GCL reading list: 2020’s Best of Canadian COVID-19 longform

Last year, during a particularly quiet week for Canadian longform I ran a week of themed archived content because I needed to build a reserve of new pieces.

For someone used to sharing six new pieces a week (plus one from the archives) I started to wonder if COVID-19 might cause a long-term disruption in the genre. In its place, I noticed a rise in quick hits, Q&As and other forms of writing as media outlets grappled with the pandemic sweeping the globe.

But over time, I noticed a steady return of the sort of writing we share, much of it shaped by COVID-19.

When looking through the pieces GCL shared related to COVID-19 (more than a month’s worth of daily shares, for the record) I wanted to celebrate stories that were well-crafted and really captured feelings, moods and questions about Canadian life during the pandemic.

Here are six pieces we’ve previously shared about COVID-19 ranging from a nursing home tragedy, to the disruption of mourning, to one writer’s experience in an isolation hotel. They are listed in the order they were released.

Thanks for reading,

Rob Csernyik

GCL Editor

“What went wrong in Bobcaygeon: How the COVID-19 pandemic killed 29 people at an ill-prepared nursing home”

Sam Riches – National Post – April 2020

“Your Brain on COVID-19”

Carolyn Abraham – The Walrus – May 2020

“The pandemic has disrupted death and mourning in ways we don’t yet understand”

Christina Frangou – Maclean’s – July 2020

“This Toronto teen lost his mom to COVID-19. Now he’s starting the school year without his fiercest ally”

Jennifer Yang – Toronto Star – September 2020

“A Long-Term Tragedy”

Simon Lewsen – The Local – November 2020

“Here’s what it’s like inside Toronto’s COVID-19 isolation hotel”

Emma McIntosh – National Observer – December 2020


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