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FUREY: I used to be a COVID alarmist — then the facts changed my mind

By Anthony Furey | 5 December 2020

TORONTO SUN — Back in February, I wrote a column with the now-quaint headline: “Expect the coronavirus to bring ‘social distancing’ to Canada.” It’s hard to believe now, but that was one of the first times the phrase had appeared in Canadian news. And I was laughed at by some for suggesting back then that we may see the government shut down segments of society and restrict our movements.

I wasn’t just suggesting it. I was urging it. I remember interrupting a guest on a radio program as he was saying, “We don’t want to alarm people” — “Yes, yes we do,” I blurted out.

Canadian government emergency preparedness documents talked about all the previously unthinkable measures that would need to be done in the event of a serious pandemic, from closing schools to turning local arenas into morgues.

All we knew at the time was that there was a mysterious illness ravaging the Hubei province of China. The region went into a lockdown that, at the time, was of a magnitude unprecedented in modern human history. As much as you have to take all the news out of China with a grain of salt, there was clearly something serious going on. […]

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