Canadian historian, author and journalist Gwynne Dyer spoke to Selwyn House Senior School students on May 6 in a Zoom teleconference. Originally from Newfoundland, Dyer has, for years, been a regularly featured commentator on Canadian news programs and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Dyer spoke to Grade 11 students in the Contemporary World class taught by Selwyn House Senior Social Studies Department Head Mark Watson. Guest students from ECS School also took part in the online class.
“The session was great,” says Watson. “He was very generous with his time, spending more than twice the allotted time answering the boys’ questions.”
Dyer spoke about ways in which the current coronavirus pandemic may effect permanent changes on the world. In a crisis, he said we have to invent new ways of doing things, and “we are under no obligation to go back to those old ways once we’ve come out of this crisis.”
He pointed to universal income as such a concept that has recently become more accepted because of the pandemic. “A lot of rules are not just being bent for the moment—they’re never coming back,” he said. “The impossible has happened and we are in a different place.”
“The thing about the current point in history when we are fighting this enormous virus problem…is that things can change much more easily than they can usually.”
“I think we are going to see significant changes and I think some of them may be very much for the better,” he concluded.