My second read of the year was a terrific read and I'm so glad I hastily bought it before the end of the year. Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria lays out how the pandemic has exposed weaknesses in such things as American healthcare (the most obvious) but also covers a lot of other territory: past and present economic policies including taxes and tariffs; globalization and why it's been painted as a boogeyman but isn't going away; historic and present-day politics and nationalism; how life changed after past disasters, for better or worse. He even covers Artificial Intelligence and how it may affect our future.
Zakaria also discusses how and why some countries handled testing, tracing, and halting spread of the virus better than others and what we can learn from them. He zones in on places like Taiwan, where previous outbreaks of deadly disease gave the country experience that enabled them to prepare for the current pandemic. I just looked up a graph of Taiwan's Covid-19 cases and their peak — the highest number of cases reported in a single day — was 18. Impressive.
Across all these topics, Zakaria discusses where we've succeeded and failed and what the current president has done to improve or diminish our place in the world.
Highly recommended - Excellent writing and a fair-minded viewpoint of how the pandemic could lead to positive change and reduced inequality if handled right. My only problem with the book was that I had to reread some paragraphs a few times to get what he was saying, but that's more a factor of my own lack of understanding of such things as economics than a problem with the writing. In fact, I found the writing very clear and the subject matter educational. But, wow, Fareed Zakaria is one sharp dude. I am not on his intellectual level. If I can find the time, I may reread it in the future so that I can hopefully get an even better understanding.
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