The next Pandemic.
Occasionally we read a column so exactly right that there is little to do but introduce it. The May/June 2020 Foreign Affairs’ brilliant article, “Chronicle of a Pandemic Foretold”, should be seen by everyone*. Here is a synopsis:
- Corona-virus (CV) was anticipated by epidemiologists since the SAARS outbreak of 2003.
- Governments around the world ignored the warnings and were unprepared at home or in their international planning.
- CV is not the end. It is not the Big One. The prospects for the next attack are real and immediate.
- There is no concerted, coherent or coordinated national or international plan to deal with what will be the greatest threat to our ways of life.
- Economically attractive supply chain management, cheap medi-fab sources in China and India, and global communications make the next threat potentially more threatening and the lack of planning inexcusable.
- The US has failed as “thought leader” and strategic conscience of the “free world”.
- We are at a tipping point in global politics – this is an opportunity for a new world collaboration, for a new start or for a doubling down on cover up, blame and deceit. This outstanding piece of writing ends with a map for action.
To our shame our great country has turned a blind eye to the values and standards of integrity, and inquiry that it was founded upon. Our President has avowed at every opportunity and in the teeth of the evidence that there are tests available for all to use, but a nationwide survey of nurses showed today that still – 5 months into the pandemic – 84% of nurses, our front line heroes if ever there were any, have not been tested for the virus, and 87% have been unable to get essential PPE.
With new leadership we really could set standards for the world to follow, we could fly.
Have a good day.