Pasha 114: Lessons from COVID-19 for other global crises

Conversation Media Group, the

By Ozayr Patel,

Interviewed: Ian Goldin

Disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic provide the world with a learning opportunity. It is important that global events like this are used to invoke change for a better world. The pandemic was coming; there have been near misses in this century alone, like SARS, avian influenza and Ebola. But the world hasn’t learnt from them. Governments and citizens must take up the challenge to make real change for a better future.

It’s not only pandemics that are the problem. The world faces huge issues like climate change, poverty, inequality and many others. Governments need to stop looking at the short term and focus rather on long-term solutions. The worry is that people will slip back into the complacency of normality after COVID-19 is dealt with. Going back to the old system of doing things will inevitably lead to more pandemics and problems.

For now, dealing with this pandemic requires dramatic action. It can be done and future pandemics need to be stopped. It requires a real renewal and invigoration of the World Health Organisation.

In today’s episode of Pasha, Ian Goldin, a professor of globalisation and development, looks at how the world must learn to recover from disasters. The remedy can’t just focus on COVID-19, it has to be mindful of other risks and future crises too. It needs to be thought of as a whole and governments and leaders must look at long-term solutions. It is also crucial to cooperate with each other. Goldin is the author of Rescue: From Global Crisis to a Better World.

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