Editor’s Message: This issue, via this autumn’s new books, explores many facets of healing
Nearly a year-and-a-half into this pandemic, it would be delusional to assume it’s almost over. As I write this in September, 2021, 60 percent of the global population has yet to receive a first dose of Covid vaccine, with the number reaching 98 percent in lower-income countries.
The more contagious Delta variant—currently in 96 countries—is spurring a fourth wave, which may now be reaching parts of Atlantic Canada.
So why then do we turn our minds to healing in this issue? As Philip Moscovitch writes in our cover story, “The pandemic may not be over, but it has gone on long enough that we are starting to see books about it, or that refer to it and its effects. And we are far enough into it that we can begin to talk about healing from the individual and collective trauma of the last 18 months.”
We are all tired of it. Tired of the lockdowns, the tragedy and frightening news reports.
But our fatigue won’t make it go away. Only a continuing commitment—logistical, educational, financial—to social distancing whenever necessary, to masking, to other public health guidelines, and to worldwide vaccination will let us reach the point where we can safely reunite in community, without fear or constraint.
But in the meantime, we have all been damaged by global events to one degree or another. This issue, via this autumn’s new books, explores many facets of healing. We know books alone won’t cure Covid or climate change or violent crime or prejudice or inequity or any other societal ill. But, as James Mullinger writes in his piece on humour books, they can keep us “sane and happy during this time.”
And books—their stories, their ideas—often spark the conversations that shift cultural norms, which results in political pressure, which causes better decision and policy making, which creates a healthier, more sustainable, more equitable world.