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Locked: Quaint Quote - - CAA's Travel Advice - - 27 February 2020

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  • Apr 27th, 2020 9:19 am
[OP]
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Quaint Quote - - CAA's Travel Advice - - 27 February 2020

Via Toronto Star (27 February 2020 online / 28 February 2020 print edition):


"Julia Kent, director of public and government affairs for CAA Atlantic, says aside from a few specific regions, there haven’t been a lot of issues.

'Unless you have plans to go to China, you should probably proceed as planned,' she said in a phone interview this week. The CAA describes itself as one of Canada’s largest leisure travel agencies. 'Generally speaking, when you compare coronavirus to the flu, it is far less widespread and less impactful.'"




Of course, it's easy in hindsight to be critical of advice from travel experts, but still hard to disregard its flagrancy given its late February 2020 date. It reminds me of the old Upton Sinclair quote: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

For context, almost half the respondents in an RFD poll said that way back in January 2020, they were already believers that Coronavirus would severely impact Canada.
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Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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There were a lot of unknowns in February. yes, they may have known about the outbreak in China but no one knew where it would go.
Hindsight has 20/20 vision and being critical is like calling someone a loser the day before they win the lottery.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
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Oct 23, 2017
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Pete_Coach wrote: There were a lot of unknowns in February. yes, they may have known about the outbreak in China but no one knew where it would go.
Hindsight has 20/20 vision and being critical is like calling someone a loser the day before they win the lottery.
You are very kind and understanding Pete but the saying quoted by OP rings true. It reminds me of the river tubing trip we made last year when the weather forecast was poor. The operator insisted he had a perfect understanding of local weather patterns and that the river would be clear the following day. So of course we had an exhausting and wet 4 hour struggle to get back when the wind kept blowing us upstream. And our friends who opted to take their March break in Cuba this year on the advice of their travel agent, on the same day the government was advising Canadians to come home. And we have all heard of the hotel that promised the renovations would be finished before your booking date . . .

When you get advice, always think of influence from a financial interest.
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Dealmaker1945 wrote: You are very kind and understanding Pete but the saying quoted by OP rings true. It reminds me of the river tubing trip we made last year when the weather forecast was poor. The operator insisted he had a perfect understanding of local weather patterns and that the river would be clear the following day. So of course we had an exhausting and wet 4 hour struggle to get back when the wind kept blowing us upstream. And our friends who opted to take their March break in Cuba this year on the advice of their travel agent, on the same day the government was advising Canadians to come home. And we have all heard of the hotel that promised the renovations would be finished before your booking date . . .
You are correct with your analogies. All in hindsight. People all use their experience in making the decisions. Sometimes it just does not go the way you have experienced.
Thing is, hindsight used to criticize and prove incompetence is wrong. There are too many unforeseen and uncontrollable variables to blame someone if the predictions are wrong.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
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Pete_Coach wrote: You are correct with your analogies. All in hindsight. People all use their experience in making the decisions. Sometimes it just does not go the way you have experienced.
Thing is, hindsight used to criticize and prove incompetence is wrong. There are too many unforeseen and uncontrollable variables to blame someone if the predictions are wrong.
I kind of agree but kind of don’t. Your take eliminates the valid criticism of poor judgment. I’m sure we can agree that there are a ton of examples of that we could come up with that illustrate it. Being dumb doesn’t absolve one of criticism.
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benjicash wrote: I kind of agree but kind of don’t. Your take eliminates the valid criticism of poor judgment. I’m sure we can agree that there are a ton of examples of that we could come up with that illustrate it. Being dumb doesn’t absolve one of criticism.
I also kinda agree but, factors change as do outcomes.
Poor judgement is also hindsight if the decision was deemed wrong. Being dumb is also a hindsight if things don't go as forecast.
If experience and/or current provided information is being used to make a decision, and the outcome is not as predicted, that, in my opinion, is not poor judgement.
As an example, if hurricane is to make landfall in a particular place but it makes land 50 kms north...is that poor judgement? Or is a tornado is predicted to go straight but turns left... is that poor judgement or just the unpredictability of an event.
I am not defending because we do not know what information was provided but, sometimes the predicted outcome has nothing to do with poor judgement or incompetence. A prediction is just that, a guess based on the information at hand.
Now, if the decision made is not using all the information provided or, they hid information to lessen panic or the fear of scaring people well, then it definitely is poor judgement.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
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I hate this "Monday morning quarterbacking", which is so common in Politics. You only can act based on the best information at the time, which is never 100% accurate. Afterwards once, the information is known, any decision can be questioned.

