In 2015, Microsoft founder and technology world juggernaut Bill Gates warned the world about how it was unprepared for the next epidemic, predicting the rapid spread of ‘a virus where people feel well enough while they’re infectious that they get on a plane or they go to a market’.
Most people didn’t take this prediction seriously and in 2019, the world watched warily as COVID-19 broke out in Wuhan, China, and rapidly spread around the globe. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) made the announcement the world was under a pandemic. The rest, they say, is history.
While the number of cases and death toll caused by the ongoing pandemic is still on the rise, there is hope on the horizon as vaccines developed by leading pharmaceutical companies are currently being rolled out worldwide. When will the pandemic finally be over? Only time can tell, but Gates recently gave an interview on his thoughts on the possible crises humanity will face in a post-COVID world.
Gates predicts that climate change and bioterrorism will be the next two crises the world will face. “One is climate change. Every year that would be a death toll even greater than we have had in this pandemic,” he explained.
He then added, “Bio-terrorism. Somebody who wants to cause damage could engineer a virus and that means the cost, the chance of running into this is more than the naturally-caused epidemics like the current one.”
Gates also predicted that there will be no way for humans to stop future pandemics, although, on a slightly optimistic note, he said that, “we could increase our preparedness so we never have a death toll anywhere near what we have today.”
While the future is still unwritten, and we are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for the possibilities of the future. As grim as Gates’ predictions are, he was right about the pandemic before, so people should at least consider listening to him. Let’s not make the same mistake twice, right?