How the curfew and ban on certain goods impact lives, despite the efforts to halt the rise in COVID cases
As of Jan. 9, Quebec has put strict confinement measures in place such as the curfew, desperately hoping to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the province. These measures also include the closing of all non essential businesses, and reinforcing the rules regarding indoor gatherings.
The imposed curfew, which runs from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., along with the new measures requiring travelers to test negatively for COVID-19 before coming to Canada, have faced some criticism.
Many civil liberty groups have spoken out against the curfew, questioning its impact on civil liberties, as well as the strain the provincial government is dumping onto its citizens.
According to an article from CBC, the Ligue des droits et libertés has asked Legault’s government to address the more pertinent underlying causes of the hike in case numbers, rather than relying on a curfew. This refers to updating ventilation in old structures such as schools and office spaces, as well as bettering conditions for healthcare workers.
But these are not the only outcries the government is hearing. The curfew — as well as measures put in place limiting the sale of non-essential goods — has also placed significant strain on individual Montrealers.
Shanique Morris, or laveganbaddie on Instagram, owns a local secondhand shop, with a niche Bratz-Y2K aesthetic, reminiscent of the early 2000s. Her shop has seen immense growth since she started in October 2019, but the curfew has put a dent in her business endeavors.
Morris explained how in the past, she regularly made deliveries in the evenings. She would travel to a shipment centre far from her home, as well as to individual clients. However, with the new curfew, she said, “My schedule is all over the place.”
“I didn’t have the time to deliver my packages yesterday so I have had no choice but to come [to the shipment centre] this morning because you know, since curfew, [closing] times change,” explained Morris.
She’s also experiencing difficulty purchasing the necessary materials to run her shop from home. She explained, “If my printer were to break, and I needed one right away, I couldn’t just go to the store and get one. Because that’s deemed as non-essential — and obviously I do need a printer to be able to print out my labels.”
Kassidy Jordan, a second year student at Concordia, has also faced repercussions due to the new safety measures. She explained that she was recently laid off from her job; despite this, she is understanding of the situation.
She said, “In theory, if you’ve been doing what you’re supposed to be doing, none of the new restrictions … really affect you that much. It’s just, like, tiring.”
She expressed her thoughts on the curfew and its impacts on her lifestyle, and said, “It feels like you don’t have very much control over how you want to spend your day.”
Furthermore, Jordan went on to express her beliefs on where Legault should be concentrating his efforts.
“I’ve walked past some elementary and middle schools here. And you can clearly see that the kids are just all over each other, like close together, not distanced, not doing it in a safe manner.”
Photograph by Kit Mergaert