COVID-19: Celebrations of Canadiens’ Game 7 win bring burst of euphoria, public health warning

Click to play video: 'Montreal Canadiens’ Game 7 victory celebrations spark public health warning'
Montreal Canadiens’ Game 7 victory celebrations spark public health warning
WATCH: If you woke up with a smile on your face after the Montreal Canadiens eliminated the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, you're far from alone. The victory combined with deconfinement and a decrease in COVID-19 cases has created a perfect storm for celebrations. But as Dan Spector reports, Monday night's gatherings also sparked concern and a warning – Jun 1, 2021

Montrealers woke up with an extra jump in their step Tuesday morning, after the Montreal Canadiens eliminated the Toronto Maple Leafs from the NHL playoffs Monday night.

“I was walking on air, man. I was in a wonderful mood. No matter what happens today, I’m in a good mood,” said Habs fan Alex Nazar.

After over a year of COVID-19 doom and gloom, the Canadiens’ Game 7 win was something for everyone to celebrate together.

“There has been so little to celebrate of late that it created a massive boost. Everyone in the house was jumping around,” said Dr. Simon Bacon, a behavioural medicine professor at Concordia University.

“The kids got to stay up a little bit late to watch that one,”

Bacon says Quebecers have been coming together to fight COVID-19, but they’ve done it in solitude. He thinks the reopening, the end of curfew and the Habs’ win have created a perfect storm of hope.

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“Now we have a scenario where our team is actually doing well and then creating a catalyst for us to be able to … celebrate it together,” he said.

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Premier Francois Legault was also in an excellent mood on Tuesday following the Canadiens’ win.

“I can’t wait to see Mr. Ford wearing a Canadiens jersey,” the premier said at his COVID-19 update press conference.

Soon after, Ontario premier Doug Ford posted a video of himself donning the bleu blanc rouge on Twitter.

“This is killing me, putting this jersey on,” Ford says in the video.

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Legault, however, was not all smiles about the victory celebrations.

“We need to follow the rules,” he said.

The post-win party in downtown Montreal appeared to be short on social distancing, Global News observed. Screaming and singing have been known to spread respiratory droplets, which could cause COVID-19 transmission, and many were seen screaming, chanting and singing without masks on.

McGill University infectious disease expert Matthew Oughton draws an analogy to COVID-19 with how the Leafs nearly eliminated the Habs, but couldn’t get the job done.

“Similarly, we’re on the brink of really getting this disease under control, but I want us to finish it off,” he said.  “I don’t want this disease to make a seven game comeback.”

If there are to be more celebrations as the Habs move on to face Winnipeg, Oughton would like to see more distancing and more masks. Montreal police said there were no arrests on Monday night, but five traffic tickets given out for dangerous behaviour on the roads.

According to police, officers began to disperse the gathering because people setting off fireworks were creating a dangerous situation.

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Police say they also fined one business for breaking public health rules.

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