Not Cancelled: Canadian Caremongering in the Face of COVID-19

As I read this book, I paused often and glanced out my window. Even from my little basement suite in Kelowna, British Columbia, I could feel the immense amount of love emanating from all of us Canadians. These have been difficult times. It’s so inspiring to see people bringing joy and hope to others, whether by helping an essential worker with their groceries or delivering fresh bread to the seniors who need it. These stories are a necessary piece of the hope that is going to drive us through the rest of this difficult time.

Not Cancelled is a collection of stories put together by Heather Down and Catherine Kenwell. Wintertickle Press sent me a copy in exchange for an honest review and I couldn’t wait to write about it. There was raw emotion in every story. I found myself brought to tears over and over, smiling widely at the kindness my fellow Canadians gave so beautifully to their communities.

I hope that people both inside Canada and outside can pick up this collection and become inspired to pass on the kindness to their own communities. This new word – Caremongering – fits our Canadian brand of kindness so perfectly in this time of fear. I will always keep these stories in my mind: Mary Janet’s cooking show, Spiderman Robbie Griffiths patrolling the streets of Paradise, Newfoundland, and those single mothers who are doing phenomenal jobs every day to entertain their children. Each one has touched my heart and given me hope that this virus will not defeat us. We will come out the other side of this pandemic, whenever it ends, with new perspectives on life and love and each other. I know now that there is tremendous good that comes with the darkness.

As a young adult, I have never experienced anything like this before. A worldwide pandemic has been the subject of the books I read and the video games I hear others talk about. Not once did I think that I would be experiencing one. Even though I and my family have been mercifully untouched, the emotional and mental stress has been ever-present. My anxiety disorder and my depression have taken the opportunity to visit more often (they obviously don’t know the meaning of social and physical distancing – they should stay six feet away). Though brief, I wanted to share how reading Not Cancelled has affected my story. I felt my anxiety float away. I’m excited to begin my path towards teaching in the fall – even though the uncertainty of it is daunting, I know that that is the way that I can spread hope and joy. Even if all I day is give my future students something to do each day to take their minds off the looming cloud of COVID- 19. I encourage my readers here to read this collection and maybe take some time to sit down and write (in whatever form you prefer) about your own experience during this pandemic. It sure has helped me to reach a more conclusive feeling about my experience.

I want to thank every person that has contributed to this collection of stories. It is so important to know that there are things in this world that won’t, in fact, be cancelled.

Thank you to every essential worker who has continued to work tirelessly so that the rest of us can stay safe at home. You are true superheroes.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5

Special thanks to Wintertickle Press for sending me a copy of this book to review!


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