The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Edition for March 22, 2020

Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright.

Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright:

Michael's Essay — How we're pulling together by staying apart: "Oddly, we are forming a national community by staying away from each other. We are learning to be good neighbours by distancing ourselves from our neighbours. Widespread contagion has become our great unifier."

The Canadian Medical Association's president on the battle against a pandemic: Dr. Sandy Buchman is keeping a watchful eye on how well Canada's healthcare policy is protecting both patients and healthcare workers on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Dr. Buchman speaks with Michael Enright about the capacity of Canada's system to meet the challenge, the toll on healthcare workers, the importance of ensuring access to care and preventing infections among marginalized populations, and how to provide palliative care for patients who will not survive the coronavirus and will spend their final days in isolation.

All in the family: Justine Kennedy is a very busy young Indigenous woman. At 23 years old, she is the eldest of 14 children. She's married, and a full-time university student. And now she is raising her seven young brothers — all under the age of 10. Fiercely protective of her siblings, Justine Kennedy is hellbent on keeping the boys together and out of the foster care system — the system in which her sisters grew up. Alisa Siegel's documentary is called "What's One More?"

Books for solace, perspective and connection during self-isolation: This new age of social distancing and isolation is good for one thing: Reading. And reading is a good way to form or enhance something so many of us crave when isolated: Connection and community. Online book clubs have sprouted up as people contemplate how to spend their days apart from friends and family and their usual distractions. We asked some lovers of literature — Toronto poet laureate A. F. Moritz, literature professor Rohan Maitzen, graduate student Ariel Leutheusser, novelist Sharon Bala and non-fiction writer Robert Macfarlane — what they're reading during our springtime of isolation and unease.

The world and wisdom of Rebecca Solnit: There is no writer of literary journalism more esteemed or influential than Rebecca Solnit. Her insatiable curiosity has driven her to write about nuclear testing, violence against women, atlases, landscapes, Alzheimer's, the history of walking, climate change, the desert, punk music, politics and communities that arise out of disasters. Michael spoke with her in February, before the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the globe, but her insights into what happens to communities in times of crisis are more pertinent than ever.

Richardson, Richardson, wherefore art thou, Richardson? Around the world, people have been coping with social distancing by taking to their balconies to play music, talk to their neighbours, put on shows or just remind themselves that their neighbours are still out there, across the street or a few doors down. A much-needed treat for these trying, patience-testing times, CBC Radio's much-loved alumnus Bill Richardson shares some musings, as he holds forth from his balcony in Vancouver.

Music this week by: Mike Murley, Kevin Hearn, Josh Rager, Herbie Mann, Laura Anglade, McCoy Tyner, Yolanda Bruno, Al Muirhead

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