My web sources are very quiet this New Year’s Day. The holiday is world-wide so that most sources are with their families and not at work today. The new EBOV information today on the Web tells us that the Scottish nurse at the Royal Free in London is receiving an experimental drug (not ZMapp) and convalescent serum during these ‘critical days’ of her illness.
Today is New Year’s Day so I thought I would communicate the take-home message of Bill Gates’ article in The Economist special issue ‘The World in 2015’ to everyone. His article is entitled ‘Great Expectations’ (page 93). Gates tells us that all successful social movements have a ‘flashpoint’ when the goal of a small group becomes the goal of a mass of people. The ‘flashpoint’ is the belief of the mass that they can make a difference and achieve the goal. Gates cites the Civil Rights Act and anti-apartheid movement in South Africa as examples of how ‘flashpoints’ can work.
Gates says next September all the world’s leaders will come to the UN to set goals for saving children’s lives, eliminating extreme poverty, and providing clean water to all. He is encouraged by the fact the number of children who die worldwide has decreased by 50% since 1990. But still millions of children die who could be saved by vaccinations, insecticide -treated malaria nets, and oral rehydration salts. Gates believes when the masses understand that these simple measures can save millions of children worldwide, world leaders will have to act to institute these measures.