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Loneliness taking toll on Canadian mental health in COVID era, study finds

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Oct 14th, 2020

A new report on the mental health of Canadian workers suggests loneliness is worse for many people than the fear of dying from COVID-19.

Morneau Shepell’s overall mental health index for September was down 10.2 points from its pre-2020 benchmark. The reading in August was down 11.2 points from the benchmark, while July was down 10.4 points.

While the financial impact of the pandemic and getting ill with COVID-19 were the most prevalent concerns, people who identified loneliness as a concern had the lowest mental health score at minus 25.8.

That was even lower than the score of minus 17.7 for those who cited a fear of dying from COVID-19 as a worry.

Morneau Shepell’s latest monthly report on its mental health index is based on online responses collected Aug. 21 to 30, before the recent surge of COVID cases.

The polling industry’s professional body says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Oct 14th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. EDT on Oct. 14, 2020:

There are 186,882 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 87,791 confirmed (including 5,970 deaths, 73,734 resolved)

_ Ontario: 60,692 confirmed (including 3,017 deaths, 51,729 resolved)

_ Alberta: 20,956 confirmed (including 286 deaths, 18,055 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 10,734 confirmed (including 250 deaths, 8,974 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 2,779 confirmed (including 35 deaths, 1,496 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 2,174 confirmed (including 25 deaths, 1,911 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,092 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,023 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 284 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 200 resolved)

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 283 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 271 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 63 confirmed (including 60 resolved)

_ Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved), 1 presumptive

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

_ Nunavut:  No confirmed cases

_ Total: 186,882 (1 presumptive, 186,881 confirmed including 9,654 deaths, 157,486 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Inside the Atlantic Bubble, where life is close to normal

THE BIG STORY | posted Wednesday, Oct 14th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, we don’t have to look as far as New Zealand to find examples of how the battle against COVID-19 can be won. We have a success story right here in Canada, where the so-called Atlantic Bubble has held up very well over the past several months, and where life is mostly back to normal. There is even hockey, with fans in the stands and everything.

So how can the rest of Canada follow the Atlantic Bubble’s example? Is it even possible for larger provinces? How have they managed to stamp out COVID-19, and what kind of price have they paid for doing so?

GUEST: Greg Mercer, Atlantic Canada reporter, The Globe and Mail

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle and Spotify.

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

Actor Jon Cryer turns to B.C. ring-finder to search for lost wedding band

NICK WELLS, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Oct 13th, 2020

VANCOUVER — An actor is sharing his gratitude towards a Vancouver service specializing in finding lost rings after losing his own wedding band, kicking off a panicked search attempt.

Jon Cryer, known for his role in the television series Two and a Half Men, was walking along Vancouver’s seawall to meet up with castmates, on Friday when he lost his wedding ring.

“I pulled my hand out of my pocket and heard a ‘ping!’ To my left. I walked a couple more steps and realized my wedding ring was gone…,” he wrote on Twitter.

Cryer said he frantically searched for the missing wedding band but rain and a lack of working lamp posts hindered his efforts.

Losing the ring was especially hard, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions restricting him from seeing his wife regularly while filming in Vancouver, he wrote.

He returned Saturday to search through a muddy section of grass he believed the ring could be in, but didn’t have any luck.

Cryer turned to a company called the Ring Finders, that specialize in searching for rings and other lost valuables, to help him in his quest.

“In my mind, I’m thinking ‘there’s a 95 per cent chance it was probably dropped where someone could’ve seen it’,” said Chris Turner, who founded the company in 2009.

But the pair were lucky.

Turner says it took him three minutes to locate the ring using a metal detector.

The ring was found buried in a clump of grass near to where Cryer had searched on Saturday.

“This one surprised me. The odds of that ring making it to the grass, not only the grass, the deepest part of the grass … I was just astonished. I was like ‘the gods are on his side for sure’,” he said.

Cryer said he’s stunned at how quickly the ring was found.

“I’m still beside myself,” he wrote on Twitter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2020.

