COVID-19 Eye-Opener: Gates Predicted Coronavirus Outbreak Fearing the Worst
The 21st century has been diverting that national and international security and foreign policies towards non-conventional threats. Similarly, today the world’s tables are being debated upon the ways of saving people from global concerns like climate change and pandemic outbreaks. The modern-day genius, Bill Gates predicted a massive pandemic outbreak in the Netflix Exclusive Explained Season 2 – The Next Pandemic (Aired on November 7, 2019) while suggesting recommendations to contain the invisible.
An outbreak of pandemic is the ultimate risk for the survival of organized human life on this planet that can kill millions of people, it will eventually surpass the losses of the past great wars in terms of death tolls and economy.Bill Gates – Explained Season 2 – The Next Pandemic
Yet, none could expect Gates’ prophesy materialize in a matter of months. Coronavirus (COVID-19) threatens with its rapidly spreading invasion cracking city gates of Paris, Milan, London, New York, and God knows which major city not to mention.
Pandemics – The History of The Invisible Preying upon Humans
The phenomena of a pandemic cannot be underestimated. It is a disease that escapes from human control and spreads around the world, killing and destroying human civilization even triggering fear of the extinction of the human race. The severity of a pandemic is evident from many events through the course of history over millenniums. In the 6th century, it killed half the world’s population, half of Europe’s population in the 14th century and 5% of the world’s population in two years during the 20th century.
We need not be utterly disappointed thanks to the evolution of technology and medical sciences. With the help of improved technical resources, diagnostics and vaccines, the presence of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centre of Disease Control (CDC), we had been able to minimize and mitigate the effects and spreads of pandemics for decades, yet the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is here to test humanity as a whole. COVID-19 is something the likes of which we might not have seen for centuries.
What Exactly is a Pandemic?
Pandemic is the outbreak of a disease in the world of naked eyes. The disease could be of any type, diarrhea, influenza, cough, sneezing or any type of allergy. It emerges when microbes struggle to hijack the cells in the human body as they replicate on their own. So, therefore, today they are all around us, on us and in us. A pandemic can fail the immune system of a human body that is designed to kill bacteria and viruses but being overwhelmed by the viruses the immune system fails to fight back, once infected, death is almost certain.
A pandemic is essentially the spread of either a virus or a bacterium. Dr.Peter Deszack, a disease ecologist, explains the vulnerability of the viruses that have the supreme capability to jump from one specie onto another. We’ve already witnessed the curse of Ebola virus that came from bat, bird and swine flu from bird and swine, and several other diseases by mosquitoes. When these viruses transform into the human body they make a new virus called Zoonotic virus. It is an extremely dangerous virus that can evade the response of the immune system.
H1N1 – The 1918 Kansas Farm
Kansas 1918, the pandemic, according to the experts could have been started when an infected human and infected bird met the same pig. The bird had bird flu and the human had seasonal flu. The two viruses could team up after infecting the pig ending up creating a notorious zoonotic virus the world would know as the H1N1. Another factor of consideration in this pandemic was that it was airborne, meaning that the virus remains suspended in the air before infecting whoever inhaled it. The virus killed around 50 to 100 million people around the world, something humanity would call God’s wrath.
Diseases X Explained Season 2 – The Next Pandemic (Netflix Exclusive)
The thing about the next pandemic is that we don’t know when it will happen but we are almost certain of its occurrence sooner or later.
There are millions of possible viruses and the scientist could identify only 30000 of lethal viruses and no one knows which one of the unknowns is ready to strike next.Dr. Peter Deszack
These are the Diseases X – the greatest risks and we are so not prepared for any of them because of no vaccines or drugs in hand.
