Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates on Thursday warned that the world’s emergence from coronavirus lockdowns will be slow, and cautioned that it will take innovation before people feel safe enough to attend large public events or flock to restaurants.

“Even as a government relaxes restrictions on behavior, not everyone will immediately resume the activities that are allowed,” Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, wrote in a long essay posted Thursday to his blog. “It will take a lot of good communication so that people understand what the risks are and feel comfortable going back to work or school.”

Gates said that the dramatic shutdowns of cities and countries worldwide have been necessary to slow spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, despite the enormous societal costs.

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“It is reasonable for people to ask whether the behavior change was necessary. Overwhelmingly, the answer is yes,” he wrote. “The change allowed us to avoid many millions of deaths and extreme overload of the hospitals, which would also have increased deaths from other causes.”

To those who argue the cure is worse than the disease — that the global economy has been crippled because of the shutdowns imposed to slow spread of the virus — Gates noted that even without strong government actions, people would have changed their behaviors in the face of rapid global spread of the dangerous virus.

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“There was never a choice to have the strong economy of 2019 in 2020,” he said.

Gates suggested a highly effective treatment — one that might be effective in about 95% of cases — would likely be needed for people to feel confident that they could resume activities like going to large sporting events or concerts. He noted options for treatments include those that harvest antibodies from the blood of survivors to help people combat the disease.

Vaccines would be the most obvious path back to normalcy, he said, but they and other needed interventions will require enormous investments if they are to be developed quickly.

“I think of this as the billions we need to spend so we can save trillions,” he said.

Gates warned that vaccines are not likely to be distributed equitably in the early days.

“Ideally, there would be global agreement about who should get the vaccine first, but given how many competing interests there are, this is unlikely to happen,” he wrote. “The governments that provide the funding, the countries where the trials are run, and the places where the pandemic is the worst will all make a case that they should get priority.”

He also warned it could be difficult to test the effectiveness of vaccines, given the fast-moving nature of the outbreak. They will need to be tested in areas where there is enough current spread to see if they actually are protective.

  • This is PATHETIC believing in Phantoms and ghosts. Absolutely utterly pathetic to the irrational dogma x 100,000,000,000.

    Maybe the most dogmatic person on earth. How can you not be when having an agenda 24/7??? DOGMA Bill.

    You yourself need not do anything. Enjoy life. In fact, we don’t want you to do anything. Please keep your hands out of everything…. Enjoy life. And maybe spend the rest of the time you have left understanding your delusion’s. Maybe then you can truly better yourself, because you have a lot to work on. You can even see that though. There is no way in heck you should be spending your time on anything else but.

  • dear all, The gates foundation is helping our specialists at Catholic University Leuven ,Belgium (@kuleuven) to find a vaccin/answers. This is one of the oldest universities in the World with known trackrecord on these matters.
    The only question one should asked is this : What can i do to help and protect myself, my family and my neighbourhood? good luck to you all.

    • Here is help… If you are catholic trust god and his word.. Period…

      Bill gates is not god and he will not take away my freedom my opinions.. Nothing

  • VACCINE
    I wonder if the logistics of its production,
    The volume required,
    The length of time needed for such production,
    The “evidence based”medical criteria for its prescription,
    The general strategy for its prescription,worldwide,
    The availability world wide,
    The affordability,worldwide,
    The length of time,that, all the above can take,
    The population movement during and after the vaccination.

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