The story of the pandemic is the story of women. This riveting narrative offers an account of COVID-19, reminding us of women's leadership and resilience, reflecting back hope and humanity as we all figure out a new normal, together.
Throughout history, men have fought, lost, and led us through the world's defining crises. That all changed with COVID-19. In Canada, women's presence in the response to the pandemic has been notable. Women are our nurses, doctors, PSWs. Our cashiers, long-haulers, cooks. In Canada, women are leading the fast-paced search for a vaccine. They are leading our provinces and territories. At home, they are leading families through self-isolation, often bearing the responsibility for their physical and emotional health. They are figuring out what working from home looks like, and many of them are doing it while homeschooling their kids. Women crafted the blueprint for kindness during the pandemic, from sewing masks to kicking off international mutual-aid networks. And, perhaps not surprisingly, women have also suffered some of the biggest losses, bearing the brunt of our economic skydive.
Through intimate portraits of Canadian women in diverse situations and fields, Women of the Pandemic is a gripping narrative record of the early months of COVID-19, a clear-eyed look at women's struggles, which highlights their creativity, perseverance, and resilience as they charted a new path forward during impossible times.
Lauren McKeon is an award-winning editor and writer. She is the former editor of This Magazine and a contributing editor at Toronto Life. Her essays have appeared in Hazlitt, Flare, the Walrus, and Reader's Digest, and she has spoken on gender issues at conferences and seminars and on radio and television broadcasts. She teaches at Humber College.