awaited lull.