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COLLABORATION ACROSS BORDERS From a global health perspective, there's been unprecedented cooperation between countries and scientists in a variety of disciplines, which is why Covid-19 vaccines were developed and distributed at such remarkable speed and scale. A statement from G7 foreign and development ministers acknowledged, "We have achieved in a year something that usually takes a decade." RESILIENT RELATIONSHIPS Even when we couldn't see each other face to face, our connections to loved ones were still there, and possibly stronger than ever. A recent study of 6,700 English-speaking participants across Canada from the University of Calgary found 55 percent of parents believed the pandemic brought them closer to their children. And half of pregnant individuals felt there was some improvement in their relationship with their partner during the pandemic. "The findings suggest there might be a serious deterioration in relationships for a small proportion of families, but there seem to be improvements for many more," says Anna MacKinnon, a researcher with Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, which partly funded the study. NEW WAYS TO CONNECT AND LEARN From innovations in telemedicine to online learning and virtual cultural experiences, the pandemic made a lot of things possible from the comfort of our own homes. And many of these solutions may be here to stay, including convenient virtual appointments with a physician or therapist and new opportunities to learn and explore. Since March 2020, over three million people have taken Yale University's free online course "The Science of Well-Being," making it one of the most popular classes in the school's 320-year history. IMPROVED AIR QUALITY Coronavirus lockdowns and the pause in many activities— particularly commuter traffic—led to better air quality in 84 percent of countries, according to a global report by Swiss air quality technology company IQ Air. The Global Carbon Project also reported that world carbon dioxide emissions fell seven percent last year, the biggest drop ever. Lockdowns also offered more insight into regional and seasonal differences and possible solutions to poor air quality, as well as simple steps everyone can take to help, including driving less and choosing to walk or cycle more. WINTER 2021 | 35

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