The Promise MetaLand

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In the current digital landscape, social media platforms are saturated with content and it can be difficult for creators to gain a substantial audience without significant investment in advertising or viral tactics. However, a new virtual space is emerging as a potential solution for content creators: the metaverse.

The metaverse, also known as the virtual universe, is a digital space where users can interact, create, and consume content in a shared environment. It is often compared to the early days of Facebook, as it is still relatively untouched and has the potential for growth and success for those who invest in it early.

Many companies and investors are already pouring billions of dollars into the development and expansion of the metaverse. This includes major players in the technology industry such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, as well as gaming companies like Roblox and Epic Games.

One of the key advantages of the metaverse is its ability to provide a sense of immersion and presence for users. This can be achieved through the use of virtual reality and augmented reality technology, allowing users to fully engage in the virtual environment and experience it as if it were real.

The metaverse also has the potential to revolutionize various industries, such as education, entertainment, and commerce. For example, in the education sector, the metaverse can offer immersive and interactive learning experiences for students, while in entertainment, it can provide a new platform for creators to share and monetize their content.

Currently, some of the most popular metaverses include:

  • Roblox: A massively multiplayer online game platform that allows users to create their own games and play games created by others.
  • Fortnite: A popular battle royale game that also includes a creative mode where users can build and create their own virtual worlds.
  • Horizon: A social virtual reality platform that allows users to interact with each other in a shared virtual space.
  • Decentraland: A decentralized virtual reality platform that allows users to create, experience, and monetize content and applications.
  • VRChat: A virtual reality social platform where users can create and customize their own avatars, socialize, and participate in community events.
  • Minecraft: A massively popular game that allows users to build and create their own worlds.

In conclusion, the metaverse is a promising new virtual space that offers a wide range of possibilities for creators, businesses and individuals. With the growth of technology, it’s expected to become more and more accessible, and more and more people will join it. The metaverse has the potential to revolutionize various industries and provide new opportunities for creators to reach and engage with their audience. It will be interesting to see how it develops in the coming years.


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Artificial intelligence (AI) is a rapidly advancing technology that is set to have a significant impact on the job market in the next 50 years. While some jobs may become automated, others will continue to require human skills and expertise.

Jobs that are likely to be impacted by AI in the next 50 years include:

  • Manufacturing roles, such as assembly line work, where repetitive tasks can be easily automated.
  • Transportation and logistics, where AI-powered systems can optimize routes and manage fleet operations.
  • Data analysis and decision-making roles, such as financial analysis, accounting, and certain aspects of healthcare.
  • Customer service and call center jobs, where AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle routine interactions.
  • Jobs that involve repetitive tasks, such as data entry and document processing.

On the other hand, jobs that require certain human skills and expertise are less likely to be impacted by AI in the next 50 years:

  • Jobs that involve human interaction and empathy, such as teaching, social work, and therapy.
  • Jobs that require creativity and problem-solving, such as design, innovation, and research.
  • Jobs that require complex decision making and judgement, such as managers, executives, and leaders.
  • Jobs that require a deep understanding of human emotions and social dynamics, such as therapists, counselors, and sociologists.

It is also worth mentioning that AI will create new job opportunities, particularly in the field of AI development, implementation, maintenance, and governance. As AI becomes more prevalent across various industries, there will be a growing demand for professionals with expertise in AI-related fields.

It is important to note that AI will not necessarily lead to widespread unemployment. Instead, it is likely to result in a shift in the types of jobs available, with some becoming automated while others will continue to require human skills and expertise. As such, individuals and organizations must adapt to these changes and develop the necessary skills to succeed in the new job market.

Mindful Police and Military Forces Program

The “Mindful Police and Military Forces Program“ consists in teaching Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence to our great police and military forces all over the world.

Our program is aimed to: 

  • Increase officers efficiency 
  • Increase officers ability to do the right action in critical situations
  • Increase “choice-space” between stimulus and response
  • Decrease judgmental biases in decision making process
  • Significantly reduce stress, anxiety and depression generator factors
  • Significantly improve sleep quantity and quality and the capacity to sleep when needed
  • Develop the skills officers need to de-escalate volatile situations
  • Improve community relations both in peace and in war zone
  • Significally increase ability of negotiating in hard situations

Our courses are conducted by our best teachers, some of them also involved in the treatment of Cancer Patients with the use of the same tools and techniques in cooperations with LILT and ASUFC in the region of Friuli Venezia-Giulia (Italy)

But why, in a moment like that, would Military, Police, Nurses, Fire-Fighters and First Responders needs to quickly develop high levels of “Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence” Skills? 

Try to question yourself about this 3 simple scenarios:

  • When does an accident take place? When you are in a controlled situation, lab or drill situation, with everything you need to solve the criticality that the accident causes ready to be used…or when you are on duty, in the field, or at home with your family or even alone? And are you aware of all the chance you have in any situation to experience that accident, and of what to do to cope with it? 
  • When does an injury or a physical breakdown takes place? When you are comfortable sitting or laying in a Hospital full of medics and nurses ready to care about you…or else when you are on duty, in the field, or at home with your family or even alone? And are you aware of all the chance you have in any situation to experience that injury, and of what to do to cope with it? 
  • When does a mental breakdown take place? When you are comfortable sitting over laying in a Mental Health Facility surrounded by psychologists and psychiatrists ready to intervene and help you…or else when you are on duty, in the field, or at home with your family or even alone? And are you aware of all the chance you have in any situation to experience that breakdown, and of what to do to cope with it? 

