When The World Comes Together Above Politics: The Pandemic Response As A Very Long Chess Game

During these Covid times I find that a good game of chess keeps the neural networks active, and it helps to have an opponent who also plays it for enjoyment and who has a rating like yours or better.

Spaceship Earth is grappling with the COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS pandemic in ways that have never forced international cooperation to the levels experienced in the past four months.

Epidemiologists, international health associations, Presidents of countries, airlines, religious organizations, media, drug companies, customs agents, WHO members, travel companies, health practitioner specialists, international sports associations, and economic organizations – have all shared their respective relevant resources and advice where they would not normally be shared. Millions of people are now talking to each other, with focus and the best of intentions. It is obvious that world priorities such as nationalistic values and military conflict have now been pushed into the background by the seriousness of a rapidly spreading disease that has taken thousands of lives. And a disease for which there is no known cure.

Like a chess game, strategic decision-making is crucial to achieving a win outcome. The cure unknowns are forcing testing labs everywhere to communicate ‘best strategies of discovery’ and  serum disbursement. How easily this disease transmits from one person to another presents severe problems of containment, with many delays in ‘catch-up’, best-mustered treatments. This massive problem has placed extreme pressures on hospitals for instance, to keep up with exponentially increasing demands on staff, available space, and hygiene requirements everywhere. In Canada, restrictions have been recently placed on patient visiting at hospitals, long-term care homes, transitional care units, and seniors’ homes, such as ‘one visitor only’ or ‘no visitors’. Visitors must sign-in and declare their state of health and country origins of recent travel before allowed entry.

Schools, community centres, libraries, sports arenas, colleges and universities, churches and synagogues, movie theaters, orchestral auditoriums, some restaurants and bars and so forth – have all been ordered closed. These instructions are not peculiar to Canada, but most likely in the majority of major cities and towns across the world. Politicians at all societal levels have made public statements about the actions they have taken/will take to ease issues of job loss, health insurance costs, food access, and at-home schooling. ‘Social distancing’ techniques for all citizen have been sent out on the local media, and hygiene signs in public washrooms have been installed as much as possible. Panic buying and hoarding has been greatly discouraged.

The recent stock market declines and business failures in the Western world, represent the extended effects of a pandemic of this size and unknown nature. Massive screening across the land is speeding up, especially for returning and incoming travellers, seniors and other most-vulnerable groups. Workers are being supported as of an announcement today for example, by the Province of Ontario if they experience unemployment and have to self-isolate or quarantine as a result of COVID-19. Doctor’s notes will no longer be needed.

So we currently have a ‘bee-hive’ of strategic decision-making at every social, economic, and political level within Spaceship Earth. Mis-information and wide-spread paranoia are two predictable features that are hindering this sharing of data, concern and resources. Meanwhile, we have more people showing up every day at ERs and ICUs.

Let’s hope researchers in every country discover a vaccine sooner than later. Spaceship Earth needs this win.


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