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

More wildfire smoke to fill the Okanagan

The smoke is coming from wildfires in California but is expected to be much lighter

COLUMN: The effects of proroguing Parliament

Only four hours were allotted for debating $50 billion in deficit spending

Crews to film Hallmark holiday movie in Summerland

The Angel Tree will be community’s third film project in 2020

Penticton RCMP seeking assistance in finding stolen trailer

The trailer was last seen near the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre

Keremeos mountie assaulted by alleged impaired driver

The officer was responding to reports of a collision in Cawston

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

Revelstoke source of clue on Jeopardy

The prompt challenged knowledge of both art and wildlife in the area

North Okanagan Literacy Society raises readers

Raise-A-Reader campaign benefits local group’s community programs

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Kootnekoff: COVID-19 not necessarily a concern for all

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

Local Lizzie: Recognizing Orange Shirt Day

Lizzie Skelton is a UBC Okanagan student who writes a column for Black Press

Neighbours relieved after notorious crime-affiliated Kelowna home boarded up

“It’s been a nightmare until recently when the house was boarded,” says Springfield Road neighbour

Most Read