Summer is finally here:

Summer has arrived and with it, a lessening of the COVID restrictions. Here in Canada, there’s minimal guidance about how to socialize with people outside of our own households.

One important issue is risk tolerance, because it’s different for everyone. Some people have a low tolerance for health risks and are extra-cautions. Other people have a higher tolerance and are somewhat less vigilant. Some people can tolerate a whole lot of risk.

As a person who tends to be more cautious around health risks, I’m not comfortable socializing with people who are a lot less cautious, because I see them…


Gruesome murder in London, Ontario:

The murder of a Muslim family — Salman, Yumna and Talat Afzaal, and Madiha Salman, and the attempted murder of Fayez Afzaal — in London, Ontario on Sunday, June 6th was a shocking event that has left the city, and the entire country, reeling.

London, Ontario is a quaint city with a small-town feel. It is mainly home to university students and retirees. When a twenty-year old man ran down a family who were out for a Sunday-evening walk, it sent shock waves throughout the community and through the country as a whole.

It would be disingenuous to say that…


Naomi Osaka puts mental health front and center:

Tennis phenomenon Naomi Osaka is the biggest name in sports these days, and it’s not just because of her prodigious talent.

According to an article on Mashable, when Ms. Osaka decided to skip a post-match press conference during the recent French Open Tournament, she was fined $15,000, despite the fact that she cited mental health reasons for opting out.

Ms. Osaka posted on Twitter that “I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes [sic] mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one.”

In announcing her departure from the tournament…


Introverts have had it easier during lock-down:

As an introvert, the social isolation hasn’t been as hard on me as it might have been on others. My personal trainer is a true extrovert and for her, the isolation was oppressive. She had to get really creative in order to survive the lock-downs. We’ve had our sessions on FaceTime this past year, and that’s worked well for us.

I was thinking about some of my patients who make me look like a social butterfly. These are individuals who have difficulties interacting with other people at the best of times. …


On May 10th I said good-bye to my beloved cat Sweetface. She was only twelve years old, but she had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in March 2020, just when the lock-down began.

I spent fourteen months caring for Sweetface, worrying about her, and dreading the day when she’d be gone. Now, I’m grieving her loss and looking back on the experience.

The lock-down changed everything. I went from working in my downstairs office all day to spending all my time upstairs. …


We want normal but things aren’t normal yet:

It’s fourteen months into the Covid-19 pandemic, and many of us are desperate for a return to some type of normalcy. We want to get back to our old routines, spending time with friends and family and enjoying the leisure activities we used to take for granted.

With the weather warming up, one concern is that many people will be heading to the beaches all across the province, regardless of what region they live in, and that they’ll be acting as though things were back to normal — even while we’re in the middle of a devastating third wave.

There’s…


Honoring your Mom means understanding her predicament:

Mother’s Day 2021 is on May 9th, and as the day approaches, I’m thinking about all the moms out there who have sacrificed so much for their children — more so than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has been hard on almost everyone. Ordinary people have lost their jobs, their savings and worst of all — their loved ones. Racialized communities and the poor have been the hardest hit, but of all the groups adversely affected by the pandemic, women, and especially mothers, have fared the worst.

Mothers are the hardest hit, during the pandemic:

In an article by BBC Worklife, the author, Christine Ro, describes…


Pandemic fatigue is real and it’s bad:

We’re thirteen months into a global pandemic and in many parts of the world, the third wave is proving more frightening and destructive than the first two. Aside from the toll it has taken on our health, our lives, and our livelihoods, it’s wreaked havoc on our mental health. One consequence of the never-ending barrage of bad news is pandemic fatigue. It’s a very real and very challenging mental health condition that we need to address.

Recently, I read an article in Greater Good Magazine about how pandemic fatigue is making us “antisocial.” That got me thinking, because the writer…


The race between variants and vaccines:

We’re well over a year into the Covid-19 pandemic and it seems like it’s turned into a race between the aggressive new variants and the available vaccines.

Despite the roll-out of three different types of vaccines, the variants have been taking hold, making up at least half of all new cases in Ontario. The number of infections is topping 2000 on a daily basis and there are more ICU beds occupied right now than at any other time in the pandemic.

It’s obvious what this means in terms of the physical health of Ontarians, but we should also be keeping…


Are we opening up when we should be closing down?

This is a strange and contradictory time in the course of the pandemic. On the one hand, restrictions are being lifted in Ontario; on the other hand, the number of cases is steadily rising and all signs point to an even more lethal third wave.

Despite the dire warnings by doctors and public health officials, the provincial government is planning to increase the number of people who can gather together and they’ll be opening up small businesses like hair and manicure salons by mid-April.

A lot of people are already booking their haircuts and mani-pedis, thinking that if the government…

Marcia Sirota

Writer, speaker, MD, and author of the Short & Sweet Guides to Life book series

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