As Ontario enters a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, neighbouring Quebec may very well avoid one altogether thanks to its months-long curfew.
As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year and the end of its second wave in Canada, many provinces are grappling with the growing possibility of a third wave as more contagious variants of the virus spread throughout the population.
But in Quebec, which was heavily criticized for its initial pandemic response last spring as the virus raced like wildfire through long-term care homes, daily new cases have plateaued around 700, with hospitalizations and deaths also largely unchanging from one day to the next.
Now, experts say there is a chance a third wave never materializes in la belle province, even despite the growing number of variant cases.
“We’re not completely safe from a third wave, but if we can convince Quebecers to continue to respect sanitary measures for another few weeks, we very well may avoid it. We’re in a race between the virus variants and vaccines,” says Marie-France Raynault, professor emeritus of public health at the Université de Montréal.
Though it hasn’t been proven scientifically yet, both Reynault and Benoît Barbeau, associate professor of biology at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), suspect Quebec’s stable numbers are due in large part to its stricter lockdown measures.