Category Archives: epidemiology

How Prepared is Canada for a Pandemic?

A shortened version of this blog post was published in the Ottawa Citizen on Mar 13, 2020, under the title, “Coronavirus shows the urgent need to invest in health infrastructure.”


by Raywat Deonandan, PhD
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
Assistant Director, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences
University of Ottawa

One of the open secrets shared by population health scientists is that for decades humanity has been long overdue for a particularly virulent pandemic of some flu-like respiratory illness. Bill Gates himself recently speculated that COVID-19 could be that “once in a century” disease whose spread and severity rivals that of the 1918 Spanish Flu. That disease’s global impact was so dire that it likely played a role in ending World War I, having removed so many healthy young men from the battlefield. Continue reading How Prepared is Canada for a Pandemic?

Revisiting the Overpopulation Question

One of the strange things about my profession is that I can never predict what the public will be fascinated by. Some years ago, I wrote a paper predicting that the sperm quality of men in less industrialized populations would not be as compromised as that of us men in the developed world. But what went viral was the paper’s introduction, which repeated what pretty much every gamete researcher already knows, that measured sperm quality has been declining for decades. Continue reading Revisiting the Overpopulation Question