CATEGORY / epidemiology

COVID19: We Need More Data

by Raywat Deonandan, PhD
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
University of Ottawa
(I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one)

(Today’s post repeats some of the themes and ideas covered in earlier posts, but reformatted here in the form of a short op-ed column. It has been published in The Toronto Star under the title, “COVID-19 is not a health crisis, it is a health systems crisis“)

Most models of the COVID19 pandemic show it continuing for another year or two, with North America stifled beneath the current wave of cases until June at the earliest. Stories of heroic doctors and nurses are now daily features on the news, with hundreds of health care workers among the global fatalities. With such harrowing realities, it’s easy to mischaracterize this crisis as solely a medical one. (more…)

COVID19: Let’s Talk About Models. Not the Fun Kind.

by Raywat Deonandan, PhD
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
University of Ottawa
(I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one)

I used to be a fairly pretty teenager with the requisite insecurities and fragile ego that come with that time in life. Unsurprisingly, I would get not infrequent offers from questionable men with questionable business cards to engage in “modelling.” Well, those memories came seeping back yesterday as I started getting many questions from journalists and the public to comment on a different kind of modelling.

Friday was an important day in the ongoing COVID19 epidemic, at least in the province of Ontario where I reside. At present, the state of New York is the global epicentre of the disease, with frankly nightmarish scenes of hospital overloads haunting our TV screens daily. There is some concern that Ontario will suffer that same fate unless efforts are taken immediately. (more…)

COVID19: Test, test, test…. But Why?

by Raywat Deonandan, PhD
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
University of Ottawa
(I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one)

Here we are, about two weeks into isolation. Has it been two weeks? I could look up the actual date of this country’s retreat to housebound safety, but I think it might depress me. I’d rather enjoy the haze of uncertainty, the arguably more natural state of literally not knowing the date. My passage of time is marked now only by inconstant circadian rhythms, the Prime Minister’s ritualistic morning briefing, and my dog’s need to go outside to do his business. (more…)

COVID-19: Our Salvation Lies in Testing

by Raywat Deonandan, PhD
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
University of Ottawa
(I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one)

This blog post has since been expanded into a feature article for India Currents magazine under the title, “COVID-19 Testing Is Our Salvation

We are now several days into widespread social distancing in Canada, though it feels like weeks. Cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, as expected, and we watch Italy and Spain for signs of when our society might be cast into crisis and chaos. Health care workers, the heroes of our time (and of all times, really), gird themselves for a possible flood of respiratory distress cases. Physicians and nurses of all specialties are being asked to update their ventilator training in anticipation of being called to the front lines for service. Yet many fear that they will not have sufficient weapons for this fight, such as masks and ventilators. (more…)


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