Full Professor, Political Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa
East Asia presents a remarkable picture in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taken as a whole, this region is the least affected in the world in terms of mortality rates attributed to the infection. One could add to China, Japan, the two Koreas, Vietnam, and Taiwan, the cases in Australia and New Zealand, as well as countries that have been spared so far on other continents. It is important to draw attention to the East Asian countries, with their varying economic conditions, to see what lessons can be learned.
For six months, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has superseded all other public policy priorities. Governments placed their economies in a state of suspended animation, buttressed their health care systems, and pushed trillions out the door to help citizens weather the storm. But other policy problems are not going away. Indeed, COVID-19 has exposed and deepened many cracks in the system. As countries reopen, governments and multilateral institutions are grappling with what comes next, and how to reverse what the IMF estimates will be a five per cent contraction of the global economy in 2020.
As parents worry about the school lessons kids have missed because of the pandemic, there’s one dinner conversation about COVID-19 that can make-up for any lost science lessons. Talk about all the uncertainty and doubt, from changing rules about wearing masks to efforts to create a vaccine. Explain that what we’re living through is science in action.
From May 12 to June 2, 2020, the IdeaConnector.net produced four online discussions on the patchwork of responses by Canada and the world to the Covid-19 pandemic. Eminent global thinkers, leaders of organizations and businesses, accomplished academics, and Indigenous individuals from Canada, Germany and the USA were invited as speakers, including Professor Sandra Schillo, Core Member and Lead of the ISSP Inclusive Innovation Research Cluster.