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How might we stop a pandemic in the future?


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#1
Maximum7

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Let’s say we have a virus (like Coronavirus). Their is no cure or vaccine yet, but it’s 2050 and the CDC is looking to stop the spread. Besides quarantine (which doesn’t always work); how might we prevent a pandemic?

#2
joe00uk

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Nuke 'em. Simple as.



#3
caltrek

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Well now, there is a cure that is worse than the disease.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4
Erowind

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Better screening methods. Limiting consumer air travel in general. Ensuring all people have access to top of the line health facilities and stable supply chains. Self sterilizing surfaces in well trafficked buildings, not outside though as this could damage natural ecology. Air filtration in large public buildings that filters out/kills microbes. Making the interior of public transit more spacious to prevent overcrowding and easy transmission. I've often thought how much better subway trains would be if they took up 2 or maybe even 3 track widths and had high two story interior ceilings. These sound more like megatrains but I'm sure they could be built if we cared to. The goal would not be to increase capacity (maybe marginally) but instead comfort. For capacity we should just more set to arrive every 15 minutes running 24/7 on densely populated lines.

#5
Cyber_Rebel

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Having a fully automated workforce on hand and at the ready. Reimbursement for their work to workers who they temporarily relieve. I mean, OP says it's 2050. We should have easily achieved this much. Artificial Intelligence should also greatly help in coordination efforts, and research methods for vaccines.

 

We could also just send all infected to space. It's 2050, Musk should have achieved at least a single benchmark by this point. Send them all to the moon or quarantine them on Mars. I'm halfway joking. 



#6
caltrek

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Universal Influenza Vaccine Research

 

https://www.niaid.ni...accine-research

 

Introduction:

(National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disorders)  A key focus of NIAID’s influenza research program is developing a universal flu vaccine, or a vaccine that provides robust, long-lasting protection against multiple subtypes of flu, rather than a select few. Such a vaccine would eliminate the need to update and administer the seasonal flu vaccine each year and could provide protection against newly emerging flu strains, potentially including those that could cause a flu pandemic.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#7
eacao

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Nuke 'em. Simple as.

lol haha

 

when is the like button getting back?


If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill

You don't decide your future. You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln.


#8
Alric

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I hate to say it, because people wont like it, but if we use tracking technology to track everyone world wide, that solves the problem really quickly. Once you spot a new disease outbreak, since you know everyone's location you can find everyone met the person and who met them and you can quarantine everyone. The reason why quarantine doesn't always work, is because they missed someone. If we used technology available today to track everyone, we probably wouldn't miss people anymore. So given even more advanced technology, they could probably quarantine everyone with a new virus within a couple of hours of the disease being identified.

 

Of course this all requires people being willing to be tracked all the time.



#9
funkervogt

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Have robots diligently sanitize everything multiple times per day. 



#10
Hyndal_Halcyon

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Fully redesigned immune systems. Imagine a new set of white blood cells that creates its own antivirus.

As you can see, I'm a huge nerd who'd rather write about how we can become a Type V civilization instead of study for my final exams (gotta fix that).

But to put an end to this topic, might I say that the one and only greatest future achievement of humankind is when it finally becomes posthumankind.


#11
Jakob

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Kill everyone.

 

 

Nuke 'em. Simple as.

Looks like Joe and I actually agree on something...



#12
Yuli Ban

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If we kill everyone, it should only take a few weeks for everyone to get better. Good plan!


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#13
starspawn0

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Another Maximum7 question thread.

 

There's nothing you can do to stop a pandemic, without harming people's freedom. 

 

If you know that the virus has some kind of weakness, you could invent another virus that is transmitted at a faster rate -- say, as fast as measles -- that contains a little snippet of genetic code to exploit the weakness, such that when people are infected, they become a little more resistant to the pandemic.   

 

If this second virus is transmitted faster, most of the population will become more resistant before the pandemic can fully spread.



#14
TranscendingGod

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  • Once people have continuous monitoring of their homeostatic measures including white blood cell count, oxygenation levels, and other counts then it will be a cinch to pinpoint the location of any future outbreak. This will dramatically increase our ability to respond to any future pandemic. 
  • Even today we've developed vaccines in a matter of weeks. With the much better computational resources of the future, and an expanded understanding of our immune systems we should be able to simulate the best methods to combat any virus or bacteria in days. With sufficiently fine models and simulations we should be able to confidently predict the succes rate of vaccine or other measure without having to go through years of testing. 
  • Medical nanobots which are continuously updated with the genetic source code of any foreign invader which would allow them to instantly hone out and destroy said invaders.
  • Myriad other things

The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth.

#15
Raklian

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Why don't we all become hikikomori for at least couple of weeks? Surely, it'll stop this pandemic in its tracks.


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#16
Poncho_Peanatus

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the real problem of this pandemic, is political, not scientific or technological, but political.

 

If the doctors had something to say, we probably didnt had any pandemic at all, thats because 1) the CCP, China Communist Party tried to cover everything up, kinda like the US reaction to the deadly virus in ST.King the Stand. 2) politics everywhere, from India to Italy to USA was sloppy and slow. 3) years of cuts and mismanagement in the healthcare sector, worldwide.

 

Fix the politics you fix the problem for the future.



#17
caltrek

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The following article addresses the question of how to prevent a future pandemic. It may not offer a 100% solution, but it does highlight an important aspect of the situation and offers some clues as to how that aspect may be addressed in the future.

