COVID-19: One Way it Could Have Been

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Photo by Tedward Quinn on Unsplash

Editor’s note: This post was written by KJ McElrath, a member of Copiosis’ Social Group on Facebook.

In the midst of the worst pandemic in over a century, health care workers across the nation scramble for masks, gloves and ventilators as their supplies dwindle. Why don’t we have surpluses of such items? Can we better prepare in the future?

This New York Times interview gives an in-depth perspective. An overview offers two major factors contributing to today’s reality:

(A) Capitalist mindsets driven by monetary considerations believe profit and human needs and concerns are mutually exclusive

(B) Well-intentioned, but misguided government interventions often cause more harm than good

Without these, Chinese and American physicians could have stopped the contagion months ago, and ventilator and mask stockpiles would be full. However, government policy and economic considerations hamstrung preparedness. When one doctor in China alerted the medical community, for example, police accused him of “disturbing the social order,” subsequently ordering him to keep quiet or face serious consequences.

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Photo by Adli Wahid on Unsplash.

When the contagion arrived several weeks later in the U.S., poor planning, bureaucratic barriers, misplaced economic priorities and political leadership failure conspired, preventing large-scale screenings.  

Under Copiosis, the pandemic could have been contained and even eradicated while still in China. How? Let’s examine the hypothetical case of Dr. Ling. 

At age 15, Ling watched her mother and brother die from SARS. Determined to find a cure, she graduated from Beijing University with degrees in Traditional Chinese and Western medicine at 24.

With two medical degrees, Ling opened her own research laboratory.  She recruited like-minded friends and classmates who also shared Ling’s long-term vision. All equipment and supplies were provided at no cost. 

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Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash 

Without concerns about funding, revenue, expenses, shareholder return or bureaucratic interference, the team got to work. Each member pursued his or her own line of research, co-ordinating with colleagues as they pursued common goals. 

Within a few months, Ling and her team discovered vaccines for many flu strains, discovering other dangerous pathogens along the way. Some in the Association simultaneously monitored public health for any early contagion indications.

Ling and her colleagues had no idea what viruses lurked in the future, but Ling’s team, their science, their equipment, their smarts and a nimble lab culture supported by all the no-cost equipment and supplies they needed were ready for anything.

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Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When COVID-19 popped up, Ling and her colleagues moved quickly, without waiting for government approval. First, they advised people to self-quarantine. Since nobody “works for a living” most people willingly did so. Besides, taking such action produces Net Benefit, as it helps to preserve public health, so those self-quarantining got richer.

Previous research helped isolate, analyze and determine the new virus’ vulnerabilities. New, sophisticated computer simulations eliminated most dangers associated with clinical trials. These developed because previous researchers produced Negative Net Benefits when they injured or killed a test subject in trials.

Ling’s team had a vaccine within weeks.

Ling also alerted colleagues around the world. Free of bureaucratic interference and monetary constraints, nations quickly responded to expert and intelligence community warnings. Medical supply stockpiles stood ready in many nations as these got produced at no cost. Armies of health care professionals rapidly mobilized. Some nations loaned professionals and stockpiles to other nations. With no revenue requirements or shareholder returns demanding protected intellectual property, Ling open sourced her vaccine formula. Laboratories and pharmaceutical producers worldwide both copied and improved her success. 

A major pandemic was stopped in its tracks. After the fact, everyone involved, from lab techs, researchers, their suppliers and even the public, all received awards. The best part: millions of people remained healthy and alive.

The moral: when money, power, prestige and control are no longer considerations, things get done.

Copiosis basics:

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A high level overview of how Copiosis works. 1. People who make things, called producers are free to make whatever they want. They get rich in two ways: by making things people want, and by making those things in ways which cause minimal harm and maximum benefit. How much harm and benefit is measured by the Copiosis Algorithm. 2. When people consume what producers make, Net Benefit gets produced. Net benefit is defined as all the good things produced by something when it is consumed, minus all the bad that thing generates by being created. 3. An all-volunteer organization known as the Copiosis Organization observes and gathers data on production and consumption. 4. They feed data into the Copiosis Algorithm, which determines, based on predefined measures, how much Net Benefit is produced when something is consumed. Assuming the Net Benefit is positive, people responsible for making that thing are rewarded with Net Benefit Rewards (NBR). Those people can then use their NBR to consume goods and services tagged as Luxuries by their creators. Meanwhile, everyone gets all the Necessities they need at no cost to them. Like all other goods and services, Necessities are created by producers. They are tagged as Necessities by the people who make them. No one compels any creators to designate their output as a Necessity or a Luxury.



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