BILL GATES warned against a "highly infectious virus" "that could kill 30 million people" in his 2015 TEDx talk - and his point about the horrific Spanish flu bears chilling comparisons to the Coronavirus outbreak. Yes, we are talking about this now, as this video is making rounds on the internet and across our social media channels. People are labeling it legitly "I told you so" by Bill Gates. In the video, the co-founder of Microsoft is speaking at a TedTalk event in 2015 after the world avoided a global outbreak of Ebola the previous year. Bill Gates warned that the international community of scientists were “not ready for the next epidemic,” adding that they were lucky but the next outbreak could be 1000 times worse. 5 years later his worst fears could be coming true. His words seem prophetic:: “When I was a kid, the disaster we worried about most was a nuclear war. That's why we had a barrel in our basement filled with cans of food and water. Today the greatest risk of global catastrophe doesn't look like this, if anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it's most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Now, part of the reason for this is that we've invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents, but we've actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. Next time, we might not be so lucky, you can have a virus where people feel well enough while they're infectious that they get on a plane or they go to a market.”
Other than this, It is very important to evaluate the role of media. Wisdom is required when providing accurate information. Since the last 1 month, the momentum in social media has largely been misinformation about Coronavirus that seems to latch on. Misinformation is actually scarier than the virus itself. Perspective must include all relevant factors when disseminating information that will cause panic or imbue unwarranted complacency. The media's very critical responsibility is to provide well-balanced facts where the governments of the world might be lacking. We cannot stress the importance of this responsibility enough when it comes to keeping the public assured of effective decision making to avoid unnecessary fears. We wonder how many more of these outbreaks we will have to experience to finally get it right. It’s a shame that global economies only go through such an overhaul when lives are at stake. On the other hand, needless to say, this worldwide epidemic will revolutionize the way we do things, how we live, what we eat and how we work, going forward.
Our thoughts and prayers for those impacted by Coronavirus, those instructed to quarantine themselves, those who are immunocompromised, those whose family members must quarantine: these people may be forced to choose between keeping the lights on or eating food. No one should end up homeless due to Coronavirus. No one should have their water or lights cutoff. No one should be forced to go into debt because they had the bad luck to get hit with this serious bad disease. Repercussions are bound to be there post-Coronavirus. Global economies are down and businesses will suffer. We might also see layoffs and similar outcomes. We can all do our bit to help by easing fear and not stroking it. By practicing understanding and not fuelling condemnation for those who are suffering because of it in many ways.. be it direct or indirect.
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