AU students come from all walks of life, and though I don’t think it would be hard to describe any single one of us as a champion in some form or another, this week, our feature article is with a student who’s an actual champion.  A two-time Canadian champion bodybuilder, in fact.  Read more about Dany Bianca in this week’s “Minds We Meet.”

And if you’re wondering how you might get started on the road to becoming a champion bodybuilder, Xine Xu has given us “How to Get Started with a Workout Routine At Home”, which might be just the thing we all need after packing on our COVID-19 pounds.

This week, we’re also publishing the runner up in our Voice Writing Contest from the fiction side.  The judges actually came to know this story under a title that wasn’t what the author intended.  Find out why and have a bit of a laugh with “Jean-Denis Goes Aloft

I’m also happy to note that the winners for the non-fiction category of the Voice Writing Contest have been decided.  With Jason Hazel-rah Sullivan taking the winner’s spot, and And Anne Ndegwa being our runner up for their entries that examine the topic of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at AU.  We’ll have more on them and our non-fiction judges in a future issue, once we’ve dealt with our fiction entries,  but for right now suffice to say that they get a huge thanks from me for their time and the effort they put in to help us with this contest!

But speaking of COVID-19, this Tuesday I got my first round of the vaccine.  In our case, it’s the Moderna vaccine, and I now understand why people are calling it a “jab”.   Perhaps it was just our pharmacist, but the application was somewhat forceful, and my shoulder has felt store for a couple of days now, rather like someone had punched me in it, hard.  Other than that, side effects so far seem to be minimal, a bit of muscle and joint pain, well worth the piece of mind I’m getting knowing that in a couple of weeks I’ll have some decent protection against COVID-19 and the possibility of long term effects.

My partner, however, experienced some slightly more annoying side-effects, a muscle tremor in the eyelid.  Calling the health line about the side-effect we were reassured that it wasn’t something to be concerned about, but we were requested to attend at an urgent care facility so that they could formally observe and record the side-effect to help improve what they can tell future patients.  If you’re wondering about the health care system being overwhelmed, the trip resulted in an almost two-hour wait before the three minutes it took the doctor to come in and officially note the issue.  Thank goodness it didn’t turn out to be something more serious and time-sensitive.

Even with all that though, it’s still somewhat of a relief knowing that we’re doing our part to not only prevent us from getting the disease, but to ensure our health systems don’t get overwhelmed.  So when you’re done reading all the news, reviews, scholarships, events, recipes, and more in this week’s Voice Magazine, you could do worse than to see if you can schedule your own vaccine appointment.  In any event, enjoy the read!

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