People have been predicting pandemics for many years! Look at the data
By now, you probably have seen the 2015 TED Talk in which Bill Gates provided clear warning that we should be prepared for the "next" pandemic. Gates saw it, and he certainly wasn’t the only one, or even the first. If you haven’t seen the talk, stream it above.
Gates’ details the issues, which are as relevant today, concluding with “There's no need to panic ... but we need to get going." But did we? Certainly not.
Michael Osterholm and "Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs" : The next outbreak We're not ready says Bill Gates
Prior to Gates talk, many others foresaw the global threats we are now living through. In 2005, epidemiologist Michael Osterholm wrote an article in the sophisticated magazine stating:
"This is a critical point in our history. Time is running out to prepare for the next pandemic. We must act now with decisiveness and purpose."
The next outbreak We're not ready says Bill Gates
In his later 2017 book -- "Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs" (written by Osterholm and Mark Olshaker) – the authors discussed public health emergencies including antimicrobial resistance, emerging infectious disease, and the threat of an influenza pandemic. In fact, the several year-old book has chapter on coronaviruses titled "SARS and MERS: Harbingers of Things to Come". Other subject include:
- Toxic shock syndrome
- Zika virus epidemic
- Ebola outbreaks
- Influenza bioterrorism
- The antivaccine movement, and
- Antimicrobial resistance.
The book goes on to include nine-point "battle plan for survival" for dealing with each of these threats.
Who else was saw this coming? Innumerable top professionals and organizations!! The next outbreak We're not ready says Bill Gates "
- In December 2019, virologist expert Robert Webster predicted an upcoming flu pandemic in his book “Flu Hunter: Unlocking the secrets of a virus.”
- In 2018, the intelligence community's Worldwide Threat Assessment warned that a "novel strain of a virulent microbe that is easily transmissible between humans continues to be na major threat,"
- Also In 2018, Dr. Luciana Borio of the former White House National Security Council (NSC) director of medical and biodefense preparedness, said: "The threat of pandemic flu is the number one health security concern. Are we ready to respond? I fear the answer is no."
- In 2017, Jeremy Konyndyk -- former director of the USAID's Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (under Obama) wrote a article in Politico that "a major new global health crisis is a question of when, not if." "At some point a highly fatal, highly contagious virus will emerge — like the 1918 'Spanish flu' pandemic, which infected one third of the world's population and killed between 50 and 100 million people." He stated unequivocally that President Trump was unprepared for such a pandemic.
- And In 2006, Massachusetts public health officials published a “Flu Pandemic Preparedness Plan,” where they projected that as many as 2 million people could become ill from ‘a novel respiratory disease.’ They predicted that up to 1 million people in Massachusetts would need to be treated, and that the hospital system would be overwhelmed and up to 20,000 could die.
- In 2005, Gates gave his talk, and since then has been a strong advocate for addressing pandemics, global disease and much much more.
Of course, and now obviously, we could go on and on and on…The next outbreak We're not ready says Bill Gates.
So why did everyone miss this?
As most carpenters will teach you: “measure twice and cut once.” You must prepare for the job with skills (education). You must analyze (and be able to measure what you analyze). And, you must be able to execute (use tools).
- Business Architect, Sandy Lambert, puts it this way as it relates to organizational readiness through an assessment process:
- Cultural assessment – An assessment of the beliefs, attitudes and feelings common to key stakeholder groups and the willingness of those stakeholder groups to accept a change.
- Operational or technical assessment – An operational assessment evaluates the state of business operations to begin using a new solution. Considerations include determining if training is needed and available in a timely manner, and whether new policies and procedures have been defined. A technical assessment determines whether required hardware, infrastructure, tools and technical support personnel are in place.
- Stakeholder impact analysis – Identifies the impact that the solution will have on each stakeholder group or class and verifies that the necessary actions or strategies will be initiated to mitigate or manage those impacts.
- Societal and organizational change requires the people to adjust their strategies, processes, procedures, technologies, and culture.
We are doing our part to effect this change with education.
Please do yours and contribute!