And do you know that if you are not aware of the bias of your mind, those bias can easily overcome you and make you become an “always on the edge” person that, like a time-bomb, can implode/explode and lose all productivity at once, all of a sudden, maybe right in the middle of an important task or mission?

The 3 scenarios that I reported before represent 3 different kind of skills that you may lack of:
– Awareness of the environment
– Awareness of the body (yours and others)
– Awareness of the mind (yours and others)

In a moment of uncertainty such as this one, it is impossible to simply “stick on the plan” or “follow the protocol” because many times there are no plans and many times the protocol is only theoretical. 

What is needed is a direct connection with what happens in the very moment things happen, and that can only be given by strong “awareness skills”.

Awareness and Mindfulness are synonyms. And as you know, since you are human, emotions can and will get in the way between you and your capacity to discern which is the best option. 

From that, our programs are about both Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence.

Only a Mindful And Emotional Intelligent Mind can cope with any situation without getting involve with it and do always the best possible action. During an accident, in first aid emergency, in war or in quickly-escalating police operations, a Mindful and Emotionally intelligent mind can always act in the best way

All our works are supported by solid scientific studies. We leave some scientific notes about our program, useful for the reader:

The studies examined evidenced that police officers who went through mindfulness training experienced less depression in their first year of service and also “significant improvement in self-reported mindfulness, resilience, police and perceived stress, burnout, emotional intelligence, difficulties with emotion regulation, mental health, physical health, anger, fatigue, and sleep disturbance.” (Christopher 2016,2018). 

In a recent article about a very interesting study conducted by the University of Wisconsin emerged that:

Mindfulness training led to significant reductions in psychological distress and mental health symptoms, consistent with previous RCTs demonstrating reduced anxiety and depression symptoms (Trombka et al., 2021), burnout and perceived stress (Christopher et al., 2018), and negative affect (Krick and Felfe, 2019). We provide the first evidence of reduced PTSD symptoms in an RCT of mindfulness training for police officers, consistent with findings from an earlier single-arm pilot study (Grupe et al., 2021a). This result is notable given high exposure to direct and vicarious trauma in policing, and the serious and potentially deadly consequences of unmitigated trauma exposure for police officers (Syed et al., 2020) and members of the public (Chemtob et al., 1997; Weiss et al., 2012). We also observed a modest improvement in sleep quality with mindfulness training that was significant at 3-month follow-up (see also Christopher et al., 2018). Improved sleep may benefit both police officer health and community well-being. For example, North American police officers who screened positive for sleep disorders (40% of the sample) not only had increased rates of diabetes, heart disease, and depression, but were more likely to express anger at work, fall asleep while driving, and incur citizen complaints (Rajaratnam et al., 2011).  Mindfulness training was associated with a reduction in the CAR at 3-month follow-up, consistent with results from a previous RCT in police officers (Christopher et al., 2018). Although the CAR is generally thought of as an adaptive anticipatory response to prepare for the upcoming day (Powell and Schlotz, 2012), exaggerated responses are associated with excessive worry, burnout, and depression (Schlotz et al., 2004;” (Grupe &Co 2021)

Furthermore, is directly Officer Richard Goerling, a police lieutenant is Hillsboro, Oregon, who works with fellow police officers to increase their well-being through mindfulness, who says in a recent interview that often officers:

“Instead of understanding the impacts of stress, anger, or fear, [are forced by habit to] try to tamp down those emotions or ignore them, which keeps them from understanding the effect of emotion on performance “It’s classic compartmentalizing, saying, ‘I don’t let my emotions get in the way,’” says Goerling. “Yeah, right. But what happens if those emotions spike up out of the little box and get in the way, creating problems in the encounter with others?” (Suttie 2016). 

And he added about mindfulness in critical situations that: 

“Mindfulness opens up the space in which we make decisions—we’re not so linearly focused or so stressed because we are under threat,” he says. “We may still be under threat, but because I’m regulating my stress response and my emotions—anger, fear, and ego, which is a huge problem in our culture—I’m more aware of my options.”

Mindfulness and emotional intelligence are now crucial instruments for police officers all over the world and we find very important to present to our Italian Forces the opportunity to have those kind of abilities in their set of skills.

Primary References

– Christopher, M.S., Goerling, R.J., Rogers, B.S. et al. A Pilot Study Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention on Cortisol Awakening Response and Health Outcomes among Law Enforcement Officers. J Police Crim Psych 31, 15–28 (2016).

– Christopher MS, Hunsinger M, Goerling LRJ, Bowen S, Rogers BS, Gross CR, Dapolonia E, Pruessner JC. Mindfulness-based resilience training to reduce health risk, stress reactivity, and aggression among law enforcement officers: A feasibility and preliminary efficacy trial. Psychiatry Res. 2018 Jun;264:104-115. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.03.059. Epub 2018 Mar 23.

