How Can We Stop the Next Pandemic? We Asked an Epidemiologist

Dr. David N. Fisman, epidemiologist at the University of Toronto discusses scanning sewage for disease threats, vaccine safety, and the true origins of COVID-19 amongst other topics in this May 23, 2021 article by Adam Smith on .

"Pandemics aren't a new thing at all. Epidemics and pandemics have been an important part of human history, and there are a lot of echoes of past responses to pandemics in our current situation. A paper by Dr. Peter Juni of St. Michael’s Hospital and colleagues does a wonderful job of showing that 2020 and 1918 are awfully similar. 

I think this feels like an aberration to us because – particularly in rich countries – we've grown very used to the idea that communicable diseases aren't something that can disrupt societies anymore. So, while this is just a repeat of the kind of event that's happened many times in human history, it's been a bit of a comeuppance, especially for wealthy Western countries. I think we've had a lot of competing interests and, frankly, some really bad governance.

The countries that have done much better during this pandemic have been quick to identify it as an aerosol transmitted disease, have controlled their borders, have listened to science, and have been able to take collective action."

- Dr. David N. Fisman

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