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What coronavirus can teach us about being wrong

A doctor peers from behind curtains in the triage unit of the University Hospital in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Less than three weeks ago, the respected Bosnian epidemiologist Sefik Pasagic was fielding calls from journalists seeking his opinion and advice on how best to prepare for the coronavirus outbreak. The 60-year-old father of four died of complications from the COVID-19 infection which his wife describes as an unnecessarily long and desperate struggle to get the help he needed. (AP Photo/Kemal Softic)

In today’s Big Story podcast, Dr. David Fisman has been at the forefront of the battle against infectious diseases, from SARS to the coronavirus. We asked him about this new virus in January, and he got it wrong. He was far from alone in that. The nature of discovering new diseases is making hypothesis based on what’s known, and then adjusting as new data becomes available.

But in a world where we are held to our predictions or told not to flip-flop our positions, that nuanced approach can be mistaken for failure. Today, Dr. Fisman joins us again to walk us through everything we’ve been wrong about since COVID-19 emerged, how new discoveries have informed our approach and what we could still be wrong about as we plan for the months to come.

GUEST: Dr. David Fisman, professor of epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

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You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.