Hong Kong SARS Emergency
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), that was disease X before it surfaced in southern China in 2002. The spread mainly in Hong Kong compelled the world and institutes like WHO and CDC to declare an international emergency. Although it quickly came under control due to timely responses by governments and researchers. But SARS showed how far the virus could spread in our modern world and the possible impact of the next pandemic. It took SARS virus weeks to spread but in this highly globalized world with borderless structure and with a highly mobilized population, the next pandemic can spread in days across the whole world with an ever-increasing acceleration.
What Contributed to Pandemic Outbreaks in the Past?
During a pandemic outbreak, travelling of humans catalyzed the spread. In the case of the 1918 pandemic, it was the human technology that helped the pandemic to spread across the world mainly during the First World War when forces were shipped from one place to another in a contagious environment. It ultimately led to the death of 5% of the world’s population.
The Black Death arrived in Europe through ships in the 14th century spreading two kinds of pandemics, i.e. Bubonic plague and Pneumonic plague with a death rate of nearly 100%. And there was smallpox that was less contagious but spread effectively till the 20th century, scoring 30% of deaths due to some atypical traveling patterns.
How to Prevent a Pandemic?
1. Studying the Usual Suspects
In the Netflix Exclusive, Explained Season 2 – The Next Pandemic, the journalist Merry Mackens refers to Mother Nature as a bioterrorist. Based on the sudden outbreaks triggered in nature, it is very difficult to gain control over the next pandemic, whatever it turns out to be. The utmost we could do is to dig in deeper into the main source of such virus. In the case of SARS 2002, scientists believed that the SARS pandemic was caused by viruses inflected by animals like snakes and bats so to be prepared for the next pandemic, they kept visiting these creatures in the wild to study them closely. Sorry to say, but it seems to be not enough because snakes and bats are the strong candidates to be entitled as the original sources of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
2. Collation Epicentre Preparedness Innovation (CEPI)
Collation Epicentre Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) was established in 2017. CEPI is fighting against time to develop a vaccine for disease X. Since it is difficult to discover the exact sources of the virus owing to the complex nature of the virus that is yet to surface. But there always is hope as long as the research goes on at CEPI.
Normal vaccines are injected through proteins so that they could identify and kill the bacteria and viruses. For SARS and COVID-19, the synthesis of proteins commercially is an expensive and tiring process. But CEPI is trying to build a genetic material that allows the scientist to customize the protein orientation in the human body. In other words, the body shall customize the molecules of this protein to cope with any virus. Once they figure out how to induce that in the human body, they can be able to quickly overcome the next pandemic.
3. Contemporary Technology
The Royal Journal 2014 statistics signify that despite all discoveries we made in the past to at least lessen the pandemic effects, the outbreaks seem to be spreading mainly the zoonotic viruses. As it is difficult to predict the source of the next pandemic and even difficult to come up with a vaccine in time during the pandemic, it takes from 4 to 5 years to come up with a reliable cure.
Bill Gates encourages the utilization of contemporary smart technology in an attempt to reduce the number of causalities amidst the next pandemic. The best approach is to spread awareness even before the next pandemic unearths. The modern smart gadgets should help people to protect themselves against the viral breakout at least for as long as it takes researchers to find the cure. This is a massive undertaking and it requires governments to step forward.
4. Medical Science Needs More Funds
Scientists are in a race against time to develop a universal influenza vaccine so effective that its single shot could immunize a person from any kind of flu strains for life. But don’t forget that it is still a long and rough journey ahead before such a dream materializes. The outbreak of recent COVID-19 has now triggered an alarm and the governments controlling the most powerful economies must take the responsibility to divert more funding to medical sciences.
Stay Home, Stay Safe!
Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, every single individual must feel the responsibility of playing a positive role. Social distancing is the need of the hour and we must follow the guidelines from the experts. Let us not be irresponsible because it will speed up the COVID-19 spread that will put immense pressure on the experts trying their best to come up with an effective cure. The more we distance ourselves from others the slower will be the spread of the Coronavirus and it will allow the doctors and medical researchers to save more lives. We have survived in the past and we will live to see the bright days but let us not darken the days we are living through.