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Opinion

Onto the next pandemic

By Harvey Schipper      

Canada is in a unique position to be a, if not the, world leader in preparedness. We now have an unprecedented opportunity to reframe our thinking of what a pandemic represents, and in so doing, we can potentially create a revolutionary and science-driven health economy. Here’s what we need to do.

Canada's deputy medical health officer Howard Njoo, Canada's chief medical officer Theresa Tam, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Health Minister Patty Hajdu, and Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne, pictured Jan. 26, 2020, in the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, less than a month before the WHO declared the COVID-19 virus a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Our fair performance comes in spite of the fact that we appear to have starved a world-leading epidemic early warning unit, our Global Pubic Health Intelligence Network, born out of SARS, just in time to miss the early signs of COVID, writes Harvey Schipper.

TORONTO—As we emerge from our first encounter with COVID-19, we are beginning to take stock of where we stand and what we have learned. It has been a humbling, at times quite frightening, and at other times even hopeful experience.

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