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Tightly knit crowds gathered around Mirabel outlet, despite the chilly Quebec weather.


Reasons that could explain this crowdedness are the Holiday season, Boxing Day, Post-Boxing Day, boredom, and desperation for socialization.


How I ended up here was more justified, while not completely guilt-free: I don’t live with my family and we wanted to spend some time together since I haven’t seen them in ages. 


In the end, I admit that I ended up spending quite a lot of money at Mirabel, contributing to unethical brands’ profits and to an unsafe atmosphere during these times.


A sense of normality floated in the air of Mirabel Outlet (besides COVID). People were laughing, eating together, talked like they hadn’t seen each other in ages (which was likely the case). 


Thankfully, some of these moments were captured (for my photography project). For example, you can see the ecstatic expression of the gentleman on the left in this photo:


This photo also demonstrates the Outlet’s plausible efforts to regulate their avid supporters by asking them to form lines outside of the store. 


However, inside shops like Brown—where the most popular things people were interested in at the time (including my mother) were the dozens of racks of extra promoted shoes organized near the cashiers. One could wonder whether there was enough space for social distancing.


Every party involved in the economy of Brown must believe that the racks were thick enough to replace the plexiglass barrier where coronavirus cannot surpass, regardless of the meter distance.


I bought myself a great Calvin Klein cardigan and remembered how crazily occupied the cashiers were. CK had 4 or 5 cashiers and they were sweating from processing the mass amount of clothes people bought. The line for paying was long and packed. I could feel the impatient breath from two young Indian girls standing behind me in line for 15 minutes.


The number of people that were inside CK compared to the number of people waiting in line to get in the store could make an interesting hypothesis for sociology major students.


Either only a small group of people enjoyed CK products so much that they occupied the store like an Ariana Grande’s concert, or the employee let everyone enter, forgetting how many people she had already allowed in because she had forgotten her coffee, or her mask prevented oxygen to enter her brain. Possibly the former, not the latter.


As critical as I am, I am glad that everyone that day was content with the socialization. I hope that they became more grateful for their life as well as for those who joined their shopping trip that day, and fulfilled with the number of new treats they bought. 


By Song Tran



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