How Are We Going To Learn From Covid?
The lack of interest in investigating what went wrong is staggering
A major disaster happens. Hundreds of people die. Or thousands. After the dust settles, should we have an inquiry to examine in detail exactly what happened, why, how we can avoid or mitigate disasters like this in future?
The question hardly has to be asked. Of course we should! We often have coroner’s inquests after a single death. We investigate even minor air crashes with scientific thoroughness. It’s the only way to learn from failure. It’s the only way to save lives. it would be unthinkable to not investigate thoroughly after a major disaster.
More than one million Americans have died of Covid. More than 48,000 Canadians have died of Covid. The probability of a pandemic in any given year is extremely small but that probability repeats every year, meaning it is effectively certain that there will be another pandemic. The next one may be less deadly. Or it may be much worse. But whether it’s in a year, a decade, or a century, the next one will come. So where are the high-profile, broadly respected commissions of inquiry to examine in forensic detail pandemic preparedness and response and what we must do to better prepare and respond?
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