When COVID-19 started back in November 2019 in Wuhan, China, no one had anticipated that it’ll be a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. People have failed in their attempt to contain the virus there, spreading it across the globe which still causes problems until now, 3 years later.
The impact of the virus in our lives is undeniably inevitable as we are never prepared for it. The question now is, is it possible that this could be the last pandemic we experience?
Impacts of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a tremendous loss of human life globally and poses an unparalleled risk to public health, food systems, and the workplace.
The economic and social dislocation produced by the pandemic is catastrophic: tens of millions of people are likely to fall into extreme poverty, and the number of undernourished people, presently estimated at almost 690 million, might rise by up to 132 million by the end of 2020 as predicted by World Health Organization (WHO) in a statement back in October 2020.
Millions of businesses fear extinction. Nearly half of the world’s 3.3 billion workforce is at risk of losing their jobs. Workers in the informal economy are highly susceptible because they overwhelmingly lack social protection and access to excellent health care, and have lost access to productive assets.
Many people are unable to feed themselves and their families during lockdowns since they do not have the means to produce an income. For most people, no money means no food, or, at best, less food that is less healthy. These are just samples of the impact of the pandemic on our lives. One would ask, can this really be the last pandemic in history we get to experience? Many are hoping so. But one of the richest people in the world says so.
Bill Gates says this can be the last pandemic
Bill Gates said on Twitter on Saturday, Feb. 12, that the world must come together to end the pandemic and prevent the next one. But how are you going to prevent a new pandemic if the current one was hard to prevent?
If we act quickly now to prepare for the next disease danger, the Covid-19 pandemic could be the last global pandemic humanity ever faces. That message comes from Bill Gates, who has outlined his proposals for preventing the next fatal virus in his new book How to Prevent the Next Pandemic, which will be released on May 3.
What are his current ideas for limiting the next pandemic before it spreads? We’ll have to wait for the book to obtain his comprehensive advice, but here are the three components of his strategy.
Health systems improvement
According to Inc., Bill Gates says we need better health systems, especially in poorer nations. This makes sense. A quarter of South Africans were fully vaccinated when the Omicron variety first surfaced, and few had booster injections.
Some researchers believe the low vaccination rate allowed the virus to mutate and evolve. Then again, Omicron is gentler than previous Covid versions. Better healthcare systems in developing countries would imply more widespread testing and less chance of unknowingly infecting others.
A global pathogen surveillance system
Gates emphasizes that early detection is the key to preventing the next devastating pandemic. To research the pathogen, no epidemiologists were available when the Ebola virus initially arose. Gates claimed the case reports were late, erroneous, and on paper. Things have improved, but more work is needed. “No matter which country it shows up in, we can apply resources and understand what’s going on very quickly,” he says.
Innovative in detection, treatment, and prevention
Continuing innovation in three important areas is required, according to Gates: diagnostics (i.e. testing), medicines, and vaccinations, among others. As a result of technological advancement, it is possible that vaccines, testing, and treatments may be created and widely circulated far more quickly than was the case this time around. He said that it will be feasible to put an end to catastrophic pandemics as a result of these efforts.