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Bill Gates on the first modern pandemic

After watching the docuseries, Inside Bill’s Brain, I couldn’t help but think that the work he and Melinda are doing isn’t getting nearly enough exposure. Here they are working tirelessly to eradicate global diseases, like polio, and find new ways to combat climate change. And yet relatively little was done after Bill went on stage five years ago and warned us that a global pandemic could strike at any time. Why? Probably because most of us thought it wouldn’t happen to us in the developed world.

But obviously it did happen and along with that Bill has emerged as a level-headed voice of reason. He is calm, serious, and matter of fact about what we know, what we don’t know, and what is going to need to happen for us to make it to the other side of this. In his latest long-form blog post (which is also available for download as a PDF), he calls our current situation “the first modern pandemic”, as well as Pandemic I. That should signal to you that he continues to believe there will be others.

In it, he summarizes the innovation that will need to happen into five categories: treatments, vaccines, testing, contact tracing, and policies for opening up. Among many other things, he gets into the realities (and timelines) of developing an effective vaccine for the world, as well as the shortcomings of the contact tracing tech that many companies, including Apple and Google, are currently building. I would encourage all of you to have a read.

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