– Daniel W. Grupe1, Jonah L. Stoller, Carmen Alonso, Chad McGehee, Chris Smith, Jeanette A. Mumford, Melissa A. Rosenkranz and Richard J. Davidson (2021). The Impact of Mindfulness Training on Police Officer Stress, Mental Health, and Salivary Cortisol Levels 

Clinical Trial published: 03 September 2021 doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.720753 

– Jill Suttie, Psy.D, How Mindfulness Is Changing Law Enforcement

Meditation is helping police officers to de-escalate volatile situations, improve community relations—and improve their own well-being, MAY 18, 2016: on

Other References

– Andersen, J. P., and Gustafsberg, H. (2016). A training method to improve police use of force decision making: a randomized controlled trial. SAGE Open 6, 1–13. doi: 10.1177/2158244016638708 

– Ballenger, J. F., Best, S. R., Metzler, T. J., Wasserman, D. A., Mohr, D. C., Liberman, A., et al. (2011). Patterns and predictors of alcohol use in male and female urban police officers. Am. J. Addict. 20, 21–29. doi: 10.1111/j. 1521-0391.2010.00092.x 

– Black, D. S., and Slavich, G. M. (2016). Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1373, 13–24. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12998 

– Browning, C. R., Tarrence, J., LaPlant, E., Boettner, B., Schmeer, K. K., Calder, C. A., et al. (2021). Exposure to police-related deaths and physiological stress among urban black youth. Psychoneuroendocrinology 125:104884. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2020.104884 

– Burke, K. C. (2020). Democratic policing and officer well-being. Front. Psychol. 11:874. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00874 

– Buysse, D. J., Reynolds, C. F., Monk, T. H., Berman, S. R., and Kupfer, D. J. (1989). The Pittsburgh sleep quality index: a new instrument for psychiatric practice and research. Psychiatry Res. 28, 193–213. doi: 10.1016/0165-1781(89)90047-4 

– Carleton, R. N., Afifi, T. O., Turner, S., Taillieu, T., Duranceau, S., LeBouthillier, D. M., et al. (2017). Mental disorder symptoms among public safety personnel in Canada. Can. J. Psychiatr. 63, 54–64. doi: 10.1177/0706743717723825 

– Chemtob, C. M., Novaco, R. W., Hamada, R. S., Gross, D. M., and Smith, G. (1997). Anger regulation deficits in combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder. J. Trauma. Stress. 10, 17–36. doi: 10.1002/jts.2490100104 

– Chopko, B. A., Palmieri, P. A., and Adams, R. E. (2018). Trauma-related sleep problems and associated health outcomes in police officers: a path analysis. J. Interpers. Violence 36, NP2725–NP2748. doi: 10.1177/0886260518767912 


President Gianpaolo Marcucci


El pasado mayo, el Congreso de la República del Perú promulgó el Proyecto de Ley N° 094, el cual condiciona la publicación de materiales educativos al consentimiento de madres y padres de familia. Tal como dice la ley, los padres y madres pueden influir en la elaboración de los materiales que se usarían en las escuelas:

“Los representantes de las APAFA, comités, asociaciones civiles u otras instancias de representación inscritas (…) designarán a los representantes que participarán en el proceso de elaboración del contenido de materiales, textos y recursos educativos conforme al procedimiento que se establezca en el respectivo reglamento.”

Ante eso, la Defensoría del Pueblo manifestó que: “La promulgación de esta ley afectaría el derecho a la educación e implementación de la educación sexual integral (ESI), e impediría al Minedu garantizar su cumplimiento en un contexto recurrente de violencia y embarazos en niñas y adolescentes mujeres”

Asimismo, la entidad comunicó lo siguiente: “Nuestra institución considera que el condicionamiento de la publicación de materiales educativos al consentimiento previo de progenitores, constituiría un peligroso precedente para todas las políticas públicas, pues institucionalizaría -a través de una ley- un derecho a veto por parte de personas con creencias o prejuicios, generando inestabilidad y falta de seguridad jurídica para la protección de los derechos humanos de las personas, y particularmente, de las y los estudiantes”

En la actualidad, el Ministerio de Educación del Perú es la Entidad encargada de elaborar estos materiales educativos. En el año 2016, nació el Movimiento “Con Mis Hijos No te metas”, el cual se opone a la Educación con Enfoque de Género en las Escuelas. En el año 2017, este movimiento se opuso al Currículo Nacional, el cual incluía un temario con enfoque de género, con la finalidad que la educación sea inclusiva y que se pueda prevenir embarazos adolescentes.

Actualmente, este movimiento mantiene su discurso y al aprobar la ley 094 daría libre albedrío a que estos intereses particulares sean parte de la elaboración de materiales educativos. No se puede negar que peligra el derecho de niñas, niños y adolescentes al no recibir una educación sexual integral y libre de discriminación. Con esta norma en vigencia, grupos conservadores pueden aprobar o desaprobar materiales educativos bajo su propia perspectiva, limitando la educación con enfoque de género y retrasando los pocos avances que se han podido dar en el país.

