The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Edition for May 10, 2020

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

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

A COVID-19 confinement chronicle: week eight — Michael's essay: "Reading is a huge component of confinement. People turn to books to relax, to divert attention from the outside world and perhaps to learn something about themselves. I firmly decided at the beginning of the isolation that I would read all of Shakespeare. I began with Hamlet, Act One, Scene One. I got all the way to Act Two, Scene One."

Developing a COVID-19 vaccine for all: The search for a vaccine to end the COVID-19 pandemic has started a global race never before seen in the history of medical research. Matthew Herder, the Director of the Public Health Law Institute at Dalhousie University, raises questions about the funding model currently in place for vaccine research and development, and about how to ensure equitable access to the vaccine once it's ready — both within nations and among them. 

A very different kind of Mother's Day in the pandemic year: Many mothers might feel a bit of an ache today — receiving hugs only from a distance, bouquets of flowers of the virtual kind. For Francesca LoDico and her mamma in Montreal, there's an added sting because, for over half a century, the family flower store has been the centre of their lives. But for the last seven weeks, Francesca's mother has been alone in her house. This is their story, "But Now We Stay Home."

About to take their place in a world that's utterly changed: People in their twenties often are on the cusp of things — making plans, leaving one nest and starting to build another. For those about to graduate from university and college, leaving the ivory tower and getting ready for the so-called real world has taken on a whole new meaning this year — virtual convocations and a virtually unreadable future. Alisa Siegel and David Gutnick collaborated on this week's documentary, The Class of 2020.

Solitude — the "sad nurse of care": Isolation has been foisted on most of us these past couple of months. While some people have embraced their solitude as a state of being blessedly alone, for many others it feels lonely and depressing. James Morland, a postdoctoral researcher at Queen Mary University of London, studies how poets, physicians and mourners thought about solitude in the 18th century. He explains how solitude can be a nourishing force in our lives, but it can also spiral into melancholy.

Bill Richardson ponders essential work: Never in living memory has the grocery store cashier had more attention, more praise, more love. And never before has the work been deemed essential. CBC Radio favourite Bill Richardson, who now works at a grocery store, has a hard time thinking of his work as essential, but he does revel in at least one aspect of his new job. Here is his essay, "Ding. Ding. Ding."

A Newfoundland hair stylist offers empathy and advice during COVID-19: Our locks are getting longer while we are housebound, and true colours are showing on those who usually dye their hair. Dorothy Simms, a hair stylist in St. John's for 34 years, is commiserating with loyal clients who are calling with cries of "I look like a skunk!"

Unlocking the mysteries of MBS, the presumptive king of Saudi Arabia: The House of Saud is one of the wealthiest, most secretive and most repressive regimes in the world. Its ruler-in-waiting is Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, who has become a highly  influential and disruptive presence in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Ben Hubbard, The New York Times bureau chief in Beirut, is the author of MBS, a biography of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the presumptive king of Saudi Arabia.

Dame Vera Lynn (reprise): Britain celebrated the 75th anniversary of one of its greatest victories on Friday — the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany. Dame Vera Lynn, now 103 years old was the voice of the British war effort with songs like The White Cliffs of Dover and We'll Meet Again — the expression of yearning and hope behind the stiff upper lip of keeping calm and carrying on. We'll replay Michael's 2009 interview with Dame Vera, recorded when she was a mere 92 years old. 

Music this week by: Giacomo Puccini, Alessandro Scarlatti, Antonin Dvořák, John Coltrane, Aimee Mann, Billie Holiday, Kraftwerk, Saltland, Vera Lynn


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