Editorial/Opinion – A cancelled Holiday season

    Early on, it was announced that Premiere Legault would allow the province to be open to celebrations of up to ten people over a four day period (the 24th – the 27th), and although that decision pleased many, it infuriated others, and understandably so. But now, the Premiere had to take back that allowance as numbers rose rapidly since his announcement.

    For many long months, it was a burning question in the hearts of many … would the lockdown be relaxed for the Christmas season? Many families had to celebrate Thanksgiving without their loved ones around the table, making for a lot of leftover turkey sandwiches over the weeks that followed, and many had serious questions about what to expect for Christmas. As it turned out, the Premiere and his administration had decided to open up, giving some slack to one and all for Christmas.

    This decision, as generous and as heartwarming as it was, would be overturned before the Christmas season would even come to pass and pretty early on in December. But it was his original decision to have families get together in the first place that left many in the dark, especially members of the community that do not celebrate the Christmas holiday.

    And what of New Years?

    Apparently New Years was always considered canceled; even when Christmas was said to be “on.” And as hungry as the world and of course Quebec was to be rid of 2020, the year that brought Covid-19 to our shores, it seemed like we were all destined to do away with this pivotal year without much fanfare or extravagant celebration.

    Many will be quietly ringing in the New Year alone, with only the members of their household to toast to 2021 and a good riddance to the disastrous year gone by. For many this is no big issue, but for so many others, it definitely stings.

    Other Religious communities & their plight

    Of course Quebec isn’t only made up of one demographic or religious affiliation, and many feel that this is what is so beautiful about this province and our community specifically here in Park Ex. In our city alone, especially in Park Extension, the landscape is a veritable melting pot of the beautiful world cultures from all over. So it is definitely understandable as to why so many of these other religious communities would be upset at the former decision, especially seeing that New Years was the holiday that could have been celebrated across the board instead, many feel, or at least further across the board; perhaps a little bit more of a universal holiday, if you will.

    Premiere Legault’s viewpoint

    As a journalist, it is sometimes my responsibility to play devil’s advocate and I figure it is necessary here. So I lay the facts on the table as they stand simply to do so, as I always do and as we always do here at Park Extension News; simply to inform you, and our community … of what’s happening within the borough and around it … as far as even the rest of the province.

    So here goes nothing … “We must remember the family is at the heart of who we are, it is at the heart of our nation. For me, it’s part of my life. I’m lucky to have a wife, two sons, I want to see them.” These were words spoken by the Premiere in his statement when he wanted Quebec to be open for those four days, despite warnings from other neighboring provinces at the time. To the religious communities that offered complaint, he had no comment in response to any of those statements. Many are certainly confused however, and many are wondering what the process is when coming up with these new rules have been since the start of this pandemic and even now as we move our way forward towards a vaccine.

    Many have also complained at how awful it seemed at first to have the holiday granted and yet have it subsequently taken away so soon after the initial decision was made; having had it simply dangle above their heads very much like mistletoe and have it yanked away so soon.

    The term wishy-washy has certainly come up in recent weeks, especially in conjunction with this administration and its decisions on how to proceed. But what can we do but succumb to the rules, no matter how confusing it all seems?

    What other areas are doing

    Interestingly enough, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said: “Big parties, kisses and hugs will not be possible; this would mean an abrupt rise in the (infection) curve in January. We hope that we can still buy and exchange gifts.”

    In Germany, they’ll be apparently celebrating in shifts over the holiday season, small groups at a time.

    And other regions are also hopeful around the world. In essence, everyone’s tired of the isolation, that’s for sure, but a respect of all cultures is certainly a must when making decisions moving forward, and many feel that this was not thought of when the decision to allow celebrations was made and now taken back.