Life beyond COVID-19

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COVID-19 has been a broadly disruptive tragedy, aggravated by the often slow response of governments and societies around the world. We were not prepared, and we are paying a heavy price. A price that statistics alone, as telling as they are, can not measure. My heart is with humanity, as we struggle—not always positively—to respond and cope.

But there will be life after COVID-19. What that life will be, depends on what we are able to collectively envision and implement.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published a manifesto for a healthy recovery from COVID-19 that offers a powerful vision, anchored on six common sense prescriptions:

  1. Protect and preserve the source of human health: Nature.
  2. Invest in essential services, from water and sanitation to clean energy in healthcare facilities.
  3. Ensure a quick healthy energy transition.
  4. Promote healthy, sustainable food systems.
  5. Build healthy, livable cities.
  6. Stop using taxpayers money to fund pollution.

Will we have the foresight, will and drive to adopt, enhance and implement this type of transformative vision? Can we build the bold yet realistic and pragmatic consensus that is required? Are we willing to re-align our personal, political, and policy priorities to achieve it?

Our grandkids, and theirs, need and deserve a clear positive answer to these non-trivial questions.

— Antonio Baptista

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