From Far and Wide: CoVID Canada

Mask mandates. Social distancing. We’re in this together. Stop the spread. Stay at home. Wash your hands.

In March 2020, pandemic language echoed across Canada. Mask wearing, hand-washing, and keeping two meters, or 46 Timbits, apart became second nature. What started as a new flu-like illness on the other side of the world quickly found Canadians living in a dystopia, the likes of which had only been seen in Hollywood. The frozen north was not exempt from the toilet paper shortages, conspiracy theories, social protest, loneliness and anxiety that gripped much of the world during the seemingly endless year of 2020. 

Timbits, the trademarked donut holes sold by Canadian fast food icon Tim Hortons, became a tool for social distancing!

Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told us "we are in this together," the health crisis exposed great disparities across our healthcare system and economy. Remote and rural areas had difficulty accessing proper healthcare and life-saving Personal Protective Equipment. Some were privileged enough to work from home, but those employed in essential industries such as grocery stores, restaurants, and pharmacies were now on the front line. These workers risked their health to provide the essential items and services we needed.

Yet, life continued. Canadians were born, they died, they got married, they graduated - all during a time when heavy restrictions made gatherings and celebrations nearly impossible to host.

Canada has ten provinces and three territories. 

The 2020-2021 MA Public History students at the University of Western Ontario curated this exhibition to showcase the variety of Canadian COVID-19 experiences. Explore the advances and disasters the medical community lived through. Peruse the economic ramifications felt by the Canadian population. Take inspiration from the social activities (or lack of) that communities took up during their new-found free time. Consider the choices of governments and the political response to the pandemic.

Take Two Swabs and Call Me in the Morning: Katie Gaskin, Kestra Greer, Robin Marshall

One Door Closes, Another Door...Closes: Kat Bezaire, Margaret Schultz

Going the Distance: Ivy Cooley, Patrick Kinghan, Julia Richards

Borders and Bubbles: Jake Breadman, Victoria Burnett, Lis Edwards

The Light at the End of the Pandemic: MA Public History Class 2021

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