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Vanitas by Harman Steenwyck (artyfactory.com)

A Foreword

I was shocked when I realized the extent to which Covid-19 affected Montreal and decided one could not like a post containing the following information:

  • half of Canada’s victims of the Covid-19 pandemic live in Quebec;
  • the province of Quebec is failing its elderly citizens;
  • Premier, François Legault, and his Health Minister, Danielle McCann, were struggling to find hands to fight Covid-19;
  • 20,000 of Canadian cases of Covid-19 were Québécois.

Finding helpers

On the 8th of April, police found neglected seniors in a long-term facility: Herron. This facility is private, but private nursing homes are nevertheless subsidized, to a point, by the Quebec government. Conditions drew a parallel with concentration camps.



Given this emergency, Premier François Legault and Health Minister Danielle McCann called on teachers to help in nursing homes, the CHSLDs (Centre d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée [long term care facilities]).


On Friday, the 10th of April, Quebec’s Premier, François Legault and Health Minister Danielle McCann tried to “force employees in the education sector to help in the health sector.” Schools were closed and the province had an emergency. Teachers did not enter long-term care facilities or nursing houses.

Confédération des syndicats nationaux [Unions] did not take long to respond. It said it recognized the gravity of the crisis and the need to resort to exceptional measures, but is worried about how this decision would be implemented and the potential for abuse.”

“Forcing education personnel to work in the health network, without any form of consultation with those affected, is at the very least heartbreaking,” said CSN [Confédération des syndicats nationaux] president Jacques Létourneau.



Premier Legault then called on 2,000 health workers: general practicioners, specialists and nurses. He appealed to doctor’s “sense of duty.”


However, it had been discovered that some of the elderly who had been transported to hospitals were not the victims of Covid-19.

Dr. Vinh-Kim Nguyen says the Jewish General is seeing more and more seniors admitted — not necessarily for COVID-19, but because of issues related to dehydration and starvation.

“We started to see a shift in the kinds of patients we’ve admitted to the hospital,” Nguyen told Global News.

“More and more patients are coming from old-age homes, nursing homes and CHSLD long-term care facilities, most of them coming in with dehydration, hypernatremia, high blood sodium, renal failure.”

These patients were not ill because of Covid-19.


After three days, Premier Legault thought he had not made himself clear.

“I think I am clear today: we need, ideally, 2,000 doctors — whether they are general practitioners or specialists — to come treat the people, wash patients, feed patients, to come and do the work of nurses.”

Danielle McCann was quite convincing:

“There are many GPs and specialists who go on humanitarian missions outside Quebec, to Africa and other countries,” added Health Minister Danielle McCann. “They go help. They are quite devoted. What I want to say to them today is that this time the humanitarian mission is in Quebec — it is in the CHSLDs.”

The Agreement

Doctors responded, but money talks. Two thousand doctors are working in nursing homes and seniors are losing their life to Covid-19. One doctor has died. However, it has been agreed that doctors “will be paid $211 an hour, regardless of their tasks, to a maximum of $2,500 a day. The average wage of an orderly now is $21.50 an hour.” It’s “danger pay.” I doubt very much that a Quebec doctor would have accepted to work in nursing homes without a generous danger pay.

The Military

Premier Legault’s has nevertheless requested further help from the military. He needs 1,000 soldiers who would work in a CHSLD (long term care facility.) I doubt that they will receive “danger pay.”

Similarly, Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario has also requested the assistance of the armed forces. So the military is becoming the “force … of last resort.


© Graham Hughes A member of the Canadian Armed Forces arrives at Residence Yvon-Brunet a long term care home in Montreal, Saturday, April 18, 2020, as COVID-19 cases rise in Canada and around the world.


One can count on a soldier’s sense of duty. They came, they assessed and they found a strategy. In other words, soldiers can organize, which is what the first group did. The request for one thousand soldiers is Quebec’s second request.


I have since read that the death toll in Quebec was 1,243, which means that “Quebec with 23 percent of Canada’s population, is home to 52% of cases and 57 percent of the death.” But the death toll has now risen to 1,446 and keeps rising.


There are 43,888 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada

  • Quebec: 22,616 confirmed (including 1,340 deaths, 4,724 resolved)
  • Ontario:13,519 confirmed (including 763 deaths, 7,087 resolved)
  • Alberta: 4,017 confirmed (including 72 deaths, 1,397 resolved)
  • British Columbia: 1,853 confirmed (including 98 deaths, 1,114 resolved)
  • Nova Scotia: 850 confirmed (including 16 deaths, 392 resolved)
  • Saskatchewan: 341 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 280 resolved)
  • Manitoba: 252 confirmed (including 6 deaths, 174 resolved), 11 presumptive
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 256 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 199 resolved)
  • New Brunswick: 118 confirmed (including 104 resolved)
  • Prince Edward Island: 26 confirmed (including 24 resolved)
  • Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)
  • Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 8 resolved)
  • Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)
  • Nunavut: No confirmed cases
  • Total: 43,888 (11 presumptive, 43,877 confirmed including 2,302 deaths, 15,521 resolved

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 24, 2020.

a person standing in front of a plane: Red Cross volunteer Stephane Corbeil adjusts an opening in a tent at a mobile hospital at the Jacques Lemaire arena in the Montreal suburb of LaSalle, Sunday, April 26, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Red Cross volunteer Stephane Corbeil adjusts an opening in a tent at a mobile hospital at the Jacques Lemaire arena in the Montreal suburb of LaSalle, Sunday, April 26, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes


There is more to tell: herd immunity, lifting the lockdown… But it suffices to say that one has very little respect for doctors in Quebec who will not come forward until their union negotiates a salary of $2,500 a day. There are good doctors, but, by and large, it’s all about money. They have a powerful syndicate and one fears being a snitch. The fact remains that in Quebec, half the victims of Covid-19 are the elderly. I suspect that the orderlies left because they feared contamination.

You may know that I lost fourteen brothers and sisters to a congenital blood disease. The Insurance Company ceased to contribute money, but my father’s employers footed the bill. It was small. These were the days when I could phone our doctor and say: “Dr Saine, Thérèse has a fever and she is in considerable pain. I don’t know what to do.” He said the magical words. “Don’t worry Micheline, I’m coming over.”

But I will stop here. I was kept away by a case of sadness. The videos show the Premier, Danielle McCann and Quebec’s top doctor: Dr Horacio Arruda. Canada’s top doctor is Dr Theresa Tam.

More than 2,500 coronavirus deaths in Canada as confirmed cases cross 46K.

Love to everyone 💕
I was not able to enter all captions. My post disappeared. I will try to enter captions and credit later.

Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas
Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble of Shadows, ‘Va(r)nitas, vanitas… (…omnia vanitas)’, dall’album ‘Dead Lovers Sarabande’ (1999)

See the source image

A Vanitas (a gracious and very lalented artist)

© Micheline Walker
26 April 2020