The Biggest Challenge of A Global Pandemic

Above All Else: Don’t Despair

Alexandre Porto

7 min read

Jules-Élie Delaunay, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons — Jules-Élie Delaunay, Peste à Rome
A global viral pandemic is a very interesting problem.

In the past I have worked on problems that required dealing with a virus, however, in those cases, it was always under controlled conditions.

Usually, we were able to create an environment to keep the virus isolated and contained.

The goal of containment is to prevent individuals from being infected, while at the same time keeping them safe and healthy so they can continue working effectively as long as possible.

In the case of a global viral pandemic, this is no longer possible.

Humans have lost the ability to contain such a disease.

Even if we could, it would be immoral and unethical considering that everyone will eventually become infected.

Basically, there are two avenues to explore:

Prevention and Treatment.

Prevention involves creating a vaccine against the virus.

However, there are many different types of viruses and they mutate very quickly. It is most likely not possible to create an effective vaccine.

The other option is treatment.

There are a number of potential methods, all aimed at stopping the infection from spreading and preventing further damage to the host.

One option is to help the body fight off the infection. In this case, we would use a variety of treatments that stimulate the immune system.

There are many different ways to do this and they can be combined.

The biggest challenges of a global viral pandemic:

The first challenge is the pandemic itself.

The Ebola virus has been spreading in West Africa for a long time and it causes severe health effects such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and internal/external bleeding.

covid pandemic
Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons — Giovanni Battista Tiepolo — Santa Tecla prega peste Este

The second challenge is the general unpreparedness of most countries in handling a viral outbreak.

The third challenge is the inability of healthcare workers in West Africa to deal with the Ebola virus.

The reason for this is that there are not enough resources and no attention has been paid to the disease.

The fourth challenge is the general lack of transparency in West Africa.

There are many reports about the Ebola virus that are not being published for fear of making Ebola more prevalent.

The fifth challenge is the media coverage of the Ebola virus. The media has been highly irresponsible in their reporting regarding Ebola, as they have caused widespread panic.

The lack of resources.

You might have to forgo some luxuries they are used to having, like sufficient food and clean water.

We may also need to use less energy than we are accustomed to.

It will be hard for people to accept these limitations.

People are accustomed to living in a world where resources such as food, water, and energy are plentiful.

We probably won’t think they can make it without those things.

The people who have to live in this world will probably become very conscious of the number of resources they use and will try to conserve them.

corona pandemic quarentine
Alexander Christie, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons — An Incident in the Great Plague of London

They will probably try to cut down on the amount of food they eat and the amount of water they drink.

They might also try to use less energy by turning off lights, or not using heaters.

In addition, they will probably try to conserve their resources by not traveling as much or using less electricity.

Another big challenge in dealing with a global viral pandemic would be the epidemic itself.

The people will probably find it hard to deal with their own sickness and the deaths of others.

I think that the biggest challenge is how to carry out a global response while respecting local perspectives and needs.

The disease is going to kill everyone on Earth one way or another, so the question is whether we can all work together as a single species across borders to address it.

This is a question that goes back thousands of years.

For example, in the Talmud, there are debates about whether it’s permissible to violate any law or commandment if doing so will save a life.

The long and short of it is that sometimes we have to break laws or take actions that might be immoral by themselves but which need to be done for the greater good.

This is an easy position to take if you’re a member of the privileged class or in a position of power, where such actions don’t have as much impact on your life.

If you’re part of the lower classes or marginalized groups, it’s harder to make that argument because breaking laws and taking actions that might be immoral by themselves can have more severe consequences.

For example, consider the hypothetical case where a viral epidemic is spreading across the world and it’s threatening to kill everyone in New York City.

I’m sure that people here would be willing to violate local perspectives and needs in order to save lives.

We see time and again that humans do not take the proper precautions required to prevent the spread of disease.

This is due to ignorance, my friend.

Ignorance is a great detriment to any society, but it can be eradicated by making humans understand the problem at hand.

This will lead to proper education which in turn leads to prevention.

So, we can conclude that education is the key to ending a global viral pandemic.

drawing about plague covid
The plague of Florence in 1348, as described in Boccaccio’s Decameron. Etching by L. Sabatelli after himself., via Wikimedia Commons


Education is a powerful tool that can be used to solve many problems.

It has the power to change people’s behavior, and thus their lives for the better.

The true problem is that education has been hijacked by the elite, which has led society into a global viral pandemic.

The solution to this lies in these three steps:

1) Leadership must be removed from the hands of elites;

2) Society must be educated about what education really means, and finally, and most importantly;

3) Education needs to re-connected with its original purpose: the development of human potential.


The first step, removal of leadership from the hands of elites, is a political matter that human beings must directly address themselves. It is not as simple as it sounds; however, this can be achieved by two means:

a) A global revolution to seize power away from elites and put in the control of ordinary people; or

b) Another technological innovation that replaces elite leadership with something more effective.


As for the second step, it will be a very different world when education is truly seen as what it really is: an essential feature of human society.

In this new world, people would not only see education as their right to develop themselves and realize human potential; they would also understand that all other humans are deserving of the same opportunities.


The third step, education reconnected with its original purpose, is where the real work lies.

For most of human history, education has served an obvious and important purpose: to develop human potential and create better humans.

The problem today is that this process has been hijacked by elites for their own selfish ends.

The solution to this pandemic is as simple as it is obvious: education must be reconnected with its original purpose. This will naturally result in the creation of a new world, where people are treated as what they really are: human beings.

The Souls of Acheron — Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl, Public Domain

Don’t Despair

Itseems humans are obsessed with epidemics and pandemics, although they have not learned much from history.

One of the greatest early examples of a viral epidemic was probably smallpox.

Smallpox is thought to have been brought to Europe by traders from the East in about A.D. 1000, where it spread rapidly across most of Western and Central Europe within 300 years.

The Black Death, which was an epidemic of bubonic plague that killed an estimated 30% to 60% of Europe’s population in the 14th century, is another example.

Smallpox and cholera are also examples of viral epidemics or pandemics as well.

The Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918–19 is yet another great example. It was a strain of the H1N1 virus, and it killed between 50 and 100 million people worldwide.

It seems humans are obsessed with epidemics and pandemics, although we have not learned much from our history.

From the outside perspective, there is no reason to despair or give up.

The fact that it feels as if life is meaningless and depressing in itself does not mean that one should stop living.

In my view, humans construct their own meaning in this world almost entirely by themselves without any external help from beyond.

This might sound cynical or pessimistic, but it is not a bad thing.

Humans are capable of achieving great things in this world.

Those who have done so and continue doing so are those who have the will to live and make an impact on the world.

The most important thing to do is to decide what one wants from life, and then align the work one does with those goals.

In doing so, there might be a risk that the result of one’s effort will not match up with his or her expectations.

Even though there is no guarantee that one’s efforts will lead to great results, at least the effort by itself is not wasted.

The goal of all humans should be to do what they can to live a meaningful life.

Note that the concept of meaning is very subjective and depends on many factors.

Meaning can be found in relationships with other people, but also by doing one’s own thing and not conforming to the expectations of others. It depends on how the individual defines a meaningful life.