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Old 04-27-2021, 11:59 AM   #1
peter12
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Default Canada After the Pandemic

I think this is a good time to start having a conversation as a country (but why not right here on CP) about Canada's failings, successes, opportunities, weaknesses etc... during this pandemic.

Obviously lack of biotech infrastructure was and is a problem, governments motivated more by electoral success than proper governance, and an overall anemic emergency response infrastructure.

What else? What did we do right? What did we do wrong?

EDIT: HAHA Canada Post suckers

Last edited by peter12; 04-27-2021 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:03 PM   #2
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Here I thought our mail service was under Covid siege. Of course I just picked up our mail from the box.
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:18 PM   #3
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What I think we learned we need to do:

- Control international travel more quickly when news comes out of a potential threat
- Implement testing as rapidly as quickly to identify when it does reach the country
- Create some inhouse production capacity for vaccines and PPE - we are too reliant on other countries and when push comes to shove everyone will take care of themselves first
- More directed and specific financial support around the service/hospitality industries

What I think we did an okay/acceptable job of:

- Listening to our experts while trying to balance a varying degree of uncertainty from the get-go
- Balanced rights and freedoms with lockdowns
- Financial supporting individuals initially when this first thing started
- Vaccine roll-out, while it wasn't without its bumps its ramping up quickly and supply seems more of the bottleneck
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:29 PM   #4
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I think they probably did the best job of any country that doesn't have their own vaccine production in securing multiple sources of supply. Last spring we didn't know what vaccine would work, what the production issues and side effects would be, or timing. We ended up getting in on all of the successful ones(excluding Russia and China), and by the end of summer will have everyone vaccinated who wants it. Managing to secure doses from the EU on contracts was a major success(as we surpass them in vaccinations), as the US has shown an unwillingness to share. Next time I'm not sure we will be so fortunate, and we need to work no domestic production.

I think there were a lot of failures around air travel, borders, and messaging. They also should have used "we don't know yet" more often early on.
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:56 PM   #5
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I think the biggest failure was contact tracing.

We still don’t know how most people acquired Covid. Early on in SK they had an amazing network drawing of every case. If we had that data you could determine where stopping spread would make a difference.

For example in a non-Covid zero approach does closing boarders make sense if two jurisdictions have similar rates of spread?

The most important thing to be evaluated for next time is to determine if a zero case approach like Australia and the Maritimes is possible in Canada.

Another important thing is to set criteria for boarder closures in the event of new threats to avoid over reacting to the next crisis. Remember that many our cases came from the US and Iran so either you need to over react and close everything or under react. Closing a boarder with one country will do almost nothing.
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGG View Post

The most important thing to be evaluated for next time is to determine if a zero case approach like Australia and the Maritimes is possible in Canada.
It was possible, but not probable.

The last 12 months has really made me dislike chunks of my fellow Albertans.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:02 PM   #7
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I thought this thread would be about an outbreak at a Canada Post outlet.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbo View Post
Here I thought our mail service was under Covid siege. Of course I just picked up our mail from the box.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyGuy View Post
I thought this thread would be about an outbreak at a Canada Post outlet.
Ah the old 5 post Fata
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:25 PM   #9
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Early on, it seemed like we just accepted there was a choice to make between public health priorities and "the economy." That flawed premise led to so many half measures and conflicted messages that ultimately hurt both goals.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:26 PM   #10
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I want to say that one thing I believe that was right was CERB. There was a lot of fuss about some of the errors in eligibility but other then that it was efficient, effective and necessary. I believe the government learned a lot from the minor short comings that existed within, what was essentially a mass pilot program, and should any such similar financial aide be required anytime going this information will be applied.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:30 PM   #11
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:35 PM   #12
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The biggest collective failures in my view were:
- Reacting too slow to trailing metrics
- Messaging. Which continues to be a problem.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Hrdina View Post
The biggest collective failures in my view were:
- Reacting too slow to trailing metrics
- Messaging. Which continues to be a problem.
Partisan angling, as well.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopChed View Post
Early on, it seemed like we just accepted there was a choice to make between public health priorities and "the economy." That flawed premise led to so many half measures and conflicted messages that ultimately hurt both goals.
This is definitely true but only in hindsight.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:49 PM   #15
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I hope Canada forms as non-partisan non-political consultancy group that develops a pandemic response plan for future pandemics so we aren't trying to decide what is more important, the economy or peoples lives.

