The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Magazine for January 3, 2021

Guest host David Common speaks to Smithsonian Institution curator Alexandra Lord about collecting COVID-19 stories and Kennedy Wong about migration to and from Hong Kong. Plus, Stephanie Elliott talks about why 2020 brought her back to Canada, Eula Biss on immunity and Beatriz Colomina on why beds have also become workspaces.

This week on The Sunday Magazine with guest host David Common:

The difficulty of preserving pandemic stories while we're still living them

When you think of rapid response teams in the context of a pandemic, you probably don't think: museum curators. But when a novel coronavirus began to take hold last February, curators around the world fired up their teams to collect what they could, as quickly as they could. Common speaks with Smithsonian Institution curator Alexandra Lord about the challenge of collecting and preserving objects that tell the COVID-19 story ... while we're still living it.

My very 2020 year

2020 is finally in the rearview mirror, and that has a lot of people heaving a huge sigh of relief. With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on our daily lives, it was a hard year for many. Stephanie Elliott calls it 'relentless.' Her 2020 was not only shaped by the pandemic, but also other major news events of the year, including the politics south of the border, and the wildfires raging in the western United States. Elliott reflects on her very 2020 year, which ultimately brought her home to Canada.

Why so many left, returned and then left Hong Kong again

Before Hong Kong switched hands from Britain to China in 1997, many city residents left, worried about the city's future under Chinese control. But then the handover happened, and the political climate appeared more stable than feared. So many of the people who had left Hong Kong came back. But now, more than 20 years later, concerns are back about Chinese control and what it means for Hong Kong and its residents. And many of those same people are now moving out of Hong Kong, again. Kennedy Wong studied this "re-return migration" as a student at the University of British Columbia, and sits down with Common to talk about the political forces and personal choices that have led many Hong Kong residents around the globe to move away and back — then away again.

Plus, we revisit conversations from 2020 with regular host Piya Chattopadhyay: 

Immunity, vaccination and the common good: a prescient book is helping people make sense of the pandemic

Hopes are high as the COVID-19 vaccines roll out across Canada. But, not everyone will be running to get innoculated. Public health officials say a resurgent anti-vaccination movement could hamper efforts to get the pandemic under control. Eula Biss has thought deeply about why some people vaccinate, and others do not. When she herself became a mom, Biss was terrified that vaccinating her son may harm him. But she decided to tackle those anxieties head-on by delving into the science and philosophies behind vaccination. That investigation led her to write On Immunity in 2014 — and many are turning to that book once again to understand the moment we're all in now. 

How the pandemic is making work and sleep strange bedfellows

You might be working more from your bed these days and you wouldn't be alone. Beatriz Colomina, co-author of The Century of the Bed joins Chattopadhyay — both from their beds — to talk about the changing meaning of beds, and how work has entered the bedroom and sleep has entered work in the time of COVID-19. It's a shift that could have big implications for the way our homes, workplaces and cities are designed.

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