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Is old age the secret to happiness?
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Feb 04, 2020
Masks are sorted in the screening area for distribution to staff at North York General Hospital in May 2003. (Louie Palu/Globe and Mail/CP)



Good morning, Ontario

Here's what we're following

Chinese community leaders warn of xenophobia and coronavirus hoaxes 

The Toronto Star reports that Chinese community leaders say they’ve seen a rise in anti-Chinese racism in relation to the coronavirus, similar to what they experienced in the SARS crisis. “During that 2003 outbreak, which infected thousands worldwide and killed 44 people in Canada, the region’s Chinese businesses suffered, employees lost their jobs and tenants were kicked out by their landlords.”  

The Star also reports that hoaxes have popped up online, including one false story that someone “at the Chinese Jewelry Store” at Markham’s Markville mall had come down with the coronavirus.

Life expectancy falls for Ontario men 

Men in Ontario are dying younger and the opioid epidemic is likely to blame, reports the London Free Press. According to Statistics Canada, the projected lifespan for Ontario men in 2018-19 dropped to 80.3 from 80.4 the previous year. Though the change seems small, average life expectancy has almost always increased since Canada started collecting data on it in 1921. “The increase in mortality among males aged 25 to 45 is likely related to the opioid crisis affecting certain regions of the country,” Statistics Canada writes. “In the United States, life expectancy at birth has decreased over the last three years, and many studies show that this decrease is linked to the opioid crisis.” 

Ford calls two Ottawa byelections 

Premier Doug Ford has announced that byelections in Ottawa–Vanier and Orléans will be held on February 27. The seats were previously held by Liberal MPPs Marie-France Lalonde — who is now a Liberal MP — and Nathalie Des Rosiers, who resigned her seat to become principal of Massey College at the University of Toronto.

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The Agenda: Is old age the secret to happiness?  

If you’re middle-aged and miserable, the best is yet to come. At least that’s what data from around the world says. The Agenda asks: Why do people feel happier as they age? And what can younger cohorts learn?

Much Too Young 

In this unflinching documentary, four young adults tell their story of becoming a caregiver for an ailing parent earlier than expected. “It’s not something any young person envisions for themselves in their twenties,” says Kathryn who, at 27, looks after her mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease. “I feel like it’s impossible.” 

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Lessons from SARS, Part 1: The nurse 

In the first instalment in a three-part series, columnist Matt Gurney speaks to Vicki McKenna, the president of the Ontario Nurses’ Association, about the 2003 SARS outbreak. “We had emergency plans. We had all these codes — Code Reds, Code Silvers. But we didn’t really have, at that time, a real, solid, ongoing preparedness plan for something like SARS,” she says. “We just didn’t have it. The situation was fluid every day. Everyone needed advice. We had experts, but they all had different opinions. There was no lead in the province.” 

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Forgery, Morrisseau, and Indigenous art

This Saturday, TVO presents the world broadcast premiere of There Are No Fakes, which delves into the shadowy world of art fraud and brings into question the legacy of iconic Anishinaabe artist Norval Morrisseau. The Agenda welcomes filmmaker Jamie Kastner to discuss the process of bringing this story to the screen. 

10 p.m. — Inside Kenk 

Toronto residents remember prolific bicycle thief Igor Kenk and his Queen Street shop where he sold stolen bikes and parts. After he was arrested and jailed in 2008, he sold the shop and disappeared. Ten years later, Kenk reflects on his storied past and his new life in Switzerland.  

From the archive

Dec. 3, 2003 — Gordon Cressy on kindness and mental health 

In this 2003 episode of Big Ideas, former Toronto city councillor Gordon Cressy discusses how to help others through difficult times: with support and kindness. “The strength in the end is holding hands,” he says. “And then being able to let go of it. So, people move on.” 

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