Recap of Pandemics and Borders with Kelley Lee

June 11, 2021

Kim Regala
Communications and Events Coordinator, SFU Public Square

The views and opinions expressed in SFU Public Square's blogs are those of the authors, and they do not necessarily reflect the official position of Simon Fraser University, SFU Public Square or any other affiliated institutions in any way.

On June 1, Kelley Lee, Canada Research Chair in Global Health Governance and professor in SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences, delivered the final lecture of SFU's spring 2021 President's Faculty Lectures on the theme of resilience and recovery.

With many Canadians starting to consider what travel within Canada and beyond might look like, Lee spoke about how to manage pandemic travel and border restrictions effectively, both locally and globally. Reviewing the last 16 months of policies and impacts, she discussed what went wrong, what went right, and what we should consider next.

Below are some highlights from Lee's lecture, and you can also watch the recording or read the full transcript.

Some excerpts from the discussion:
 

“The need for different parts and levels of government to work together has been a key lesson. This is one that I think is very relevant to Canadians. If you think about the movement of people, whether it is from local to global in terms of scale, this should all be considered integrated. All travel should be seen in an integrated way when implementing restrictions."


“Risk mitigation is of huge importance when you’re dealing with an issue that impacts many people's lives. This kind of approach needs to be transparent. It has to set out the assumptions you're making about causality and associations. You need to link variables to outbreak dynamics and then you need to use these assessments to inform your decisions. All of this needs to be done in a systematic, methodical way.”


“Beyond the partisan politics, beyond the lobbying by economic vested interests, we need an open and honest conversation about border management and travel measures. We need this urgently.”

 

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