 

To prevent the next pandemic, scientists search for animal zero

 

https://www.theverge...-health-disease

 

Introduction:

(The Verge) The COVID-19 pandemic that’s currently ravaging the world started with a simple virus in an animal. Viruses like this, which can jump from animal to human, are called zoonotic viruses. They account for 75 percent of all the emerging diseases people grapple with today and are one of the most critical areas of study when it comes to protecting public health.

 

Epidemiologist Christine Kreuder Johnson knows that a virus carried by wildlife in any seemingly far-flung corner of the world can potentially threaten the health of humans globally. She studies how viruses in animals “spill over” into human populations as associate director of the One Health Institute at the University of California, Davis.

 

…(Johnson): We’re sharing habitats that we hadn’t shared previously. In doing so, we have the opportunity to interact with animals through basically them taking up residence closer to human communities. A lot of these viruses are potentially shared through contact with feces or urine or other ways when these animals share the landscape.

 

It’s very important that we consider how our actions are changing their numbers. We do have good evidence in disease ecology that when these animals have disruptions to their habitat, their need to move around more actually increased epidemics in their own population. We have a situation now where, as this pandemic progresses, we’re being asked to shelter in place and stay put because it’s obvious to everyone that when we move around, we increase the likelihood of these epidemics to get started. The same disease dynamics take place in wildlife. As wildlife are hunted or as their habitats are destroyed and they have to move, it’s that movement that actually increases disease dynamics and increases the likelihood of epidemics in both populations of animals and humans.

 

In market settings, you have very different wildlife species, bats and carnivores and ungulates [hoofed mammals]. Those different types of animals are all together, and they’re alive, so they’re able to share viruses. This tendency for viruses to jump species should be a very rare and difficult capability, but we’re providing opportunities for viruses that naturally mutate to have these other species nearby. They’re sharing respiratory droplets or there’s contamination by urine and feces.

 

One of the aspects of this that my wife and I have been discussing is the extent to which cultural practices in China are to blame.  Put another way, could this sort of thing also happen in other countries such as Mexico or Brazil?

 

Clearly, cultural behavior of  China and other countries may need to be changed.  Even in more technologically advanced countries, care needs to be taken with such things as experimentation with genetically modified organisms and preventative research.  Even in the United States, the urban wildlife interface zones may pose such problems. Still, it seems to me at least, that the "disease ecology" here is decidedly different.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#18
caltrek

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Scientists unveil a plan to prevent the next pandemic

 

https://science.scie...9/6502/379.full

 

Introduction:

 

(Science) For a century, two new viruses per year have spilled from their natural hosts into humans (1). The MERS, SARS, and 2009 H1N1 epidemics, and the HIV and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemics, testify to their damage. Zoonotic viruses infect people directly most often when they handle live primates, bats, and other wildlife (or their meat) or indirectly from farm animals such as chickens and pigs. The risks are higher than ever (23) as increasingly intimate associations between humans and wildlife disease reservoirs accelerate the potential for viruses to spread globally. Here, we assess the cost of monitoring and preventing disease spillover driven by the unprecedented loss and fragmentation of tropical forests and by the burgeoning wildlife trade. Currently, we invest relatively little toward preventing deforestation and regulating wildlife trade, despite well-researched plans that demonstrate a high return on their investment in limiting zoonoses and conferring many other benefits. As public funding in response to COVID-19 continues to rise, our analysis suggests that the associated costs of these preventive efforts would be substantially less than the economic and mortality costs of responding to these pathogens once they have emerged.

 

https://grist.org/cl...-the-same-time/

 

Extract:

 

(Grist) “We have a lot of examples of these actions curtailing risk,” said Aaron Bernstein, one of the paper’s authors (see Science article cited above) and the interim director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard University’s School of Public Health. “So we know that it’s possible — but we haven’t really invested at all.”

 

One of the most important interventions, according to Bernstein, would be halting the runaway destruction of forests, particularly in tropical areas. When trees are clear-cut for timber or mining, wild animals wander into towns and cities, looking for new habitats and meals. When that happens, they’re more likely to bump into people and spread dangerous disease.

Another source of concern is the illegal (and sometimes legal) wildlife trade. In many areas of the globe, primates, crocodiles, and other wild animals are sold in close quarters with livestock, offering plenty of opportunities to share viruses and then infect humans. According to the researchers, policymakers have to pass legislation that keeps high-risk species, like bats, pangolins, and rodents, out of markets.

 

Governments could also start new programs of surveillance, monitoring particular “hotspots” like West Africa and Southeast Asia, where new diseases are most likely to emerge. Bernstein said governments should keep an eye on and regularly test people who spend a lot of time near wildlife or livestock for new pathogens, thus nipping new diseases in the bud.

 

All these actions combined, researchers estimate, could cost between $22 and $31 billion a year — a fraction of the pandemic’s estimated $27 trillion blow to the world economy this year (let alone the 620,000 deaths so far). “Salvation is cheap,” Bernstein said.

 

Part of the problem is that we heavily invest in things like the military-industrial complex where companies then plow back a portion of their profits in to supporting favored politicians who support that complex.  Yet, we do not have that sort of institution in place to lobby for the sorts of policies indicated by the study.  Yet another example of why people based and supported politicians are so important to our future collective welfare.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#19
Kynareth

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Don't go out from homes. No need. Everything can be taken care by robots.



#20
Archimedes

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1. Take every single "[x] virus is a hoax!" person.

 

2. Stuff their mouths full of salt and sew their lips shut.

 

3. Sew their hands together.

 

Nah, I'm just kidding!

 

 

...mostly






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