It's like checking the weather forecast and it says there is a 20% chance of rain...what would you do - wear that raincoat or not?
As it is much more than likely it wouldn't rain so why wear that extra raincoat and be all hot and sweaty? It turned out to be sunny and no rain that day, so you say "Duh, of course - it's only a 20% chance, what's there to think about"

But what if it did rain that day? You'll say "what poor judgment" there was a likely chance it would rain and it did, so how stupid for not wearing that raincoat.

But if I wore the raincoat, and it turned out sunny. You see me sweating in the sun and say "what idiot wears a raincoat when there is a 80% chance it would be sunny."
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WetCoastGuy wrote: I hate this "Monday morning quarterbacking", which is so common in Politics. You only can act based on the best information at the time, which is never 100% accurate. Afterwards once, the information is known, any decision can be questioned.

It's like checking the weather forecast and it says there is a 20% chance of rain...what would you do - wear that raincoat or not?
As it is much more than likely it wouldn't rain so why wear that extra raincoat and be all hot and sweaty? It turned out to be sunny and no rain that day, so you say "Duh, of course - it's only a 20% chance, what's there to think about"

But what if it did rain that day? You'll say "what poor judgment" there was a likely chance it would rain and it did, so how stupid for not wearing that raincoat.

But if I wore the raincoat, and it turned out sunny. You see me sweating in the sun and say "what idiot wears a raincoat when there is a 80% chance it would be sunny."
There is a difference between the Monday morning quarterbacks and those that disagree with the play being made at the time.

If you’re given a tsunami warning you’ve got a bit of time on the beach where the risk is low. That wave is coming though. You have to know that. The decisions you make while the ‘instant risk’ is low are vital. You have time to prepare for the ‘future risk’ that is coming. When the instant risk transitions to that future risk because you now see the wave on the horizon you better not be on the beach anymore.

Lots of countries sat on the beach including Canada. I guess they all figured aircraft wouldn’t transport sick people here in January. Did our politicians not know sick people with a virus can get on planes? What information did we need to have, that we didn’t, in order to get off the freakin’ beach? Cause I know myself and many others were calling that play on Sunday. Not Monday.
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WetCoastGuy wrote: I hate this "Monday morning quarterbacking", which is so common in Politics. You only can act based on the best information at the time, which is never 100% accurate. Afterwards once, the information is known, any decision can be questioned.

It's like checking the weather forecast and it says there is a 20% chance of rain...what would you do - wear that raincoat or not?
As it is much more than likely it wouldn't rain so why wear that extra raincoat and be all hot and sweaty? It turned out to be sunny and no rain that day, so you say "Duh, of course - it's only a 20% chance, what's there to think about"

But what if it did rain that day? You'll say "what poor judgment" there was a likely chance it would rain and it did, so how stupid for not wearing that raincoat.

But if I wore the raincoat, and it turned out sunny. You see me sweating in the sun and say "what idiot wears a raincoat when there is a 80% chance it would be sunny."
This

The scientific name is ... hindsight bias
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindsight_bias

And it’s always a factor during major events

As over time people tend to forget WHAT THEY KNEW & WHEN THEY KNEW IT
benjicash wrote: There is a difference between the Monday morning quarterbacks and those that disagree with the play being made at the time.

