In a globalized world, people constantly traverse international borders and bring “microbial hitchhikers” along with them. In this context, even a plague that afflicts a small rural village can become an event of global concern. The Spanish flu outbreak of 1918 offers some illuminating insights on what to expect should a pandemic strike. Alas, as the COVID-19 crisis illustrates, governments are remarkably ill-prepared for a global pandemic. Science journalist Laurie Garrett, speaking at TED in 2007 amid the bird flu scare, advises putting pressure on your political representatives to provide a credible plan.
About the Speaker
Science journalist Laurie Garrett won a Pulitzer Prize for her coverage of the Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is the author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance and Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health.