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Winter with COVID-19 - Update


Gordo
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Update: Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has opinions. My opinion is that he needs to support the ski industry and work with the Gatineau mayor to acknowledge the NCR as one big city (much like GMA or GTA), and increase covid safety collaboration. Says Jim: "I think it's just good common sense. I recognize they wait a long time to use those new skies and get out on the ski hill, and they buy their ski pass so they have a lot invested, but obviously, if I was still skiing I would wait and hold off."

umm yeah. That's not how that should work.

https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-s-mayor-urges-skiers-to-avoid-trips-to-quebec-hills-during-covid-19-lockdown-1.5249639

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https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/quebec-headed-for-full-lockdown-curfews-beginning-saturday-report

It appears as though Quebec is realizing that the pandemic is out of control, and will ramp up slightly their response, with curfews at night starting this coming Saturday. The headline says Quebec is headed for full lock-down but it is not clear what that means at this point other than the nightly curfews. The announcement is rumoured to be tomorrow on the new measures.

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@Shane @Gordo yeah I plan to spend the next four days whooshing my days away. I need to make a quick trip to Ottawa to help my dad move a heavy object upstairs (cause he's having back surgery in a week, corona permitting, and no chance I'd let him move it himself!). Plan is to stop at Mont Rigaud on the way there or back, and also pick up my x-country skis so at least I can do some slow whooshing in park Mont-Royal.

I haven't decided yet if the headline is draconian or not. A small edit appeared to note that "essential" businesses would be allowed to operate, currently ski operations are considered "essential" but if the goal is to reduce movements, I don't think it will stick. 

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HOORAY! From today's announcement, it sounds like skiing will be allowed to continue, however team/race activities will no longer be permitted (and lessons are already not permitted in red zones).

Aside from the ridiculous new curfew which will, for one thing, make my local grocery store that typically closes by 11PM a lot more rammed full of people due to reduced hours, not much is changing in this lockdown. Curbside delivery is allowed again (which means more people back at retail and warehousing work), manufacturing and schools remain open - both are an important source of infections. If it's true that many people are visiting their friends and family in the evenings, I guess that will show in a reduction in new infections in about three weeks after the second gen holiday transmissions have happened - we are still in the 14 day period following NYE, so we will likely continue to see an increase for at least the next three weeks before things start to get under control. 

That said, I anticipate the new "lockdown" will be extended until at least late February because it typically takes 6 to 8 weeks to get infections under control and we are starting at a much later time in the cycle than we did in the spring, and we are not shutting down manufacturing, which we also did in the spring.

So, I guess it's aurevoir night skiing. I anticpate that some mountains may opt to do only a day shift ending at 4 or 5pm, since they have a shift change at 3-4pm normally, and eliminating the second shift will result in cost savings (not to mention electricity savings for night lighting and lift operations). I think we'll be lucky if skiing is allowed right up until 7pm, and if it is, some of us are going to have to book it home afterwards. 

I am waiting to see if the ASSQ will post a summary of any changes resulting from the new measures.

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@Ocean I was night skiing last night at Fortune. It was busy. For people in Ottawa its pretty easy to get home by 8pm if leaving even at 7:30 from the hill.  That said they may opt to just cancel night skiing altogether. Real bummer.  Also lots of people are cross country ski in Gatineau park at night, not sure will happen with that. 

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@Gordo I'll be at Edelweiss for the last hour of the day tonight, possibly a bit earlier. Need to help my dad move a heavy object upstairs in advance of his back surgery! 

I am also picking up my x-country skis :) just in case of anymore unexpected changes. 

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For me, I am just thankful that the season wasn't put on hold like it had been in Ontario. I'm going to take it a step at a time, and keep it between Orford and Mont Bellevue, if I can score a ticket online at Bellevue. I have a pass at Orford so at least I can ski somewhere. Let's see how this latest lockdown plays out, if and when it's over, I have a couple of places I'd like to check out if it's in the cards for late February, early March. I must say though that my hands have consumed more alcohol that I have recently. Stay safe my friends! 

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