No matter what the next one is, you'll still need things like contact tracing, emergency PPE stockpile for first responders, PPE production capacity, vaccination infrastructure, vaccine production capacity, emergency communication channels, etc.

I don't pretend to be an expert, but get experts in a room together to plan ahead so that we are better prepared for the next one.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Hrdina View Post
The biggest collective failures in my view were:
- Reacting too slow to trailing metrics
- Messaging. Which continues to be a problem.
I'd say this was the biggest failure. Two ways to improve:

1) The medical professionals needed to be more assertive in their messaging. For example, saying things like "there is no evidence to support xyz" instead of "we think xyz is good, but don't have complete data to back that up yet" caused people to believe xyz was bad or not effective. If they had just started briefings and such as "this is the best ideas we have based on the evidence so far" people would have been more likely to listen to the message and hopefully understand why the message changes over time with new evidence

2) Trust people with more transparent information. I feel like they tried to cater to the lowest denominator sometimes with messaging, which made it seem like they were trying to hide things. The "lowest denominator" people likely aren't going to really listen to you anyway, so give people a little more insight on why you are doing what you are doing and people are more likely to appreciate decisions made
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:57 PM   #17
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For all the problems we have with our health care system, and it does have problems, it is also apparent that a public system is better equipped to handle a widescale pandemic than a private system is. Coordination between hospitals, health zones, and a central health authority (ie AHS) that could make decisions on a province wide basis worked much better than individual hospitals/healthcare companies all working independently of each other.

Also learned that Canadians as a whole are more willing to accept health measures for the common good. Americans by contrast are not used to nor are they accepting of being told what to do by their government on a scale like this.
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Old 04-27-2021, 02:23 PM   #18
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Having available domestic vaccine production was always a bit of a red herring in all this. Obviously it's better to have it than not, but Pfizer and Moderna were never going to be produced in Canada, as those companies deliberately set up their production in a small number of jurisdictions to make things simpler and more efficient. J&J was similar.

And there's also the danger of over-reliance on domestic production where you think you have a secure supply so you don't bother to buy imported vaccines in large quantities as well. We're seeing that in Australia, where one domestic option failed in trials and the other is a vaccine they won't use on anyone under 50. So they're stuck relying on imports for the bulk of their population, but they didn't sign deals early enough or in large enough quantities to do that quickly. Japan and South Korea are sort of in similar situations.
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Old 04-27-2021, 03:02 PM   #19
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I agree with a lot of what has already been said.

Positive:
- Vaccine procurement and rollout has been good to great
- Targetted financial supports helped a lot of people
- Healthcare system certainly proved it's worth

Negative:
- Too much left to provincial jurisdiction
- Slow, insufficient border policies especially early on
- Should have gone for COVID-zero, didn't
- Messaging

Future:
- Domestic vaccine production capability would be nice to have in our back pocket
- Sophisticated pandemic response plan that is both proactive and aggressive. Going too far too fast is always a better risk than being slow and soft in approach.
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Old 04-27-2021, 03:34 PM   #20
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^ Agreed.

While I know political campaign promises are uselesss, I will be listening closely to the parties who promise to bolster our in country vaccine production abilities and who promise to form a pandemic response team and plan.

Pie in the sky vision for me would be for all levels of governments come together to form a national strategy and framework for pandemic response that can be activated at a national level. Keep politics out of it and work together as a team for the good of the country.
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