Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

4 minutes reading time (774 words)

A once-in-a-lifetime news story: COVID-19

community natural foodsSince the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been trying to get an accurate gauge for how I felt.  It got more difficult as time went on as the situation changed daily.  This thing has been a moving target since day one.  

 Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been trying to get an accurate gauge for how I felt.  It got more difficult as time went on as the situation changed daily.  This thing has been a moving target since day one.

Often, it helps when you have something in your past – an experience or situation – to use as a comparison or reference. As the days went by and things became progressively worse, I realized the milestones I had been referring to were being dwarfed by the scope of this world-wide scourge.

The first to fall were my memories of when U.S. president John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  I was 10 years old.  I recall the surrealism of the days that followed.  The world stopped.  Radio stations played sombre music. Adults cried. Stunned.  Confused. What next?  What is going to happen next?

It was a similar feeling during the day of the September 11, 2001 attacks.  The world again stopped.  Our lives changed forever that day.  We wondered, “What next?” and even “Who next?”  

This is worse.  COVID-19 has affected everyone on the planet.  No single country, island, continent, province, state, city or town has been spared.  In our lifetime, we have never seen anything like this.  And hopefully, we won’t again.

Dr. W. Gifford-Jones was on one of our CNHR News Podcasts a few weeks after the pandemic broke.  Currently 96 years old, he was a young man during World War II.  He sees the similarities between then and now and he recalled the emotions people felt at that time.   

Although the war was far away, it affected everyday life in Canada.  People were on rations.  They needed coupons for things like food and gas.  Any commodities required for the war effort were very limited at home.  Young men signed up for the service, boarded ships to join the fighting, and family, friends and neighbours wondered if they’d ever see their young man again.

As a journalist, this has been the biggest news story of my lifetime.  Judging from the mainstream media coverage, I would think other editors, broadcasters and reporters would agree with me.

As we go to press, Canadian politicians at all levels are  discussing a roll-out plan to re-open businesses and get Canadians back to work.   In our sector, we have been open for the most part, falling into the essential services category, but pushed to the limit, coping with juggling staffing issues, supply levels, social distancing, safety concerns and getting the products into customers’ hands.  

Tribute to our retailers

This issue is CNHR’s tribute to those of you who faced the danger of coming to work every day, putting yourself at risk to do what it is you do: help Canadians with their health concerns.  At no time in our history have people been more concerned with their well-being and the well-being of their loved ones.  Never have our front line workers in our stores been more needed.  And you have met the challenge: you have stepped up at this time of need and made a difference. All this has been accomplished in the face of your own personal challenges.  Maybe it was your own concern for contracting the disease. Or worrying about caring for your loved ones, be it kids or aging parents, with your normally trusted resources – schools or care homes – either not available or under fire themselves.  

For what it’s worth, I am very proud of all of you.  And you should be proud of yourselves.  This is your shining moment.  Thank you.

Also, thanks to our advertisers this issue.  In these uncertain times, these companies have stepped up and helped us put out an issue at a juncture when we think our readers – now more than ever – need to be connected to our greater natural community.    And thanks to all the retailers who took the time and shared their stories and photos with us.  It has been an amazing journey to learn everything you’ve been going through.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has joined me and Deane Parkes on the CNHR News Podcasts.  It has brought many interesting stories to life.  We’ve had such a wide-range of guests looking at the COVID-19 pandemic from many points of view.  If you haven’t been listening, please visit or and tune in.


CNHR News Podcast

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News, Views and Happenings in the world of Canadian Natural Health.

Check out this month's podcast here

Your customers have spoken.  The numbers are convincing: Canada’s natural health retailers turn to CNHR for your new products.  A survey conducted in June 2020 shows retailers read the ads and Product Profiles, and react to them.  They order products they’ve seen in CNHR.  They look for your new products in CNHR.  Reach your customers via CNHR by print, video and/or podcast.  Various opportunities available to fit any budget. 

• Launch your new products

• Support your sales team

• Be visible as stores re-focus and re-charge

• Stake your position in the “new normal”

• Reach more stores – from coast to coast

• Introduce your company to new potential customers • Combine CNHR’s print, video and podcast options


New!  Product profile package

Retailers want to see more of your new products.  So, we’re making it easier for you and them. 

Introducing our new Product Profile Package:  a three-pronged way to reach retailers by combining print, video and podcast.  You get all three!

PRINT:  Claim a spot on CNHR’s Product Profile pages, mailed to health food stores coast to coast, and read by over 10,000 retail store buyers, owners, managers and staff.

VIDEO:  This is new for CNHR – video product reviews.  You’ll get a 30 second review of your product with product image and voiceover.  Five products per video, then e-blasted to CNHR’s database, to be shared among staff and with the store’s customers.   

PODCAST:  Also a new feature.  Your product will get a mention on the New Products portion of the popular CNHR News Podcast, hosted by CNHR editor Bruce Cole and Deane Parkes.   Your company name, product name, a couple of lines, followed with your company contact information.

Three-platform exposure for your new products, delivered by CNHR, the trusted source of industry information retailers have counted on for 24 years.   Three platforms for $699.00

The Product Profile Package is FREE to all full or half page advertisers!

For more information please contact:

Phone: 800.663.6580