It’s been noted frequently that the COVID-19 pandemic is touching just about every aspect of our society, but aside from healthcare, perhaps no two areas of everyday life have been more affected than how we shop, and how we work. How fortunate then that the University of Guelph has two experts to help us out with understanding that!
The first half of this edition of the podcast will feature Dr. Evan Fraser, who is a Professor and Director of the Arrell Food Institute and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security at the University of Guelph. The second half will feature Professor Nita Chhinzer, who is an Associate Professor of Human Resource Management and Business Consulting at the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics.
Dr. Fraser is going to talk about food security and why we’re not on the verge of running out of groceries. He will also talk about how COVID-19 has been a shock to our “just enough, just in time” supply system, and how we need to work harder to build resilience by supporting more regional food distribution and eliminating food deserts. And Fraser also discusses how COVID-19 might be a dress rehearsal for how we deal with future issues that can affect food production, like climate change.
In the second half, Professor Chhinzer will tell us how COVID-19 reminds us about the importance of sick days and sick leave in modern business. She’ll explain how this is a problem across the corporate culture, from employees unwilling to take time off from work when they’re sick, to the bosses that sometimes expect you to “suck it up” in the name of being a good employee. She also discusses what she teaches her students about looking out for their wellbeing at work, and how employees need to use the language of management to get their point across about sick leave.
So let’s talk about the potential long-term effects of COVID-19 on food and work on this week’s edition of Guelph Politicast!
For background reading on these topics, you can head over to The Conversation. You can read their Dr. Fraser’s piece, “Coronavirus: The perils of our ‘just enough, just in time’ food system” here, and you can read Professor Chhinzer’s piece “Employers need to give paid sick days to fight the coronavirus” here.
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