The upgrades we can make today to fight tomorrow’s pandemics.
What could be worse than an illness that has killed at least 6 million people worldwide and nearly 1 million in the US alone, if not far more? What could be harder to take than two years without a match economic and social upheaval? The next pandemic.
The ingredients for an even more devastating pandemic are already in place. The rate of viral spillovers from animals to humans have increasedeven as advances in new biotechnological tools raise the specter of man-made pandemics deadlier than anything nature can produce.
Perhaps worst of all, the millions of Covid-19 deaths have somehow not been enough to convince Congress to fully fund the programs needed to prepare for the next pandemic. At best the government could soon approve a slimmed-down package specifically focused on Covid-19.
That is frighteningly short-sighted. More than every other single existential threatEither natural or anthropogenic, a contagious and deadly infectious disease pandemic has the potential to truly derail humanity’s present — and future.
But it is within our power to mitigate or even prevent the coming biological catastrophes. Over the next week we will be posting stories explaining how we can bolster our pandemic defenses for speed and resilience. From trying to keep peace with vaccines and antivirals before the next outbreak, to creating a reserve health corps to man the medical frontline, to preparing for the worst by simulating future disasters, these are the pandemic upgrades we can make today to live tomorrow to rescue.
Scientists have an accurate idea of what types of viruses could cause an outbreak. We can now fund vaccines and treatments for them. —Dylan Matthews
Find the next pandemic virus before it finds us
The tricky task of finding, sequencing and sharing viruses around the world. —Umair Irfan
Why experts fear a man-made pandemic – and what we can do to stop it (coming April 5)
As biology gets better, biosecurity becomes more difficult. Here’s what the world can do to prepare. —Kelsey Piper
How to Test and Trace a Virus We Haven’t Discovered Yet (Coming April 6th)
We have the technology to ensure the next outbreak doesn’t become another Covid-19. —Dylan Matthews
How Sewage Can Warn Us of the Next Pandemic (Coming April 6)
The specifics of wastewater monitoring. —Muiz Akhtar
America Needs More Doctors and Nurses To Survive Next Pandemic (Coming April 7th)
Staff shortages paralyzed America’s response to Covid-19. This can’t happen again. —Dylan Scott
How to Future-Proof Your Life Against Pandemics and Other Threats (Out April 8)
You can prime your brain for the next big disaster, biological or otherwise. A futurist explains how. —Signal Samuel
Can we 3D print a better face mask? (coming April 8th)
How 3D printing can help alleviate PPE supply shortages in future pandemics. – Miranda Dixon-Luinenburg
https://www.vox.com/23001426/pandemic-proof Pandemic Safe