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Think back to the first few weeks of the COVID pandemic and the way it turned the world upside down. That was probably sometime in March, depending on where you are in the world. Most organizations spent those first few weeks scrambling as they adjusted to Peak Uncertainty.

By late April or early May, we were still in a scramble but we started to get a bit of clarity on what some possible futures would look like. …

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JHU CSSE’s COVID-19 tracker, as of March 28 at 11:30am ET

I have a dozen things I need to do and a half-dozen more ideas for what I could do differently, alongside a crushing sense that three-quarters of it doesn’t matter in the face of a global pandemic—but I don’t know which three-quarters.

Then there’s the siren call of twitter and the news singing false promises: read a bit more, scroll a bit further, to find the fresh take that will give me greater clarity.

We have to acknowledge the psychic toll this moment is taking on each of us. At the first level, even if my daily life somehow continued unchanged, I’d see a tax on my bandwidth from the awareness of what was happening and the shift that knowledge demands in my mental models of the world. …

Diagram of flattening the curve
Diagram of flattening the curve
Source: CDC, Drew Harris, via NPR

There’s an important idea from the humanitarian sector that famines are not natural disasters. They’re not caused by crop loss or droughts or even a lack of food. There’s always enough food in this world: it’s just not reaching the people who need it.

Famines are caused by market failures, and government inability or unwillingness to respond. A drought may be natural, but a famine is man-made.

It’s slowly dawning on folks that the same is true of pandemics. …


Dave Algoso

Social change. Strategist, organizer, facilitator, writer. https://open-colab.org

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