KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – I have written several stories about a young woman on income assistance who was able to attend classes at Dalhousie University, most recently “The long hard road of Career Seek for people on social assistance.
Although her classes got cancelled, she was able to complete her courses online. This is good news because she was able to keep caught up on her school work as well as keep herself occupied at home during the COVID-19 self isolation.
However she contacted me again recently and brought to my attention that she saw this story written by David Westwood, Switching to online classes creates severe time pressures for university and college teachers.
The idea of online classes is not welcome news for her and perhaps for others who are going through the Career Seek program. When she is not attending her classes at Dalhousie and school-related activities, her life is pretty much socially isolated within the four walls of her apartment. I have often written about how difficult it can be for income assistance recipients to socially include themselves into their communities.
She fears that switching over to doing her courses online is going to cause her to go back to living somewhat the life she used to live before getting her bus pass from DCS.
You may remember the very first story I wrote about her, this one here: How a bus pass improves life for people living in the middle of nowhere.
Before she received her free bus pass, she felt like she was not living her life being the social creature that humans rich and poor are expected to be. She told me that before she got her free bus pass, she used to create imaginary friends to keep herself company. She said it was not healthy for her to be doing that.
Anyway, I will end this story by saying, COVID-19 please go away so we can return to normal lives.
Kendall Worth is an award-winning anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.
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