As we all continue on in this pandemic, many things have come to light in terms of issues that have been previously swept under the rug. Some things that have come to light during COVID-19 include  criminal justice, inequality, racism, urban development, education, and international matters. These topics and more were covered at the University of Fraser Valley’s PoliTalk, “COVID-19 Pandemic: Impacts and Diverse Responses”. Guest speakers included Linda Dempster, Vice President of Patient Experience at Fraser Health; and Chief David Jimmie from the Squiala First Nation.

Chief David Jimmi speaks about how local communities and businesses are being affected.

Many people wonder what has been the world’s response to COVID-19? Ranging from healthcare to social and political issues. In this PoliTalk we had professionals from varying fields come in and speak on how COVID-19 has impacted their field and what kind of responses there have been to them. Dr. Cherie Enns, MCIP, RPP professor in the School of Land Use and Environment Change at UFV spoke on the changes in urban development. Such as, more bike lanes being established in cities and projects with considerations of COVID-19 in mind. Many fields are looking for ways of improvement such as educating a globally prepared nursing workforce. 

Catherine Smith speaking about educating a globally prepared nursing workforce

The medical field is now considering what nursing education is going to look like post COVID-19. As systems are being reviewed and reconsidered, racial tensions have also risen as COVID-19 has exacerbated previous inequalities. Activism has risen in recent times which has been one of the major causes other than COVID-19 of bringing light to political issues. A “populous leaders vs. everyone else” mentality is rising. Other political impacts were discussed by Dr. Edward Akuffo, professor in the school of political science at UFV. Such as, the rivalry between the US and China, state security, and violent conflicts around the world. It was great to hear the insights of these professionals and what is happening during these times. 

Professor Edward Akuffo speaks on state security and political impacts

Even with our internship with CIFOR (; things were moved to a virtual setting. Throughout this time we have found our own responses to these impacts in our internship, and have adapted to them. Education and internships are being considered in many different ways that were never really considered before in the past because of COVID-19 and hopefully it will end up opening even more opportunities and doors. Our internship with CIFOR has helped us learn more about how COVID-19 has impacted the world in terms of research, funding, and sustainable development.

You can check out the full PoliTalk here!

Stay tuned for more blog posts by us this Summer! Stay well and stay safe.

Abbey Lin & Taelyr Keeley

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