Four strategies to help avoid the next pandemic

U of A virus expert offers recommendations that would be easier to implement and enforce than other public health measures

Four strategies to help avoid the next pandemicNew viruses emerge every few years that threaten humanity: HIV, swine flu, SARS, Ebola, Zika, MERS and now COVID-19. Unfortunately, the only drugs that can combat a viral pandemic are antiviral therapies – although most antivirals don’t work very well – or vaccines, most of which work incredibly well. Vaccines for newly emerging viral diseases…

Abject failure in U.S., India in face of COVID-19 crisis

India has failed its citizens, especially the vulnerable. The U.S. has hobbled from one makeshift policy fiasco to another

Abject failure in U.S., India in face of COVID-19 crisisThe largest democracy and the most powerful nation in the world have both been left disrobed of their pageantry and power by COVID-19, shamefully failing their citizens and revealing their disintegrating moral façade. It’s said that the measure of a person is not what they do when things are going well, but rather how they…

How Canada can confront future pandemics

Our leaders should have ways to handle a public health disaster without throwing half the population into penury

How Canada can confront future pandemicsMost of the nations in the developed world, including Canada, were unprepared for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. So we need to examine what steps should be taken to forestall or substantially mitigate the next microbial conflagration. While the current main weapon – the medieval quarantine – might still be part of the future arsenal, more…

Federal government failed to prepare for pandemic

There’s a difference between what Ottawa says about its preparedness and the reality. The results in the face of COVID-19 could be tragic

Federal government failed to prepare for pandemicPrime Minister Justin Trudeau finally says Canada is moving aggressively to procure diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and the personal protective equipment (masks, face shields, gloves, gowns) that front-line health-care workers require to carry out their duties during a pandemic. Without adequate quantities of those supplies, it’s impossible for doctors to determine who is infected, to…

Ten key messages to navigating a crisis

How can we draw on the work of futurists and foresight professionals to enhance our responses to the current crisis and increase resilience against future shocks?

Ten key messages to navigating a crisisWithin the futurist community there is much hand wringing and frustration at the extent to which leaders, decision makers, and policy advisors have ignored past advice and countless preparedness studies for governments, businesses, and civil society. Since the 1960’s the stock in trade of much futurist work has been to advise on both the range…

Are Canadians prepared if the power grid fails?

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack could devastate modern society and result in massive casualties

Are Canadians prepared if the power grid fails?On Feb. 2, thousands of Canadians lost by a landslide – and most weren’t even in politics! Ordinary citizens found normal life interrupted for days after a landslide near North Bend, B.C., cut fibre optic cables. Phone and Internet service was disrupted all weekend. Vancouver parking meters stopped working. Calgary security alarms started malfunctioning. But…

Is Canada heading to a national emergency?

Ignorant, selfish actions by some Canadians put fellow citizens in harm’s way. It must stop now, even if the measures are drastic

Is Canada heading to a national emergency?“We’ve all seen the pictures online of the people who seem to think they’re invincible. Well, you’re not. Enough is enough. Go home and stay home. This is what we all need to be doing. And we’re going to make sure this happens, whether by educating people more on the risks or by enforcing the…

Don’t let COVID-19 permanently change Canada

The speed of the spread and the rise of the body count prove something menacing has us at its mercy. How we deal with it is crucial

Don’t let COVID-19 permanently change CanadaThe Quebec government recently ordered the province’s cathedrals of commerce – also known as shopping malls – to close. The edict followed another imperative obliging all places of religious worship to lock their doors. Yet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau subsequently suggested Canadians might not have seen anything yet when it comes to draconian measures to…

Dancing in the dark – in the midst of a hurricane

In Atlantic Canada, the moment you think you have everything nailed down, a Category 2 storm decides to pop in

Dancing in the dark – in the midst of a hurricaneA word to the wise: A daily five-km fast walk and a nightly 15-minute endurance routine on a floor mat doesn’t prepare a 50-something body for a sudden dismount from a handstand – especially if said body lands on its tippy toes, like Baryshnikov on a really, really bad morning. “Crunch!” was the sound heard…

Only Trudeau could cause a PR nightmare while joining a relief effort

What would possess the ‘selfie PM’ to smile for the cameras at a flood zone with people’s lives hanging in the balance?

Only Trudeau could cause a PR nightmare while joining a relief effortThere are pros and cons to a national leader appearing at a natural disaster. For every act of goodwill, someone will question the motive behind this visit. For every bead of sweat on the brow, someone will wonder if he or she wouldn’t rather be somewhere else. By and large, the positives far outweigh the…