Summer doldrums displace thoughts of COVID-19, Ukraine

Summer doldrums displace thoughts of COVID-19, Ukraine

By Shachi Kurl, President

It’s the perfect time of year
Somewhere far away from here
I feel fine enough I guess
Considering everything’s a mess

Two decades years after iconic Canadian band the Barenaked Ladies released Pinch Me, it’s not an obvious choice for the song of the summer of 2022.

Songs of the summer are usually dance-y, poppy, happy tunes. But the Ladies’ sleepy melody does seem to sum up a little too aptly where Canadians appear to be at, while the country – and the world around them – both figuratively and literally burns.

It’s the perfect time of day/To throw all of your cares away.

And who can blame us for wanting to, this mid-summer? We are by our own admission a nation exhausted. In March, more than half told the Angus Reid Institute their mental health had deteriorated after two years of pandemic and uncertainty. This was well before anyone had begun to fully process Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the unyielding stubbornness of COVID-19 or inflation rates at a 40-year high.

Climb the stairs up to my room/Sleep away the afternoon

Datapoints about two key issues illustrate the situation starkly.

This week, as new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and outbreaks in long-term care facilities spiked across the country, nearly half of Canadians, including a whopping 68 per cent of men aged 18-34, said they “don’t think about COVID much anymore.” Majorities under the age of 55 say they’re no longer following news about the coronavirus closely. This age divide extends to opinions over whether preventive measures such as mask and vaccine mandates – largely lifted in the spring – should be reintroduced.

It has been said so many times, but it bears saying again. This virus, and its persistent ability to mutate faster than we can stick vaccines in arms (especially against the backdrop of waning interest among significant segments of the population in being vaccinated.)

Read more from the article in the Ottawa Citizen here.

Image – Mat Napo/Unsplash

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