By offering Quebecers his “moral contract” for the holidays, François Legault is taking two major risks.
First, to relaunch the pandemic until it loses control.
Then, to infuriate many Quebecers who believe that we are already doing too much, especially restaurant owners.
But does he have a choice?
Several Quebecers already believe that they have been excessively deprived of family contact. They are determined to see their loved ones and celebrate, no matter what the government advocates.
Thus, canceling the holiday season altogether would have entailed an even greater risk.
The underground Christmases would probably have taken place in defiance of any rule. But above all, “mental health”, as they say, and morale more generally have taken a hit in many.
It would have been, a colleague told me, like these Puritan parents advocating abstinence, in sexual matters, to their teenagers: “It wouldn’t work, anyway!” “
Better, therefore, to allow, but to explain, to mark out, to try to minimize the risk.
In this, the choice of the “moral contract” is a “beautiful risk”.
The cancellation of one of the two most rooted in our traditions, with a clear choice for Christmas too.
On New Year’s Day, we will each return to our bubble, in front of our screens. “We look at the bye Bye “, Summarized François Legault. (It cannot be missed this year, this year has been so crazy.) Rarely, perhaps, will we have been so sincere in our wishes for the coming year.
Besides, making sure, a little before Christmas, to do distance schooling is also well advised. But do we really have all the necessary equipment for everyone?
We must salute that we have given up canceling – again – one or two weeks of school, depending on the scenario that was circulating. Children and young people, schools and apprenticeships have already suffered enough in this way.
Contract to improve
Nevertheless, in what proportion will Quebeckers sufficiently respect these special instructions, in particular the 10 people maximum?
Everything will depend on the ability of the authorities to hammer home the messages. However, these last night were not always as clear as they should have been.
We even added some as the press conference progressed. It was almost with a “by the way” that the Prime Minister clarified that interregional travel was not recommended. This is not a detail at this time of year!
Also, a contract improves. And as the leader of the opposition Dominique Anglade noted yesterday, the government should add clauses within a few days. Especially :
• that it commit more clearly and resolutely to screening asymptomatic people;
• make new announcements aimed at “facilitating and improving distance education”.
The instructions relating to aerosol contamination should also be recalled with greater emphasis.
From a strict public health perspective, it would have been better, under the current circumstances (an unstable plateau of cases), to cancel everything.
But it is not only the fight against the pandemic in our life. Christmas 2020 deserves a nice risk.