Management of the coronavirus has provided further evidence of humanity’s evolutionary bias towards the short term. From the time it took China to acknowledge there was a problem in Wuhan, to British delays to facilitating adequate testing, actions around the world almost universally came too late to stem the health crisis.
Governments have performed much better on the economy with gargantuan fiscal stimulus (spending and tax cuts), but that was when the storm was upon them and damaging lockdowns imposed. Unfortunately, if it takes rising domestic death tolls to increase urgency in democracies and for authoritarian regimes to even admit an epidemic has broken out, it does not bode well for humanity’s ability to deal with its greatest challenge.
Climate change is arguably the number one threat to our species but, although some governments were talking a good game before Covid-19, nothing like the level of spending that we have seen to combat the pandemic has been enacted.