The idea of extending the holiday break only for Quebec students is far from delighting pediatrician Marie-Claude Roy.
• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic
Dr. Roy doubts the effectiveness of such a measure, which would put the weight of the pandemic on the shoulders of children and adolescents, who have already suffered a lot from the current crisis, according to her.
“The wave will arrive in January, whatever we do during the holiday season. The question will not be whether there will be a wave in January, but will it be big or catastrophic, ”she said on Wednesday.
It is clear to her that the expected Christmas gatherings will have serious consequences in January for the entire population, whether the children’s holidays are extended or not.
“It’s not the children who go to play in the living room during the Christmas party who are going to be the most problematic. It’s going to be you and I, going to chat with the other adults over a cup of wine. It will also be the transmission. We forget to think that adults who are in their workplace until December 21 will also be problematic during Christmas parties, ”insisted Dr. Roy, who is a pediatrician at CHUS – Hôpital Fleurimont, in Sherbrooke, and member of the Board of the Association des paediatres du Québec (APQ).
To really break the wave, she considers rather that a mini-containment after the return of the holidays should be considered.
“Why don’t we consider, in this context, to do a mini-confinement after the holidays? I do not understand why it is not mentioned. Probably because it is better in public opinion to say that we are going to extend the leave for children. We still put that on the backs of the children. If this is really what we do: stop the wave in January, it is commendable to do it, but why target children? I think we should close everything before closing schools, ”said the pediatrician.
Dr. Roy recognizes that people need to come together, but she believes people need to know that festivities and gatherings will have consequences. She believes that the premier of Quebec, François Legault, should show honesty to the population by publicly admitting that the celebrations and the holiday gatherings will make the wave swell in January.
“School outbreaks are the translation of what is happening in society as a whole. There are 35% of outbreaks in school settings, which means 65% of outbreaks in all other settings. This is the behavior of the virus and it is all age groups that transmit the virus, ”she said.
For the pediatrician, the consequences of extending the Christmas holidays will certainly be harmful.
“It will certainly have a major impact on motivation and academic career,” she hinted. The limit of what we could demand of our children and our teenagers, we crossed it a long time ago. They have already had an end of the year concealed. They currently have a school year, let’s say it, which will also be skipped. The teachers are working very hard. We give them a semblance of reality, but it’s still difficult. “