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  • Matt Harrison

There are not two pandemics

If you listen to the news regularly, perhaps you'll have noticed a back and forth between the pandemic and mental health: whenever there is news regarding tighter COVID-19 restrictions, it’s almost immediately followed by stories regarding stress on parents, children, and the apparent mental health 'pandemic' happening in tandem with the coronavirus pandemic. But there's the converse too — stories about the need to open up due to the impact of the pandemic on mental health are almost always followed by news calling for stricter measures and school closures.


I can't tell if this is the media stirring the pot, a knee-jerk reaction by legitimately concerned parties/players, the media's attempt to present 'balanced reporting', and/or something else.


Regardless, it presents a situation where there appears to be two 'pandemics' – COVID-19 and a mental health crisis – that are equally deadly and require us to take a side.


Let's look at some numbers. Almost four million people have died from COVID-19, around 27,000 in Canada alone — that's a staggering number. And it's one that, despite the relief washing over many in t