UM Today UM Today University of Manitoba UM Today UM Today UM Today
News from
Faculty of Arts
UM Today Network

CBC.CA: Seeking calm in the coronavirus storm

How one Winnipegger copes while aging family stuck in Philippines

March 23, 2020 — 

This article from Jim Agapito, Film Technician, Department of English, Theatre, Film & Media, was published online on

Like most of us in North America, I don’t think I understood the seriousness of the coronavirus until last week.

Before that I used the humour of American late-night television to “inform” me. At that time, people were comically conflating the pandemic with the Mexican pale lager and irrationally boycotting the brand. Comedic relief was the salve for uncertainty. I wanted to believe that everything was fine. 

Then, a week ago on Wednesday evening, the NBA postponed its season due to coronavirus fears. By Thursday the NHL and touring concerts followed suit and by Friday, schools and universities were preparing to suspend classes. 

I told myself, “OK, there’s no need to panic. There’s no need for me to contribute to the anxiety surrounding me.”

Then a very personal bomb dropped. On March 15, the president of the Philippines quarantined Metro Manila. 

My entire family is in the Philippines. 


Continue reading on


, , ,

© University of Manitoba • Winnipeg, Manitoba • Canada • R3T 2N2

Emergency: 204-474-9341