En un país con una alta tasa de violencia hacia la mujer, embarazos adolescentes y prejuicios, sí es necesaria la Educación con Enfoque de Género. Necesitamos que nuestra infancia y nuestra adolescencia tenga una educación de calidad y crecer en un ambiente seguro donde los prejuicios cada día se derriban más. Asimismo, ya existen experiencias en las escuelas donde la Educación Sexual Integral ha logrado disminuir los casos de embarazo adolescente. Urge la intervención del Estado y que día a día los intereses de grupos conservadores tengan menor participación en leyes que afectan a toda una nación. Un país sin machismo ni discriminación, es un país sin violencia.

Ana Claudia Baltazar Diaz

How to prevent the next pandemic (ENG)

After two years of pandemic, Bill Gates delivers a book that in about three hundred pages can serve as both a warning and a handbook for the future. How to prevent the next pandemic, published on 3 May by the Allen Lane publishing house, has been the talk of the town since its release. The Coronavirus pandemic, in fact, has not yet died out and continues to plague governments around the world with its social, political, health and economic implications, but Mr. Gates is already looking to the future, trying to find an answer to the existential question that also gives this book its title ‘How can we prevent the next pandemic?

The Microsoft founder is firmly convinced – and personally, after reading his book, I find myself agreeing with him – that by learning from the current pandemic and implementing a series of strategies for the future, we can avoid the outbreak of a global health crisis like the one caused by Covid-19.

Based on the shared views of the world’s leading experts and his own experience fighting deadly diseases through the Gates Foundation, in How to prevent the next pandemic Bill Gates clearly and convincingly sets out the importance of being better prepared for the spread of new viruses.

The book consists of nine chapters plus an Introduction and an Afterword, the core of which revolves around the idea that while epidemics are inevitable, pandemics are optional. The world, therefore, in Gates’ thinking should not live in fear of the next pandemic, but should make the right investments for the benefit of all, with a view to making Covid-19 the last pandemic ever.

As many will recall, Bill and Melinda Gates have been committed to fighting the virus from the earliest days, collaborating with experts inside and outside the Gates Foundation who have been fighting infectious diseases for decades. This commitment inevitably led Mr. Gates to reflect on many factors in the pandemic response that could have been faster and more efficient.

Starting with the fact that respiratory viruses, including influenza and coronaviruses, are particularly dangerous because they spread very quickly, Bill Gates explains that the likelihood of a pandemic striking the world is steadily increasing; partly because human beings with urbanisation are encroaching on countless natural habitats and, as a result, interacting with animals more often, creating the conditions that allow a disease to pass from animal to human. In addition to this, another key point to consider is the lack of technical preparedness that all countries around the world have generally shown in responding to the virus. Back in 2015, during a speech at the TED conference entitled “The next epidemic? We’re not ready”, Gates had emphasised the importance of planning for all kinds of scenarios – from vaccine research to the training of health workers – to prevent the outbreak of increasingly dangerous viruses. Reflecting this importance, How to Prevent the Next Pandemic sets out how governments, scientists, companies and individuals can build a system capable of containing the inevitable outbreaks so that they do not turn into pandemics. Specifically, each chapter of the book explains a different step to take in order to be ready, and together, all these steps form a plan to eliminate future pandemics and reduce the likelihood that society will have to go through another Covid-19.

The first chapter traces the importance of learning from the pandemic caused by Covid-19. The starting point is swift action. It is no coincidence that many of the countries that experienced low excess mortality – Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, South Korea – at the start of the pandemic quickly tested a large portion of the population, abruptly isolated individuals who tested positive and those who had been exposed to the virus, and put in place a plan to track, monitor, and manage cases that crossed their borders. Of course, Gates explains, just as some countries show us what to do and how to act, others show us the opposite. Not everyone did the right thing. Some people refused to wear a mask or vaccinate. Some politicians have denied the seriousness of the disease and avoided implementing the necessary closures to stop the spread of the virus.

Another fundamental point, repeatedly emphasised by the author, is that investing in innovation today will pay off in the future. In this regard, in the second chapter Gates emphasises the importance of putting in place a global body of experts whose task is to study how to respond to diseases that could kill thousands of people. Simply put, the world has never before invested in the mechanisms needed to prevent future pandemics and now is the time to do so.

Today, there are many organisations working to respond to pandemics, the best known being the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) which does heroic work but does not have the personnel, funds or global mandate to deal with any threat.

What Bill Gates therefore advocates is the creation of a permanent organisation of experts, fully paid and prepared to organise, at any time, a coordinated response to any dangerous outbreak. Mr. Gates proposes to call this group GERM – Global Epidemic Response and Mobilisation – and to fill it with experts from all over the world with a wide range of expertise (epidemiology, genetics, diplomacy, logistics, computer models, communication, etc.) who, when not actively working in the field, are based in the public health agencies of individual countries, in the regional offices of the WHO, and at the headquarters in Geneva.

Several times throughout the book, Gates explains how the most important job of this team would be to help run epidemic response exercises to see if the world is ready for the next big pandemic. However, GERM’s impact would not be limited to stopping pandemics, the group would also improve overall health worldwide, especially in poorer countries.

Another important part of prevention is to study and constantly monitor the spread of different viruses. Indeed, with the right investment and preparation, we will be able to rapidly test large numbers of people during an epidemic in the future. A rapid and efficient response is inevitably linked to the development of digital data collection systems so that public health offices can keep abreast of the situation in their communities, as well as the ability of governments around the world to establish working relationships with infectious disease experts from both the public and private sectors.

