The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Magazine for March 14, 2021

Host Piya Chattopadhyay discusses what a year of pandemic life is doing to our brains, talks to economist Noreena Hertz about how we got so lonely, and what we can do to come together again, chats with Arlo Parks about the healing power of music in difficult times, and learns what loving the hedgehog can teach us about empathy and care for our natural world.
Piya Chattopadhyay is host of The Sunday Magazine. (CBC)

This week on The Sunday Magazine with Piya Chattopadhyay:

What a year of pandemic life is doing to our brains 

Been experiencing brain fog lately?  Forgetting stuff? You're not alone. A year in, the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our brains in more ways than one. The virus can have neurological effects on those it infects.  But just living through the pandemic and the accompanying isolation is having an impact. Chattopahdyay speaks with cognitive neuroscientist Natasha Rajah of McGill University to break down what is happening to our brains as the pandemic drags on - both for those who have contracted the virus and those who haven't. And Vancouver clinical psychologist, Maureen Whittal, co-founder of Anxiety Canada, talks to Chattopahdyay about the anxiety caused or worsened by living through the pandemic … as well as the stress many are feeling about transitioning back to "normal," post pandemic.

Arlo Parks is the soundtrack we all need to ride out this pandemic

Arlo Parks was poised for a big career breakout one year ago.... before the pandemic hit.  But instead of a year playing music festivals, the 20-year-old UK singer-songwriter found herself locked down, living at home in London with her parents.  Still, she went to work - crafting "Collapsed in Sunbeams", a bittersweet debut album that's become a pandemic soundtrack for fans around the world. She talks to Chattopadhyay about the healing power of music in difficult times, and what she thinks of being hailed as the "Voice of Generation Z". 

We were already well into 'The Lonely Century'... and then the pandemic hit

Economist Noreena Hertz had only just finished writing her new book, The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That's Pulling Apart, when the WHO declared a pandemic, and sent us all home. She speaks with Chattopadhyay about how this last year has deepened our global crisis of loneliness, what we must do to come together again, and the deep political, economic, and personal consequences if we don't.

Save the hedgehog, save the world

They're smelly, grumpy and covered in fleas, but British ecologist Hugh Warwick argues that hedgehogs are the most wonderful animals on Earth... and getting to know them is a gateway to better understanding and caring for our natural world. Warwick tells Chattopadhyay how he came to fall in love with the prickly creatures, and why he believes that by saving them, we can save the world.