Shabas said that Asian countries quarantined for SARS, then Canada followed in a “monkey see, monkey do,” approach. “We made no serious effort as a profession, as a country, public health as a group … to examine what had happened and to learn any lessons,” “COVID was an immensely wasteful, a wastage of human potential. The wastage of people’s lives, the time that was spent uselessly in quarantine was enormous, and I think to a large measure because we didn’t take the time to learn the lessons from SARS,”

“I was the one who said this is not based on good science, we have no idea if there’s a threat, we should take it a little bit more cautiously.” He had a similar message during the swine flu pandemic in 2009.“It was the most benign on the record and the actual public health impact was very, very much smaller than people had expected or that people were making them to be.”

The CBC did not want this cooler head to prevail on its COVID-19 commentary.