In the following entry, I’ll elaborate my political proposal to prevent future viruses from causing a pandemic (PPN) and, along with it, a facility that contains new and old viruses in a strictly controlled environment and is stronlgy funded to develop cures and treatments for diseases of various kinds (e.g. Malaria).
The Pandemic Prevention Net
Without any further ado, let’s go straight to my first proposal: the PPN.
As the name implies, the system I have in mind covers the globe like a net. This „net“ is a transnational network of government health agencies, scientists in the field of medicine, biology and other fields related to it, as well as the private sector to some extent.
For decades now, humanity has exploited the resources of Earth more and more. Through that, as well as tourism in exotic regions, humans came more often into contact with exotic animals. Consequently, they are exposed to the viruses that are carried by the animals too.
SARS-Cov-2 (the virus) originated very likely from bats and jumped to another animal at some point, around late-2019 the first cases of Covid-19 (the disease) appeared in Wuhan.
The following infographic of the Widlife Conservation Society (WCS) may give a better understanding about the transitioning of zoonotic diseases:
Back on track: What is the goal of the Pandemic Prevention Net?
As the name already implies, the main focus is on preventing another pandemic from occurring. This requires close observation and surveillance of risk areas (such as wet markets). Known viruses also need to be monitored to detect dangerous mutations.
In order to quickly react, the world – and each country – is divided into sectors, as the following image shows:
Here the PPN serves as an extension of the WHO, however, it consists of the health agencies of each country and scientists. A separate connection network that makes constant contact possible is to be established. For it to function seamlessly, politics should ideally be not involved at all. Only in case of a newly detected disease or a virus with the potential of causing a pandemic, politicans are informed to quickly react and for outsiders to avoid the area.
In case of an outbreak the sector is coloured red (high-risk), cyan (mediocre-risk) or yellow (low-risk). A computer program automatically sends notifications to scientists and health agencies around the world. Same thing happens if a new virus/bacterium is discovered.
Considering the economic, psychological and social (e.g. unrest) costs a pandemic can cause, it is worth to build it up. The idea is still in its baby shoes, of course.
The Pandemic Prevention Net is only part of the solution. Humanity needs to protect animals and their habitats, if necessary restore them to the furthest extent possible. Regarding wet markets, these must be either be strictly regulated and the laws enforced (countries that fail to do so either need more resources (e.g. third-world) or pressure needs to be applied) or banned in their entirety. Protection, Restoration and Preservation are key.
Center for Disease Containment, Control and Cure (CDCCC)
The task to contain new diseases or old diseases that mutated goes to the CDCCC. Naturally, it is part of the PPN and its executive arm. Units with equipment are sent out to capture infected animals (if possible) and quarantine infected humans.
Each CDCCC contains a laboratory (mostly used for the observation – PPN, but also containment of viruses and bacteriums), a hospital (mainly in poorer countries those have to be set-up to deliver quality healthcare), as well as the necessary equipment (from hygiene goods like masks and ventilators to hazmat suits). Pharmaceutical companies stay in touch with the CDCCC, non-discriminatory policies are the guideline to avoid any company from being preferably treated. The funding of a hospital should always align with the focus on the patients – not the profitability.
Another task of the CDCCC is to find cures known viruses like Malaria. Scientists already work on it, and increasing the funding may make it quicker available – as we have seen with the still-ongoing Covid-19 vaccines. Perhaps, a special international government fond is established to fund the researchers.
Furthermore, the whole system requires all countries to be transparent when it comes to disease protection and prevention. The independence from politics is not a suggestion, it is a necessity. As it was – and still is – observable in the Covid-19 pandemic, selfish political decisions lead to mass death and suffering. That’s why the connection network between health agencies and scientists is independent too.
Depending on existing infrastructure, some parts need to be either reformed or extended.
As it is with many of my ideas, it is still in development and input from outside is always welcome. Keep the criticism constructive and the dialogue polite. Have a nice day!