If you’re given a tsunami warning you’ve got a bit of time on the beach where the risk is low. That wave is coming though. You have to know that. The decisions you make while the ‘instant risk’ is low are vital. You have time to prepare for the ‘future risk’ that is coming. When the instant risk transitions to that future risk because you now see the wave on the horizon you better not be on the beach anymore.

Lots of countries sat on the beach including Canada. I guess they all figured aircraft wouldn’t transport sick people here in January. Did our politicians not know sick people with a virus can get on planes? What information did we need to have, that we didn’t, in order to get off the freakin’ beach? Cause I know myself and many others were calling that play on Sunday. Not Monday.
So be it the weather, a tsunami, or Covid 19

Everyone is gonna think they knew more than the weatherman ... the experts ... or the government

Truth is they are just people like the rest of us ... and in times of trouble, they have to make decisions based on the info they have at hand AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME

It’s a judgement call.

We know what that’s like with the weather (good analogy BTW )
We don’t always know how it’s gonna turn out with something bigger like a tsunami or a pandemic, that only happens along once in awhile.

We have better successes with predictability scenarios ... the more often something occurs
(ie ... Hurricanes for example ... we are getting far more accurate on those ... but even then we make mistakes, or miscalculations)

Lots of folks die in tsunamis cuz people ... including experts
Didn’t have the information that could have saved more sooner
Or ... werent able to enact fast enough on the info they did finally get

Same for this pandemic

Info provided by China was sketchy at best

EXPERTS as well as politicians made GUESSTIMATES based on the info they did have
Sometimes they got it right
Sometimes they got it wrong

Few people talk about the RIGHT THINGS afterwards (little praise)
It’s ALWAYS the wrong stuff ... in hindsight that people focus on (lots of criticism )

So like the weatherman
It’s a thankless job ... you are damned by the masses no matter what
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Apr 24, 2017
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PointsHubby wrote: This

The scientific name is ... hindsight bias
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindsight_bias

And it’s always a factor during major events

As over time people tend to forget WHAT THEY KNEW & WHEN THEY KNEW IT



So be it the weather, a tsunami, or Covid 19

Everyone is gonna think they knew more than the weatherman ... the experts ... or the government

Truth is they are just people like the rest of us ... and in times of trouble, they have to make decisions based on the info they have at hand AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME

It’s a judgement call.

We know what that’s like with the weather (good analogy BTW )
We don’t always know how it’s gonna turn out with something bigger like a tsunami or a pandemic, that only happens along once in awhile.

We have better successes with predictability scenarios ... the more often something occurs
(ie ... Hurricanes for example ... we are getting far more accurate on those ... but even then we make mistakes, or miscalculations)

Lots of folks die in tsunamis cuz people ... including experts
Didn’t have the information that could have saved more sooner
Or ... werent able to enact fast enough on the info they did finally get

Same for this pandemic

Info provided by China was sketchy at best

EXPERTS as well as politicians made GUESSTIMATES based on the info they did have
Sometimes they got it right
Sometimes they got it wrong

Few people talk about the RIGHT THINGS afterwards (little praise)
It’s ALWAYS the wrong stuff ... in hindsight that people focus on (lots of criticism )

So like the weatherman
It’s a thankless job ... you are damned by the masses no matter what
My analogy assumes people know a tsunami is coming. A massive wave on its way. You don’t get to charge the rules of my example to suit your argument by saying experts don’t know what’s coming. Like the tsunami that we know is coming, Covid 19 was known to be coming. We knew it because we kept the borders open. It was a certainty once it was decided to do nothing.

I remember January and what I would have done. You’re talking about a decision that has to be a toss up. This wasn’t. Government could have done better and apologizing for them and their dumb decisions that people were calling dumb as they were being decided doesn’t change that they were dumb. Oh and the weather analogy is not a good one. Forecasts are based on decades of past data. Likening the probability of rain to this is pretty short sighted.

