At the beginning of June, The duty flew to Las Vegas and New York, two cities that were waking up after seeing their economies devastated and their populations suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To fly to the United States, access certain facilities and return to Canada, our journalists had to undergo heavy and costly sanitary measures. In total, our journalist Roxane Léouzon, sent to Las Vegas, had to pass five screening tests, including two in American clinics. Our journalists ended their trip with two weeks of mandatory quarantine at home, preceded by mandatory confinement days at the hotel in Montreal.
In Las Vegas, however, the contrast was striking, even frightening, with the caution still in force in Quebec. Encouraged by the decline in COVID-19 cases and the advance of vaccination, recklessness was the watchword in the city of entertainment. Distancing was no longer required and the mask was worn by a minority of tourists, despite the compact crowds. It was a unique moment, since the city had been deserted for many months.
Weeks later, cases of COVID-19 began to rise in Nevada. For 14 days, Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, has had an average of 664 infections per day. Even so, there are New Years festivities planned, including fireworks, shows and performances. parties.
In the Big Apple, our journalist Clémence Pavic noted that spring had done its work. Most of the health restrictions had been lifted a few weeks before our visit. While the iconic Times Square wasn’t packed, it was still busy, as were the restaurants. Several tourists with their self-portrait poles attended. Most of them were from the United States, but others came from further afield to gain access to the vaccine – such as Amaury Hernandez and Carolina Fandino, a Colombian couple met at the hotel.
This rise in the number of tourists has had the effect of a small balm for the economy of the megalopolis, hard hit by international travel restrictions. But New York has also been struck by another phenomenon: its inhabitants have tasted teleworking and its office towers have been deserted. Workers are gradually returning, but the city may well be transformed forever.