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WEF: COVID-19 and geopolitics – 5 lessons from past pandemics

COVID-19 and geopolitics – 5 lessons from past pandemics
Harry Kretchmer Senior Writer, Formative Content via PR Channel 
  • COVID-19 is the latest in a long series of pandemics that have shaped the course of history and hold lessons for today.
  • The 1918-19 Spanish flu is thought to have led to increased global cooperation around pandemic preparedness.
  • The epidemic also led to an expanded role of the state in healthcare, which COVID-19 has also triggered.
  • The Black Death of 1347-51 is thought to have stimulated major economic and technological changes.
  • Pandemics throughout history show that the poorest suffer the most.

Did yellow fever change the course of US history? Would global cooperation on diseases exist today without the flu pandemic of 1918-20? Will COVID-19 reorder our world too?

While today’s pandemic is unique and the future is uncertain, the outbreaks of the past suggest ways we can respond now to achieve better outcomes tomorrow.

With the geopolitical impacts of COVID-19 high on this year’s Davos Agenda, here are five key points from the pandemics of history today’s decision makers could learn from.

1. Increased global health cooperation

Between 1918-19, a deadly influenza epidemic known as “Spanish flu” swept the globe, infecting an estimated half a billion people. Around 50 million are thought to have died. Yet out of this tragedy emerged institutions that have supported us in this latest onslaught. Read full Article

About The World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does. More/...

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