If we were talking about something that happened years ago I’d agree you could be right. Again, there is a difference between poor judgment and bad luck.
So back to my tsunami analogy:
Staying on the beach is poor judgment. Running to the 12th floor and the water going to the 13th? That’s bad luck.
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No, you're again basing your decision using after the fact assumptions it actually hits the beach and wipes it out. But it's not an exact science either as the Tsunami wave that hits a certain beach could be 20 feet high or could be nothing. How many Tsunami warnings have been issued on the west coast of BC and there was hardly a ripple? If you're the mayor of a town on the coast, do you shut the town down immediately and businesses lose money every time a warning is issued or you monitor the situation and make a call if there are signs it's going to be bad. Sometimes, you will issue that call a little too late for some people. Not as easy as you make it sounds.

With this new virus, we knew it was out there and it likely would be coming our way. But it was also a big unknown as it was new virus and not a lot of information was known about how easily it was transmitted and the incubation period...you know it might breakout in Canada or it might not if it was like SARS and could be contained. So that Tsunami virus wave could be 20 feet high or a ripple.

What's "poor judgment" vs "making a call based on best evidence at the time"? Do you shut the country down on a "maybe" or wait for more information??

If you shut the country down right away and it's contained like the SARS breakout, there will be an outcry for your immediate resignation for killing the economy on a "sky is falling down" over-reaction.

Getting off that beach is an easy call as it has limited effects whether you get the call right or wrong. Shutting down something that has larger effects other than just your own person, like a town or country, is not so easy. "Monday morning quarterbacking" is easy when you don't have much at stake personally.
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Apr 24, 2017
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WetCoastGuy wrote: No, you're again basing your decision using after the fact assumptions it actually hits the beach and wipes it out. But it's not an exact science either as the Tsunami wave that hits a certain beach could be 20 feet high or could be nothing. How many Tsunami warnings have been issued on the west coast of BC and there was hardly a ripple? If you're the mayor of a town on the coast, do you shut the town down immediately and businesses lose money every time a warning is issued or you monitor the situation and make a call if there are signs it's going to be bad. Sometimes, you will issue that call a little too late for some people. Not as easy as you make it sounds.

With this new virus, we knew it was out there and it likely would be coming our way. But it was also a big unknown as it was new virus and not a lot of information was known about how easily it was transmitted and the incubation period...you know it might breakout in Canada or it might not if it was like SARS and could be contained. So that Tsunami virus wave could be 20 feet high or a ripple.

What's "poor judgement" vs "making a call based on best evidence at the time"? Do you shut the country down on a "maybe" or wait for more information??

If you shut the country down right away and it's contained like the SARS breakout, there will be an outcry for your immediate resignation for killing the economy on a "sky is falling down" over-reaction.

Getting off that beach is an easy call as it has limited effects whether you get the call right or wrong. Shutting down something that has larger effects other than just your own person, like a town or country, is not so easy. "Monday morning quarterbacking" is easy when you don't have much at stake personally.
I totally disagree with you. With almost every word except the part where it’s politicized. Yes if it turns out to be nothing they’ll call for your head. Which means our decision makers have a conflict of interest when making them. It also means they take a wait and see approach, and do little until there is a demonstrable reason to react. Without it, the ridicule and criticism. So we’re reactionary and worried about our jobs. Neither is a recipe for success, especially when that process is beyond criticism as you claim it should be.

You completely exclude the very real possibility that bad choices are made in the moment. I assume because in your hypothetical it’s the same people with the same personalities and traits always making the decisions? If they fluctuated and we could play this Covid19 scenario over in simulations with different leaders would it be the same outcome 100 out of 100 times? The science wouldn’t change. Just the decisions that get made would.

You seem to think mistakes don’t happen without the application of hindsight. I disagree. If Trudeau ordered the country reopened tomorrow instead of keeping it shut are we allowed to criticize and say that’s a dumb move? Or do we have to wait a couple weeks to see the numbers blow the top off this thing? Of course then you’ll say it’s Monday morning.
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This is discussion is more suited to OT than Travel, and there are already existing threads in both OT and OT-PRC discussing this issue.

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