A recent study showed nearly one in four British Columbians is kept awake because of U.S. politics. (Wikimedia)

A recent study showed nearly one in four British Columbians is kept awake because of U.S. politics. (Wikimedia)

COLUMN: International politics gets in the way of a good night’s sleep

Survey suggests one in four British Columbians is awake at night because of U.S. politics

A couple of statistics in a recent survey about sleep left me baffled.

The 1,000-person survey, commissioned by Leva Sleep, a Canadian adjustable bed retailer, included some data on what keeps Canadians awake at night.

In British Columbia, nearly one in four of those surveyed said American politics kept them from enjoying a good night’s sleep.

One in three said they were losing sleep over the possibility of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I can understand the concerns about a second wave of COVID-19, especially since the number of new cases in British Columbia has been rising since July.

READ ALSO: B.C. breaks single-day record for new COVID 19 cases; 269 total cases over weekend

READ ALSO: Stats Canada survey suggests some Canadians worried about safety of COVID-19 vaccine

At present, there is no cure for this disease, and no vaccine is available. Of the more than 120,000 closed cases in Canada, eight per cent have ended in death.

Concern over this pandemic is valid, and I can understand people losing sleep over it.

But I don’t understand why American politics would keep Canadians from having a good night’s sleep.

Some would say it’s because the United States plays a dominant role in world affairs.

The Americans have a powerful military, spending more on its armed forces than the next 14 largest militaries combined.

However, the last time the U.S. turned its military power towards Canada was more than 200 years ago, during the War of 1812.

We’ve enjoyed peace since that time. We get along with our neighbours to the south.

The United States boasts the world’s largest economy and it is Canada’s largest trading partner.

More than three-quarters of Canada’s exports go to the United States, and more than half of Canada’s imports come from the United States.

American decisions on international trade will affect us in this country, and there are times when the U.S. has imposed trade decisions that affect us directly.

But most U.S. political matters, aside from trade, tariffs and decisions about our shared border, don’t have a huge effect on us in this country.

Even the upcoming presidential election has a far bigger impact on Americans than on Canadians.

If someone in this country is going to lose sleep over politics, it would make more sense to be kept awake because of Canadian politics.

READ ALSO: Trudeau considered best to manage pandemic, revive economy, poll suggests

However, only one in 13 people surveyed said they were losing sleep because of Canadian politics.

There’s a lot happening at the various levels of government in this country, and it affects us all.

One example is our federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and other federal aid programs.

At the provincial level, legislation and policies has the potential to affect everyone in British Columbia.

And the decisions made by mayors and councils around the province have the potential to shape our day-to-day lives far more than anything at the provincial, federal or international levels.

What a council decides on tax rates, land use and other matters will shape the communities where we live.

Most of the issues happening outside of our country have a much smaller effect on us.

There’s nothing wrong with keeping up with news and events happening around the world. It’s good to be informed.

But worrying about such things is pointless. Worry doesn’t change anything.

And with that, it’s time to shut down for the day and go to sleep.

I hope I don’t have dreams about international politics.

John Arendt is the editor of the Summerland Review.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Columnist

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Marylou Jensen. (Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP searching for missing senior

Marylou Jensen left her Grenfell Road home on foot at 5 p.m.

In a feature article published April 10, 2021 in The Times of London, ‘headlined British Columbia has what it takes to rival Napa Valley,’ the valley is praised extensively for its natural beauty and wine. (File photo)
From the U.K. with love: Okanagan wine, scenery receives international praise

The Times of London newspaper recently featured the valley in a wine and travel piece

FILE — In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
72 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases in the region to 9,666 since the pandemic began

Peachland mayor Cindy Fortin is encouraging those who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine to get their shot. (Mayor Cindy Fortin - Facebook)
Peachland mayor declines early vaccination offer

Mayor Cindy Fortin said she wants seniors, immunocompromised individuals to get the shot first

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health previously issued a ticket to Flow Academy in February for non-compliance with public health orders

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

A dumpster was on fire behind a residential complex in downtown Penticton Tuesday afternoon. (Brennan Phillips Western News)
Dumpster fire extinguished in downtown Penticton

There has been a string of dumpster fires lately

Skogie’s Express Tunnel Wash on Anderson Way in Vernon. (Submitted photo)
Lawsuit dismissed after vehicle damaged while inside Okanagan car wash

Civil Resolution Tribunal dismisses driver’s claim following a collision inside Skogie’s car wash in Vernon

The future of the Eagle Pass Lookout cabin is being discussed. (File photo)
Options presented for future of former Eagle Pass fire lookout in Shuswap

Stakeholders met in 2020 to discuss the restoration, or possible removal of the cabin

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Conservation officers caught three men over fishing bull trout in Kinbasket Lake. (Facebook)
B.C. men fined $1.7K for overfishing near Revelstoke, Golden

The seized fish were donated to the Golden Food Bank

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021. (Kamloops This Week photo)
Clothing that ‘detracts from learning process’ removed from SD73 student dress code

Policy change underway after student in knee-length dress, long-sleeve turtleneck sent home

A shop up on Grand Oro Road near Twin Lakes burned down on Monday. (Facebook)
Fire rips through shop in small South Okanagan town

The building was destroyed despite community efforts to fight the fire

Most Read