School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

We learned a lot from SARS, but there are more lessons coming from COVID-19

April 13, 2019
The Ottawa CItizen - David Walker, Professor School of Policy Studies, Queen's University


In Ontario, a post-mortem was conducted on SARS shortly after its death. The objective, as it has been for millennia, was to apply the lessons learned from the dead to protect the living. What did we discover and how well did we learn those lessons?

We were reminded that nasty bugs have attacked humans since our very beginnings and would always continue to do so, thus the need to be prepared. We noted that we had sophisticated surveillance for foreign armies, although we had not invested in similar surveillance for pathogens. We were not on the lookout so we did not see SARS coming.

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