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Note from Jeremy McNeil, President of the RSC

Every day, in Canada and around the world, we are learning about the breadth, depth and interconnectivity of the impacts of COVID-19 and that we will face broad societal challenges in our response to - and ultimately, recovery from - the pandemic. These challenges require informed multidisciplinary and multigenerational responses based in the best available evidence. The Royal Society of Canada, with over 2,000 members from all disciplines and across generations, is well positioned to assemble such responses. 

Last Thursday we announced the establishment of the RSC Task Force on COVID-19, chaired by Dr. Tom Marrie of Dalhousie University, with a mandate to rapidly address the broad societal challenges confronting Canada. The Task Force has begun identifying broad societal challenges by reaching out to the RSC membership, by performing a gap analysis on the research being funded by the Government of Canada, and by learning from Canadians about how they are thinking and feeling about issues as diverse and interconnected as mental health, protecting vulnerable populations, economic security and epidemiological modeling.

The Task Force is inviting reflections and analyses from individuals as part of its work. This essay, by Chad Gaffield, is the first in a series.

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