Commentary

As we deal with COVID-19, it’s important to use technology—the very tools once thought to encourage social isolation—to fight against it, says U of A sociologist.

20
May
2020

When people look back at this pandemic, they will remember many things, but perhaps most of all they will recall the changes in social behaviour. There is the obsessive washing of hands, not touching our face, forgoing handshakes, hoarding toilet paper, working from home and, of course, social distancing—or more accurately, physical distancing.

Physical distancing is a more precise description of what experts have recommended to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing, on the other hand, should be avoided because of its potential harm for individuals and communities.

Becoming a fully functioning human being with a sense of self and purpose requires meaningful social interaction with parents, peers and many other significant and not-so-significant others. I remind my students that they have never known themselves without...

Headlines

28
May
2020
| 17:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Four strategies to help avoid the next pandemic

U of A virus expert offers recommendations that would be easier to implement and enforce than other public health measures.

New viruses emerge every few years that threaten humanity: HIV, swine flu, SARS, Ebola, Zika, MERS, and now, COVID-19. Unfortunately, the only drugs that can combat a viral pandemic are antiviral
22
May
2020
| 13:50 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || COVID-19 brings importance of public health education to forefront

Pandemics are far from the only diseases public health workers strive to control, say former dean and vice-dean of U of A's School of Public Health.

COVID-19 brings to the forefront the importance of public health. Canadians may now be less likely to confuse “public health” with “publicly funded health care.” Tools of the trade such as
05
May
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Women's heart health shouldn't take back seat to coronavirus

Patients with heart disease are delaying treatment because of COVID-19, but women may need it now more than ever, says U of A expert.

There is a growing concern among health-care professionals and researchers that patients with heart disease are delaying treatment and hospital visits due to COVID-19 fears. When they finally seek
01
May
2020
| 13:45 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || How much is a zombie apocalypse like a pandemic?

Film portrayals of barren streets and public panic resemble the real world in the grip of COVID-19, says U of A cultural historian.

As the COVID-19 virus spreads, and more and more people begin to practise social distancing, mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post have referred to the resulting crisis as the
24
April
2020
| 13:50 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Oklahoma's reality is even weirder and more traumatic than 'Tiger King'

Controversial Netflix show pales in comparison to reality of "Sooner State," says U of A cultural studies professor and native Oklahoman.

The small town of Wynnewood, Okla., might seem like an unlikely setting for a magical realist tale involving tigers, polygamy and blood feuds. But the bizarre reality of Oklahoma has never matched up
23
April
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Mapping key areas for conservation could help plants and animals survive climate change

Conservation biologists model likely effects of climate change in North America to pinpoint refuge areas for species and ecosystems.

People have spent most of the past month indoors as communities attempt to flatten the curve to limit the spread of COVID-19. For many of us, small doses of nature have helped provide solace in
21
April
2020
| 19:55 America/Tegucigalpa
As the SARS-CoV-2 virus sweeps across the globe, African countries are bracing themselves for grave consequences. The projections released on April 17 include a worst-case scenario of a billion cases
21
April
2020
| 14:10 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Crisis or not, Alberta must not do an end-run around Health Canada

Regulation of new COVID-19 tests, drugs and vaccines is a federal responsibility for good reasons, say Alberta health law experts.

On April 12, in response to a perceived delay in Health Canada’s approval of a Canadian-made testing kit for COVID-19, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney tweeted that he had directed Alberta officials to
20
April
2020
| 18:30 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Now is not the time to abandon key drivers of post-pandemic recovery

Economic support from governments must include the energy, resource and agricultural sectors, argues U of A business dean.

Every sector of our economy is hurting today, in Alberta, Canada and around the world. The scale and breadth of the expected job losses due to the pandemic is staggering. Nearly 1.3 million
26
March
2020
| 23:23 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Five key issues facing Canada’s agri-food industry

Recent events show there's no entitlement to the continued prosperity of our agri-food value chain, which should spur Canadian agri-food to think differently about new and old problems in the sector.

“Agriculture is a legacy industry.” “We need to feed nine billion people by 2050.” “Food security isn’t a production issue, it is a distribution problem.” “We need to invest in the
23
March
2020
| 19:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || In the middle of an emergency response, pause and reflect

Taking time to think about our values, priorities and goals is an essential step in the emergency response process, says U of A dean of students.

Emergency response starts with values, priorities and goals. Our values, on which we try to reflect when we’re not in the middle of an emergency response, emphasize the importance of life and of the