Families & COVID19

A pandemic slows down the whole economy. People in many sectors lose jobs. Many parents will have lost their jobs momentarily due to closures of stores that started early 2020. Because of that, many will have found that they had less and less money for expenses such as hydro bills, groceries, mortgages, rent, car payments including insurance, utility bills in the case of condominiums including townhouses classified as condominiums, car repairs, gasoline, and household and personal items such as shoes, shampoo, and deodorant.

The Canadian government in particular offered a program called CERB, which equated to a deposit of 2000 dollars per month for a number of months into the accounts of eligible adults. Being eligible meant that one had lost income due to the pandemic and that one had made at least 5000 dollars the calendar year before. However, those who had gotten CERB were uncertain how it would manifest in taxing for future years. Perhaps the Canadian Revenue Agency would ask for money back in the future.

            Landlords were asked by the government not to evict tenants for a number of months last year on grounds of nonpayment of rent. However, in theory, landlords would still be able to find other reasons to evict tenants.

Many adults drove across provincial borders prior to the pandemic. That changed for many for instance when the Ontario-Quebec border closed. That change was bound up with the slowing of the Canadian economy and the loss of income for many adults. Also, adults that used to drive across the Canadian-US border or fly by plane across that border of course became prohibited from doing so when the pandemic started.

Many families are nuclear and made up of two parents and one or more children. A loss of employment for either one parent or both parents can mean a big difference in the family’s livelihood. If one parent had been working to support the other parent and children, a loss of work by that parent could be devastating. If both parents worked prior to the pandemic and one lost his or her job due to the pandemic, the pressure would be immense on the one who continues to work. He or she may even be pressured to take up more hours each week.

Work itself became a hassle for those who continued to work when the pandemic started. Special regulations had to be observed. Employees had to start wearing masks and follow special protocols to curb covid spread.

So, the pandemic has had a damaging effect on the livelihood of families.



Children & COVID19

The pandemic has had a damaging effect on the livelihood of children.

            Children who had once gone to school to interact with peers in person now have done so online for some periods of time when school buildings closed. This meant that the children whose parents could afford internet and gadgets for peer-to-peer interaction were better off than their poorer counterparts. Children from poorer families who had used the public library for internet and computer access became no longer able to do so when the pandemic started and local libraries closed.

            Children who lost parents or family members to the illness itself of course would also suffer in many ways. Losing a parent is a devastating event itself. But that is not the only thing a bereaved child faces. A bereaved child faces also potential poverty due to the loss of an employed parent. He or she faces also the loss of guidance in matters of morals and self-discipline that is so important for children. It is the parents that ask the children the hard questions that propel them towards social and academic success, as it is also the parents that show the children genuine love.

            The news of the pandemic itself also may cause confusion for some children. The news that so many are dying in the world due to the pandemic may be depressing for children.

            Staying home and using computers may be a detriment to children’s physical fitness. Being able to, say, play soccer or basketball in the schoolyard is priceless not only for a child’s social development but also for his or her physical development. Losing that opportunity means children have to put in extra effort to do physical exercise. Physical exercise for the sake of physical exercise is not fun. It is rather stultifying, and many will try to forgo it.

            Some children unfortunately get infected with the covid virus. The virus has been said to be a particular danger to the elderly. However, cases of debilitating illness in children due to the virus have also been reported.

            Some children are of Chinese descent but living in Canada. These children may be at increased risk of discrimination in the wake of the pandemic, as news in the West generally maintained that the virus had come from China. Of note, the news did not actually say that it was an established fact that the virus had originated in China. Of course, the virus could have been brought into China from elsewhere at the pandemic’s inception. The virus had only been speculated to have originated in China. Moreover, both the East and West agree that regardless of its origin, it had spread first in China. But, all that does not matter, because in the West, in the public mind, the origin of the virus is the city of Wuhan. So, many Chinese children (and adults as well, on that note) may be discriminated against particularly in light of the onset of the pandemic.