In the fourth chapter, the author explores an issue that has plagued countless countries and governments over the past two pandemic years: the need to teach and help people to protect themselves and others. The most useful way we can all do our part is through so-called ‘non-pharmaceutical inventions’ – NPIs – (masks, sanitisers, lockdowns, etc.). The irony of NPIs is that the more useful and effective they are, the easier they are to criticise. However, as our recent past shows, lockdowns – for example – have allowed the world’s economies to recover faster, simply by forcing people to stay indoors and thus saving lives. Of course, not everything that governments have implemented during the current pandemic has been right, nor will it be necessary in the future to repeat every single action taken in the fight against Covid-19. In particular, Gates focuses on the closure of schools, emphasising that schools will not need to be closed for extended periods of time in the future, especially if the world community is able to provide vaccines for everyone within six months.

However, what works for one place or country does not necessarily work for another. Lockdowns are a clear example of this disparity. As explained by the author, social distancing and lockdowns work more for wealthier countries and neighbourhoods; this is because wealthier people tend to work jobs that do not require them to travel and go out to work and because they can afford to stay indoors. Consequently, just as it is important to develop and implement the study of new vaccines, new tests for infectious diseases, and new treatments, it is equally important to work on the inequalities that afflict the global community and that, consequently, slow down the fight against future pandemics. Both locally and globally. A further recurring theme of the book is that the global community does not have to choose between preventing future pandemics or implementing global health: these are in fact mutually reinforcing. The greatest medical breakthrough of this pandemic – and one of the most important in recent decades – was the creation of vaccines against Covid-19. One study found that in the first year they saved more than 1 million lives and prevented 10 million hospitalisations in the US alone. The creation and distribution of the vaccines has been quite rapid, yet there are a number of problems that need to be solved before the next potential pandemic arrives, such as the huge disparity between those who have been vaccinated and those who have not. It is important to remember that the speed with which the vaccines against Covid-19 were implemented depends largely on a matter of ‘luck’. In fact, coronaviruses had already caused two previous outbreaks (SARS and MERS), allowing scientists to learn a great deal about the structure of the virus. In particular, the scientific community – before 2020 – had already identified Covid’s characteristic spike protein – the crown-like spikes of the virus of which countless images have been disseminated – as a potential target for vaccines, so when it came time to create new vaccines, scientists suddenly realised which part of the virus was most vulnerable to attack. In the next outbreak,’ Mr Gates warns us, ‘we might not be so lucky. It could be caused by a virus that scientists have not yet studied.

That is why, according to the author, the global community must adopt a serious plan for the development, production and distribution of new vaccines to prevent another pandemic. However, it is good to keep in mind the difficulty and especially the high costs of such processes. Production alone is a huge challenge: to avoid the inequalities we have seen in Covid-19, the world will have to be able to produce enough vaccines for everyone on the planet within six months of the discovery of a new pathogen (around 8 billion doses for a single-dose vaccine and 16 billion for a two-dose version). To do this, Bill Gates proposes – in chapter six – a four-step plan, starting with accelerating the invention of new vaccines.

All this inevitably requires a lot of practice. ‘Practice, practice, practice’, not surprisingly, is how the author wanted to call the next chapter, in which he advocates a series of simulation plans for the future that will help the global community prevent future pandemics from breaking out. So, just as countless governments spend millions on military exercises, so too should they in the future invest in health exercises that will make us all better prepared should another virus spread. Such exercises will not only be useful in preventing further pandemics, but will also help governments to be prepared in the event of a bioterrorist attack (which is the deliberate use of biological agents – such as viruses, bacteria or toxins – in actions against public safety). The very possibility of a bioterrorism attack is one of the reasons why governments around the world should invest more money in research, study and prevention of diseases that can ‘go global’. Inevitably, investments of public money – as well as the ability to cope with crises – are easier and more possible in richer countries, which greatly contributes to widening inequalities between developed and undeveloped or developing countries. In this regard, Mr. Gates proposes for the immediate future to start decreasing the gaps between rich and poor countries, especially in the area of public health since “where we live and how much money we have determines the chances we have of dying young or becoming wealthy adults”. Narrowing the gaps between wealthier and poorer countries not only helps to eliminate inequities in health and healthcare, but also helps to prevent the spread of new pandemics. Thus, both rich and poor countries benefit.

In conclusion, Bill Gates reminds us that investing public money in planning and preventing new pandemics will make people healthier, save lives and reduce the health gap between rich and poor, even when the world is not actually facing an active epidemic. How to prevent the next pandemic is therefore a handbook, an opportunity not only to prevent things from getting worse, but also to make them better. “We must not give up,” says Mr Gates, “living in perpetual fear of another global catastrophe. But we must be aware of this possibility and be willing to do something about it. I hope the world seizes this moment and invests in the necessary steps to make Covid-19 the last pandemic’.

Personally, I found reading this book extremely interesting, but above all enlightening. Reading How to prevent the next pandemic made me realise how many things are often taken for granted nowadays, especially for people like me who live in developed countries. From the distribution of vaccines to the possibility of finding sanitary devices or swabs, everything is easier if we just leave the house and walk a few metres to find a pharmacy. The Covid-19 pandemic affected every country in the world without distinction, but the ability of governments to respond to it was inevitably related to the type of country (rich or poor, developed or underdeveloped). I believe, therefore, that reading this handbook – as it should be read – can be extremely useful, both for individuals and for governments themselves.

