“Toward Global Pandemic Resilience,” by Rajiv Sethi, Divya Siddarth, Alisha Holland, Belinda Archibong, Francis Annan, Rohini Somanathan, and Juan Camilo Cardenas is the 11th paper in our COVID series.
Across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has been most devastating to already-vulnerable populations. At the same time, it has brought our interconnectedness into sharp focus. Policies chosen in one jurisdiction affect conditions in others, and even regions isolated from each other are linked through third parties. This calls for harmonization of strategies across countries worldwide. However, regions differ sharply in their levels of medical and public health infrastructure, population density, concentrated poverty, patterns of internal migration, access to communication technologies, ability to bid on global markets, protection of privacy and civil liberties, communal tensions, and institutions of social support. Hence, policy responses also need to be carefully tailored to local conditions. This paper considers varied experiences with tackling the pandemic, with particular focus on three regions — India, Africa, and Latin America — that are collectively home to forty percent of the world’s population. These regions face several challenges to adopting the testing, tracing, and supported isolation (TTSI) roadmap that we have proposed for the United States. We reflect on alternative policy trajectories that can help us transition back to work and social activity while safeguarding human lives worldwide.