In 2015, when Bill Gates warned us about a possible global pandemic occurring in the future, which could kill above 10 million people, he predicted that it would not be because of a nuclear war but it would come in the form of a deadly virus. He warned us that we are not prepared enough to face the pandemic head-on and our unpreparedness will result into very adverse outcomes.
Looking back at it, he was right wasn’t he. We remained unprepared ignoring the warnings and then coronavirus hit us, and it hit us so bad that even developed countries like China, Italy, USA and UK took a serious blow and the death toll is still increasing. Vaccines are being developed but we still have a long way to go.
And while we are still recovering, we are facing the danger of two more pandemics which are- Bio-terrorism and Climate change. In his recent interview, Bill Gates talked about these issues, he warned about increasing death toll in future due to changing climate and spread of biological weapons in form of infectious bacteria and viruses with the intention to cause damage globally. Many physical impacts of climate change are already visible, including extreme weather events, glacier retreat, increase in level of sea water, drought and wildfires etc. And he also suggested us the ways in which we could better prepare ourselves to fight effectively against these future pandemics, they are-
- Field based activity- Appointing a team of epidemiologists so that they could go to the affected locations and collect data about the problems and difficulties they are facing because vaccine research begins only after a careful assessment of public health priorities. Work conducted in the basic research laboratory forms the scientific foundation for all subsequent investigation.
- R&D activity- Investing more in the Research and development for the solutions to the pandemics, like in case of an infectious virus developing mRNA vaccines and developing warning systems using technology.
- Contact Tracing- Contact tracers use clear protocols to notify, interview, and advise close contacts to patients with confirmed or probable infections . Jurisdictions can use the following steps and considerations as a framework when developing a protocol for the tracing of close contacts.
To prevent climate change we have to take some important steps ourselves to save our environment and sustain our resources by-
- Planting more trees & Stop deforestation
- Using resources like water and fuels responsibly
- Using energy efficiently and minimizing wastage
- Using natural resources like solar power to generate electricity.
- Recycling and using renewable resources
- Informing and educating others of these dangers and ways to fight against it