For our meeting on Wednesday 02 December 2020, our speaker was Bill Gates from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who made a sort of virtual visit to the Club. His theme was “Are We Ready Yet for Another Pandemic?” and his speech was delivered as part of a TED Talks session at Vancouver BC in March 2015.
At that time the talk dealt with Ebola, following the outbreak of that disease in 2014-15 and drew lessons for the next serious pandemic. Back in 2015, Bill Gates was forecasting that the next major outbreak would be a variety of influenza – looking very much like SARS-COV2 – and he had estimates for the cost to the global economy and the number of people that would die as a result of the pandemic.
The four areas of concern he raised were:
- Providing Strong Health Systems in poor countries
- A Corps of Trained Medical Reserves that could step in when required
- Pairing Medical Experts who know what to do with the Military who can deliver
- Advancing Research and Development capacity
At just over 8 minutes, it is a fascinating look into the future that we are living today. (For those that would like to see the video, please search for TED Talks Bill Gates 2015).
The Club also had good news on the evening from Ukraine where Dr Vasily Pashichnyk and Dr Natalya are recovering from COVID-19.