Francesca Teresi

How to prevent the next pandemic (ITA)

Dopo due anni di pandemia, Bill Gates ci consegna un libro che in circa trecento pagine può fungere sia da monito che da manuale per il futuro. How to prevent the next pandemic, pubblicato lo scorso 3 maggio dalla casa editrice Allen Lane, ha fatto parlare di sé sin dal momento della sua divulgazione. La pandemia da Coronavirus, infatti, non si è ancora estinta e continua ad affliggere i governi di tutto il mondo con le sue implicazioni sociali, politiche, sanitarie ed economiche, ma Mr. Gates rivolge già il suo sguardo al futuro, cercando di trovare una risposta all’esistenziale domanda che da anche il titolo a questo libro “Come possiamo prevenire la prossima pandemia?”. Il fondatore di Microsoft è fermamente convinto – e personalmente, dopo aver letto il suo libro, mi trovo d’accordo con lui – che imparando dall’attuale pandemia e mettendo in atto una serie di strategie per il futuro, potremo evitare il divampare di una crisi sanitaria globale come quella causata dal Covid-19.

Basandosi sulle opinioni condivise dei maggiori esperti mondiali e sulla propria esperienza nella lotta alle malattie mortali attraverso la Fondazione Gates, in How to prevent the next pandemic Bill Gates espone in modo chiaro e convincente l’importanza di essere più preparati al diffondersi di nuovi virus.

Il libro si articola in nove capitoli più un’Introduzione ed una Postfazione, il cui nucleo fondamentale ruota attorno all’idea che se da una parte le epidemie sono inevitabili, dall’altra le pandemie sono facoltative. Il mondo, quindi, nel pensiero di Gates non deve vivere nella paura della prossima pandemia, ma deve fare i giusti investimenti a beneficio di tutti, nell’ottica di rendere il Covid-19 l’ultima pandemia di sempre.

Come molti ricorderanno, Bill e Melinda Gates si sono impegnati nella lotta al virus fin dai primi giorni, collaborando con esperti interni ed esterni alla Fondazione Gates che da decenni combattono le malattie infettive. Questo impegno ha inevitabilmente portato Mr. Gates a riflettere su molti fattori della risposta alla pandemia che avrebbero potuto essere più veloci ed efficienti.

Partendo dal fatto che i virus respiratori, inclusi influenza e coronavirus, sono particolarmente pericolosi poiché si diffondono molto rapidamente, Bill Gates ci spiega che le probabilità che una pandemia colpisca il mondo sono in continuo aumento; in parte perché l’essere umano con l’urbanizzazione sta invadendo innumerevoli habitat naturali e, di conseguenza, interagisce con gli animali più spesso creando le condizioni che permettono ad una malattia di passare dall’animale all’uomo. Oltre a ciò, altro punto fondamentale da considerare è l’assenza di preparazione tecnica che in generale tutti i paesi del mondo hanno dimostrato nel rispondere al virus. Già nel 2015, nel corso di un discorso alla conferenza TED intitolato The next epidemic? We’re not ready, Gates aveva sottolineato l’importanza di pianificare ogni tipo di scenario – dalla ricerca sui vaccini alla formazione degli operatori sanitari – per evitare il divampare di virus sempre più pericolosi. Ricalcando tale importanza, How to prevent the next pandemic espone come governi, scienziati, aziende ed individui possono costruire un sistema in grado di contenere gli inevitabili focolai così da evitare che questi si trasformino in pandemie. Nello specifico ogni capitolo del libro spiega un diverso passo da compiere per essere pronti e, nell’insieme, tutti questi passi costituiscono un piano per eliminare future pandemie e ridurre le probabilità che la società debba attraversare un altro Covid-19.

Il primo capitolo ricalca l’importanza dell’imparare dalla pandemia causata dal Covid-19. Il punto di partenza è costituito da un’azione repentina. Non a caso, molti dei paesi che hanno avuto un basso eccesso di mortalità – Australia, Vietnam, Nuova Zelanda, Corea del Sud – all’inizio della pandemia hanno testato rapidamente una grande parte della popolazione, isolato repentinamente gli individui risultati positivi e quelli che erano stati esposti al virus, e messo in atto un piano per tracciare, sorvegliare e gestire i casi che avevano attraversato i loro confini. Ovviamente – spiega Gates – così come alcuni paesi ci mostrano cosa fare e come agire, altri ci mostrano il contrario. Non tutti hanno fatto la giusta cosa. Alcune persone si sono rifiutate di indossare la mascherina o di vaccinarsi. Alcuni politici hanno negato la gravità della malattia ed evitato di mettere in atto le chiusure necessarie ad arrestare la diffusione del virus.

Un altro punto fondamentale, più volte rimarcato dall’autore, è che investire nell’innovazione oggi ripagherà in futuro. A questo proposito, nel secondo capitolo Gates sottolinea l’importanza di mettere in campo un corpo globale di esperti il cui compito è studiare come rispondere a malattie che potrebbero uccidere migliaia di persone. In poche parole, il mondo non ha mai investito prima nei meccanismi necessari a prevenire future pandemie ed ora è il momento di farlo.

