Deja Vu

The Public Health Agency of Canada announced it would not follow other countries’ lead to screen travelers from China for COVID-19. Just like in 2020.

Then it reversed its decision. Just like in 2020.

The Chinese government says such screening is racist and meant to punish the Chinese people. Just like in 2020.

My suspicion is that nothing government agencies do will stop the virus from spreading. Just like in 2020.

What has changed is our understanding of the risks that come with a COVID-19 outbreak. We no longer blindly trust government and health officials when they make pronouncements because we have learned they are only guessing. Expertise only goes so far in novel situations. That that a COVID-19 outbreak is a novel situation. It feels just like 2020.

Not being an expert, I don’t know what is going to happen next. I expect efforts to slow the spread of the virus will fail. Too many people will be asymptomatic and slip through the screening.

What is different from 2020 is that in North America most people have received a COVID-19 vaccination. Some have had multiple boosters. And we’ve been through the routine before, masks and shutdowns and lockdowns, with varying degrees of effectiveness. Mind you, human nature being what it is, I wouldn’t be surprised if people stated hoarding toilet paper again.

It will be interesting to see how governments handle things if indeed a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic spreads from China. Will they go back to the previous restrictions, knowing there is increasingly less public support for such things? Or will they trust that the combinations of vaccination, a better understanding of what needs to be done to stay safe and a certain amount of herd immunity will be all that is required?

Part of me is curious to find out. I must admit though, that I’d rather we didn’t have to go through the whole thing again. Just like in 2020.

One comment

  1. Phil allan · · Reply

    A friend whose wife has been in China for over 3 years (combination Canadian immigration, incompetent legal counsel and PRC refusing to issue passports or exit visa) tells me there are over 5000 deaths a day directly caused by COVID

    In bangkok almost everyone wears masks indoors and on transit: most of those who don’t are Caucasian and have north American European or Australian accents

    More than enough candidates for Darwin awards, but the idiots affect others more often than themselves

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