Nick Wells, The Canadian Press

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Oct 13th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. EDT on Oct. 13, 2020:

There are 182,707 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 86,976 confirmed (including 5,965 deaths, 72,857 resolved)

_ Ontario: 59,139 confirmed (including 3,005 deaths, 50,437 resolved)

_ Alberta: 19,995 confirmed (including 282 deaths, 17,488 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 10,185 confirmed (including 245 deaths, 8,502 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 2,578 confirmed (including 32 deaths, 1,483 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 2,092 confirmed (including 25 deaths, 1,888 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,092 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,023 resolved)

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 283 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 270 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 272 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 199 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 61 confirmed (including 58 resolved)

_ Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved), 1 presumptive

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

_ Nunavut:  No confirmed cases

_ Total: 182,707 (1 presumptive, 182,706 confirmed including 9,625 deaths, 154,238 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Climate change reporting needs hope as well as fear

THE BIG STORY | posted Tuesday, Oct 13th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, you have heard plenty of dire predictions and seen hundreds of horrible photographs. The Earth is in trouble, there’s no doubt. But when coverage of climate change always focuses on so-called “disaster porn,” it can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. How can reporters covering the very real danger we’re facing avoid fostering a sense of inevitability among the people we need to make changes?

GUEST: Sheril Kirshenbaum, host of NPR’s Serving Up Science

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle and Spotify.

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in for Oct. 9

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Oct 9th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. EDT on Oct. 8, 2020:

There are 175,556 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 82,992 confirmed (including 5,915 deaths, 68,585 resolved)

_ Ontario: 56,742 confirmed (including 2,992 deaths, 48,308 resolved)

_ Alberta: 19,718 confirmed (including 283 deaths, 17,338 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 10,066 confirmed (including 245 deaths, 8,398 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 2,344 confirmed (including 27 deaths, 1,454 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 2,012 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,845 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,089 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,021 resolved)

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 276 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 269 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 225 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 199 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 59 confirmed (including 57 resolved)

_ Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved)

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

_ Nunavut:  No confirmed cases

_ Total: 175,556 (0 presumptive, 175,556 confirmed including 9,557 deaths, 147,507 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Trudeau to announce more federal funding for food banks during pandemic

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Oct 9th, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce today more federal funding for food banks across Canada to help them meet the surge in demand for their services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau revealed plans for the “big announcement” Thursday night as he took part in a virtual, cross-country town hall with people who run or volunteer at food banks.

As a second wave of the pandemic sweeps the country and with the approach of Thanksgiving and Christmas, he predicted that food banks will be under more pressure to feed those who can’t afford groceries or are afraid to venture outside their homes to get them.

During the height of the first wave back in April, the federal government gave $100 million to national, regional and local organizations that work to alleviate food insecurity, including Food Banks Canada, the Salvation Army and Community Food Centres Canada.

Trudeau is expected to announce another similar infusion of federal funds to help such groups continue to meet demand, which has exploded during the pandemic along with unemployment.

During the town hall, Trudeau was thanked profusely and repeatedly for the first instalment and heard stories about how food banks have used the funds to find creative ways to help more people even as the pandemic has caused a shortage of volunteers and food supplies.

“I’ll give you guys a sneak preview,” Trudeau told food bank workers.

“I’ll be making a big announcement tomorrow about more supports that you should stay tuned for. But I know that the work you’re doing is incredible. We need to make sure that you have the tools to keep being able to say ‘yes’ when people ask for help.”

‘All we can do is brace for impact’: Canada plans for US political chaos

THE BIG STORY | posted Friday, Oct 9th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, our neighbour is in trouble. Whatever the results of the American election on November 3, there’s only a small chance they won’t be contested. The upheaval could last for months. It could get violent. It could fracture America.

All of this obviously impacts Canada, so what are we doing to prepare? What should we be doing? How can our government gameplan for whatever happens in the coming months, and what are the best-case and worst-case scenarios for Canada if chaos reigns to the south?

GUEST: Balkan Devlen, senior fellow at McDonald Laurier Institute, Superforecaster for Good Judgment, Inc.

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

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