Oggi, le organizzazioni che lavorano per rispondere alle pandemie sono molte, la più nota è sicuramente la Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) che svolge un lavoro eroico senza tuttavia avere il personale, i fondi o il mandato globale necessari ad affrontare ogni minaccia.

Ciò che dunque Bill Gates auspica è la creazione di un’organizzazione permanente di esperti, completamente retribuiti e preparati ad organizzare, in qualsiasi momento, una risposta coordinata ad un’eventuale epidemia pericolosa. Mr. Gates propone di chiamare questo gruppo GERM – Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization – e di riempirlo di esperti provenienti da tutto il mondo con un’ampia gamma di competenze (epidemiologia, genetica, diplomazia, logistica, modelli informatici, comunicazione, ecc..) i quali, quando non lavorano attivamente sul campo, sono basati nelle agenzie di salute pubblica dei singoli Paesi, negli uffici regionali dell’OMS e nella sede centrale di Ginevra.

A più riprese nel corso del libro, Gates spiega come il lavoro più importante di questo team sarebbe quello di aiutare a gestire le esercitazioni di risposta alle epidemie per verificare se il mondo è pronto per la prossima grande pandemia. Tuttavia, l’impatto del GERM non si limiterebbe a fermare le pandemie, il gruppo, infatti, migliorerebbe anche la salute generale in tutto il mondo, soprattutto nei Paesi più poveri.

Un’altra parte importante della prevenzione è rappresentata dallo studiare e tenere sotto controllo costante il diffondersi dei diversi virus. Infatti, con i giusti investimenti e la giusta preparazione in futuro, durante un’epidemia, saremo in grado di testare rapidamente un elevato numero di persone. Una risposta rapida ed efficiente è inevitabilmente connessa allo sviluppo di sistemi di raccolta dati digitali così da permettere agli uffici di salute pubblica di essere sempre aggiornati sula situazione della propria comunità, nonché alla capacità dei governi di tutto il mondo di stabilire relazioni lavorative con esperti di malattie infettive provenienti sia dal settore pubblico che da quello privato.

Nel quarto capitolo, l’autore approfondisce una tematica che nel corso di questi ultimi due anni di pandemia ha afflitto innumerevoli paesi e governi: la necessità di insegnare ed aiutare le persone a proteggere sé stesse e gli altri. Il modo più utile con cui tutti noi possiamo fare la nostra parte è costituito dalle cosiddette “invenzioni non farmaceutiche” – NPI – (mascherine, igienizzanti, lockdown, ecc..). L’ironia delle NPI è che più sono utili ed efficaci, più è facile che vengano criticate. Tuttavia, come il nostro recente passato dimostra, i lockdown – ad esempio – hanno permesso di alle economie mondiali di riprendersi più velocemente, semplicemente obbligando le persone a stare in casa e salvando così delle vite. Ovviamente, non tutto ciò che i governi hanno messo in atto nel corso dell’attuale pandemia è stato giusto, né tanto meno sarà necessario in futuro ripetere ogni singola azione compiuta nella lotta al Covid-19. In particolare, Gates si focalizza sulla chiusura delle scuole, sottolineando come per l’avvenire non sarà necessario chiuderle per periodi di tempo prolungati, soprattutto se la comunità mondiale sarà in grado di fornire vaccini per tutti nel corso di 6 mesi.

Tuttavia, ciò che funziona per un posto o un paese non funziona necessariamente anche per un altro. I lockdown sono un chiaro esempio di tale disparità. Come spiegato dall’autore, il distanziamento sociale e le chiusure forzate funziona maggiormente per i paesi ed i quartieri più ricchi; questo perché le persone più ricche fanno tendenzialmente lavori che non li obbligano a spostarsi e ad uscire per andare a lavorare e perché possono permettersi di stare chiusi in casa. Di conseguenza, così come è importante sviluppare ed implementare lo studio di nuovi vaccini, nuovi test per le malattie infettive e nuovi trattamenti, allo stesso modo è importante lavorare sulle disparità che affliggono la comunità globale e che, di conseguenza, rallentano il contrastare future pandemie. Sia a livello locale, sia a livello globale.

Un ulteriore tematica ricorrente del libro è che la comunità globale non deve scegliere se prevenire le future pandemie o implementare la salute globale: queste infatti si rinforzano a vicenda.

La più grande scoperta medica di questa pandemia – nonché una delle più importanti degli ultimi decenni – è stata la creazione dei vaccini contro il Covid-19. Uno studio ha rilevato che nel primo anno hanno salvato più di 1 milione di vite e impedito 10 milioni di ricoveri solo negli Stati Uniti.

La creazione e la distribuzione dei vaccini è stata piuttosto rapida, tuttavia ci sono una serie di problemi che necessitano di essere risolti prima che arrivi la prossima potenziale pandemia, come l’enorme disparità tra chi è stato vaccinato e chi no.

