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How to Prevent the Next Pandemic

by Bill Gates

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872307,665 (4.14)None
"The COVID-19 pandemic isn't over. But even as governments around the world try to get it under control, they're also starting to talk about what happens next. How can we prevent another pandemic from killing millions of people and devastating the global economy? Can we even hope to accomplish this? Bill Gates believes the answer is yes, and he has written a largely upbeat book that lays out clearly and convincingly what the world should learn from COVID-19, explains the science of fighting pandemics, and suggests what all of us can do to help prevent another one. Given the worldwide success of How to Avoid a Climate Disaster (which debuted at #1 on the New York Times best seller list), Gates is more respected than ever for his approach to solving the world's biggest challenges"--… (more)
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Pandemics were on global leaders’ agendas before 2020, but since no global catastrophe happened since 1918, most did not prioritize these concerns. I hope that will not happen as much going forward. Preventative work has gained a new life. Bill Gates, co-founder of both Microsoft and the philanthropic Gates Foundation, uses his privileged, bird’s-eye view to organize what work can be done to avoid the “next pandemic.” Though humanity has moved onto other challenges, doing preparatory work can save future effort, financial loss, and ultimately human lives.

The source of this material should be noted. Gates is not a healthcare professional and holds no advanced degrees in the life sciences. However, as one of the world’s richest people, he has many smart friends who are at the top of their fields. Therefore, combined with his keen mind and willingness to share wealth, he is able to see the landscape better than almost anyone else. Though details might be quibbled with, curious readers can benefit from this book’s unique, broad outlay.

A technologist at heart, Gates covers diverse topics like medicines, vaccines, vaccine hesitancy, building global healthcare systems, and innovations. His words on these subjects never represent a deep, definitive dive, but they illustrate the general approach necessary for success the next time around. For a high-level treatment, he definitely “geeks out” in scientific and technological details. His foundation, co-founded with his ex-wife Melinda, puts money where his mouth is, so to speak, but all of these aims are broader than any one organization, government, or other financier.

Many parties can benefit from a read… especially before the COVID pandemic fades into distant memory. Economists, technologists (especially biotechnologists), social leaders, healthcare researchers, and public/global health advocates will benefit most from reading this work. Though relatively unpopular with Americans, preventative medicine can yield the most financial and health benefits, more than effective treatments and reactions to events. It would be smart to consider these things ahead of time – and incorporate them in how we live and vote. ( )
  scottjpearson | Apr 4, 2023 |
I have no doubt that everything in this book regarding pandemic prevention is a good idea. But Gates completely ignores the fact that all the science in the universe will be useless if another person like Trump is president of the US (or other countries) during the next pandemic. Technology may be the tool, but that tool will be ineffective without political will.

I also found completely disingenuous the plug for Facebook's Meta at the end of the book. How can you even bring up Facebook without acknowledging that the spread of Covid misinformation (propagated by Facebook, Twitter, and other social media) has been, and continues to be, one of the reasons people don't mask, get vaccinated, or support public health measures to prevent the spread of infection?

I'm also totally done with people who have no background in education telling educators how to teach. You wouldn't know it from the space in this book that Gates spends talking about education, but for over 10 years we've been using scaffolding learning, clickers to instantaneously gauge comprehension during class time, and asynchronous online learning tools for assessment that gives students instant feedback and hints. ( )
  lemontwist | Oct 17, 2022 |
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... This handbook isn't as successful as Gates's climate guide, but it is welcome. And it couldn't be more timely, with thousands still dying daily. As he writes, "once covid is no longer an acute threat, don't forget about what it has done".
added by Cynfelyn | editNew Scientist, Adam Vaughan (May 7, 2022)
 
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"The COVID-19 pandemic isn't over. But even as governments around the world try to get it under control, they're also starting to talk about what happens next. How can we prevent another pandemic from killing millions of people and devastating the global economy? Can we even hope to accomplish this? Bill Gates believes the answer is yes, and he has written a largely upbeat book that lays out clearly and convincingly what the world should learn from COVID-19, explains the science of fighting pandemics, and suggests what all of us can do to help prevent another one. Given the worldwide success of How to Avoid a Climate Disaster (which debuted at #1 on the New York Times best seller list), Gates is more respected than ever for his approach to solving the world's biggest challenges"--

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