It’s been almost a month since Premier Doug Ford declared that only “essential” businesses will remain open during the COVID-19 quarantine, while everyone else must remain home. Canadians are adapting to these changes including transitioning work done in the studio, to work done at home. Teri-Ann Carty is one of those Canadians.
Carty is a yoga instructor who is switching to online lessons through Instagram and Zoom.
She says the transition hasn’t been easy. Yoga classes are usually done in person, and she says it’s difficult to teach the lessons without any feedback.
Her income has also reduced a lot from when she was going to the studios.
“My income has gone way down because I’m used to teaching fifteen classes a week. Now I’m teaching four that I’m actually getting paid for,” Carty explains.
Still, she considered the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit that the government is offering. The Canadian government is offering financial aid to Canadians who have suffered financial or employment loss from the COVID-19 measures. Eligible Canadians can receive up to $2000 a month if they are approved. Carty thinks it might not be enough.
“I think it’s something. I don’t think it’s going to be enough, especially for people who live in downtown Toronto. If you live in a rural place, two thousand a month is actually pretty decent, but if you’re living downtown and your rent is over two thousand a month, then that’s a very different scenario.”
The amount may not be enough for most Canadians, but government intervention in the economy is a step in the right direction. According to Political Science professor at Seneca College Marc Menard, it’s just the beginning.
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“Unemployment is a great evil that needs to be eradicated. When people are unemployed, they’re in fear and a lot of bad things happen when people are in fear.” Menard explains.
He says that when people are able to participate and have faith in their economy, then many other areas of living greatly benefit.
Menard thinks however, that it’s a stop-gap measure. He believes the government needs to continue long-term measures to ensure that Canadians don’t suffer greatly during this time.
“Canada has a reputation for having social programs that are of a sharing and caring nature unlike a lot of governments around the world. So, I see us continuing in that tradition. Our standard of living will drop seriously. Until we have the economy gradually improving over time.”
In the meantime, Canadians are trying to find silver linings under lockdown.
“I used to be really busy hustling back and forth from yoga studios, but now I have more time to cultivate my website and reach out to different companies for my photography work.”