2020 Vision: Pandemic, Depression and Distrust
The US is facing a very difficult period. The combination of a pandemic that has created a depression and now race riots. A perfect storm that raises the question of whether we can survive a level of pain and sacrifice not seen in 75 years. And serious permanent damage to what has been built over 300 years.
Democracy itself is challenged. Lawlessness in streets. No faith in government and media institution. Bankrupt and frayed social systems. A very dark and painful period may lie ahead. How quickly things change.
At a time when we need unity to survive it appears that unity is impossible. Our president is not a unifier and seems unable to play this role. Nor can his political opposition which is committed to his demise at any cost. It is an intractable problem.
There is no unifying entity for the virus challenge. Other entities that should play this role (World Health Organization and CDC) are not structured for such and have been assigned much of the blame. There is no think tank or media entity focused purely on this subject with credibility and independence. The closest would be educational institutions, but they too are deep in bureaucracy and politics to take a lead. And if so, which one would it be? How would the others feel?
In this situation the right type of independent non-political organization could emerge to provide the unifying effort. With the pandemic as its sole focus and laser concentration on finding what is true as the basis for the right policy would add value. As would its capacity to find and accelerate scientific advances to get to solutions.
The Virus Project can do this. It has laid the groundwork. It has a strategy. The smartest and most informed on the subject believe that it can meet this critical unmet need.
It will quietly focus on finding what it true such that policy is made based on facts and science and data irrespective of politics. It will find and support technologies and science to help the world deal with this problem.
The Virus Project can become the trusted source guidance on the coronavirus replacing the WHO and CDC whose brands have been damaged by politics and the broad distrust of governmental institutions.
The Virus Project is unencumbered by politics because it has no politics. its only pursuit will be to find what is true and will be trusted because of this.
The power of social media will enable the Virus Project to reach millions very quickly. In the absence of alternatives, it can fill critical need to help people survive and prosper in a post-covid economy. And give them something to believe in during a period where all existing institutions are questioned.