EDI­TOR’S LET­TER

Best Health - - CONTENTS - Christina Var­da­nis Edi­tor-in-chief

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).

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