The Christmas gatherings are likely to have significant consequences on an already “strained” health system, warn experts.
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“What scares us is that our health care system is already operating at full capacity. It is difficult to see how we could manage an increase in cases [de COVID-19], the network is really under tension at the moment ”, underlines the Dr Gilbert Boucher, President of the Association of Specialists in Emergency Medicine of Quebec (ASMUQ).
Premier Legault announced Thursday that families will be able to gather up to 10 people on December 24, 25, 26 and 27 to celebrate Christmas. All, embedded between two weeks of voluntary confinement.
For the Dr Boucher, this is a good way to frame these gatherings because they would have taken place even without government authorization, he believes.
However, the risk of seeing the virus infiltrate massively into the population and thus clog hospitals is very present.
” Big problem “
“Of course, if everyone sees 10 people for four days, we are chasing trouble. There is definitely a risk. If an increase in cases occurs in January, we will find ourselves with a big problem, especially with the beds, ”he warns.
Nevertheless, the positive points of this “permission” on the mental health of individuals should not be overlooked. Isolation has hit many people hard, says Dr.r Butcher.
An opinion that is shared by the epidemiologist of the School of Public Health of the University of Montreal, Hélène Carabin, who explains that the ideal world does not exist and that compromises must be made.
“There needs to be a balance between people’s mental health and [le potentiel de risque]. I think they [le gouvernement] reached a reasonable compromise given the circumstances, ”she explains. “But people must continue to pay attention, it is undeniable”, she slices.
protect yourself well
The Dre Carabin also invites the population to keep their distance inside and to wear the mask if they are in the presence of vulnerable people.
The Dr Boucher stresses the importance of good ventilation to prevent the spread of the virus.
“If there is one person who is infected in a poorly ventilated room with nine other people, we have 10 infections. That is clear, ”he concludes.