A Plan for Anti-Viral Victory

Sensing despair in the moment, I outlined a path to recovery. Originally on Twitter . . . .

A PLAN for ANTI-VIRAL VICTORY — Leveraging information to overcome our physical and temporal challenges

Health & economy are intertwined. After much-needed adoption of major behavioral modifications, we now should prepare for pivot to Rapid Recovery. pic.twitter.com/46vlQIVWhZ — Bret Swanson (@JBSay) March 20, 2020

Prolonged economic paralysis will undermine crucial health efforts. We can creatively leverage our extraordinary broadband information infrastructure for much of the economy. But we should restart the physical economy in as many places as possible, as soon as possible.

Encouraging news that pharma firms are providing big supplies – tens of millions of pills – of off-label drugs (eg HCQ) that *appear* to be effective vs. Covid-19. More speed on more fronts will help immediately – AND set new innovation-tilting precedents.

We can also launch a new era in personal medicine, with massive data so that future outbreaks can be detected and smashed early, and so most of the world economy can go on while Risk Zones are isolated and treated.

Surveillance does not mean government watching your sneezes or temperature. It means anon data collection, perhaps by third parties who can detect outbreaks and issue alerts. The goal is not ZERO cases. Such a goal would turn the government into an authoritarian police state.

Our problems are chiefly physical and temporal. We can use information to mitigate some physical and temporal dislocations, and for those we can’t, we will call on the wealth of our info-rich economy to smooth away the viral lifetime.

A short-term silver lining can be a new focus on teamwork, shared humanity, and practicality over pettiness.

A medium-term silver lining could be speedier adoption by the physical economy of information tools that can make them more productive and creative.

A long-term silver lining can be a new commitment to radical bio innovation and a transformed (better/less expensive) health sector, an acceleration of the App-ification of Medicine.

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