Where are the masks?

The lack of systemic preparedness to a crisis event like this virus keeps me awake at night. ‬The time lost in indecision, the unclear advice on what to do, the mixed messaging, the lack of systemic preparedness.

‪Flu pandemic experts have been warning of this event for years. And there’s every chance it could happen again. In fact, we know the rate of spread of infectious diseases is predicted to increase with climate change.

There are many factors that can be evoked to explain why these agents of disease are appearing or re-emerging, the most obvious being increased population density (i.e. of humans, other animals, plants, arthropods), increased transportation of animals, plants and other commercial goods by ship, increased human movement, deforestation and afforestation, urbanization, irrigation projects, and increased connectivity and travel.

There was me thinking that there were people whose job it was to plan for different scenarios ahead of time. ‬

It’s not impossible to imagine a repeat of this virus but with the deadliness of Ebola. Either due to natural selection and the increased rate of evolution that is facilitated by fast transmission between vectors, close proximity of humans and livestock/animal trade, and spread of vectors into larger areas due to change in climate.

‪The NHS running out of masks. Think about that.

“We will be out of PPE in two weeks with no supplies on the horizon.”

Where are the masks?

‪Any infectious disease pandemic that we will face will need these masks.‬

‪Then there’s a crisis, and the narrative I am hearing is that people on the ground need to organise to donate or ship masks to our local hospitals. People are getting shamed that they bought their own masks at the start of the crisis, and being told that they ‘should have left those masks for those who need them most’. At the same time, there’s lack of any form of education about this, and what to do in such a crisis?

‪Where are the masks?

Why is there not a national stockpile?

Where are the numbers, the models, the contingency plans for different scenarios?

Why are we not prepared?

Why are we not prepared for climate change?

I’m a young person and I want answers to these questions.

Our governments are woefully unprepared for long-term thinking. And unwilling to put resources where it actually matters.

Our governments are also woefully unprepared for large-scale systemic thinking. These kind of large scale crises can only be considered with a systemic approach. The large scale interdependencies and complexities of our current societal organisation requires the sharp edge of the best of the world’s systemic thinking.

I think this virus just irreversibly changed the sort of people we will vote into government.

Move out the way, this is serious now.

We are being led to a dead end.

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Phoebe Tickell — Catalyzing transformative innovation in the face of converging crises, advising on complexity approaches, systems design, regenerative leadership, and education for regenerative development.



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Phoebe Tickell

Phoebe Tickell

Cares about the common good. Building capacity for deep systems change. Complexity & ecosystems obsessive. Experiments for everything. 10 yrs #systemsthinking.