È importante ricordare che la rapidità con cui i vaccini contro il Covid-19 sono stati messi in atto dipende in buona parte da una questione di “fortuna”. I coronavirus, infatti, avevano già causato due precedenti epidemie (SARS e MERS), consentendo agli scienziati di imparare molto sulla struttura del virus. In particolare, la comunità scientifica – prima del 2020 – aveva già identificato la caratteristica proteina spike del Covid – le punte del virus simili a una corona di cui sono state diffuse innumerevoli immagini – come un potenziale bersaglio per i vaccini, così quando è arrivato il momento di creare nuovi vaccini, gli scienziati hanno repentinamente capito quale parte del virus era più vulnerabile all’attacco. Nella prossima epidemia – ci mette in guardia Mr. Gates – potremmo non essere così fortunati. Potrebbe essere causata da un virus che gli scienziati non hanno ancora studiato.

Ecco perché, secondo l’autore, la comunità globale deve adottare un piano serio per lo sviluppo, la produzione e la distribuzione di nuovi vaccini per prevenire un’altra pandemia. Tuttavia, è bene tenere a mente la difficoltà e soprattutto i costi elevati di tali processi. La sola produzione è una sfida enorme: per evitare le disuguaglianze che abbiamo visto nel Covid-19, il mondo dovrà essere in grado di produrre vaccini sufficienti per tutti gli abitanti del pianeta entro sei mesi dalla scoperta di un nuovo agente patogeno (circa 8 miliardi di dosi per un vaccino a dose singola e 16 miliardi per una versione a due dosi). Per fare questo Bill Gates propone – nel sesto capitolo – un piano in quattro fasi, a partire dall’accelerazione dell’invenzione di nuovi vaccini.

Tutte ciò necessita inevitabilmente di molta pratica. “Practice, practice, practice”, non ha caso così l’autore ha voluto chiamare il capitolo successivo, nel quale auspica per il futuro una serie di piani di simulazione che aiuteranno la comunità globale ad evitare l’esplodere di future pandemie. Dunque, così come innumerevoli governi spendono milioni in esercitazioni militari, allo stesso modo dovranno in futuro investire in esercitazioni sanitarie che ci renderanno tutti più preparati qualora un altro virus dovesse diffondersi. Tali esercitazioni saranno utili non solo a prevenire ulteriori pandemie, bensì aiuteranno anche i governi ad essere preparati nel caso di attacchi di Bioterrorismo (che consiste nell’utilizzo intenzionale di agenti biologici – come virus, batteri o tossine – in azioni contro l’incolumità pubblica). Proprio la possibilità di un attacco di bioterrorismo è una delle ragioni per cui i governi di tutto il mondo dovrebbero investire più denaro nella ricerca, nello studio e nella prevenzione di malattie che possono “diventare globali”. Inevitabilmente, gli investimenti di denaro pubblico – così come la capacità di affrontare le crisi – sono più semplici e possibili nei paesi più ricchi, fatto che contribuisce enormemente ad acuire le disparità tra paesi sviluppati e paesi non sviluppati o in via di sviluppo. A questo proposito Mr. Gates propone per l’immediato futuro di cominciare a diminuire le distanze tra i paesi ricchi e i paesi poveri, soprattutto in ambito di salute pubblica dato che “dove viviamo e quanti soldi abbiamo, determinano le possibilità che abbiamo di morire giovani o diventare adulti abbienti”. Diminuire le distanze tra i paesi più o meno abbienti non solo contribuisce ad annullare le ingiustizie in termini di salute e sanità, ma aiuta anche a prevenire il diffondersi di nuove pandemie. Dunque, ne beneficiano sia i paesi ricchi sia i paesi poveri.

In conclusione, Bill Gates ci ricorda che investire denaro pubblico nel pianificare e nel prevenire nuove pandemie renderà le persone più sane, salverà vite e ridurrà il divario sanitario tra ricchi e poveri, anche quando il mondo non sia effettivamente di fronte a un’epidemia attiva. How to prevent the next pandemic rappresenta dunque un manuale, un’opportunità non solo per impedire che le cose peggiorino, ma anche per migliorarle. “Non dobbiamo arrenderci – dice Mr. Gates – a vivere nella perenne paura di un’altra catastrofe globale. Ma dobbiamo essere consapevoli di questa possibilità ed essere disposti a fare qualcosa. Spero che il mondo colga questo momento e investa nei passi necessari per rendere il Covid-19 l’ultima pandemia”.

Personalmente ho trovato la lettura di questo libro estremamente interessante, ma soprattutto illuminante. Leggere How to prevent the next pandemic mi ha fatto capire quante cose vengono spesso date per scontate oggigiorno, specialmente per chi come me vive in paesi sviluppati. Dalla distribuzione dei vaccini alla possibilità di trovare dispositivi sanitari o tamponi, tutto è più semplice se ci basta uscire di casa e fare pochi metri per trovare una farmacia. La pandemia da Covid-19 ha colpito tutti i paesi del mondo senza distinzioni, ma la capacità dei governi di rispondere a tale crisi è stata inevitabilmente correlata alla tipologia di paese (ricco o povero, sviluppato o sottosviluppato). Credo, dunque, che la lettura di questo manuale – come tale dovrebbe essere letto – possa rivelarsi estremamente utile, tanto per i singoli individui quanto per i governi stessi.

Francesca Teresi