The world has not known, in living memory, a pandemic on the scale of what we are experiencing with COVID-19. Nor has the world had access to data and analysis, much of it being generated rapidly and disseminated freely, on the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself. Navigating a path out of this crisis will require effective integration of this data into decision making.
We are all participating in an unprecedented global experiment aimed at figuring out what is the best way to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. And according to the latest data, one well-established strategy seems to be working; the messaging around social distancing seems to be motivating most Canadians in just the right way: we’re flattening the curve.
Up to the week prior to its publication, there was increasing public pressure for the federal and provincial governments to be more open about their projections of the COVID-19 epidemic curves, especially the numbers of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations, and how these trends were likely to affect hospital capacity including ICU beds and ventilators.
Writer in Residence, ISSP, uOttawa
Author and Performer
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic is the world’s most widespread and longest running case of shared public science and health communication. One lasting impact is that it will change science popularizing.
Viruses fly all the time, but rarely have they been as deadly as COVID-19, which will change aviation security as much as 9/11. The novel Coronavirus is changing our appreciation of risk; it has flipped the question of the global aviation sector from surge capacity to viability; and it demonstrates the levels of cultural shift and honest public discussion needed in Canada.
Pandemics are far from new in the history of science fiction. Which is why familiar novels such as The Stand (1978) by Stephen King and movies such as Contagion (2011) by Steven Soderbergh were sought as references when lockdowns began.