Preparing for the next Pandemic

System lessons possible solutions and why this is a perfect time to do so.

The big picture

The shaded area is the unmet demand which can translate into real deaths, loss of income and other painful disruptions, the day to day demand is flat although in real life its variable and has a slant, same for the system capacity, this is also a generalization, each country has a different curve and some have unmet demand from the start.
I am human and get that pointing fingers is a very cathartic thing, let's have a small taste:“China failed to rein on animal markets even though it is inhumane and dangerous, they misreported the numbers giving the rest of the world bad information to prepare, The WHO was slow and late to declare a pandemic, leaders response has been abysmal and it's painfully clear some are not qualified for the job, the masses are not blameless, celebrities are tone deaf, there's been racism, hoarding and willfully spreading of the virus, people can't stay at home and some think this is a joke, hoax or conspiracy, they should be fired, jailed, impeached and ridiculed."We could keep going down this path, name names and raise fists, but what does this accomplish ? Probably nothing, it is also worth noting that for all the awful things this crisis has shown us, there is a lot to admire (more on this later).

“Everything we do before a pandemic will seem alarmist. Everything we do after a pandemic will seem inadequate.” Michael O. Leavitt, 2007

Our Institutions failed us.

In other words if you knew with 100% certainty it would rain you would perceive the cost of buying an umbrella as reasonable, there is nuance of course, if you knew with 20% certainty that your kitchen will catch fire, the cost of an expensive fire extinguisher might steel feel reasonable, this is worst than a kitchen fire.
The media it should be noted is doing a great job during the actual pandemic, but this is probably due to the “If it bleeds it leads" mantra of the news, in comparison coverage and information before the pandemic is almost nonexistent because well, it's boring. 

Our Economy failed us.

These are the sort of nagging questions a 7yr old asks all day, but they do cut to the heart of the matter.
A storm is coming and your kitchen catches fire, suddenly people show up and take away the fire extinguishers and to your horror start setting the rest of your house on fire, they even borrow lighters since the system allows them to do controlled burns in normal times as well as extraordinary times and they make a lot of money in the process, the storm is 10 times worse as a result.
Achieving an ideal market might takes us centuries, but a good starting point is realizing where we are, I am also being overly optimistic about the markets we want, maybe a flat market during a crisis is the best we can get.

Our supply chain failed us.

There’s a hidden opportunity here in that once you have a local production chain you can then export things and become even more self sufficient.
Did timing-cycles acerbated the crisis or were they the cause ?A bit of both actually ( sorry no neat answers here); an exuberant market & global economy, populist unqualified governments and institutions seemed to have peaked just as this crisis emerged, as such they are both the cause and magnifying factor, a perfect storm if you will.

Silver bullets



Early detection & Isolation

Meta Testing

A common tread with these silver bullets is that they require a global concerted effort and at first glance no one is responsible even though we all share the negative results of not implementing them. Let's say we ask each country for a contribution to a global vaccine fund, a poor or populist country might see this as too taxing or encroaching  ( sometimes justified) yet it will be the hardest hit and the one that could benefit the most of such initiatives.The solution to this problem I think is an opportunity for those countries seeking leadership positions, the equivalent of raising ones hand and saying I'll start this movement or I'll cover for this person.


You probably don't need to become a bushman or build a nuclear shelter in your basement, prepping for 2 weeks, having a plan for 3 months and 1 yr will get you far, see links section below.


Note that if something brings you joy or happiness you should spend your money on that, that is necessary...but you should cut costs elsewhere.



Some time ago I turned down a 6 figure job because it was a startup that required 60+ weekly hours which left me no time to work on my own projects. I’ve always tried to do side hustles, but the thing no one tells you is that you have to try about 100 to have one that works and this takes time, so even though my friends and family (and sometimes myself) thought I was crazy leaving a steady good paying job, I used that time to explore and try things, most failed but a few of those are currently helping me through these difficult times even while other supposedly secure ones have dried up.


Technology has made things easier.

The human spirit.

Sources & Links :

Meadows, Donella H., and Diana Wright. Thinking in Systems: a Primer. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2015.
Reinhart, Carmen M., and Kenneth S. Rogoff. This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly. Princeton University Press, 2011.
Dalio, Ray. Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises. Bridegweater, 2018.

AI, Software Developer, Designer :

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store