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Something coming, and it's not so good

As I write this, and after more than two months of rumblings, the World Health Organisation (#WHO) has just categorised the #COVID19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus a Pandemic. Nearly 1500 people have already died in northern Italy. This threat is gravely real.

So what does that mean for national leadership now? It's clear that washing hands cannot hold transmission back, but are some leaders washing their hands of responsibility too?

Herd immunity now seems a dangerous myth, yet countries are still taking very different views of how bad things should get before taking decisive action. Calls for lockdown are resounding across Europe, bringing with it painful tradeoffs in economy, social welfare, personal freedom, public duty and public health.

Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Luxembourg are in full national lockdown, with many more imposing regional restrictions. The US has banned flights from EU (strangely not UK yet). The global population is embroiled in a poorly designed experiment in hygiene protocols, testing and tracing, segmented movement and seemingly arbitrary prohibition.

The only thing that seems to unify the world is a complete lack of preparation for this, despite the prognosis from scientists, film makers and Bill Gates. As the world scrambles to put science on the hook (again), leaders "listen to the science" at the same time being selective on the scientists they chose to hear.

The world has changed, irrevocably, as of now.

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