Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates can forecast the future. Or at least, that’s what it feels like, considering that he delivered a speech at 2015, TED Talk during which he underlined how microbes will be the next great tragedy to hit mankind, and not a nuclear war. In addition, he claimed that we will be significantly underprepared for it once this infectious tragedy reached communities across the globe. Unfortunately, he was right.
Mark Zuckerberg: “THIS TIME NOT WAR, BUT MICROBES!”
He also said that, in the next few decades, if anything kills more than 10 million people, it is likely to be a highly contagious virus rather than a war, not bombs, but microbes.
What’s interesting is that Gates pointed out that we have spent a great amount of money on warfare worldwide and how to deal with the situation if a war were to break out. Nevertheless, we have spent relatively little in the event that an outbreak could break out.
When Gates said, “We’re not ready for the next epidemic, his daring declaration was right on target.
Unfortunately for us, as Gates points out, the world’s nations have no squads of epidemiologists able to reach the ground running in their tens of thousands to save the people of the Planet. We currently have very little support if an outbreak were to break out, relative to the world’s armies that are at-the-ready to mobilize at any given moment in the event of war against other humans.
This sounds all too real as we witness the coronavirus spread at lightning-fast pace around the world, infecting hundreds of thousands of people around the world following its breakout at the end of December 2019.
While Gates said how worried we should be, he also pointed out the advancement that exists that will assist us in our war against such outbreaks, as we currently are. Advances in science and technology, for example, have helped spread the news widely and globally. In order to look at diseases and develop medications and vaccines to combat them, developments in genetics can also drastically improve the turnaround period.
Gates indicated that how we plan for war can be likened to a public health crisis. He said a global warning and response system should be in operation, something that is still not possible today. In thinking about the budget to have adequate health services in operation, science and technologies, and ready-to-go response teams, Gates thought it would be very modest in fact. If the outbreak were to break out and then contend with the fiscal ramifications as it pans out, even more so.
When we watch the world scramble to keep a grip on the coronavirus pandemic, it’s disheartening to see just how right Gates was back in 2015. That said, as Gates said, the community is working together to focus on the latest pandemic with current developments in technology and medicine, and enormous numbers of sick individuals are currently healing from the outbreak, as well as health services coming closer and closer to discovering a vaccine.
Recently, the Microsoft leader chatted over a video call with Derek Muller, who runs the famous YouTube channel Veritasium, and said he didn’t feel any good about his prophecy.
Before adding, “Could I have been more persuasive?” Gate says, “There’s no good feeling that comes with something like this: ‘I told you so’.”
Muller then questions Gates about how he was so certain half a decade ago about something like a pandemic.
Gates responds, there are a variety of respiratory viruses and one will come along from time to time. Respiratory infections are really frightening and when you are contagious, you’re always wandering around on a plane, a bus. Unlike certain other infections like Ebola, as the viral load infects other individuals, you are usually in a sickbed.
Muller then asks Gates to shed light on the next tragedy for which humans are not informed.
Climate change is one. Gates answers every year there will be a far bigger death count than we’ve seen in this pandemic before adding the second tragedy that he thinks people don’t want to talk about. “Bio-terrorism.” Anyone who wishes to cause harm might produce a virus, and that means the cost, the likelihood to run into this is higher than the epidemics that are normally triggered like the present one. Will humanity be able to escape the next pandemic, with the planet still dealing with an ongoing pandemic? According to Gates, the response is NO. The Microsoft boss says there will be more pandemics.
He’s still concerned about vaccinations for COVID-19, false news, internet disinformation.