on the job at Best Health brought a lot of firsts: For example, there was the first time I attended a work meeting in pyjama pants while simultaneously trying to ignore my husband’s own video call in the background and explaining to my daughter why her fifth straight hour of screen time would be her last for the day. A slightly different version of that “first” has played out almost every day since, and though working from home as a full-time parent has been overwhelming, it doesn’t compare to the challenges millions of other Canadian women have faced in 2020 — a year that makes the term “dumpster fire” feel almost quaint. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended almost every aspect of life, changing how we work, who we see in our “bubbles” and what we value. It’s been one giant stress test playing out in real time, threatening to capsize our economy, our health-care and public education systems, and more. But the impact hasn’t been felt equally: Research shows that racialized communities are being hit hardest by COVID-19, exposing fractures in our society that have long existed but that many didn’t, or refused to, see. This reality goes hand-in-hand with the overdue reckoning over racial injustices that play out every day in Canada. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were supposed to take some comfort in the notion that we were all in the same boat. But as 2020 wore on, it became clear that these uncharted waters were in fact dotted with yachts, kayaks, life rafts, and everything in between. And even in the same boat, people could be weathering very different storms. These lived stories are the ones I want to help tell as editor of Best Health. This magazine has a strong tradition of providing readers with reliable health information, expert advice, winning recipes and solid product recommendations. It can only get stronger as we connect with women across the country over the topics that matter most — in our home lives, our work lives and our online lives. I’m a firm believer that sharing stories is the best way to find common ground and rays of hope — and, if we do it right, have a few laughs along the way. In this issue, we explore the impact that living through a pandemic has had on our relationships (page 32). “For many cohabitating couples, especially ones with kids,” Leah Rumack writes, “lockdown was like a bucket filled with gasoline that was set on fire by a laser, exposing not only the fault lines in individual relationships but the vulnerabilities of modern relationships as a whole.” If you’re wondering exactly how to broach that whole bucket/laser situation with your partner, writer Alicia Cox Thomson has you covered. And if you’re desperate for ways to get just a hot minute alone, we’ve got that covered, too. This is just the beginning — we’ve got a lot of big plans for the months ahead. For now, I hope you enjoy digging into this issue, while wearing the absolute best work/pyjama pants around (page 27).