I have this image of us sitting on a beach and way out in the ocean far far away we see this tsunami. “Wow, look at that,” we say. “It looks terrifying, those poor people over there. ” And then we get on with our lives, every now and then look at the tsunami and empathise with the people. Then suddenly, almost without any warning, the tsunami is with us and our lives change dramatically, more than any of us could ever have imagined. And possibly will never be the same again.
So, I guess I am wondering why we seemed to have been so ill prepared. Surely, we knew it would be coming our way. Well Bill Gates certainly did. I don’t know if any of you listened to his Ted Talk in 2015 where he predicted a possible worldwide epidemic. The link is below but I will summarise it for you.
He said the greatest risk of a global catastrophe that would kill over 10 million people worldwide would likely be a virus. The failure to prepare for this could allow the next epidemic to be dramatically more devastating than Ebola which killed around 10,000 people in just 3 western African countries. He even predicted that we could all be walking around with the virus and feel quite well – which is what is happening to many people right now – and yet be infectious.
To prepare for this he said we need to develop strong health systems in poor countries, a large medical reserve corps, to pair medical people with the military and to run germ games and not war games.
And he ended on a very sober note saying that we need to get going because time is not on our side. One positive thing he said that came out of Ebola was that it could serve as an early warning – a wakeup call to get ready. And all of this was 5 years ago. I fear it fell on deaf ears. www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates_the_next_outbreak_we_re_not_ready?
Apologies for a somewhat downbeat blog but it is what it is.
Now I will get back to planning my evening entertainment. Another episode of the superb drama Last Tango in Halifax, only after I have got back to the 10 people on Word Feud (on line scrabble) who are waiting for me to have my turn, and the children say I must watch Captain Fantastic on Netflix. Baked potatoe for one in the oven, and then it is bed with my nightly catch up of The Archers. Poor Kirsty, she is going to have such a shock when she finds out her fiance is running his construction business using slaves.
And the day has disappeared – who would have thought that a day could pass so quickly with so little to show for it.