Social Isolation and Loneliness

  • Have We Become Not-Canada?

    Travis Smith warns time is running out to free our home and native land from its pandemic-induced contagion of distrust, resentment, and contempt for our neighbours. 

     “But now old friends are acting strange / They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed” 

    – Joni Mitchell, “Both Sides Now”

    We have been learning a lot about each other, ha...

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  • COVID’s Media Monologue

    Bad news sells but Peter Menzies wonders why journalists eager to echo alarms about pandemic case numbers ignore the social devastation of lockdown policies.

    It has long been accepted both within and without the world of journalism that negative news trumps developments of a positive nature pretty much every time. Much may have changed in how news is delivered to people but the old cliches - “if it blee...

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  • COVID's Contagion of Disbelief

    Drug companies touting new pandemic vaccines should be causing huzzahs. But Peter Menzies warns septic skepticism in the body politic must also be addressed.

    Today’s news that not one but two COVID-19 vaccines have tested 95 per cent effective casts a welcome burst of light into Canada’s gloomy COVID-19 narrative amid signs the pandemic is ripping into its social fabric.

    Moderna announced Monday that its ...

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  • COVID Hope From Healthy Families

    Winnie Lui reports on research by Trinity Western sociologist Todd Martin revealing that around the world even the hardships of the pandemic have become sources of family strength.

    "Life markers give us an indication that we have moved from one configuration or stage in our family lives to another," says Todd Martin, a family researcher and Dean and Associate Professor of Sociology at Trinity Western University.

    Weddings, birth...

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  • A Sailor's Hour at Home

    Amid the danger and chaos of the pandemic wave that has overturned our lives, music lifts the spirit to lead us home, Peter Stockland writes.

    To lift a line from an old James Taylor song made famous by Emmy Lou Harris, my father was a sailor who blew in off the water. 

    In fact, he was shipwrecked off the coast of Newfoundland as a y...

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  • The Ties That Bind Even Solitary Sailors

    Jason Zuidema, executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association, writes that all of us should actively battle social isolation – not just governments or businesses.

    This article first appeared here.

    That we all crave social contact has become ...

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  • Corona of Thorns

    The model of Christ’s solitary suffering on the Cross can bring us through COVID-19  isolation to renewed love of community, writes Cardus' Andrew Bennett.

    Isolation is hard. There is a strange paradox in the isolation and distancing of our present moment. Am I isolating and distancing myself simply because the State tells me to do so? While the civil authorities are right to tell me this to slow the COVID-19 ...

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  • A New Meaning for Cancel Culture

    COVID-19 has unleashed an epidemic of event cancellations, including the historic National Prayer Breakfast in Ottawa and a speech by Cardus’ own Milton Friesen. Peter Stockland finds good news behind the closed doors.

    COVID-19 is giving cancel culture a whole new meaning.

    Barely a month ago, it meant political agitators pressing institutions to call off public appearances by speakers who agitated them.

    Enter the pandemic, and it means cancellation e-mails o...

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  • Curing Our Moral Virus of Loneliness

    As Prime Minister Trudeau urges Canadians abroad to come home and his cabinet ministers press to reduce the size of permissible gatherings, Convivium contributor Keith Dow encourages us to be aware of the needs of our neighbours. 

    The other day I picked up a cheese-making starter kit for my wife, Darcie. The kit was over an hour’s drive away, cost more than I’d like to admit, and will require a lot of work to prepare. Darcie is excited to make our own cheese, though! 

    I don’t ...

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  • What The Doctor Ordered

    Instead of softening reality with euphemisms such as "social distancing," perhaps we might consider accepting quarantine as a response to the novel coronavirus, writes Peter Stockland. 

    I try to avoid euphemisms like the plague. Language that intentionally masks meaning too often becomes a toxin in the body politic. It can threaten moral and civic life.

    Watching the phrase “social distancing” spread rapidly through media reports on ...

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  • Big City in Training

    Convivium’s Rebecca Darwent finds her old hometown growing up from underground as a brand new light rail commuter train lets Ottawans connect from the far flung ‘burbs almost as if they lived in a real city like Montreal.

    If there’s one thing I know about Ottawans, it’s that we like to complain about our transit system. And rightfully so. Waiting for a bus that never shows up, having buses pass by due to over capacity, cancelling routes so often that the OC Transpo Twitter f...

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  • We Are Each Other’s

    A jarring early morning Amber Alert on her smartphone reminds Hannah Marazzi why we are called to love our neighbours.

    The blaring noise not unlike an air raid siren dragged me out of sleep at 3 a.m. in my tiny Ottawa apartment. Through blurry eyes, I saw how my phone had turned itself into a sort of warning station, its screen lit up. “What is going on?” my roommate mumble...

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