5 Cases for Hope in 2022: #1 Pandemic Response

This is the 1st of a series of 5 posts on “5 Cases for Hope in 2022” – see https://www.linkedin.com/company/2257207

One of our clients recently told us that the continued risk of COVID-19 entering 2022 feels like that boyfriend you broke up with but just keeps coming back! Despite the risk and gloom that the pandemic continues to cast, it is worth reflecting on the significant advances we have made in the past year through our global response efforts.

A Demonstration of Rapid, Global Response to Peacetime Crisis

In a matter of months, scientists, pharmaceutical companies, governments, and world leaders led a coordinated effort to administer at least one dose of a vaccine to over 4 billion people, equal to about 60% of the world population[1].  The complex response to the pandemic required immediate action, collaboration, and innovative ideas to get us where we are today. We have a long way to go, especially in reaching those in developing nations, but the speed and cooperation of vaccine development and deployment needs to be appreciated as a sign of what we can do together when needed.

Lessons Learned & Lives Saved

So many of our families have experienced serious illness or death that it is hard for us to think about how much worse this could have been. In the US, for example, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy noted that, “we have saved more than a million lives because of vaccination efforts (in 2021) alone.” He added, “I know it may not always feel like the progress is enough. But we’ve also gotten tools and developed tools to learn to live our lives, to gather with family and friends.”  (Source: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/26/murthy-covid-vaccines-children-526151) Learning to apply the technology, knowledge and habits we have developed during the pandemic can help us minimize and better respond to the risk of future, common public health risks.

Mobilizing Finance to Fight Common Crisis

Like the pandemic, addressing the climate crisis requires an urgent, integrated approach and massive financing to solve rising global temperatures. In her famous COP-26 speech, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley stated regarding the climate crisis, “there is a sword that can cut down this gordian knot, and it has been wielded before.”[2] Mottley called for $500 billion SDRs annually to finance the transition to sustainable energy, food consumption, and transportation, noting that the central banks of the wealthiest countries engaged $9 trillion to fight the global pandemic in the past 6 months, and therefore we should employ similar finance strategies for the climate crisis.

We’ve been ravaged and rightly humbled by this pandemic. But we have equal right to be hopeful that the speed and cooperation of our response, the lessons we have learned and the will that has been demonstrated to mobilize global capital to fight a common crisis will serve us well as we face common crises ahead.


[1] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/world/covid-vaccinations-tracker.html

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN6THYZ4ngM

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