Risky business
Features | Health & Wellness

Risky business

Most of us have grown weary of living life in a state of semi-panic and cautious concern. The COVID-19 pandemic has grown old.We knew that it could go on for a while, but seriously? Christmas is fast approaching, and we can almost taste the bitterness of the one-year anniversary. At this point, we can’t blame…

Classes amid COVID
Education | Health & Wellness | Opinion

Classes amid COVID

As I write this column, Calvin University is in the first week of classes. After rapidly pivoting to online instruction with the outbreak of COVID-19 last spring, the university worked on a plan for returning to in-person classes for the fall of 2020. These efforts stem from the fact that a Christian, undergraduate, liberal arts…

Vaccines and Social Media
Health & Wellness | Opinion | Science & Technology

Vaccines and Social Media

In a recent column (“Anti-Vax Reversal?,” June 8), I ended with the hope that a vaccine for COVID-19 might be developed quickly. Scientists are working on many possible vaccines in an amazing time frame. Our government has partnered with multiple companies to make a vaccine available for Canadians, and the Americans have implemented “Operation Warp…

Persist and Persevere
Features | Health & Wellness | Social Justice

Persist and Persevere

About a year ago a friend asked me, “What is the difference between doing and being?” The question stumped me because each time I thought of the act of being, it was associated with an equivalent act of doing: if I am this, I do that. The two seemed inseparable. It took me a few weeks of contemplation to express that while being is indeed often associated with doing, there has to be more to it than that.

The Spiritual Discipline of Wearing a Mask
Health & Wellness | News | Theology & Spirituality

The Spiritual Discipline of Wearing a Mask

Most world religions have their version of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s a basic societal norm and a trust upon which we build our communities. Yet in a city where two-thirds of the population is either Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish, Calgary had to implement a face-covering bylaw for indoor public areas and public vehicles starting August 1. In July, Quebec was the first province to make masks mandatory. Similar bylaws have since been passed in Toronto, Edmonton and many other cities and regions. One would think that wearing a mask for the sake of others wouldn’t be a big problem in our city. And yet it is.

Finding Sabbath this Summer
Family Life | Features | Health & Wellness

Finding Sabbath this Summer

With everything going on in the world today, vacation may either be at the forefront of your thoughts or the farthest thing from your mind. Because, while many provinces are opening up, the pandemic is still present, and – as government officials are quick to remind us – ready to relapse into a second wave should our vigilance falter. And so, many people are torn between the desire to escape to a secret hideaway or continue to hunker down at home.

Dying To Be Heard
Features | Health & Wellness

Dying To Be Heard

Did you know that loneliness is a bigger predictor of death than smoking cigarettes or inactivity? It’s also a huge risk factor for suicide – particularly among men.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among men, namely those ages 15-44, according to Statistics Canada; and in the U.S., white men over 65 die by suicide at three times the normal rate, and are eight times more likely to die by suicide than women in that age bracket. In the UK, 12 men die of suicide every day, and it’s the number one killer of men under 45.

Mental Health Gaps
Features | Health & Wellness | Mental Health

Mental Health Gaps

A few weeks ago, I got a text from a close friend saying he was on the Burlington Skyway, the 40-metre-high bridge running between Burlington and Hamilton, Ont., and he was going to jump. It was 3:30 p.m. With two kids just home from school, I hesitated to call the police. But after this person didn’t return my texts or calls, I called 911. They dispatched cruisers to the area and started to search. After several hours of back and forth with the police, they let me know they eventually found him safe and sound. He had been bluffing. I was relieved, but angry.